MPC Vigorsol

Thu 14th Mar 2013 | News

MPC partners with BBH and Stink to create a terrifying molten lava monster for Vigorsol Ice gum.


The spot opens on a city under assault from a huge fire-breathing monster. ‘Captain Ice’ is the unlikely hero who eventually defeats him with the help of Vigorsol gum. MPC VFX Supervisor Richard McKeand said, “We absolutely love working on these kind of jobs. To concept a fictional character such this, means we work from scratch. We need to determine his personality, features and the precise texture of his lava-covered body. The options are endless.”

Character development

MPC’s team of concept artists developed an extensive series of exploratory sketches using films such  as  ‘Wrath of the Titans’ as reference.  The team researched volcanic behaviour, as well as ice cracks  and rocks to create the monster, affectionately nicknamed James.

The team took special care to define James’ personality, using human expressions and applying them to the 3D model. This allows a high level of anthropomorphism, and shows James both angrily destroying the city, then in shock as he is vaporised. The next step was to texturize his body through grooming. The team constructed a shader in Maya that  could dynamically change its apparent temperature to vary between volatile fiery lava, all the way  down to icy frozen rock.


In the final spot we see a city under siege. The opening scene was built up using stock footage and built up still frames. MPC’s extensive element library was used to add smoke effects while the team of matte  painters added a menacing feel to the sky. The helicopters were created in5house and are completely CG.


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As James gets to work destroying the city, his touch on the buildings around him blackens them this  effect was added by the matte painting team. A great deal of the fire and flames were captured in camera, and were embellished with CG elements. As James turns a corner to face up to the Ice Man, the buildings behind him were added for scale, as well as additional cars and buildings in the background.


A bespoke shattering software system was used to vanquish James, and break down his body into rocks. There was extensive clean up involved in the job, plus rotoscoping and compositing James so he fit the shots perfectly. The team added ice to cars and the road, embellished explosions and matte painted in extra parts of the city.



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Agency: BBH
Creatives: Felipe Guimaraes & Lambros Charalambous
Creative Director: Marc Hatfield
Producer: Natalie Parish
Assistant Producer: Katie Burkes



Production Company: Stink
Director: Rafael Lopez Saubidet
Producer: Debbie Ninnis
DoP: Ray Coates
Editor: Andy McGraw @ Stitch


VFX Producer: Chris Allen
VFX Supervisors: Richard Mckeand and Anthony Bloor  VFX Team: Benoit Mannequin, Jama Djurabaev, Levente Peterffy, Christopher Antoniou, Anthony Bloor, Brice  Lehmann, Sean Ray, Tim van Hussen, Tom Rowell, Samantha Meisels, Rachel Wright, Alex Cernogorods, Billie  Vine.
Grade: George K.

Strategist: Ben Shaw
Team Director: Tom Woodhead
Team Manager: Leo Sloley

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