BMW | Hydrogen
Generating 25 seconds of CG liquid animation in 3 weeks at HD resolution isn't a scenario Fuel chooses to accept lightly. The fact that it was a BMW commercial for the US through Texan agency GDS&M, and to be directed by Collider, made it an irresistible challenge.
The result is the spot for BMW 'Hydrogen 7' - a car that produces water emissions instead of CO2.
Collider director, Andrew van der Westhuyzen, wanted a stylised treatment to the CG water: the concept was not about the physics of liquids, but about using the beauty of liquid motion to describe the technology in a creative and artistic way.
"Andrew provided some excellent reference to Fuel for what he was looking for, in terms of the water filling the vehicle - it's speed, turbulence, colour density," explains Fuel VFX Supervisor Simon Maddison. "Although the work is technically challenging, Andrew kept us focussed that the final result should belie this and appear simple and elegant".
Fuel's 3D lead, Mike Bain, outlines the process involved. "The director selected what parts of the car he wanted to see filling-up and how he imagined that looking. Using the CAD files of the car we then simplified the geometry and created the various volumes for the CG liquid to fill. How the CG water flowed into that volume, and how the water would continue to flow into other parts of the car, were purely creative inventions that required us to make specific modifications to the geometry".
Mike continues, "It was decided to make the water a very stylised blue colour as this really helped with defining the depth and dimension of the car as the water filled different areas. From there we turned the simulated shots over to the director".
Simon explains, "We set up multiple CG cameras which recorded the animation from different angles, then rendered those shots and delivered 'digital rushes' to Andrew and the editor - as you would on a live action shoot. We worked closely with them on the edit and, once that was locked down, it became a matter of fine tuning and rendering out final animation for compositing in Flame".
Agency: GSD&M’s Idea City, Austin
Group CDs: Mark Ray & David Crawford
CDs: Jay Russell & Wade Alger
Art Director: Bill Marceau
Producer: Paul Golubovich
Production Company: Collider
Director: Andrew van der Westhuyzen
Executive Producer: Sam Zalaiskalns
Post-production Producer: Pat Dedal
Fuel VFX Supervisor: Simon Maddison
Fuel VFX Producer: Dave Kelly