GE | Two Letters
Fuel VFX collaborated with Director Graeme Burfoot, The Feds and Clemenger BBDO Sydney to create GE's latest brand campaign that showcases the company's innovations in transportation and business technologies, health care and clean energy.
In this spot, a CT scan, a jet engine and a wind turbine come to life with the input of GE, represented by letters merging to form the machines. Burfoot wanted to express GE's 'imaginative thinking' in a unique way that felt progressive yet tactile.
Fuel's VFX Supervisor Anders Thonell worked closely with Burfoot, Writer Will Edwards and Art Director Chris Badger in pre production to ensure the visual effects elements were designed to tell the GE brand story. "Graeme gave us a very detailed brief and sketched how he wanted the letters to move and form. This was really helpful for us because we knew from the outset that this campaign required careful design and planning to accompany the grunt of a big simulation job."
Steve Oakley designed software which plugged into Maya to drive the constructing machines. The simulation effects used in this commercial were quite complex and required not only that the letters merge and form in a naturalistic way, but that the 'G' and 'E' letters struck the right stylistic balance including subtle messaging, colour and tone.
"The letters had to be controlled enough to lock together to form solid surfaces but also move freely enough to give a sense of floating on the wind which brings the machines together", said Thonell. "Graeme wanted all the movement to be justified by some natural force, wind or page flip and not by a contrived magic."
Fuel's CG artists built replica models of the hero products CT scan, jet engine and wind turbines, animated them and placed them into the shots. Transparency ramps were used to indicate which parts of the machines were constructing at any time and what the flow of the animation would be, which Oakley used to drive his simulations.
Such is the detail of the animation that almost every shot has some hand-animated elements or unique treatment. "We've added character to the letters and multiple methods on almost every shot - key frame animation, particle and cloth simulations, proprietary simulations. This commercial has been a lot more hand-made than I anticipated, but it was necessary to get to that level of detail." said Thonell.
Maxwell was chosen to render the spot due to the short depth of field that was used in-camera. Maxwell could offer features to enhance the depth of field, while being one of the few renderers that could handle the vast amount of geometry used to create this spot.
Agency: Clemenger BBDO Sydney
CEO: Andy Pontin
ECDs: Paul Nagy, Mike Spirkovski
Agency TV Producers:
Agency Print Producer:
Account Director: Eva Chown
Strategic Planner: Emma Burn
Production Co: The Feds
Director: Graeme Burfoot
Producer: Jude Lengel
Fuel VFX Supervisor: Anders Thonell
Fuel VFX Producer: Erica Ford
Head of Design: Brendan Savage
Lead Designer: Andrei Juradowitch
Matte Painting: Luke Bubb
John Stanley McGovern
Lead Nuke Compositor:
Lead Flame Artist: