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 Commercials Animation /  02 July 2017

Outpost VFX

This commercial is some of the most ambitious work we've ever undertaken at Outpost VFX. Working with MullenLowe on this Unilever campaign we worked on the project from start to finish, incorporating everything from initial concepts to the final animation, and all to the tune of a challenging deadline. We're also pleased to announce that we've pioneered a new method of rendering crowds for commercials, film and broadcast while working on this project.

Seen throughout the commercial are the fruits of our film-proven creature and character pipeline that we've developed to handle the demands of photorealism, while still being able to express our creativity through stylisation and feeling. All of the germ characters were designed from the ground up in-house, using digital and traditional illustration techniques to iterate and iterate until we’d developed a line-up of creatures with their own distinct appearances and idiosyncrasies.

After initial concepts had been approved and character sculpts were created in ZBrush, what could've easily been months worth of texturing, animation, lighting and look development was completed in an extremely short timeframe. We also completed a full colour grade for the commercial in-house. The whole idea behind the aesthetic we were trying to achieve was that the germ creatures would need to be stylised and grotesque while reacting to light and their environment in an extremely realistic way. We feel we achieved this juxtaposition well.

As well as harnessing our character animation pipeline, this commercial also called for fluid dynamics for the bleach that careens through the cave at the end and extensive crowd simulation work in order to make the world that the germs inhabit feel very much alive.

Part of this process tied nicely into internal R&D that we'd been performing in order to get Redshift and Golaem Crowd working together, so that we could bring crowd rendering times down to extremely manageable levels while maintaining the quality you can readily see in the commercial itself. This is the very first time that Redshift and Golaem have been used together, and we're extremely proud to help the collaboration between the two tools become production ready.

Our founder Duncan McWilliam was chosen to direct the commercial for the client, which enabled us to maximise efficiency from an artistic perspective as he has decades of experience working in computer graphics. This meant that we had an awful lot of involvement at all levels of the project and were able to really get stuck in. CG Artists:
Tom Rowell, Scott Coates, Ben Imber, Robert Moore, Laszlo Mandi, Nacho Garcia, Peter Duncan, Giacomo Venturi, Jordi Girones, Arnaud Bellour, Renato Suetake, Mathias Cadyck, Dan Weiss, Manu Perez Sanz

2D Artists:
Elena Estevez Santos, Asier Aparicio, Dave Sadler-Coppard, Giorgio Pitino, Claudia Coppa, David Thomas, Paulo Mateus, Andrea Persiano, Timoteo Osella Pettrich, Steph Cooper Agency Producer: Oliver Featherman, Vanessa Hunt

Agency Creatives: George Walters, Ewan Harvey
Director: Duncan McWilliam
DOP: Nick Sawyer
Colourist: Magdalena Turnier
Creative Director: Steve Molloy
Concept/Storyboard Artist: Almu Redondo
VFX Producer: Geraint Hixson
VFX Production Manager: Marta Rodriguez

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