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MPC Paris's effervescent adventure for Perrier

MPC Paris's effervescent adventure for Perrier
Jon Creamer
05 June 2015

MPC’s newly opened Paris studio took the reins on the 42 vfx shots for this Wacky Races inspired spot for Perrier that sees a party of CG hot air balloons racing through the sky.

Directing duo Fleur & Manu helmed the ad through Les Télécréateurs for Ogilvy Paris.
VFX Supervisor and Creative Director of MPC Paris Franck Lambertz led the team, and said, “The spot is a riot of colour, with multiple locations and many minute details in every shot. Working with Fleur & Manu, who are adept at creating the ultimate fantasy world, led us to slightly unconventional techniques.  I even found myself in a helicopter filming with a 360-degree camera to create the back plates. The work was led from MPC Paris, with support from the 3D team in London, prep work from Bangalore, and stills photography from MPC Mexico - A truly global effort.”

The opening scene was based on stills of a natural well in Yucatan, Mexico, with CG and animated DMPs bringing the sequence to life. The balloon bursting through the water required a team of Houdini liquid specialists.

The main shoot took place in Argentina, with actors and extras suspended close to the ground in their baskets. This natural lighting gave the reference to the VFX team for integrating the protagonists with CG elements and shot/DMP backgrounds.

3D Supervisor Fabian Frank led the team to create 50 variations of CG hot air balloons, and re-build the baskets in 3D. Each balloon has its own unique brand of eccentricity, with the occupants using tricks to speed their balloons along. To help with the individuality, Fabian’s team used a range of cloth simulations, making some of the balloons shinier, thicker or adding a deeper sheen than others.

The lion and his marmoset and parrot friends were shot in-camera at Argentina zoo, with multiple takes required to get the correct action. Colourist Matthieu Toullet worked on the grade, using eye-popping colours to create the bright and warm look. He said, “We sought to produce a striking coloured film, while being careful not to tilt towards an artificial look. I really enjoyed being able to play with the variety and richness in the colour scheme. We applied some creamy tonality on the high-lights to find a nice depth in the film.”

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