Concrete has recently post produced a stylish new Audi car commercial for Outsider. Bejing-based advertising agency 21 Plus commissioned the commercial, which Jorn Threlfall directed, and Benji Howell from Outsider produced. Concrete's senior VFX artist David Cox was responsible for all compositing and finishing visual effects that contributed to the ad's avant-garde style.
In the opening scene of the commercial we see shapes and lines that are 'painted in light' similar to the effect of long camera exposures. The outlines then begin to suggest specific contours of the new Audi A4 and the viewer is slowly and intriguingly introduced to the new shape of the car. This sequence then blends seamlessly into live action highlights. The black car was seductively lit against a black background in the studio sequence, so that only the highlights were captured.
Concrete had to then devise a solution to reveal a white car. David achieved this by cleverly using textures from the exterior car sequence, and replacing the highlights from the studio shoot. The commercial’s finale takes us to a scene where we see the car being driven through a contemporary cityscape, unrecognizable as Beijing after the familiar buildings had been replaced and removed in post using Mistika. The overall feel is one of isolated beauty as the car travels through the quiet streets.
The outstanding 3D effects in the opening sequence were achieved using After Effects and XSI 3D Software by 3D digital artists Sajaad Amjad, Sebastian Read and Abi Tomasiewicz at Concrete's 3D graphics department. David Cox post produced the entire commercial using SGO's Mistika.
"We spent a good deal of time perfecting the look of the light streaks. They had to be closely related to an existing press campaign, yet also be more evolved in order to work as animation too. The answer lay in building the complexity of the lines, to mimic the look of 'light painting' where moving lights are captured with time-lapse photography," Cox explained.
The highlight sequence was shot in camera, with postproduction then applied to select the best highlights and control the dramatic 'revelation' of the car.
The city sequence was embellished in postproduction to literally build up the cityscape from scratch and to perfect the details in the existing scene. The wide shot approaching the city was created by taking over a dozen different buildings from stills, then arranging them together and grading them to look like a distant, misty-night time metropolis which Cox skillfully achieved in Mistika. In order to keep the city as generic as possible, signature buildings were altered with the intention that the real-world location became less important to the story and unrecognizable as a specific city anyone is familiar with.
Cox removed cars in the distance ahead and oncoming traffic, to complete the ambiance of the shots. Cox also cleverly removed many other objects in the footage such as other buildings, litter scattered on the roads, signs, lights, shadows amongst many other elements in order to create an elegant and polished feel. The view of the visible fabricated city ahead in the distance comes across as realistic and inviting as the car moves closer to it. The desired effects were achieved in post-production by Concrete, resulting in an unforgettable commercial produced by Outsider.