MPC and directors Traktor have created a suitably surreal spot for Candy Crush: Soda Saga, where confectionery from the popular game causes havoc in a city.
The spot, conceived by agency WCRS, features such scenes as a dachshund turning into a jelly bean, filling a skyscraper with purple soda and creating a gummy bear to dwarf all others. MPC developed CG assets and props based on exact elements in the game, as well as adding shot elements and supervising a shoot with over 200 extras.
“However bizarre this spot may look, an incredible level of detail has gone in to ensure that the elements are recognizable to the 93 million people who play Candy Crush every day,” said CG Supervisor Carsten Keller. “One of the biggest challenges for us was recreating these elements within a 3D space, as they're 2D within the game, as well as stabilising the movements and reflections of the candy as it attaches to unsuspecting pedestrians heads.”
As the sweets and soda falls from the sky, ordinary people and objects are transformed as they are hit. The VFX team used rigs attached to people’s heads, which utilised ping-pong balls as tracking markers. Despite the strange looks received from the public passing the shoot, the lighting and measurement references these provided were invaluable to the 3D team back in the studio when adhering the corresponding candies.
Each candy was individually modelled in Maya with a unique consistency and reflectivity, and rendered in Arnold. Many shots consisted of shot elements alongside the CG candies, with VFX Supervisor Kamen Markov taking on the task of compositing the film in Nuke and Flame.
“The shoot at Universal Studios in L.A was incredibly challenging,” recalled Markov. “We had more than 200 extras, who all needed to be measured and have their tracking markers in exactly the right position. Added to this we had an extensive elements shoot, as many details including splashes, puddles and the soda bottles were composited in, rather than built in CG. The CG renders have been carefully blended and graded to work with the grade of the film as well as precise attention to detail with regards to shadows and reflected colours added to the environments and people.”
To give the directors complete freedom, the CG team recreated the all-important soda and added additional splash elements that were shot separately, achieving fully integrated soda and getting the scope required.
MPC also added and animated the bottles in the vending machine, added a CG dog collar to the newly transformed jelly bean and created the chocolate ball explosion using animated lighting bolt effects.