This new Virgin Atlantic ad, calledThe Idea, features CG crowds, tigers and planes to visualise the concept of how an idea is only an idea, until you make it happen.

The spot features VFX by London-based MPC, and was directed by Rogue Film’s Sam Brown for adam&eveDDB.

MPC’s VFX team worked on the project over a three-week schedule, merging tricky transitions and developing a series of CG elements culminating in a crowd of 10,000.

Sam Brown opted to build high-end sets to create the spot, including the hotel and UN building interior. 

A CG statue was concepted and built in 3D, re-imagining the Lincoln memorial statute for the business age. The sequence plays with perspectives and lighting so the statue looms over the hero of the spot.

A series of concept artworks were created by MPC to determine the look of the tigers, whose menacing nature reflects the protagonists’ obstacle-filled journey to success. The unique lighting for the scene was pre-vised before the CG tigers were composited into the shot, which also consists of a matte painted city background.

The Virgin Dreamliners in the ad are exact replicas created by the 3D team, who then composited the planes into matte painted cloud scenes at the top and tail of the spot. To create a sense of perspective, the matte painting was built-up in layers using rough 3D geometry and projected onto the scene.

Merging the metropolis centres of London and New York, the crowd shots are testament to the protagonist’s eventual success. The colossal crowds were created with 3D software Miarmy, using continuous collision detection to create a realistic crowd.