Directing collective weareflink has rung in the Chinese New Year of the Dragon for VW (better known as Volkswagen) in true dragon-style, with its latest incarnation of the 'VW Flubber Car'.

The fourth viral in the series for VW sees the morphing 'Flubber Car' joining in with New Year celebrations, as it transforms in the middle of a busy Beijing street from a 'sphere car' to a swooping, wheeling, fire-breathing dragon, bestowing luck and blessings on the cheering crowd.

The project involved a complex production and post-production process, which they completed in just three weeks.  Combining a live shoot in Beijing, with plenty of extras and crew working through the night to get the six takes required to track and match camera moves to the dragon, the set-up and animation were done simultaneously.

The dragon was designed in Autodesk Softimage to have a full range of movement: it was able to fly, walk and drive at different angles and speeds. The heavy-duty post-production also involved removing blue men used as markers to attract the extras' attention, plus adding fireworks, smoke, people and lanterns.

"Who would not want to design and animate a blue dragon?" says weareflink. "We have witnessed the birth of the first blue dragon in captivity. Take that Mr. Spielberg!"

Here are some before-and-after shots showing what weareflink added to the clean plates, followed by a breakdown of the different passes rendered for the dragon.

Here's the shot breakdown with all the render passes that were comped into the final shot.