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Saturday, February 16, 2008

SWAY Drives Effects for Multi-Spot Toyota Corolla Campaign


+ SWAY studio recently added liveliness, detail and a touch of whimsy to the 2009 Toyota Corolla campaign entitled “Through the Roof” for Saatchi & Saatchi LA. With their renowned image-based lighting and animation techniques, SWAY’s team of artists delivered over five minutes of moving live action, 2D matte painting and full 3D shots, contributing to multiple customized regional :30 second commercials as part of this modular-based national campaign.
“Through the Roof” began airing in local markets across the country on Feb. 9. It features the Corolla sweeping through a striking environment of green countryside and urban landscapes on a mission to absorb available features typically found only in luxury cars: satellite radio, leather trimmed seats, an MP3 jack, Bluetooth® capability, traffic control and navigation, and more. SWAY’s computer graphics and matte painting techniques were combined with a live miniature set to create the extraordinary backdrop. “The challenge of this project was to create a balance between real and surreal,” said Chris Nichols, VFX supervisor at SWAY studio. “The directors at Buck were inspired by a miniature set, but we needed to make it appear believable on a real-world scale. SWAY’s advanced compositing, image-based lighting and animation methods were able to bring this feeling to life and further proved our ability to work with any type – or size – of environment.”
Working with the miniature set, SWAY meticulously collected tracking and lighting data to ensure that each car was correctly integrated into the shot, allowing the final product to appear believable on a real-world scale. SWAY’s team then utilized their data to exactly match the camera, geometry and lighting to make certain that each car’s movements, lighting and shadows matched precisely. SWAY employed their proprietary Drive-A-Tron™ driving simulator to create the exact movements made by the Corolla. Instead of using traditional animation techniques, Drive-A-Tron allows SWAY artists to literally get behind the wheel and drive the car on even the most challenging CG terrain, creating the desired performance without compromising the reality of the driving. “The Drive-A-Tron provides SWAY a large advantage over other studios, allowing us to complete the most precise and detailed animation available,” said Mark Glaser, owner and creative director of SWAY. “Using this proprietary tool over the past three years has allowed us to perfect these difficult animation techniques making SWAY the studio to call upon for automobile animation.”
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