Digital Artists Tackle Visual Effects for Super Bowl 2007 Commercials With Autodesk Solutions

    Many of this year’s memorable Super Bowl commercials were created with Autodesk, Inc.’s visual effects, editing and finishing, and 3D animation products. Autodesk’s professional tools allowed post-production facilities to complete eye-catching work on tight deadlines for Budweiser, Coca-Cola, FedEx and many other advertisers.

    “Super Bowl commercials set the benchmark for the entire advertising industry,” said Marc Petit, Autodesk’s Media & Entertainment vice president. “Autodesk solutions deliver unparalleled creative freedom and allow artists to get the job done on time. That’s why, once again, leading post-production facilities relied on Autodesk solutions to deliver some of the best ads we’ll see this year.”

    Brickyard VFX used the Autodesk Flame visual effects systems to complete several shots for a humorous Diamond Foods’ commercial for its Emerald snack brand. Titled Goulet, the ad features actor and entertainer Robert Goulet terrorizing an office full of sleeping employees. Goulet makes a Mission Impossible-style getaway after encountering an employee who stayed awake by eating Emerald nuts.

    Brickyard’s work was centered around Goulet’s escape, during which he is shown crawling on the ceiling. “Autodesk Flame afforded us all of the tools we needed to deliver really clean effects shots,” explained Patrick Poulatian, co-founder and Flame artist at Brickyard VFX Pacific. “Goulet was actually filmed on a green screen stage, crawling across the floor. In Flame, Goulet’s frame was extracted from the green screen, the hang of his clothing was altered to give the illusion that he was inverted, and he was seamlessly composited into the final spot.”

    Furthermore, Homenyc created two ads for the Super Bowl. Both were finished in high-definition (HD), enabling them to be re-purposed for movie theaters. Artists at the facility used Autodesk Smoke editing and finishing system to edit IZOD’s In the Snow commercial, which was shot in Iceland. Homenyc also used Smoke to conform an ad for Van Heusen. Visual effects work for both ads was completed in Flame, and rotoscoping was done in Autodesk Combustion desktop compositing software.

    “The Super Bowl ad season is the ultimate test for evaluating tool performance and artistic know how,” said Ben Orisich, Creative Director at Homenyc. “Facilities need to be equipped in talent and technology to handle the intense pressure of commercial post. Flame and Smoke are very powerful high-end systems, used by some of the most talented and experienced creative professionals in the industry.”