Framestore CFC Creates Model Citizens

Three spots for Benylin have recently started airing on UK television, Benny, Lynne and Chemist. The spots are separate but linked, with all of them featuring an anatomical mannequin holding forth on the benefits of the Benylin range. Directed by Dom & Nic, the spots were created by Richard Baynham and Ian Gabaldoni from JWT.

For the Framestore CFC team, the Benylin spots came – appropriately enough – as something of a welcome relief. Many of the usual challenges they would expect to face – creating multiple realistic creatures or people with appropriate musculature, hair and complex movement, and placing these within a variety of environments – simply didn’t apply. In each of the three spots there is a single ‘hero’ model posed within just the one location, and actually required to look somewhat stiff and artificial.

Whilst Benny was created in November 2006, the two other spots – Lynne and Chemist – were created more recently and form a neat, complementary family trilogy of spots for the product.

“Comping each of the 30 second spots took us a week or so, and rather less for the 10 second Chemist spot. On the set we used real models. We would light the background with the plastic model in situ to get the background and her looking good. We would then remove her to shoot the main hero background plate. On occasions – when the guy’s picking her up and putting her on the desk – we had a blue screen version of the model (again to scale) that we’d use.”
Pedro Sabrosa – Framestore Senior Compositing Artist for ‘Lynne’.

“We expend so much time and energy trying to get the unreal to look real – it was a real relief to be creating something that was meant to look artificial. The trick with the animation was to make her move so that at any point she still looked like a plastic model, maintaining a sort of tubular rigidity. We also had to ‘de-muscle’ her face, to reduce the affect in it and make the model look more plastic.” Paul Denhard – Technical Director Framestore 3D team for Lynne & Chemist.

“We pushed the boundaries a bit in terms of the lighting. Within Maya (which we used throughout) we relied solely on a technique called Final Gathering for the main lighting. It’s been around for a while, but has improved quite a bit lately. It gives us a more realistic look straight away, without having to put individual lights in by hand and trying to get all the shadows right.” Paul Denhard.

“How do you stop a woman with half her face peeled off from looking scary or off-putting? The trick was to make her look just plastic and shiny enough. The skin colour needed to be right too, and painting numbers on her (as you might expect to see in a mannequin like this) also made it look less ‘wrong’.” Denhard on the challenge of creating ‘Lynne’s’ distinctive physiognomy.

BENYLIN ‘BENNY’
Agency J Walter Thompson
Art Director Richard Baynham
Copywriter Ian Gabaldoni
Agency Producers Beverley Thornton, Jessica Serjeant
Production Company Outsider
Director Dom & Nic
Producer John Madsen

For Framestore CFC
Animation Lead & Rig Mike Mellor
Animators Kate Hood, Nicklas Andersson, Florent DeKa Taille
TDs Jake Mengers, Diarmid Harrison Murray, Simon French, Alex Doyle
Compositing Artist Stephane Allender
Telecine Colourist David Ludlam
Producer Sarah Hiddlestone

Click here to view’Benny’

BENYLIN ‘LYNNE’
Agency J Walter Thompson
Art Director Richard Baynham
Copywriter Ian Gabaldoni
Agency Producers Katie Keith, Jessica Serjeant
Production Company Outsider
Director Dom & Nic
Producer John Madsen

For Framestore CFC
Animation Lead Kevin Rooney
Animation Rig Mike Mellor
Animation Sylvain Marc
TDs Paul Denhard, Richard Corley
Modelling Mary Swinnerton
Compositing Artist Pedro Sabrosa
Telecine Colourist David Ludlam
Producer Sarah Hiddlestone

Click here to view ‘Lynne’

BENYLIN ‘CHEMIST’
Agency J Walter Thompson
Art Director Richard Baynham
Copywriter Ian Gabaldoni
Agency Producer Lauren Moran
Production Company Outsider
Director Dom & Nic
Producer John Madsen

For Framestore CFC
Animator Simon Rouby
Animation Rig Mike Mellor
TD Paul Denhard
Compositing Artist Pedro Sabrosa
Telecine Colourist David Ludlam
Producer Sarah Hiddlestone

Click here to view ‘Chemist’




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