KromA Gets Wet and Wild With Rihanna

KromA added a splash of visual effects magic to both a new music video and a new Cover Girl commercial featuring sultry Bahamian chanteuse Rihanna. The chart-topping video, Umbrella, directed by Reactor Film Chris Applebaum, features the singer and co-star Jay-Z, in a series of scenarios involving water.

The related Cover Girl spot, also directed by Applebaum, is packed with similarly sensual visuals in promoting the brand new Wetstick Fruit Spritzers.

A key part of the video is a 24-second visual effects sequence in which Rihanna is surrounded by silvery strands of liquid that crisscross the frame in graceful arcs in response to her movements. Water elements were recorded on a special effects stage using a high-speed 35mm camera. KromA Visual Effects Supervisor Bert Yukich then composited them into the scene with the singer.

‘Because water cannot be precisely controlled, it required digital manipulation to make it flick off her arms and conform to the contour of her head,’ recalled Yukich. ‘We painted the footage frame by frame, in essence, choreorgraphing the movement of the liquid through the frame while retaining its organic quality and feel.’

Yukich added lighting effects to the practical water elements to give them the mirror-like texture of mercury. He also mapped imagery onto the surface of the liquid. At one point, the singer face floats on the surface like a reflection in a rippling pool. ‘I used stock imagery of clouds as a reflection map on the surface of the liquid,’ Yukich said. ‘When it splashed onto the screen, we transitioned from the reflection map to the close up of her face.’

Umbrella is the first video from Rihanna new album Good Girl Gone Bad on Island Def Jam. The clip, which debuted at 41 on Billboard Hot Videoclip Tracks chart, leapt to number one a week later, the third biggest jump in history. It has since spent four weeks in the peak position.

Created by Grey Worldwide, the television spot follows Rihanna recent signing with Cover Girl and was timed to coincide with the release of Umbrella and the Good Girl Gone Bad album. The spot is visually in keeping with the video and includes an effects sequence with Rihanna sending off sprays of water while dancing in a moody environment. KromA also created an effect that appears at the end of the spot where a splash of liquid is used to reveal the cover of the Good Girl Gone Bad CD.

www.kroma.biz.

Credits

‘Umbrella’ Video

Label: Island Def Jam
Artist: Rihanna
Production: Reactor Films. Chris Applebaum, director; John Hardin, producer; Pierre Rouger.
Editorial: Nabil Menchi, editor.
VFX: KromA, Los Angeles. Bert Yukich, VFX Supervisor; Amy Yukich, executive producer.

Cover Girl ‘Umbrella’ Commercial
Client: Cover Girl
Agency: Grey Worldwide, New York.

Production: Reactor Films. Chris Applebaum, director; John Hardin, producer; Pierre Rouger.
VFX: KromA, Los Angeles. Bert Yukich, VFX Supervisor; Amy Yukich, executive producer.




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