Guava’s Good Year

Visual effects house Guava recently completed :30 and :60 spots for the world largest tire company Goodyear via McCann Erickson. ‘Snow Day’ and ‘Silent Armor’ showcase the durability and reliability of Goodyear tires, and began airing February 18.

Spouting off factoids about the tires as they fly above lusciously colored landscapes, ‘Snow Day’ and ‘Angels’ take on slightly varying tones. More of a subdued piece, ‘Snow Day’ places the pilots over snow-covered mountains as they watch children below play in the snow. The scene prompts the two to discuss the traction quality of Goodyear tires. In ‘Silent Armor,’ an excited pilot delivers an informative, zealous speech about why he loves his job while soaring high above the world.

Born on the drawing board, the two spots share a similar premise: the narrative of two pilots talking and championing Goodyear tires while sitting in a Goodyear blimp. The simple concept, however, brought with it a number of design and graphics challenges for Guava artists who began their endeavor with the blimp gondola.

Unable to actually shoot the pilots’s dialogue in the air, the scenes were filmed in a studio and a recreation of the gondola outer shell was built. The Guava team went on to create an extension to the shell and fashioned parts of the vent system and spinning rotor blades to add to the believability of the blimp flight. Realistic backgrounds and air-to-air footage were married into the final product.

‘Most of the time there was a separate mock-up gondola for safety reasons, which was used in many shots, especially the close-up shots of the pilots,’ says lead artist Aron Baxter. ‘The problem with that was that we couldn’st roll the blimp out of the hangar to shoot it outside and get realistic natural light.’

The spot, which was largely shot within a 1200 square foot hangar, presented artists with the task of creating convincing natural light. The obstacle came from the green gel skylights in the hangar that cast a green filter over the shoot and lit reflections on the metallic blimp. Transferring flat passes and multiple alternate passes, designers combined passes of grades to minimize and rid certain highlights and reflections. Guava pooled the light passes to fake a natural source of light and convince viewers that the blimp was in the air.

Guava then moved to the exterior shoot when an elemental snag called for digital snow to be added to the overhead and craning shots.

‘The remaining open-air segments were filmed in scouted locations, one of which was Bozeman, Montana. But when it came to the shoot days the snow had melted and so in ?‚àö√ë‚àö‚â§Snow Day,’s where the premise is that the children are off from school because there too much snow, we had to add snow to the entire shot,’ Baxter said.

Technologies Used: Flame, Inferno, Combustion, Bojou for tracking, After Effects

About Guava
Drawing animators, producers, designers, 3D and vfx artists from a global pool, New York-based visual effects company Guava is dedicated to making imagery for commercials and other media, such as music videos, film, and art installations, including work in the permanent collection of MOMA .

To supplement its experimental thinking, exploration, and open collaboration, Guava continues to invest in powerful, cutting-edge technology to make sure the results are not only stunning to look at but are delivered on time.

To request a reel, contact Mike Donovan or Dino Rinaldi at 212.414.2222.

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