A52 Create CG Spots for Pioneer

Award-winning Los Angeles visual effects and design company A52 today announced that visual effects supervisor Andy Hall has directed the HD broadcast spots, and overseen development of print/online elements, for advertising agency RPA $20 million national cross-media advertising campaign for Pioneer Electronics.

The campaign first broadcast and print elements ?‚àö√ë‚àö¬® each of which conceptually conveys Pioneer’s passion for innovation and best-in-class plasma TV technology ?‚àö√ë‚àö¬® have debuted in various media outlets since Oct. 2. Two completely 3D-animated broadcast spots are also being broadcast widely during HD sports programming, and will also appear prominently as part of Pioneer recently announced High Definition Sponsorship of the ESPN HD and ESPN2 HD college football telecasts.

Earlier this month, Russ Johnston, senior vice president of marketing and product planning for home entertainment at Pioneer Electronics USA Inc., shared these thoughts: “Our new advertising campaign represents the essence of what makes Pioneer PureVision(TM) plasmas stand apart from other displays. Our plasmas are built by and for those who demand the very best high definition experience: the HD purist. We are always developing new ways to push the limits in high definition home entertainment.”

Gary Paticoff, senior vice president, executive producer at RPA said, ‘Based on our ongoing relationship with A52 and Andy Hall, we decided to join forces to design and create a total CG developed execution for the two spots. Having worked with the A52 team on various projects, we were well aware of their credentials and abilities to deliver the cutting-edge CGI executions called for. It was important to position the Pioneer plasma products accurately in their appearance and performance while integrating them within the created environments.’

The artwork for all the campaign elements draws from imagery brought to life in its two :30 HD broadcast spots, which are entitled ‘Orbit’ and ‘Wind Tunnel.’ Set inside a futuristic testing facility, both spots feature a Pioneer PureVision(TM) plasma TV being tested: In ‘Orbit,’ when the TV displays the image of a planet, numerous chrome balls get pulled into the planet gravitational force, fly up and move into orbit; in ‘Wind Tunnel,’ imagery of a Formula 1 car on the TV appears so real that smoke flows around the racing automobile ?‚àö√ë‚àö¬® instead of flowing around the TV itself. Each frame of footage from both spots was created by A52 artists at 1080p HD resolution, using Autodesk Maya animation software, Apple Shake compositing software and Autodesk Inferno, all under Andy Hall directorial supervision.

‘The brief from Pioneer and RPA was to make the imagery have a sense of reality so that no one would distinguish it being live-action cinematography or CGI,’ Hall explained. ‘The main aspects were to conceptualize Pioneer’s evolution of technology, and to create a believable world in which they test and evaluate the performance of their products.’ Working with RPA creative directors Joe Baratelli and David Smith, art director Hobart Birmingham, copywriter Seth Prandini and executive producer Gary Paticoff, Hall helped to evolve the initial concepts into the finished spots. Artists Casey Schatz and Nigel Phelps worked with Hall to design the rooms and previsualize the spots, and with RPA approval, A52 artists Max Ulichney, Chris Janney, Kirk Shintani, Kevin Clarke and Brandon Jolley began modeling, texturing, coloring, lighting and animating each element. Effects artists James Pastorius and Mike Adkisson used Shake for the initial compositing on both spots.

Hall also relied on the talents of multi-award winning visual effects supervisor and Inferno artist Pat Murphy for final compositing ?‚àö√ë‚àö¬® and for his input along the way. ‘Pat contributions to both spots were significant, as he provided a fresh and honest response to my direction. He was the catalyst for translating concept to screen with our compositing team.’

Summing up the experience on this project, Hall added, ‘More and more, we are experiencing a trend of clients coming to us to execute entire jobs, from start to finish, where everything from the initial concept design to the final layoff all happens in the same place, with the same group of people. Such opportunities to contribute our full talents and resources ?‚àö√ë‚àö¬® like we have on this campaign ?‚àö√ë‚àö¬® are particularly rewarding; we’sre already looking forward to the next ones.’

A52 team also included executive producer Mark Tobin and producer Sarah Haynes, and all print finishing work was handled by Max Ulichney and Brandon Jolley. Sound design for both spots was handled by the team at 740 Sound Design in Santa Monica.

About A52
Established in 1997 as a home for the very latest high-end photo-real visual effects technologies and the industry most innovative and talented graphic design artists, West Hollywood visual effects and design company A52 creates award-winning imagery for the world most visually ambitious commercial and television projects. The company work has earned AICP Show recognition for nine consecutive years along with recent ‘Outstanding Commercial’ Emmy, Andy, BDA, Belding, Clio, British Design and Art Direction, International Monitor, International Automotive Advertising, London International Advertising, One Show and PROMAX awards. For more information, please call Mark Tobin at 310.385.0851 or visit www.A52.com

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