E*TRADE Banks on Speedshape For Visually Compelling CG-Animated HD Campaign

3D integrated digital production studio Speedshape recently teamed up with Grey New York to complete an impressive, 12-spot campaign for E*TRADE FINANCIAL Corp. Rendering a myriad of design elements, Speedshape delivered dazzling imagery, highlighting E*TRADE’s latest on-line tools and features, while affirming E*TRADE’s position as a leading online financial service company. Speedshape’s all-encompassing design and production for the campaign included design, previz, editorial, 2D and 3D animation, CG composting, color finishing, as well as shooting all the live-action elements.

The principal “asset” driving the impressive HD spots is a monumental 3D-monitor wall, where subjects seamlessly navigate cutting-edge web features with the touch of the hand, as iconic E*TRADE imagery animates on-screen.

Speedshape was given the challenging task to reproduce web content visually identical to E*TRADE web interfaces. Considering much of this content was not available in high-resolution for HD production, Speedshape meticulously re-created, animated and integrated each E*TRADE web page and its graphical elements; moreover, they rendered much of the web elements and tools with 2D enhancements, giving prominence to new and attractive functions, including E*TRADE Securities’ Power E*TRADE Pro tools.

Inherent in the campaign’s success was Speedshape’s involvement early on, from design concept-development to execution, which included providing Grey New York with numerous options in terms of models, lighting and environments.

Much of pre-production was handled off-site, at Grey in New York. “We brought a previs and Avid system and set up at the agency,” explains Speedshape’s Director of Creative Services Carl Seibert. “Over the course of five days, we created low-rez scenes using the approved 3D model and graphical placeholders that were either lifted from the website, provided by the agency or built from scratch.”

Speedshape designed, modeled, textured and lit the CG monitor wall in a virtual 3D studio environment, which allowed for unlimited variations and combinations of camera moves to be explored and created for each spot. Allowing more wide-range flexibility, the CG wall of monitors could be repurposed in all four spots, with each individual monitor, as rigged, offering multiple movements and actions, creating unique and stand-alone visual experiences with each spot.

“Our success in realizing this campaign is rooted in a symbiotic process nurtured by our production teams at Grey and E*TRADE,” adds Speedshape’s Seibert. “We had interactive jam sessions with all the players present, determining the style of the camera moves and the editorial pacing of the previz – this process proved to be very helpful in allowing us to accommodate, especially with a very tight delivery schedule.”

Speedshape also produced the campaign’s live-action elements, using RED and SONY digital cameras. Showcasing their mobile production capabilities, live-action shoots took place at both an offsite green screen stage and at their production facility in Venice. To maintain their delivery schedule and offer flexibility to both the agency and end-client, Speedshape implemented a live-action pipeline that allowed new or additional footage to be easily inserted into each spot. This preparation proved to be worthy, making any augmentation in creative direction – even mid-production – viable.

Carl Seibert expounds on the process: “With ‘Investing Control,’ it was communicated during production that we needed to accommodate brand-new features on the E*TRADE website. We successfully facilitated this crucial deviation in creative direction, with a cost-effective re-shoot, and easily ingested the new footage,” he concludes.

About Speedshape:

3D integrated digital production studio Speedshape specializes in helming creative content for commercial, broadcast design, interactive and print campaigns for a diverse line-up of clients including Ford, SAAB, Fox Sports, and Michelin, among others. Speedshape enjoys strategic partnerships with Microsoft and HP, to name just a few. With a production model defined by simplicity, creativity, and flexibility, Speedshape can seamlessly insert creative content into existing campaigns, or come up with a big idea that will leverage all the company strengths into an effective, dynamic, and integrated effort.

Advertising Agency: GREY/New York
Director of Broadcast production: Bennett McCarroll
Art Director: Doug Schommer
Creative Director: Paul Behnen
Producer: Keira Rosenthal
Digital Production Studio: SPEEDSHAPE/Venice & Detroit

Creative Director – John Allardice Creative Director – Carl Seibert VFX Supervisor – Connor Meechan Executive Producer – Carl Seibert Producer – Jamison Huber Previsualization – John Allardice Previsualization – Connor Meechan Texture and Lighting – Marko Mandaric Texture and Lighting – Hagen Gilbert 3D – Hagen Gilbert 3D – Marko Mandaric 3D – Ilya Astrakhan 2D/Animation – Nicholas Alexander 2D/Animation – Connor Meechan 2D/Compsiting – Dag Ivarsoy

2D/Compositing – Brady Doyle Editorial – Nicholas Alexander
Music for Active Trader: The Boss Martians
Music all other Spots: Human Music and Sound Design
Audio Post/mixer: Vision Post/Dante Desole


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