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Guava Adds a Touch of Business Class to British Airways Spot

(May 31, 2005)

New York visual effects house Guava Studios transformed a businessmans office into the comfort and serenity of British Airways business class, for New York agency M&C Saatchi. Visual effects artist Amber Wilson crafted a number of seamless effects for the spot promoting the amenities that the airline provides to business travelers under the tagline, "Business class is different on British Airways."

The spot features a man relaxing in his high-rise office after a long days work with his environment magically transforming around him. A magazine arrives in his lap. A glass of champagne appears on a table next to him. When he wants a tissue to clean his glasses, it is suddenly there. Ultimately the mans chair transforms into a bed and he falls asleep as twilight descends on Manhattan.

Guavas role was to facilitate this seamless transformation. The work ranged from rig removal and sky replacement to extensive reconstruction of the talents shirt sleeve, chair and table in the shot with the tissue box. ?Although it was a brief shot, it was complex and time consuming requiring many layers of painted elements needing to be tracked and animated to match the movement and folds of the shirt, Wilson explained.

The goal of the effects in a commercial like this is to create the illusion that everything has been magically shot in camera.  Often the most complex shots are the least obvious, as exampled by the medium shot of the man reclining in bed. This required a whole set reconstruction (including rig and prop removal, sky replacement, floor painting) and construction (including adding reflections, rebuilding the background plate and matting back in the foreground man).

Although not as complex, similar shots also required reconstruction of the background sky and building plate to create a more aesthetically pleasing composition. Other shots required color correction, masking and shading of selected areas, animating of still lights and removal of shadows.

Chris Ryan at parent company Nice Shoes performed the color correct.

More information on Guava may be found at

More information on Nice Shoes may be found at

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Related Keywords:Guava Studios , British Airways , M&C Saatchi

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