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Method Studios Rouses Fans with Massive Software on Super Bowl XL Commercial ?The Wave for Budweiser

Massive Stadium Agent speeds production for creating arena crowds in ads (February 09, 2006)
Massive Software announced that Method Studios has tapped into the companys artificial intelligence-based 3D animation system to bring a new ad for Budweiser to life.  Creative treatment for Anheuser-Buschs ?The Wave, which debuted during Super Bowl XL, centers on messages being spelled out on a sea of cards held by an arena crowd, which was created using some 97,000 virtual Massive characters.

Seen from above, one side of the stadium builds the picture of a Budweiser bottle while the other side forms an empty glass.  By doing the ?wave, they ?pour the beer into the glass and then ?drink it back down to empty.

?We wouldnt have tackled this job without Massive, said Andrew Bell, technical director, Method Studios.  ?It would have been difficult to do using traditional techniques.

Only 300 extras were filmed on set during a two-day shoot; the rest of the fans were produced in 3D.  By modifying Massives Ready-to-Run Stadium Agent, Method used Massives flagship Massive Prime software to place a digital character underneath each card that would behave with all the randomness and realism of a real individual in a stadium scenario.

?Massives Stadium Agent had everything we needed, said James Le Bloch, 3D Artist, Method. ?Randomness in the stock agent movement helped sell the work as a live crowd because we already had an agent that acted as a live crowd member would. It also gave us a lot of flexibility with the angles on our crowd shots.

Other benefits of using Massive included the ability to add believable characters, such as spectators and football players on the stadium field, at the last minute without practical elements or new shoots.  Use of Massive also allowed Method to take on a project of a large scale and complete the work with only a handful of artists.  

?Massive is a very helpful tool and, with the way schedules and budgets are going, Massive capabilities are definitely an advantage, said Kim Wildenburg, Producer, Method Studios.

Added Laurent Ledru, Lead 3D Creative Director, Method, ?Now that we are versed in full crowd production, our next goals will be to integrate other pre-made Massive agents, build some agents of our own and put our Massive characters closer to camera.

Massive Ready-to-Run Agents make populating a large scene with Massive easily accessible to visual effects artists, and let animators complete complicated crowd shots in less time. Each Ready-to-Run Agent is immediately available, pre-built with skeletons, geometry, cloth, textures, shaders and controls, as well as high-quality motion capture actions.  With Massives Stadium Agent, customers can drop in characters that sit, stand, cheer, operate based on different levels of excitement and even have ambient movement, such as scratching, brushing ones hair and coughing when sitting or standing.  

The Massive product line includes Massive Prime for building custom agents or modifying Ready-To-Run Agents and Massive Jet for easy, out-of-the-box workflow with Ready-to-Run Agents.  Rushes Post Production Limited recently used Massive Jet for a fast-turnaround project that required thousands of stadium-goers.

Explained Andy Hargreaves, Senior Animator at Rushes: "Massive Jet complete with the Massive Stadium Agent has proved an invaluable tool throughout production.  Within a couple of weeks I had created thousands of fans with their own unique wardrobe and begun to control their behavior and reactions.  Without Massive Jet this simply would not have been possible"

Massive has been used to realize increasingly epic and unique creative concepts in commercials ranging from Carlton Draughts ?Big Ad to ?Mountain for PlayStation 2.  The United Way NFL campaign with crowd effects created in Massive by Guava NYC also aired during the Super Bowl this year.  For more about Massive Prime, Massive Jet, Ready-to-Run Agents and Massive in advertising, please visit

About Massive Software
Springing into existence to help artists solve real-world production needs on The Lord of the Rings films, Massive Software is the leading creator of artificial intelligence-based 3D animation systems. Massive was founded when Stephen Regelous programmed a unique piece of software for director Peter Jackson to make creation of complicated visual effects scenes involving hundreds of thousands of digital characters a practical reality. Massive garnered a Scientific and Engineering Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2004.

Today, Massive Software develops a family of standalone, commercially available products, with customers including Weta Digital, The Mill, Animal Logic, Rhythm & Hues, Digital Domain, Method Studios and other leading digital production and effects studios. For more information, please contact Massive in Los Angeles (310-837-7878) or Auckland (+64 9-3030-030) or visit


Client:  Anheuser-Busch
Spot:  ?The Wave

Agency:  DDB Chicago                        
Creative Director:  Barry Burdiak & John Hayes            
Exec. Creative Director:  Steve Bougdanos & Patrick Knoll
Agency Producer: Kent Smith

Production Company:  H.S.I.
Executive Producer: Ellen Jacobsen Clarke
Producer:  Tim Kerrison

Director:  Paul Middleditch        
Director of Photography:  Ross Emery    

Editorial Company:  Chrome
Editor:  Hal Honisberg
Telecine Company:  Company 3
Colorist:  Mike Pethal
Motion Control: Camera Control        

Visual Effects:  Method Studios
Lead 2D VFX Artist: Mark Felt
CG Creative Director: Laurent Ledru
3D VFX Artist:  James LeBloch, Dan Dixon, Chris Smallfield, Todd Perry,
Chi-Wei Hsu
Junior 2D VFX Artist: Kyle Obley
VFX Shoot Supervision:  Kim Wildenburg & Laurent Ledru    
Technical Director:  Andrew Bell

Visual Effects Executive Producer:  Neysa Horsburgh        
Visual Effects Producer:  Kim Wildenburg        

Audio Post:  Elias
Sound Design:  Beacon Street

Audio Mixing:  Lime Studios

PreVis:  PLF

Page: 1

Related Keywords:Massive software, Method Studios, Massive Prime

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