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Nice Shoes Relates Fable of Good and Evil for Xbox Game

Specter used to great effect in launch of new game; spots posted in HD (October 15, 2004)

Nice Shoes provided motion graphics design, visual effects, compositing and HD finishing for Xbox game spot

Nice Shoes provided motion graphics design, visual effects, compositing and HD finishing for Xbox game spot.

Nice Shoes helped to draw the line between good and evil in a campaign launching Fable, a new role player game for Xbox. The post house provided a complete package of services for the two 30-second ads out of McCann-Erickson, New York, including color correction via the Specter, motion graphics design, visual effects, compositing and HD finishing.

The Specter/Da Vinci 2K combination is the new non-linear color grading system which allows a spot to be viewed and color timed in cut order and in context, taking the traditional workflow and making it twice as efficient. Time spent in session is cut in half and is completely focused on the color correction of a project. Nice Shoes is currently the only facility on the east coast using the Specter.

The spots play off the game’s concept, which allows players to choose between good and evil roles, through the story of a young man riding in a subway car. In Evil, the young man opts for a villainous path as he robs and assaults other passengers. In Noble, he pursues the opposite course, foiling an armed thief. Both scenarios lead into footage from the game and the campaign’s tagline, “Fable: for every choice a consequence.”

Nice Shoes colorist Lez Rudge helped to make the spots’ point by using light and color to accentuate the transformations undergone by the central character. In Evil, not only does the young man gain scars and sprout whiskers as he becomes an arch villain, the environment around him becomes darker and more foreboding. “A gradual transition in the look of the spot occurs as it moves from the normal world to the fantasy world of evil,” Rudge explained. “The color becomes crunchier, more contrasty. The shadows become more pronounced. It’s a harsher look. It’s not something that jumps out at you; it’s subtle, subliminal.”

In Noble, color and light make a transition in the opposite direction. “By the end, it’s blown out and desaturated. We used the defocus effect to create a glow to the highlights. It’s almost angelic,” Rudge said.

Specter was the perfect vehicle for accomplishing the subtle color transitions as its non-linear environment allowed Rudge to work on the spot in its edited form. “We transferred the dailies in data mode, which yielded the same colorimetry as we would have had in the Spirit,” Rudge explained. “We were then able to work in cut mode and that made it very easy to see how the transitions were working and determine if it was too much or not enough.”

“We colored the whole spot, then went back through and tweaked the color some more,” added Ohio Edit’s Pete Fritz who cut the spots. “We colored both spots in just four hours. It might have taken two days to get them looking as good as they do if we had had to change reels every time we wanted to go back and review a scene. The ability we had with the Specter to go back and look at shots was extremely helpful.”

Visual effects artists Aron Baxter and John Shea completed the post work on the spots. Baxter created an animated version of the Fable logo. “We used a water effect that animates through the typography,” said Baxter. “It suggests a sense of mystery that is in keeping with the character of the game.”

The spots were mastered to HD and from there Nice Shoes prepared cinema and television versions of the two spots. In order to make the game footage that appears at the end of each spot work on the big screen, Baxter and Shea enhanced the footage, sharpening the images and heightening the contrast for dramatic effect.

More information on Nice Shoes may be found at

Commercial Credits:

Title: Evil, Noble
Length: 30-commercial
Client: X-Box (Fable)

Agency: McCann Erickson, New York. Craig Marcus, creative director; Chris Cereda, art director; Eric Goldstein, copywriter; Alexis Mead, producer.

Production Company: Villains, Los Angeles. The Guard Brothers, directors; Robin Benson, executive producer; Matt Caltabiano, producer; Max Malkin, director of photography.

Stage: Santa Clarita Studios, Santa Clarita, CA.

Editing Company: Ohio Edit, New York. Pete Fritz, editor; Ed Coleman, assistant editor; Stacey Suplizio, executive producer; Erica Thompson, producer.

Music Company:  Licensed track from British DJ Anu Pillai.

Post Facility: Nice Shoes, New York. Lez Rudge, colorist.

Visual EFX Company: Nice Shoes, New York. Aron Baxter and John Shea, visual effects artists/compositors; Pat Portela, executive producer.

Audio Post House: Audioengine, New York. Rex Recker, engineer/mixer.


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Related Keywords:Nice Shoes, Xbox, Fable, role player game, McCann-Erickson, color correction, motion graphics design, visual effects, compositing, HD finishing, Specter, Da Vinci 2K, color grading, Lez Rudge, Spirit, Ohio Edit, Pete Fritz, Aron Baxter, John Shea, Pat Portela, Audioengine, Rex Recker,

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