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R!OT Creates VFX and Company 3 Colors New Infiniti FX

Studios offer clear vision of Infiniti?s new SUV (October 04, 2004)

R!OT Santa Monica concocted a clever bit of visual trickery to give a man in a restaurant a clear view of an Infiniti FX in a new spot for the SUV. Conceived by TBWA/Chiat/Day, the spot is part of the launch campaign for the new vehicle. R!OT handled visual effects and final post work for the entire campaign, with telecine and color correction provided by Company 3.

Titled Bistro, the spot features a man in a restaurant who spots an FX parked on the opposite curb. As if by magic, numerous objects keeping him from having a clear view of the vehicle?car traffic, pedestrians, restaurant signage?are swept away, leaving nothing between him and the focus of his desire.

The shot of the car appears to be a single take, with the camera slowly moving in on the vehicle. In reality, the scene is a composite made up of some 26 motion control passes neatly stitched together by R!OT Inferno Artist Verdi Sevenhuysen assisted by Junior Artists Sean Wilson and Nabil Schiantarelli.

?By combining the various elements we were able to create the illusion of items disappearing or being moved off to the side, Sevenhuysen said. ?The sequence is precisely choreographed and we dont use the same trick twice. The sequence begins with the man dropping his menu to reveal the car. A water carafe slides to the right, the very large hat worn by female diner disappears, then, as a waiter wipes the screen, she disappears too. A parking meter drops out of sight, twigs from a cherry tree are ?clipped off, a pepper mill is knocked over by a child.

All of this required careful and detailed visual effects and compositing work. In some instances, Sevenhuysen removed background objects while retaining elements partially covering them in the foreground. In later scenes, car and pedestrian traffic crossing the frame appear in the right and left hand panels of the restaurant window, but not in the middle panel where the FX is.

?In many cases, we had to fill holes left by objects that we removed, Sevenhuysen recalled. ?That required painting, morphing and animating the missing elements. In one of the more difficult effects, we made a street vendor, who is leaning against a tree, turn and leave the scene by creating a morph between shots of the mans front and back. I painted four images of the man at different points in the turn to make the morph work.

At the end of the sequence, Sevenhuysen used a digital hold to extend the final unobstructed view of the car.

Color correction was also critical to making the effects sequence appear seamless. Company 3s Stefan Sonnenfeld transferred the elements to digital video and colored them to create perfect consistency among the many motion control passes. ?The takes were shot over an extended period of time and as a result the lighting conditions varied greatly, Sonnenfeld observed. ?As the spot is set at lunch time, we created a look that supported that time of day and made sure all of the elements conformed to that. At the same time, we made the car look crisp and clean as it is the focal point of the spot.

R!OT Santa Monica is located at 702/730 Arizona Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90401. For more information, call Bill Frazee or Michael Taylor at (310) 434-6000 or visit

Company 3 Santa Monica, is located at 1661 Lincoln Blvd. Ste. 400 Santa Monica, California 90404. For more information, call Stefan Sonnenfeld at (310) 255-6600.

About Ascent Media Group
Santa Monica, California-based Ascent Media Group, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Liberty Media Corporation (NYSE: L, LMC.B), provides creative and technical services to the media and entertainment industries through its Creative Services, Creative Sound Services, Media Management Services and Networks Services groups. At more than 70 facilities in the regions of Southern California, New York, London, Atlanta and Singapore and at locations throughout the world, Ascent Media Group provides effective solutions for the creation, management and distribution of content to major motion picture studios, independent producers, broadcast networks, cable channels, advertising agencies and other companies that produce, own and/or distribute entertainment, news, sports, corporate, educational, industrial and advertising content.

Commercial Credits
Air date: 
Title: Bistro, Secret Admirer, Extended Remix
Length: 30-seconds
Client: Infiniti

Agency: TBWA\Chiat\Day, Venice, CA. Tor Myhren, creative director; Rui Alves, art director; Craig Crawford, copywriter; Lorraine Kraus, producer; Kyle Wright, assistant producer.

Production Company: Identity, New York. Anthony Atanasio, director; Anthony Walberg, director of photography;

Editing Company:  Lost Planet, Santa Monica, CA. Hank Corwin, editor; Tyler T. Higgins, assistant editor.

Music Company: Elias Associates, Santa Monica, CA. 

Post Facility: Company 3, Santa Monica, CA. Stefan Sonnenfeld, colorist.

Visual EFX Company: R!OT, Santa Monica, CA. Verdi Sevenhuysen, lead Inferno artist; Sean Wilson and Nabil Schiantarelli, junior Inferno artist.

Sound Design Company: Soundelux, Hollywood. Alan Rankan and Tom Ozanich, sound designers.


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Related Keywords:R!OT, VFX, Company 3, Infiniti FX, TBWA/Chiat/Day, telecine, color correction, Inferno, Verdi Sevenhuysen, Sean Wilson, Nabil Schiantarelli, compositing, Stefan Sonnenfeld, Ascent Media Group, Liberty Media Corporation, Lost Planet,


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