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Ring Of Fire Rules The Golf Course

Creates clever spot for EA Sports featuring Tiger Woods (October 01, 2004)

The talented artists at digital effects studio Ring of Fire recently contributed their expertise to a visually compelling spot for ad agency Wieden + Kennedy and client EA Sports. The :30 spot promotes the new Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 2005 game, which challenges gamers to take on the man who has changed golf forever - Tiger Woods.

?Bunker opens on golf legend Tiger Woods in a sand bunker on a sunny day to the delightful ?Mr. Sandman track. As he prepares to the hit the ball, the bunker begins to sink. Woods looks around him in confusion and then establishes his footing again. The bunker sinks even more until the sides become walls of sand and dark clouds form in the sky. The sun disappears completely and the golf course itself begins to change -- undulations to greens, tighter fairways and deeper bunkers. ?You control the course, declares the voiceover. ?You control the weather. Woods tries to hit the ball out of the bunker, which flies straight up into the air and back down at his feet, as rain begins to pour. ?Tiger-proofing, concludes the voiceover. ?Its in the game.

For the Ring of Fire team, each scene was unique and involved a combination of techniques. This included creating a CGI environment with photoreal and artificial texture maps, as well as CGI particle animation of the sand integrated with real sand elements.

?There were only three shots in this spot that were real, remarks Casey Conroy, Ring of Fire Senior VFX Producer, ?the opening shot and two close-ups of Tigers feet in the sand. Everything else is completely manufactured. We shot digital stills on location of the skies, sand and grass for reference. The environment and the elements were then re-created in CGI. Ultimately, the CGI and live-action elements were combined and balanced in final compositing.

Conroy provided on-set supervision, which entailed a greenscreen shoot of Tiger Woods in a golf course sand trap. A platform covered in sand was also built in the parking lot in front of a greenscreen. In addition, Conroy and the talented artists at Ring of Fire performed an element insert shoot of angle and action-specific sand elements to enhance some scenes.

?The most challenging part of the project was when Tiger lowers into the deepest part of the bunker, concludes Conroy. ?This was a pivotal scene and was quite complicated technically and conceptually. All of the elements had to match even as the environment was significantly changing. We embraced the challenge that this spot presented and are extremely pleased with the final result.

Client: EA Sports
Spot Title: ?Bunker :30/September 13, 2004

Ad Agency: Wieden + Kennedy/Portland, OR
Creative Directors: Steve Luker, Jim Riswold
Art Director: Steve Luker
Copywriter: Jim Riswold
Producer: Ben Grylewicz

Production Company: Oil Factory Inc. /Beverly Hills, CA
Director: Allen Hughes
Executive Producer: Billy Poveda
Head of Production: Jay Wakefield
Producer: Greg Tharp
Where shot: Championsgate Golf Course/Orlando, FL

VFX Company: Ring of Fire/West Hollywood, CA
Creative Director: Jerry Spivack
Executive Producer: John Myers
VFX Supervisor/VFX Producer: Casey Conroy
Inferno Artists: John Ciampa, Kirk Balden, Paul Geiger, Brent Gilmartin, Mark Robben, Alicia Aguilera
CG Supervisor: Greg Anderson
Lead CG Artist: Dann Tarmy
CG Artists: Fabio Zapata, Katherine Bouglai, Marcel Hemingway, Bryan Johnson
Graphics: Jeff Smith

Editorial Company: Joint Editorial/Portland, OR
Editor: Corky Devault
Assistant Editor: Matthew Hilber  

Postproduction Company: Company 3/Santa Monica, CA
Colorist: Stefan Sonnenfeld  
Online Editors: Kirk Balden, John Ciampa @ Ring of Fire

Music: ?Mr. Sandman Copyright: MLB Communications
Arrangement by: Jeff Elmassian @ Endless Noise/Santa Monica, CA
Executive Producer: Celia Williams @ Endless Noise
Producer: Roxanne Morganstern @ Endless Noise

Sound Design Company: 740 Sound Design/Santa Monica, CA
Sound Designer: Eddie Kim
Creative Director: Scott Ganary

Audio Post Company: Eleven/Santa Monica, CA
Mixer: Jeff Payne
Assistant Mixer: Francine Boucher

Ring of Fire is located at 8300 Melrose Avenue 2nd Floor, West Hollywood, CA 90069. Telephone: 323.966.5410. Fax: 323.966.5419. For more information visit


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Related Keywords:digital effects, Tiger Woods, EA Sports, Ring Of Fire, Wieden + Kennedy, Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 2005, CGI, CGI particle animation, animation, texture maps, Casey Conroy, VFX, compositing, greenscreen, Oil Factory Inc., Jerry Spivack, John Myers, John Ciampa, Kirk Balden, Paul Geiger, Brent Gilmartin, Mark Robben, Alicia Aguilera, Greg Anderson, Dann Tarmy, Fabio Zapata, Katherine Bouglai, Marcel Hemingway, Bryan Johnson, Jeff Smith, Joint Editorial, Company 3, 740 Sound Design,

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