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STEELE VFX Performs Quick Changes for The Gap

By Michael Ames

STEELE VFX was recently tasked to create quick costume change effects for clothing retailer The Gap in a series of spots promoting the retailer's summer fashions for women. The spots, currently airing in select markets, were conceived by  the retailer's in-house creative design team. Monique Eissing, Steele VFX's Henry artist combined foreground and background elements from separate telecine passes to achieve the effect that The Gap creative team was looking for. In one spot, a woman does turns on  a beach, and with each turn the color of her skirt changes. In another spot, another woman removes a series of layered tops to reveal different colored tops underneath.
Virtually every scene in the two spots is a composite,” Eissing explained. “In most instances, the talent, the sky and sand were derived from different passes so that both the talent and the background environments appear crisp, clean and beautifully lit.”

According to Eissing, creating the composites was not a walk in the park because changing the brightness of a film frame affects how that frame looks, making it a challenge to combine elements from different passes of the same scene.

Shadows tend to bleed into the light,” explained Eissing. “As a result, when you attempt to composite a foreground element from a relatively light pass into the background from a darker pass, you can wind up with a halo around the person or object.”

To prevent these halos, Eissing either painted over the affected area or created a moving mask around the character, which was quite a challenge given the number of cuts in the spot. “That is the kind of effects work that we are known for,” she said. “The imagery looks as if it is unaffected, and yet the look is perfect, more perfect than anything in real life.”

For more information, visit STEELE VFX at

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Related Keywords:STEELE VFX, Gap Spot, Monique Eissing

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