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SWAY Drives Effects for Multi-Spot Toyota Corolla Campaign

Renowned VFX Studio Utilizes Proprietary Drive-A-Tron? Simulator to Create Realistic Animation for Energetic Spots (February 14, 2008)
DMN Newswire--2008-2-14-- LOS ANGELES Feb. 14, 2008 SWAY studio recently added liveliness, detail and a touch of whimsy to the 2009 Toyota Corolla campaign entitled ?Through the Roof for Saatchi & Saatchi LA.  With their renowned image-based lighting and animation techniques, SWAYs team of artists delivered over five minutes of moving live action, 2D matte painting and full 3D shots, contributing to multiple customized regional :30 second commercials as part of this modular-based national campaign. 

?Through the Roof began airing in local markets across the country on Feb. 9. It features the Corolla sweeping through a striking environment of green countryside and urban landscapes on a mission to absorb available features typically found only in luxury cars: satellite radio, leather trimmed seats, an MP3 jack, Bluetooth® capability, traffic control and navigation, and more. SWAYs computer graphics and matte painting techniques were combined with a live miniature set to create the extraordinary backdrop.

?The challenge of this project was to create a balance between real and surreal, said Chris Nichols, VFX supervisor at SWAY studio. ?The directors at Buck were inspired by a miniature set, but we needed to make it appear believable on a real-world scale. SWAYs advanced compositing, image-based lighting and animation methods were able to bring this feeling to life and further proved our ability to work with any type or size of environment. 

Working with the miniature set, SWAY meticulously collected tracking and lighting data to ensure that each car was correctly integrated into the shot, allowing the final product to appear believable on a real-world scale. SWAYs team then utilized their data to exactly match the camera, geometry and lighting to make certain that each cars movements, lighting and shadows matched precisely.   

SWAY employed their proprietary Drive-A-Tron driving simulator to create the exact movements made by the Corolla. Instead of using traditional animation techniques, Drive-A-Tron allows SWAY artists to literally get behind the wheel and drive the car on even the most challenging CG terrain, creating the desired performance without compromising the reality of the driving.

?The Drive-A-Tron provides SWAY a large advantage over other studios, allowing us to complete the most precise and detailed animation available, said Mark Glaser, owner and creative director of SWAY. ?Using this proprietary tool over the past three years has allowed us to perfect these difficult animation techniques making SWAY the studio to call upon for automobile animation.

About SWAY
SWAY is one of the top animation, effects and design studios in North America whose aim is to advance the artistry of visual content, enabling exciting new creative ideas in any media. SWAYs world class artists use cutting edge and innovative technology to produce unforgettable imagery.

SWAYs proprietary software, the SWAY Drive-A-Tron driving simulator has been used to create stunning visual effects and spots for Chevy, Mazda, Pontiac, Subaru, Hyundai, Hummer and Toyota. This software replicates the performance of any vehicle with complete precision.

SWAYs headquarters are located in Culver City, Calif. For additional information on SWAY studio, visit its website at 


Toyota Corolla ?Through the Roof Credit List


Creative Director: Mark Glaser
VFX Supervisor: Christopher Nichols
VFX Producer: Erin Hicke
VFX Coordinator: Matt Johnson
EP: Leighton Greer

3D Artists:
Lead Animator: Robert Glaser
CG Supervisor/ Compositor: Daniel Buck
TD: Graham Fyffe
CG Artist: Rob Meyers
CG Artist/ Compositor: Derek Smith
FX Animator: Michael Walls
CG Artist: Anthony Han
CG Artist: Steven Wang
CG Artist: Matan Abel
CG Artist: Curtis Cardwell

2D Artists:
Compositing Supervisor: Chris Bankoff
Compositor: Lauren Mayer-Beug
Compositor: Christian Schermerhorn
Paint/Roto Lead: Claudia Yi Leon
Roto: Bill Schaeffer
Compositor: Hudson Shock
Roto: Diana Wells
Compositor: Rachel Keyte

Tracking: Michael Orlando
Matte Painter: Deak Ferrand

Executive Creative Director: Harvey Marco
Creative Director: Kevin Murphy
Assoc. Creative Director/Writer: Deb Smith
Assoc. Creative Director/Art Director: Mark Taylor
Director of Integrated Production/Multimedia: Damian Stevens
Producer: Jane Liepshutz
Account Director: Vickie Stafford

Director: Buck
reative Directors: Ryan Honey, Orion Tait
Producer: Nick Terzich
Art Director: Thomas Schmid
Associate Creative Director: Jeremy Sahlman
Associate Producer: Eric Badros
EP: Maurie Enochson
Miniature Production: New Deal Studios
Production Designer: Sean Hargreaves
DP: Tim Angulo

Tools Used for VFX:
SWAY Drive-A-Tron Driving Simulator
Assimilates SCRATCH
Autodesks 3ds Max
Autodesks Flame
The Chaos Groups PDPlayer
The Chaos Groups V-Ray
The Foundrys Nuke


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Related Keywords:SWAY, Toyota, Saatchi, Buck, Animation, VFX, Drive-A-Tron


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