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wondertouch Swings into Action at Pendulum Studios

particleIllusion 3.0 Plays Critical Role in Namco and Kellogg's Commercial Spots (December 16, 2005)

wondertouch announced that leading San Diego animation and effects house Pendulum Studios relied extensively on wondertouch's particleIllusion 3.0 on two recent commercial campaigns for game developer NAMCO and cereal producer the Kellogg Company, both of which feature electrifying CGI and visual effects creation sequences. The software has been in use at the studio for the past several years where it has quickly and efficiently delivered a wide range of particle effects for television, commercial and game-cinematic projects including the hit Warner Bros. television series, Smallville.

On a :30 international spot for the highly anticipated next installment in NAMCO's celebrated fighting game series, Soul Calibur III, Pendulum turned to particleIllusion 3.0 to create critical effects that highlighted the game's unique character customization features, which allow players to build personalized fighters with which to do battle.

In a pivotal sequence, Pendulum created the idea of the 'Blacksmith', to capitalize on the player's new ability to 'forge' their own characters, who the viewer sees pulling a molten piece of steel from a blazing hearth, beginning the process of forging a magical sword. With each crash of his hammer the evolving blade emits a torrent of fiery and magical sparks which are a catalyst for the explosive genesis of a different warrior from within each preceding character.

Pendulum was responsible for 100% of CGI production. According to Rob Taylor Pendulum's president and executive producer, particleIllusion was used to create all of the sparks effects. It also used the dynamic wind tools in the software application to move particles based upon the motion of interacting 3D objects such as the swinging hammer.

Not Your Parent's Cereal Commercial

For the Kellogg's Company and international advertising agency J. Walter Thompson, Pendulum completed three :30 spots for the Choco Krispis cereal brand. The spots involve a detailed cliff-hanging plot, combining live action sequences with complex 3D CGI characters and environments, as well as traditional 2D animation. They feature an intentionally surreal crew of menacing, semi photo-realistic 3D skeleton pirates that were integrated with live-action and 2D cell animation for Kellogg's hero character.

The explosion fx elements in the Kellogg's spot were created almost entirely within particleIllusion, in conjunction with Maya , to include the multiple layers of smoke, dust, embers, falling ash, and most importantly, related dynamics such as exploding arcs of burning fireballs. These were then integrated into the 3D scene by matting out various blocking elements, like live-action characters, props and furniture, and composited in After Effects.

In a scene where two different skeletons collide, Taylor explained that the 'super emitters' feature in particleIllusion 3.0, which allows for the automatic creation of other emitters, helped to powerfully, and cost-effectively portray the pirates' explosive deaths and achieve heightened levels of realism.

About Pendulum Studios
Pendulum Studios is a San Diego based 3D animation and effects studio specializing in high-end character animation and great story-telling. Owned and operated by directors Michael McCormick and Robert Taylor, the studio strives to produce the highest quality animation for commercials, game cinematics, film, and their own animated shorts. For more information on the studio or any of its service-oriented projects or proprietary films, please visit

About wondertouch
wondertouch, headquartered in St. Louis, Mo., is an award-winning software developer specializing in particle effects for the visual effects industry. The company's flagship product, particleIllusion, a sprite-based particle effects application is focused towards the needs of creative professionals working in film post-production and pre-visualization, standard and HD video, commercial broadcast and Web graphics industries. A spectrum of recent entertainment projects shaped by the software include feature films "North Country," "Stealth," "Wedding Crashers," "H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds," "Sin City," "The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl in 3D," "Fantastic Four," and "Constantine;" the hit soap opera, "Passions;" syndicated entertainment news program "Access Hollywood;" interactive game title "MX vs. ATV Unleashed;" episodic television series' "JAG" and "Navy/NCIS," various sports programs including: "NBA on TNT", "NASCAR on TNT;" national commercials including Cadillac/Saab (GM); music video projects for Dave Matthews Band, and many, many more.

wondertouch software products are available directly from wondertouch. Additional information on wondertouch can be obtained on the Web at

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Related Keywords:wondertouch, particleIllusion, Pendulum Studios, Namco, Kelloggs, Commercial Spots


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