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4Creative & ENVY Advertising Create Grand National Idents That ‘Rule the Word'

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Dubai sponsorship idents ran both immediately before and after this year’s race

4Creative & ENVY Advertising Create Grand National Idents That ‘Rule the Word'
ENVY Advertising has collaborated with 4Creative to create the Dubai sponsorship idents for this year’s Grand National. Combining footage shot on location with CGI balloons, the final result is pair of idents depicting a hot air balloon race in the skies above the Dubai desert.

The idents ran both immediately before and after the race; the first wishing luck to all the runners, with the second congratulating this year’s winner, Rule the World. With 40 horses competing in the race, and no way of predicting the winner, ENVY had to prepare an ident for every single horse that competed, totalling over forty individual films.

Alongside director Brian Harrington, each department worked closely together to create the visually striking idents that aired to an estimated audience or ten million viewers. Dean Wyles, Senior VFX Artist at ENVY Advertising, comments: “It really was a wonderful team effort. One of the biggest challenges we faced, and one that I particularly enjoyed, was creating a dramatic, realistic and visually striking ident in which virtually everything was created or enhanced in post-production.”

The opening film which aired prior to the race

The balloons were a fully CG build that utilised the skills of ENVY’s CG department; the offline guide was created by editor Kel McKeown before colourist Danny Wood graded the film in Baselight, with Flame then used to stabilise the shots, create the cityscape scene, replace the skies, and plan the position and movements of the new balloons. 

Based on a reference supplied by the director, the balloon’s skins were designed in After FX by Matt Lawrence, Head of Design, and then passed on to CG artist Caspian Graca Da Silva. Additional balloons were modelled, textured, lit, and tracked into every scene in Maya, additional passengers were added to baskets, and everything was pre-comped in Nuke.

Film featuring Rule The World as the hero balloon, aired immediately after the race

Final compositing was completed in Flame by senior VFX artist Wyles, with each balloon individually graded into the scene where haze texture, flare and flames were added to create realistic depth. To cover the different coloured silks of the potential winners, 45 different versions of the hero balloon shot were created, all designed in After FX by Andrew Niven and composited in Flame by Martin Waller. 

Director Brian Harrington comments: “To echo the excitement and grandeur of The Grand National, we decided that an equally epic approach would be the way to go with these idents. Showcasing the wide desert vistas of Dubai from the air, we shot a hot air balloon in situ and got the VFX wizards at ENVY Advertising to add the rest. I knew things were moving on nicely when I was no longer able to tell the difference between the real balloons the 3D creations.”
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Brand: Channel 4

Post Production / VFX

Colourist: Danny Wood

Flame: Dean Wyles & Martin Waller

Flame Assist: Danny Bodell

Post Production Company: ENVY Advertising

Producer: Pete Winslett

Visual Effects: Caspian Graca Da Silva, Andrew Niven & Matt Lawrence

Creative Agency

Creative Agency: 4Creative

Producer: Charlie Bettice

Production Company

Director: Brian Harrington


Sound Design: Rich Martin


Editor: Kel McKeown

Genres: Visual VFX

ENVY Advertising, Tue, 12 Apr 2016 16:10:02 GMT