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How Big Buoy Created The Creatures in Kellogg's Alien Ad


Big Buoy explain how they developed the aliens in new Leo Burnett spot

How Big Buoy Created The Creatures in Kellogg's Alien Ad
Leo Burnett has launched the third in its series of Kellogg’s ads featuring comedy duo Dominic and Daniel. This latest spot, featuring an alien interaction on Earth gone wrong due to the crunch of granola, was created by Ed Morris and Andy Drugan and directed by RSA’s David Lodge.

Big Buoy completed the post for the film. “It was another great opportunity for Senior Editor Colin Sumsion, Colourist Duncan Russell and VFX Supervisor Jim Allen to edit, grade and composite for David Lodge,” said a Big Buoy representative. 

The film was shot on Alexa 4:3 at 2k using anamorphic lenses giving a 1:2.35 aspect ratio for that classically filmic look.

Concept and Design

“I like the idea that they're lanky and spindly. Both to emphasise this fragility and because that's just how I imagine aliens. I may of course be wrong,” comments director, David Lodge.

The brief was to create a classic, instantly recognisable, big-eyed, slender alien that looked natural and believable. The classic alien had been attempted many times before, all with varying levels of success, so with the latest technology and a wealth of talent on our side, we went into this feeling that we had a great opportunity to add something really special. 
So Big Buoy needed an imaginary creature that would feel natural. Early mood and reference was of quick, darting, gazelle-like movements, octopus and cuttlefish-like skin textures and forms.

Early concepts showed the over-sized head and slender limbs that we all know, but with a very organic plausible build.  As the concepts progressed (with the addition of an extra leg joint) we moved towards a less human, other worldly, more endearing and yet still natural form.

Test Renders

Texture Development

“At close quarters we only ever see details. The translucent, veiny, luminous skin.  A double eyelid. Oversized nostrils that expand and contract as if made of elastic,” adds David.

Taking the above references from the director as a starting point, the look and texture of the aliens were developed through a dedicated team of concept artists and 3D modellers.

After some texture tests the Big Buoy team then rendered out some concepts with the striping texture taken from initial research into self-camouflaging sea creatures, such as cuttlefish, squid and the octopus cyanea.

Colour Tests

Final Textures and Design

To achieve convincing translucency in the alien skin, the animation team, led by Ulf Lundgren, chose the Arnold renderer.  

Check out the final spot below. 

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Tag, Fri, 11 Sep 2015 13:04:31 GMT