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Riderless Bikes Hit the Tracks in Intense New Cycling Canada Film

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Editors' Choice: Innocean WW Canada partners with Alter Ego & Sons and Daughters for action-packed spot

Riderless Bikes Hit the Tracks in Intense New Cycling Canada Film

Canada is a truly wonderful country in which to be active, and combined with the growing popularity of cycling, there’s never been a better time for Canadians to get out and ride. Alter Ego recently teamed up with Cycling Canada, Innocean Worldwide Canada and Director Mark Zibert to create an intense, visually stunning film, showing just how breathtaking it can be traversing Canada’s diverse terrain on two wheels.   

The 60-second spot features a variety of bicycles speeding this way and that in a number of different environments, some alone and some in large packs, some travelling extremely fast. There’s one catch. None of them have riders. The goal is to inspire Canadians to get active, and the spot serves up a succinct rallying cry to potential riders: “Hop On.” 

“Having colour, VFX and animation working under one roof at Alter Ego allowed for a great deal of collaboration between artists, streamlined the workflow and allowed for greater creative control,” said Andres Kirejew, VFX Supervisor, Alter Ego.

Alter Ego’s VFX team used its talents to bring the riderless bikes to life, integrating CG with the help of crowd software Golaem’s new plug-and-play bicycle solution. Every shot had two takes, one with bike and rider, and a close match without bike and rider. The editor, Saints’ Mark Paiva, kept two synchronized edits going, developing the feel with the bike and rider shots, and using the bike and riderless edit to guarantee clean shots for CG. 

“Both the client and agency aimed for an epic spot and gave us lots of creative freedom to meet this challenge — in short it was a super fun project to work on,” said Sebastian Bilbao, CG Lead Alter Ego. “Golaem provided us with flawless wheel traction and wheel ground contact. We explored several methods to obtain the most reliable motion library possible, and ended up using mostly keyframed motions because the ‘real' motions had nuances that looked unrealistic without the rider.”

All in all, the film had 50 shots, including 25 CG shots, four of which used Golaem, and 18 paint/roto shots. Throughout the process, the Alter Ego team also drew from their personal knowledge about cycling, a shared passion in-house, to help make the film more real.

"The exciting part for me was to be able to create a filmic look with the director,” adds Wade Odium, Colourist, Alter Ego. "For all the bikes we got matte shapes for the wheels, frames and handlebars, so it make it really easy to correct each part of the bikes separately and get the specific look we wanted." 

The film is part of a campaign for Cycling Canada that aims to position the organization as the heart of cycling in Canada. It also includes print ads, a social media element serving as a call-to-action to encourage Canadians to support Cycling Canada, and a microsite hub geared towards helping Canadian cyclists learn more about cycling in Canada, sign up for newsletters, watch various videos, and donate to Cycling Canada.

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Production Company

Director: Mark Zibert

Executive Producer: Dan Ford

Producer: Neil Bartley

Production Company: Sons and Daughters

Post Production / VFX

Animation: Eileen Peng, Edward Deng, Rob Fisher, Brandon Fernback

CG: (Lead) Sebastian Bilbao

Colourist: Wade Odlum, Eric Whipp, Clinton Homuth

Executive Producer: Cheyenne Bloomfield and Greg Edgar

Grade: Alter Ego

Post Production Company: Alter Ego

Producer: Caitlin Schooley

VFX Supervisor: Andres Kirejew

Visual Effects: Darren Achim, Steve McGregor, Andrew Thiessen


Edit Assistant: Red Barbaza

Edit Company: Saints Editorial

Editor: Mark Paiva

Executive Producer: Michelle Rich and Stephanie Hickman


Composer: Mark Rajaković

Executive Producer: Jeff Cohen

Music Production: RMW Music

Producer: (Associate) Kristina Loschiavo

Sound Design: Kyle Gudmundson

Creative Agency

Creative Agency: Innocean Worldwide Canada

Genres: Visual VFX, Action, Scenic

Categories: Sports and Leisure, Outdoor Equipment

Innocean Worldwide Australia, Thu, 16 Apr 2015 09:51:53 GMT