Cap Gun Collective’s Ivan Grbovic & VFX studio Golden collaborate on unique effects for new ad
Lexus and Team One promote the 2016 CT 200h with a new spot directed by Cap Gun Collective’s Ivan Grbovic with VFX by Golden. The film titled 'Many Becomes Him' illustrates the many facets of the Lexus CT by showing one man transforming into different versions of himself.
The spot opens with a man walking down the sidewalk in a t-shirt and jeans. He soon comes upon another version of himself who is frozen in time wearing a suit and tie. The new personality comes to life as the actor literally strolls into his new self, unlocking him from his paused state. This transitional device is repeated as the spot develops and the actor morphs into multiple roles and outfits. The same technique is also applied to the Lexus CT as it merges with other versions of itself along the way. The spot is punctuated with voice over declaring that the car 'has a side for every side of you.'
Grbovic worked hand-in-hand with Golden to create a seamless clothing change every time the actor transitions from one character to another. In order to keep both the movement of the camera and the actor fluid, the team decided to forgo motion control and instead determined that the actor’s outfits needed to be changed in post. Using a 3D scan of the clothing and the actor’s body, Golden was able to create a virtual skin on which to hang the CGI clothes.
In order to make the 3D clothing fabric move as realistically as possible, the Venice-based, multi-disciplinary studio built a 3D model of the actor’s exact physical proportions, then captured his motions on set. Those movements were then applied to the 3D model and lined up with the live action edit. Once Grbovic and the team picked their favorite freeze frames in the editing room, Golden’s VFX team added the CGI clothing in post.
“It was important to me that the frozen moments were chosen in the edit, not on the shoot day,” says Grbovic. “This frees up the actors to improvise their actions, giving the spot a sense of freedom.”
This visionary strategy also allowed for a more simplified shoot day, capturing the action as if there were no transitions. Golden has built a pipeline for this process and believes that this technique could be taken even further.
“Working with Ivan and Team One was a great collaboration,” says Matthew Marquis, Golden Executive Producer. “We worked collectively to develop this very challenging and unique effect, something we believe can be evolved and re-imagined into many scenarios and different formats, perhaps even virtual reality.”