Digital production studio Digital Domain was tapped by Leo Burnett to bring the wondrous world of the Samsung 3D LED TV to life in a new stereoscopic 3D (S3D) advertising campaign for cinema and point-of-purchase, with 2D versions of the spots airing on TV. Digital Domain provided on-set S3D VFX supervision, working closely with directing duo TWiN of production company Rabbit and DP Mauro Fiore. The ads, part of Samsung's "Dedicated to Wonder" marketing campaign and the first 3D cinema spots ever created for a consumer electronic brand, premiered in cinemas April 2nd.
For the campaign, Digital Domain leveraged its historical expertise working with the S3D format, which dates back to the late 1990s when the studio produced a 3D Terminator theme park ride film. Today Digital Domain is in production on "Tron: Legacy," one of the largest S3D feature films currently in production in Hollywood.
"The enormous success of recent 3D movies and anticipation for upcoming tentpoles like 'Tron: Legacy' has created huge opportunities for manufacturers, broadcasters, marketers and producers," said Digital Domain Commercials Division President and Executive Producer Ed Ulbrich. "In creating 3D advertising, one of the biggest challenges is finding experienced crews to take these projects from concept to completion at the highest level. When you factor in the urgency of commercial production it adds another layer of complexity and a fair amount of managing expectations and educating both the ad agencies and the client. The value Digital Domain brings to the table is that we have one of the most sophisticated S3D pipelines in the business and we're able to take the infrastructure, experience and knowledge we've developed on huge 3D movies, and offer that to ad agencies and advertisers."
The :30 "Wonder-full," the first spot to premiere in cinemas, opens on a family visiting an aquarium. The father touches his index finger to the fishtank glass and traces a large rectangle before popping out a sizable chunk of the aquarium's contents -- all of it created digitally by Digital Domain, including colorful tropical fish and a giant sting ray. The family straps this liquid cube to the car and transports it home, where it's inserted into the Samsung LED 3D TV on the mantle, allowing the family to experience life in another dimension as a school of CG fish fly out of the set and towards the audience.
Digital Domain VFX Supervisor Jay Barton joined the creative team early in the design process to consult closely with directing duo TWiN and Leo Burnett on the S3D process and pulling together an experienced crew of people.
"Because these Samsung ads will be seen at point-of-sale in addition to premiering in cinemas, it was even more crucial that the visuals be beautiful, attention-getting and really highlighted the Samsung 3D LED TV," said Digital Domain Visual Effects Supervisor Jay Barton. "When you're at the retail location making your purchase decision among several options, what you see first is picture quality. The visuals are often the differentiating factor. To achieve that quality we applied the same 'Rolls Royce' approach for the Samsung campaign that we use on a movie like 'Tron: Legacy.' Leo Burnett brought together the A-team to work on this campaign, and that really shows in the result."
In addition to "Wonder-Full," Digital Domain worked on a second 3D cinema spot titled "Monsters & Aliens Invade Home," which features the characters from DreamWorks' "Monsters Vs. Aliens." Barton and his team also contributed visual effects and animation to two other spots in the Samsung campaign, which aired in 2D on television and premiered during the Academy Awards.