1stAveMachine and Red Urban Pay Homage to the Car Design Process for Volkswagen

1stAveMachine and Red Urban Pay Homage to the Car Design Process for Volkswagen

When boutique creative agency Red Urban partnered with production company 1stAveMachine and its Director Vinicius Costa, the team was able to turn what was originally a traditional broadcast campaign into a pioneering stereoscopic 3D production.

As the new Volkswagen Jetta hugs the curves of a canyon road, each of the industrial designer's pen marks cover a paper façade. With a gust of wind, the paper flies off revealing an engineer's renderings. With another burst of wind, each piece of paper simultaneously floats away introducing the newly designed 2011 Jetta.

The spot has been a significant accomplishment in technique, not only for Red Urban and 1stAveMachine, but as its first stereoscopic 3D piece, also for Volkswagen Canada.

Using the sketching stage of the Volkswagen Jetta redesign as inspiration, layers of paper represent different aspects of industrial design and engineering. Behind the scenes, layers of ingenuity in process were designed under the advisement of stereoscopic experts, 3DCG, to create the effect. "While shooting stereoscopic imagery is the way to capture a stereo experience, the ability to fully animate a scene and create in the computer is the more recent technology," noted Jonathan Banta, 3DCG advisor on the project. "Marrying these two worlds has always been challenging, and requires computer artists to increase their technical precision." While some 3D productions are converted retroactively, the Volkswagen Paper spot was ambitiously shot stereoscopically with a hybrid 3D & CG pipeline in place.

"We got extraordinary insight from the guys at 3DCG on the set. Although the production was a welcome challenge from the beginning, everyone was excited to be a part of something so unique," said Costa.

In the tradition of 1stAveMachine' s most recognized work, CG was applied meticulously to each frame of live action footage, with an indistinguishable line between practical and visual effects. The paper flapping uses the application of real physics, with an animation system developed by the team at 1stAveMachine for every shot. " The signature use of optical illusion is unmistakably Costa's.

"We were enticing the viewer from the beginning. I created two layers of paper with the intention of not only emphasizing how engineers redesigned the Jetta, but also to create surprise when you see the actual car underneath."

The ambitious move to shoot the live-action stereoscopically was enhanced by 1stAveMachine' s VFX team. The 1stAve team developed a complete 3D CG pipeline especially for the Volkswagen spot. The CG paper was applied to two sets of footage at two slightly different angles, then by matching the real-world cameras in CG, a choreographed precision was achieved in the Jetta's unveiling. The successful effort between the creative and technical brilliance of 1stAveMachine, Red Urban and 3DCG is also a testament to Costa's appreciation for collaboration and innovation. "My work is full of mixtures. I've always loved the idea of mixing techniques and breaking away from the standard way of doing things."

The Volkswagen Paper spot begins airing today on broadcast, and can be seen in 3D cinemas beginning November 5th.