VFX/Animation News & Developments For June 2020
  • Thursday, Jun. 11, 2020
LEGO's "Drive What You Love"

Framestore Serves as VFX Master Builder For LEGO Ad
The LEGO Agency, director David Mellor and production company HighlyUnlikely partnered with Framestore to provide a host of full-throttle VFX for a commercial titled “Drive What You Love.”  Framestore delivered a range of environments, cars and effects for the playful thrill ride of an ad, which sees a LEGO builder’s imagination come to life for a high speed race through a house.

The CG-reliant project saw the Framestore team deliver a wide range of work; previsualization, realizing the design of one of the commercial’s cars and supervising the live action shoot before delivering any of the postproduction work. The VFX work included entirely CG environments and cars and digi-doubles of drivers as well as high-end animation and effects. The lighting and reflections effects work that can be seen throughout every shot of the ad--as well as a huge flour explosion--are perhaps the most subtle yet VFX elements on this project. 

Compositing live action shots of the McLaren and Ferrari F8 into the live action or CG environments, Framestore’s team also meticulously rebuilt the cars in CG along with the other autos and all their LEGO counterparts. These assets were used in shots which required the cars to tear around underneath dining room chairs or across counter tops. “The cars--and their drivers--shift multiple times between live-action and CG digi-doubles and it’s a real testament to our team’s work that it’s almost impossible to spot the difference between them,” commented VFX supervisor Charlie Bayliss. 

Lucky Expands Design, Animation Roster
Lucky has expanded through creative partnerships with a collection of designers, animation talent and storytellers at such concerns as Already Been Chewed (ABC) and Plenty. ABC helps to build businesses, launch products, and create immersive visual experiences for leading brands including Nike, Marvel, Under Armour, DC Comics, NBA, NFL, Vans and Tiffany & Co. 

Plenty designs communication, connecting brands to the present and prepares them for the future with a strategy-driven approach that contemplates clarity of message using design thinking as the key. Plenty produces animation, live action, and mixed media for agencies, networks and brands throughout the U.S., Europe, and Latin America, including Amex, Discovery, Disney HX, HBO, Oreo and Sonos.

Autodesk Releases 3ds Max 2021.1
Autodesk has released 3ds Max 2021.1, a feature-rich update targeted at modernizing and upgrading performance for artist workflows across design visualization and media and entertainment disciplines. Now available, 3ds Max 2021.1 introduces new texture baking advancements, increased capabilities for physically based rendering (PBR) workflows, and viewport and modeling tool enhancements.  New 3ds Max 2021.1 feature highlights include:

  • Texture Baking Improvements: New features include multiple UV tile baking and animation support, display of the active renderer, multi-edit of the output column, and improved frame buffer display of maps being baked.
  • Arnold as Default Renderer: MAXtoA 4.0.4 includes a new AOV token system for organizing output, animation support for Alembic, and for bake-to-texture workflows, and faster shutdown after rendering massive instances. Users can now export scenes to USD files from the archive tab of the rendering options.
  • Enhanced Modeling Features: Modeling tool improvements include a new extrusion experience for editable poly and the edit poly modifier, in addition to enhancements to the weighted normals modifier.
  • Upgraded Render Settings: Default output size updated to HDTV 720p, and HDTV presets updated to 720p, 1080p, 1440p, and 2160p.
  • Fluid Enhancements: New exposed fluid loader allows users to load and interact data with other systems and objects that operate within 3ds Max. Additional improvements include fixes to the velocity channel.

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