Prime Focus has completed the 3D and visual effects for a striking commercial for 'Play', a new masculine fragrance by Givenchy. The ad features the music of Justin Timberlake, the face of the French fashion brand.
The 15-second commercial is deceptively simple yet required great attention to detail and was produced entirely using digital techniques. It features an accurate representation of a waveform synchronised to the audio track for Justin Timberlake's single 'Sexyback' and a 3D model of the fragrance bottle.
"The challenge was to create a visually interesting ad with just these two elements," explains Maya artist Bryan Servante. "We were given two physical bottles - each featuring a different tint - from which to create the digital models from scratch."
The bottle design was inspired by mobile multimedia gadgets - with play, fast forward and rewind symbols - and appears to pulse with the soundtrack. Bryan Servante and Lucy Luong then modeled, textured, lit, animated and rendered the 3D bottle model using Maya software.
Flame Artist James Maclachlan began creating the sound waveform as an animatic in After Effects. "I took data from the waveform and used a series of expressions to animate individual shapes which matched the audio," he explains. "The client was looking for the waveform to follow a conventional waveform shape 80% of the time, and to adhere to the shape of the bottle in other sections."
The animatic was exported to Maya for Servante to displace the lines over, and around the bottle model. In the original design the waveform was to be black while the bottle and background were going to be white. But this colour scheme was swapped around during production.
"As it was monochromatic we had to keep it interesting and make sure it wasn't ‘muddy'," explains Maclachlan. "We performed lots of passes to give the director very detailed control. There was a different pass for every light and spectacular effect."
The elements were then taken for final compositing in Flame by James Adamson, accompanied by further light adjustment, lens flares and a shallow depth of field to set the final look. To avoid loss of quality all the elements were rendered in HD. With a total of 60 HD layers it became the biggest pack shot Prime Focus London has ever created.
Producer Juliette Stern of Production Company HSI London says: "What began as a subtle, graphic approach to introduce the new 'Play' fragrance from Givenchy developed into a luxury, glossy and lacquered reality. We were delighted with our cross-channel collaboration, which was ultimately a brilliant opportunity to work with a fantastic team of people."
Project: Givenchy 'Play'
Client: DDB Paris
Production Company: HSI London
Director: Robert Hales
Producer: Juliette Stern