In a collaboration of departments Rushes 3D and MGFX Studio bring to life hand drawn illustrations for Max Factor's Makeover Collection commercials.
Matt Lawrence, Head of MGFX Studio created the Mascara Girl, Hair Brush Girl, Wardrobe and packs using a combination of live action plates, textures and vector paths within After Effects, whilst Andy Hargreaves took care of the pre-vis, flowers and butterflies within Maya.
To create the blossoming flowers in the opening shot was quite a challenge as it meant having to take the static 2D illustrations we were supplied with and make them into three dimensional animations.
Andy approached this in 2 stages, firstly tackling the outlines, followed by adding in the shaded painterly areas. Andy created the outlines by first tracing the illustration in two dimensions within Maya using NURBS curves, which created the basic shell of the flower. He then extruded this into a third dimension as I imagined the flower would be in real life to give it the required volume.
Once he had this 3D network of curves he was then able to animate an extruded cylinder along their lengths to create the illusion of the pen or brush strokes drawing the lines on. The curves also formed the basis of the rough shapes of the petals and leaves which were needed to fill in the coloured sections of the illustrations.
To create these Andy made a selection of NURBS shapes the rough sizes and shapes of the component parts of the flowers which had previously separated and extracted from the original illustrations using Photoshop. I used these sections to texture the NURBS shapes with so that from the right angle the 3D flowers exactly matched the 2D illustrations. The final stage was to use a series of deformers within Maya in order to manipulate the complete model in such away that it would appear to grow and blossom while drawing on screen, with the petals and leaves slowly unfurling from a small bud. This in combination with an After Effects filter on the finished render created a real illusion of a traditional, hand drawn illustration coming to life, but with real depth and volume.
Having created the flowers they then had to be positioned within the live action, timed appropriately and tracked seamlessly. This was no mean feat however since the live action had been shot in a clean white environment with no tracking markers or any real discernible detail. In the end there was no alternative but to track it by hand, estimating the lens size, focal length and camera movement by eye. Fortunately I had some knowledge of the set layout and proportions and was able to use this to help produce a pretty solid result.
Matt Lawrence brought the other illustrations to life through a painstaking technique of vector roto work and biezier curve keyframe animation within After Effects. These were tinted and coloured texturally by pumping sampled textures from the original illustrations through the lines. Animated matte reveals and practical ink footage were then layered into the comps to give a more natural feel to the reveals. Finally clever cross dissolves were planned to lead one illustration into the other across the shots giving a cohesive feel to the final result.
Final composite of the animations was completed in Flame.
Product: Max Factor "The Makeover Collection"
Director: Phil Griffin
Post Facility: Rushes
Rushes Producer: Carl Grinter
Maya: Andy Hargreaves
After Effects: Matt Lawrence
Cinema 4D: Matt Lawrence
3D Pre-Vis: Andy Hargreaves
Flame: Rufus Blackwell
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