Nissan’s latest commercial showcases the new cutting-edge technology and safety features of their 2017 Altima and Rogue models. The cars coast above downtown LA on stunning moving highways crafted by MPC’s world-class VFX artists. The ads were graded by MPC colorist Kristopher Smale.
MPC collaborated with Zimmerman, Moondog director Gerald Morrow and VFX Supervisor James McEwen on the project, pulling out all the stops –MPC’s LA studio led the charge on VFX and color grading, with the New York and Bangalore teams contributing to different aspects of post-production as well.
Here, MPC Creative Director Rob Hodgson describes the exciting challenges and opportunities the project posed:
“Our objective on this project was to create a science fiction world of moving highways while demonstrating the very real features of the new Nissan vehicles. Zimmerman and director Gerald McMorrow were looking for a team to create feature film level visual effects in the style of Dr. Strange and Inception, all within the tight schedules of commercials.
We created a blueprint in previs for our shoot using artists in both LA and NY offices based on director boards - our plan was to shoot beautiful footage in camera of our hero vehicles, while leaving enough compositional space to replace up to 90% of the screen area.
Our on-set team was to gather photogrammetry, survey, HDRs for creating and integrating background highways, buildings, and generic background vehicles. Some shots called for full CG hero cars from the start while others would be switched mid-post to help with massaging camera moves.
We shot anamorphic, which always adds to the technical challenge, and created simple postvis from the footage, then paint-over hero frames to determine blocking and spatial movement, taking out countless iterations of layout and animation. Rotoscoping, camera tracks and match moves were shared between LA and Bangalore offices.
With Dave White, Clement Renaudin and Mike Wynd heading up the 3D team, Toya Drechsler leading the 2D team, Matt Olmon producing and Kris Smale coloring the piece, the LA team went the extra mile on this project to maintain the quality through a tight schedule.
Most of the crew had not yet seen La La Land, but a section of our spot was shot on the same elevated section of freeway (the highest in LA) featured in the huge opening number of that film. The main street we shot on downtown was also one of the locations in Inception.
Two team members had worked on Dr. Strange and Inception so we felt particularly qualified to work on the project.”
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Mike Wynd, Dave White, Clement Renaudin
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