WHEN LIMITLESS IMAGINATION COMES TO LIFE
Through its title, “Rebuild The World” sets the scene of the new LEGO campaign – a tribute to imagination and to the iconic brand.
For this project, Mikros MPC teamed up with major players in the industry – BETC, Stink and TRAKTOR, known for the unique universes they create, where acting and scenography are central to the story. The film tells the incredible adventures of an obstinate hunter trying to catch a mischievous and playful white rabbit in a town where anything can happen, fluctuating between realism and surrealism.
“This project brings together several fields of our expertise: character design and animation, environment, compositing which, à la TRAKTOR, are full of life, fun, and colorful,” says Franck Lambertz, Creative Director & VFX Supervisor at Mikros MPC. “The challenge was to convey all the references to the LEGO brand in a semi-realistic world. As such, all the components had to be photoreal but a bit strange.”
The main area of collaboration for Mikros MPC with the directors was the creation of the prime character, the rabbit, in full CG. The rabbit, in addition to all the other characters had to be “directed.” The animators had to decide when and how the characters should appear and what emotions or personality should be portrayed in order to support the overall story and its fast rhythm. Under the direction of TRAKTOR, the team had the opportunity to research how to « humanise » the rabbit by slightly adapting its movement and emotions. Another key factor to the rabbit was the styling of the fur, which took multiple iterations on several layers of hairs to meet a high level of realism, particularly notable in the chasing scenes.
Augustin Paliard, Animator at Mikros MPC commented: “On this movie, the animation work has been dictated by three elements: storytelling, movements and rhythm. We had to always keep these in mind so the right intent was conveyed in every sequence”.
The other key player in this spot is the town itself. The film was shot in Valparaiso, Chili and despite the colour richness of the town, our team worked on every sequence to integrate the elements of the LEGO brand, requiring extensive matte painting and compositing. And on top of enriching the town, the Mikros MPC teams also created many other elements in CG such as all of those in the aerial speed chase, the flames, the rotating head. Eric Lemains, compositor at Mikros MPC, remarks:
“The key technical challenge on the compositing was to blend the surrealist universe of LEGO, where we have flat colours and smooth textures, into a real world. There was a right balance to find so that viewers would still relate to a realistic environment”.
To achieve the right balance between realism and the LEGO brand visual identity, the colour grading played a tremendous role. The LEGO brand has a range of well-defined flatbed colours, so it was necessary to rework them in a photo-real environment. To align with the brand look, it was decided that a scheme of 6 to 8 colours would be used as a reference from the early stages of the creation of the assets and the environment. The grade was instrumental in bringing the final touch to the spot and bring it into the LEGO universe, making it vibrant, without being too saturated, to keep a realistic render.
“The initial brief from Traktor was to maintain the overall colour richness of the images and bring up or down saturations of individual colours to build a coherent and realistic palette. We built colour settings for the visual effects team to visualise a close to final result, worked close to the VFX team all the way and finalised the fine details once post was completed, including finessing the integration of all various composited elements, some shots are 90% live action some are 100% CG all needed to be wrapped in a unique colour space”, added Jean-Clement Soret, Global Creative Director of Colour Grading MPC.
Discover the behind-the-scenes video here: