Kia, Totally Transformed

  • Agency David & Goliath;
  • Production Company @radical.media;
  • Director Colin Jeffery;

MPC LA engineers big change for Kia Hamsters

MPC recently teamed up with David&Goliath and @radical.media on an ambitious overhaul of Kia’s famous hamsters. Directed by David&Goliath executive creative director Colin Jeffery, MPC handled all VFX work and finishing on the spot, which introduces the all-new 2014 Kia Soul.

Totally Transformed follows the overweight hamsters through a total fitness makeover, from the gym to the pool to the barbershop, mirroring the efforts of a Kia engineer as he perfects each element of the new Soul in a far-off lab. 

These dual makeover montages collide in the final scene, where the three now-stylish and svelte hamster mascots swagger from their flashy overhauled Kia Soul onto a red carpet. Colin said of the spot, "With the help of Lady Gaga, some current fashion trends and our friends at MPC VFX, we introduce a sleeker, sexier and more sophisticated Soul. The hamsters don't look too shabby themselves."

The spot will air in cinemas and on TV, with an extended version available on YouTube.

From pre-previs to the final grade, MPC created the hamsters and seamlessly integrated them into Jeffery’s live-action footage. Each shot was pre-visualized with an emphasis on performance, which helped inform the approach to directing actors on the shoot. Special attention was paid to ensuring realism for the hamsters’ look; MPC artists implemented a custom fur and physically-based shader set up to create photo-real characters in live action environments.

The story required MPC artists to push their set-up much further than in previous incarnations of the Hamster series.

A sequence involving a hamster diving into and swimming through water proved to be an engaging challenge for the team, requiring heavy duty real world solutions. “We really wanted to bring the personality out of the hamsters so we built advanced facial and body muscle rigs to achieve fluid integration with the live action,” recalled VFX Supervisor and 3D Lead Andy Boyd. “The result needed to be unnoticeable – like you’ve seen a giant hamster in a speedo and goggles before, and we happened to get some nice shots of it!”

Credits

  • Agency David & Goliath
  • Production Company @radical.media
  • Director Colin Jeffery
  • Chief Creative Officer David Angelo
  • Executive Creative Director Colin Jeffery
  • Creative Director Gary DuToit, Eron Broughton
  • ACD/Copywriter Greg Buri
  • ACD/Art Director Basil Cowieson, Kriss Grove
  • Agency Executive Producer/Managing Director Carol Lombard
  • Agency Executive Producer Paul Albanese
  • Production Company Producer Kathy Rhodes
  • DoP Toby Irwin
  • Editor Angus Wall @ Rock Paper Scissors
  • Assistant Editor Austyn Daines
  • Editorial Toby Louie
  • Special EFX Legacy Effects
  • VFX MPC LA
  • VFX Executive Producer Asher Edwards
  • VFX Producer Nicole Fina
  • VFX Supervisor/ 3D Lead Andy Boyd
  • 2D Supervisor Jake Montgomery
  • Animation Lead Stew Burris
  • VFX Team Charles Trippe, William Schilthuis, Clement Renaudin, Ian Wilson, Jean-Dominque Fievet, Shaun Comly, Hayley O'Neil, Aaron Hamman, Mike Wynd, Jason Heinz, Brendan Smith, Mark Holden, R. Balakrishnan, Felix, R. Rajinkanth, C. Rajkumar, S. Sundaramoorthy. S. Sugumar, Vishai Kaushai, D. Venkatesan, Ganesh Kumar, Jacob Oommen, Sathya Narayanan
  • Grade MPC LA
  • Colorist Mark Gethin

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