NBC: Super Bowl; The Voice, The Blacklist
MPC LA partners with NBC on two entertaining Super Bowl spots
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Rock legend Steven Tyler got his chance to “Taste the Rainbow” as the subject of his very own Skittles portrait in “The Portrait,” which debuted on Super Bowl 50. From agency DDB Chicago and DGA Award-winning director Andreas Nilsson of Biscuit, MPC LA embraced the absurdity of creating a portrait that talks and sings to impress Steven Tyler, before it hits one of the Aerosmith front man’s signature high notes and literally falls on its Skittles face.
“It was one of those opportunities where you have to pinch yourself, doing a shoot with a rock ‘n’ roll legend like Steven Tyler,” said Jason Schugardt, visual effects supervisor/head of 3D, MPC LA. “It was fun to hear him sing and watch him work. Andreas got a lot of great material from Steven, then we created his portrait in CG, allowing creative freedom with animation and dialog up until the last week of delivery.”
MPC’s team brought the portrait to life in CG, first creating scans of the room, empty frame and bust for tracking, Schugardt explained. In Houdini, they built the portrait with instanced Skittles onto simplified geo face geometry. That geo was then rigged and animated in Maya, and sent back to Houdini to be lit and rendered. 2D artists put the finishing touches on the rendered CG Skittles making them as irresistible to eat as a bag in the hand.
“The stakes were particularly high because the commercial broke on the Super Bowl,” Schugardt said. “DDB’s team and Andreas were a pleasure to work with, and we all pushed hard to deliver a very memorable spot to television’s biggest audience of the year.”