VHQ delivers VFX for Limca and Mahindra Maxximo TVCs

By ANIMATION XPRES... | 24 September, 2010 - 18:15

VHQ Singapore has done the VFX for the latest Limca ad film being aired in India. A team of 6 artists took about 5 weeks to complete the project. The scope of the work includes creating objects in CG and making them burst like a water balloons.

The ad uses playful romance along with great music to create a charming and impactful film. The TVC opens with a girl reading a book in her balcony and a boy standing outside her house sipping Limca. As soon as the boy takes a sip of Limca, the girl's book bursts like a water balloon. Now, everything the girl touches turns into water. The girl is all drenched and angrily walks toward the boy. By the time she reaches the boy, his bottle of Limca is over but the girl does have her own Limca. She reciprocates with a sip and this time the boy's bike bursts like a water balloon and to this both share a laugh.

Speaking to Animation Xpress Asia Pacific William Woo, Post & VFX Supervisor, VHQ Singapore said, "The agency always has a new concept for Limca every year which is a big challenge in post. And Vinil was the story telling director so we had to work with him closely for the fx part. This way I feel it gives the film a better outcome. He can take care of the acting and I can take care of the VFX. So it was great working with both of them."


The team was involved from the script stage so they did a lot of preproduction with production house. Since they experimented with different ways of the balloon used on set bursting and locked on one before the shoot, they could save a lot of time in terms of the visual effects. It was important for the VFX Supervisor to make sure that the camera angles of the talent are correct with respect to the object that will be created in CG as well take care that the layers were right, i.e. clean layer, balloon layer and the talent layer.

William said "We shot the balloons with the talent so we could get the water to interact with them. But since we were required to replace the balloons with 3D objects, some of the layers had to be on green screen. But of course some part has been shot at the location itself where we have done some clean up. Water is the most difficult to key out so some times we have shot against black also." The team also faced the challenge of creating 3D objects, water in the shape of the object, controlling the way it bursts and making it all look natural.

For the Mahindra Maxximo ad, VHQ worked with Milestone film, with whom they have collaborated before. The ad shows a giant robot taking a container and out running a truck finally transforming in to a Mahindra Maxximo. A team of 12 artists worked on the project for 8 weeks.

William shared, "In the beginning the preproduction was quite a challenge. We went for the recce and had to decide how big the robot would be. We also needed the truck sizing to be correct, like the windscreen, tires, the engine, so it can't be too big like in the Transformer movies."

The team had to resolve important issues like the size of the robot. If the robot is very big when he picks up the water, it would have looked very easy task for him and that is not what the agency wanted. Also they had to give the robot long legs which would make it easy for him to catch up with the competitor's truck. However the robot couldn't be too tall, because then the framing of the shot would be empty. Since everything was so fast moving, a green screen was out of the question.The shot where the robot transformed into the truck was especially challenging since it required a lot of heavy modeling, animation details and realistic VFX timing in order to achieve a believable and convincing look.