Sony Bravia – Paint

Jonathan Glazer has directed Sony Bravia’s ‘Paint’, for the ‘colour like no other’ campaign. Working with Fallon and Academy, MPC was charged with post-production including cg animation and fluid simulation for the strikingly colourful ad.

The ad is set on a housing estate where multi-coloured paint explodes like fireworks. The bursts of colour are synchronised to a rousing soundtrack from Rossini’s ‘Thieving Magpie’ and detonate from all manner of locations in and around the buildings. The colour spectrum stretches from red and yellow through to purple and blue. Towards the end of the ad, a anarchic clown adds a human element to proceedings hot footing it away having instigating the paint deluge.

Jonathan involved the MPC team early on in the production process. The first stage was to ‘pre-choreograph’ the firework display and time it to the Rossini piece. This involved much collaboration with the Director, Production Company and firework display designers. MPC then developed a CG pre-visualisation of each scene, using a scale model of Glasgow’s Toryglen Estate, encompassing all firework and camera positions. 3D VFX Supervisor Jim Radford explains ‘The ‘pre-viz’ served as a blueprint for production, and also helped determine which fireworks would be practical and which would be CG.’ The next stage was a comprehensive ‘look development’ process where MPC’s team worked closely with Chris Oddy’s Asylum practical effects house to develop CG versions of a range of paint fireworks including the stalks and bombs of paint seen rocketing from the ground and exploding in mid air. These had to emulate the practical exploding paint later seen on the shoot. This process evolved alongside the practical paint firework tests throughout pre-production. To achieve truly believable liquid that would be indistinguishable from real paint at this scale, the team used Scanline AG’s ‘Flowline’ fluid simulation software.

MPC’s Supervisors fed back information from the 2 week shoot period to the artists in the studio to further fine tune the character of the CG fireworks.

After the shoot, the MPC compositing team, lead by 2D VFX Supervisor, Ludo Fealy, set about removing any trace of the physical effects shoot. This entailed extensive clean-up, eliminating all evidence of the myriad barrels, rigs, cranes, and tarpaulins required to practically shoot the real exploding paint. Much of this painstaking work fell to MPC’s dedicated roto-prep department lead by Alasdair McNeill. Once the plates were prepped, the VFX team set about enhancing the paint explosions seen in the shot footage. Ludo explains ‘During production we undertook a shorter day and half shoot at Pinewood Studios to capture exploding paint elements. These were then combined with the live action and CG to enhance the plumes of colour visible in the shots.’ Skies were also replaced to removing the changeable Glaswegian weather and ensure continuity throughout the sequence; the crowd of onlookers watching the action were also removed.

Graham Bird of MPC added; ‘Sony, ‘Paint’ was a fantastic opportunity for us, not least for the unique, individual nature of what we were trying to achieve, but also for the inspiring level of collaboration between the practical and digital visual effects teams. Similarly, the level of commitment from everyone helped to create a truly spectacular and exciting film.’ The 70 second ad airs internationally from 17th October 2006.

Agency: Fallon, London

Creative Director: Juan Cabral
Director: Jonathan Glazer
Production Company: Academy


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