A Robot created an advertisement for BAZELEVS

A Robot created an advertisement for BAZELEVS

An article about the shooting of an advertising video for Tele2. Why the crew made their task tougher, how one actor performed two characters in a single shot, and what a tennis ball has to do with it all

The company BAZELEVS together with the visual effects studio CGF present a new advertising video for the mobile service provider Tele2. This video introduces the use of an industrial robot as a groundbreaking new technology to the Russian advertisement community.

In December 2015 the creative agency DDB proposed a task for the production team to show an artist performing the roles of two brothers at the same time in a single shot, one role at normal size one as “the Giant”. The director of the video, Michael Lokshin, decided to make the task even more challenging. It was decided to film the entire action  with a moving camera and “the Giant” had to interact with the standard sized artists and objects to create an even more realistic picture.

 

To solve this problem in the usual way, it would have been enough to film a double in the role of “the Giant” brother, and subsequently the visual effects specialists would have replaced his head with that of the main actor. However this option could have limited the actor’s movements and might have caused certain difficulties with poor proportions of to the bigger brother, which the eye would have immediately caught. So the creators declined this idea.

The production team choose to film the same actor in two camera takes: one on set with normal size furniture, and the second one on a green screen, which would be replaced later with scaled down objects.

  

On the left a tennis ball plays the role of «the Giant» brother, on the right it replaces the normal one.

Ilya Toropov, VFX supervisor of CGF:

«Work started way before shooting with the production of detailed animatics (three dimentional animation videos which simulate movements of the camera and characters). Even before arriving on set we defined the trajectory of the camera movement and the necessary optics. While shooting on the decorated set we thoroughly measured the actual sizes of furniture and the positions of the actors. It was important to us to save the correct position of “the Giant” brother in relation to the surrounding objects when we had scaled them down. He needed to have put the spoon in the cup and hit the table with it in the correct places. To carry this out as precisely as possible we scanned the whole set and created a 3D scene, where we recreated all the details, the actors’ positions and camera movements».

  

Shot from animatic ( on the left);  on the right – the combination of filmed material with the animatic

Shooting of the video took two days: one on set, and one on green screen. During the shooting on green screen and bearing in mind the changed scale the crew decided to use an industrial robot to recreate the trajectory of the camera movement. Despite the wide popularity of robots like this overseas, they are rarely used in Russia due to the complexity of its operation. CGF specialists managed to “tame” the robot and made him repeat the necessary movements over and over again.

Video postproduction was executed within the shortest possible time. While working on material from the green screen the only tasks needed were to repeat the lighting and to put scaled down furniture in the right positions. After that the materials filmed by the robot and by camera were combined with the help of computer graphics.

This utilization of an industrial robot proved enormously efficient and showed the high potential of its use in future productions.

—REATORS:

Client - Tele2 

Creative agency - DDB

Production - BAZELEVS

Visual Effects - CGF