Comics Creators

Movie Magic


Surely there are regulations against showing one thing in a commercial and pretending it’s a different thing?


Only if it sells a capability or feature that isn’t true, and even then, advertising doesn’t have to be literal. It’s often representational.

Tiny firemen can be shown putting out a raging inferno to represent a treatment for indigestion for example.

But you can sell a car with a real car, a CG car or even a drawing of car. You don’t even have to show a car at all.

Just so long as you don’t claim the car can do things it can’t.


Ok, fair point. Car adverts never tell you what a car can do, so I suppose it makes no difference what they show.


Advertising is about brand awareness and association.

Good advertising doesn’t have to address anything about what the product does as long as it puts that product in your mind in a positive way. That’s why clever and/or witty advertising is so sought after.

Psychologically you have a positive association that makes you more inclined to pick A over B.


Yeah that is long established with things like photos of food. They aren’t what you actually eat, they are treated with stuff that would make them inedible but that doesn’t mean it’s a false claim.

Every depiction is an idealised one, there’s never a messy shop with surly staff, every pint of beer is perfectly poured but that doesn’t equal a falsehood necessarily.


Consider some products:

toilet paper
drain cleaner
sewer servicing
okay, anything to do with poopie!

Do you want completely accurate depiction of function?


It’s likely been a long time since you’ve seen an actual car in an print advertisement. They’re almost all renders. TV advertisements have a lot of renders too. Technology has just caught up with the Blackbird that it can be done much easier.


Having just spent two months on a the tail end of a six month car launch project, anything that makes it easier is welcome!

But what the Blackbird does is greatly improve the on-set process and animation, its a terrific idea done very well.

The actual nuts and bolds of creating a version of the car for the advert itself remains hard work for the CG guys. They get the CAD data from the manufacturer and then have to convert it for a totally different purpose.

That’s a less sexy part of things but it could use an overhaul too, from what I’ve seen. It’s mostly a manual process not an automatic one.


Exciting. Can you talk about which car it was yet? I would be interested to see what you’ve been working on once it’s released.

Oh, I wasn’t trying to say it was easy by any stretch just easier.


We did five models and their regional variations, they’re rolling out the website gradually;

It was a big team and hundreds of shots, like working on a small film. Plus they were doing the configurator section as well. That was were they really needed a streamlined conversion process. The CAD models are much heavier than the presentation/advertising projects need and it takes a lot of effort to intelligently “slim” them down.


Very cool. Any chance the new Type R was one of the variants?


Type-R was just starting up as I left. There’s a small chance I’ll be involved, but I’ll probably be somewhere else by the time would need me.



This stuff from WETA Workshop for Ghost In The Shell is awesome. Proper steampunk engineer work on putting together these models.


After spending so many hours watching the LOTR documentaries, some of those WETA guys feel like old friends at this point.


Also, all I could think of, listening to that particular guy, is where and when the next Flight Of The Conchords gig is.


A friend of mine was visiting ex-colleagues in New Zealand and he visited Weta Workshop, he was introduced to Richard Taylor, the founder and boss of the workshop.

Who turned out to have a spare half hour, so he gave him a personal tour!

Yes, I am jealous.


Not movies but TV:

It was nice to see some traditional model work in the latest series of Red Dwarf. Here’s a little video showing how they 3D-printed the Starbug model.


There’s a lot of mileage left in traditional effects, it’s something that still fits many of the requirements of VFX, if people make the choice to go that route. People still build models, just not as many. The solutions available for productions have expanded.


Yes, I loved seeing some of the models built for the LOTR movies (big-atures, as I think WETA referred to them, because ‘miniatures’ didn’t seem quite right given their immense scale!).

Some of the old BBC Model Unit stuff for Red Dwarf was pretty amazing in its day, and still holds up today I think.