The Nation's Health + [Kia Motors]

MPC Engineers Big Change for Kia

MPC recently teamed up with David&Goliath and @radical.media on an ambitious overhaul of Kia’s famous hamsters. Directed by David&Goliath executive creative director Colin Jeffery, MPC handled all VFX work and finishing on the spot, which introduces the all-new 2014 Kia Soul. Watch the original spot HERE.

Totally Transformed follows the overweight hamsters through a total fitness makeover, from the gym to the pool to the barbershop, mirroring the efforts of a Kia engineer as he perfects each element of the new Soul in a far-off lab. These dual makeover montages collide in the final scene, where the three now-stylish and svelte hamster mascots swagger from their flashy overhauled Kia Soul onto a red carpet.

From pre-previs to the final grade, MPC created the hamsters and seamlessly integrated them into Jeffery’s live-action footage. Each shot was pre-visualized with an emphasis on performance, which helped inform the approach to directing actors on the shoot. Special attention was paid to ensuring realism for the hamsters’ look; MPC artists implemented a custom fur and physically-based shader set up to create photoreal characters in live action environments.

The story required MPC artists to push their set up a step further than previous incarnations of the Hamster series. A sequence involving a hamster diving into and swimming through water proved to be an engaging challenge for the team, requiring heavy duty real world solutions. “We really wanted to bring the personality out of the hamsters so we built advanced facial and body muscle rigs to achieve fluid integration with the live action,” recalled VFX Supervisor and 3D Lead Andy Boyd, “the result needed to be unnoticeable – like you’ve seen a giant hamster in a speedo and goggles before, and we happened to get some nice shots of it!”
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Credits:
Brand and Product: Kia | 2014 Soul
Title: “Totally Transformed”
Length and versions: :90, :60 and :30

Agency: David & Goliath
Chief Creative Officer: David Angelo
Executive Creative Director: Colin Jeffery
CD/Copywriter: Gary DuToit
CD/Art Director: Eron Broughton
ACD/Copywriter: Greg Buri
ACD/Art Director: Basil Cowieson
ACD/Art Director: Kristian Grove Møller

Executive Producer, Managing Director: Carol Lombard
Executive Producer: Paul Albanese
Managing Partner, Client Services: Brian Dunbar
Group Account Director: Brook Dore
Account Director: Justin Manfredi
Account Supervisor: Nancy Ramirez
Account Executive: Kammie Dons
Associate Strategic Planning Director: Steven Garcia
Sr. Planner: Armando Potter

Production Company: @radical.media
Director: Colin Jeffery
Executive Producer: Frank Scherma
Producer: Kathy Rhodes
Director of Photography: Toby Irwin
Production Designer: Brock Houghton
Wardrobe Stylist: Christina Blackaller

Special EFX: Legacy Effects

Editorial: Rock Paper Scissors
Editor: Angus Wall
Executive Producer: CL Weaver
Producer: Toby Louie
Assistant Editor: Austyn Daines

VFX: MPC
VFX Supervisor/ 3D Lead: Andy Boyd
Compositing Supervisor: Jake Montgomery
Animation Lead: Stew Burris
Animator/ Rigger: Ian Wilson
Animator: Jean-Dominque Fievet
Lighter(s): William Schilthuis, Shaun Comly
Texture: Hayley O’Neil
Modeler: Aaron Hamman
3D FX: Charles Trippe
Tracking: Mike Wynd
Compositor(s): Clement Renaudin, Jason Heinz, Brendan Smith
Smoke Artist: Mark Holden
Roto: R. Balakrishnan, Felix, R. Rajinkanth, C. Rajkumar, S. Sundaramoorthy. S. Sugumar, Vishai Kaushai
3D Tracking: D. Venkatesan, Ganesh Kumar, Jacob Oommen, Sathya Narayanan,
Telecine: Mark Gethin
Executive Producer: Asher Edwards
VFX Producer: Nicole Fina

Record Label: Interscope Records
Artist: Lady Gaga

Sound Design: Hammers Project
Sound Designer: Johannes Hammers

Music Editing: Massive Music

Audio Mix: Margarita Mix
Mixer: Nathan Dubin

Magazine Covers Courtesy of:
Wired / Condé Nast
Rolling Stone / Wenner Media LLC
Men’s Health / Rodale