We partnered with Best Buy’s in-house advertising, and editorial company Butcher Edit to help create a co-branded spot that lands buyers in the middle of HD television football action. For this immersive experience we designed and executed visual effects and huge crowd populations in Chicago Bears Soldier Field where the Best Buy game unfolds.
“The ultimate goal was real game feel and authenticity, with the precision and detail you expect from HD,” says our Executive Creative Director Greg Shultz. “Without a motion control camera and only a five hour shooting window with the talent, we knew that using a single, live action plate replication was not going to work for the stadium crowd. We had to develop a multiple effect strategy that could stand up to the most discerning eye.”
This meant extensive preproduction discussions with all parties to develop the perfect approach to execute the spot. As we teamed up with Director David Ramser and Director of Photography N. Thomas Sigel, we planned to use a mixture of live action crowd plates on location, individual green screen fans shots, and digitally animated crowds.
Above, you can see the the visual effects breakdown for each shot. We have the starting plate that is just the live action footage of Devon Hester from the Chicago Bears in an empty stadium, followed by a hand rotoscoped alpha of Hester, then the crowd animations, which are then tracked into the scene. Finally the alpha is applied, final matching, color correction to the crowd, blur and other atmospheric effects are added in the final composite.
We shot crowd and sideline footage both at the live action shoot with our HD camera as well as a shoot back at our office. These plates were used in the foreground where 3D characters might have looked less than real. The crowd animations were added behind the live action to fill out the background empty seats.