After pitching against some top international motion design houses; sauce FX studios (SFXS) was very pleased to help Ogilvy Tokyo realise their vision for Citizen's latest product watch product, the CB0011-51L.
SFXS identified the "look" that the client and agency was going for early on. "We saw that Andy and the creative team at the agency had the storytelling well mapped out and that it was our job to bring it into a state of realism that would lift it out of the ordinary." explained Marten Coombe, creative supervisor for the SFXS creative team. "The angle from our point of view was to utilise a very filmic way of using the digital camera and lighting", Marten continued.
In the early stages of the project Marten and Joe Churchill, SFXS's senior Lighting TD, worked on visual samples to give the client a way to view what was going on creatively in their heads. "Joe has a very good eye for lighting products" Marten pointed out. Joe spent a lot of time researching exactly how both jewellery and car commercials were shot in a studio situation. In the end Joe opted to produce a lighting set-up that closely matched a studio environment, creating digital versions of Box Lights, reflectors and "twinkle lights" that are used to add pinging highlights to jewellery.
The SFXS team went to extreme lenghts to get this watch right. Starting with CAD models Tynan Sampson, lead modeller on the project, went through each piece rebuilding it down to the smallest parts. The CAD model was accurate to 16 decimal places but completely unusable as an animation asset. Tynan spent almost a week working on the main casing of the watch with it's complex and sweeping interconnected curves.
Though the lighting and modelling were a huge part of the final effect the text parts represented a considerable challenge especially in the early part of design phase.
“Andy had a very clear view of what he wanted for the movement of the text, sighting “dust devils” as the feel he was going for” commented Marten. This led to an investigation of how SFXS could best achieve this effect, as tornado styled particle simulations have many millions of chaotic elements. The text had to remain legible for a good portion of the commercial.
Matt Lumb, the dynamics technical director on the project, had the task of making it happen. He ended up completing 3 full rigs before settling on the one that allowed SFXS to get both the legibility and the freedom of motion that Andy was looking for.
The Citizen CB0011-51L TVC is currently airing across China, Asia and soon parts of Europe.