We partnered with our good friends at CCOM on their 2022 campaign for Southeast Toyota. Baked into the concept was the need to showcase their 2022 vehicles in diverse, elaborate, and sometimes fantastical settings, without needing to source these environments practically.
We were excited to provide the perfect solution by leveraging our expertise on the Unreal Engine in an LED Volume setting.
This had a ton of elements for us to sink our teeth into. It featured a “creatures in their natural habitat” concept that showed off the versatility of the RAV-4, combined with a frozen-in-time VFX element and the need to convincingly re-create these habitats within a studio space.
Our most powerful tool to address this ask was using an LED Volume Wall with Unreal Engine. The LED volume part is simpler- it’s a giant curved screen that used powerful computing and displays to create rich environments
But with Unreal Engine, we were able to create 3D environments, customizable in real time, that communicated with our camera to respond to our camera movement and realistically adjust the background. This technology is commonly used on sets like The Mandalorian because it provides the advantages of a studio without being locked into the limitations of having a fixed background image.
It’s not enough to just stick some talent and the cars onto the set to really take advantage of this setting, though. We utilized extensive practical props and objects that extended the 3D universe from the screen and spilled it onto the stage around the actors, increasing the realism and enhancing the effect.
And the “frozen in time” concept added fun little ripples to every department. Actors had to completely freeze their facial reactions and body movements, often in uncomfortable positions. Props that we imply are in mid-motion had to be carefully placed, sometimes suspended with wires. We also extensively added photorealistic CG elements in post to make the world of the spot feel fully realized.
At the end of the day, the client and agency were thrilled to unlock the creative potential of the technology, because it provided a wide diversity of locations that just wouldn’t have been practical or economical to source in real-life, and even gave us the capability to create fantastical ones (see: family vacationing at the foot of an erupting volcano.)
This project produced a high-end TV campaign for Southeast Toyota, featuring :30 and :15 edits with four unique setups, in just two days of filming.
Artex was responsible for the production and post-production of the spot.
We look forward to continuing our partnership with CCOM to help them translate client dreams into practically-conscious, on-budget realities.