Intel: “The Future of Retail”

ROLE: Senior Flame Artist / VFX Compositor
VENDOR: The Mill
PRODUCTION CO: Imperial Woodpecker
DIRECTOR: Stacy Wall

The Future gets personified in this somewhat humorous spot for Intel, one of a dozen that showcases how their tech aids business and personal experiences.

My big takeaway from this project wasn’t so much the final result, as it was the techniques that went into creating it. The Future was originally supposed to be depicted as a simple glowing person, radiating Intel blue. And that’s how the project was bid and shot. Somewhere along the way, the concept changed, and The Future assumed a more hi-tech appearance.

The problem started with the absence of facial and body tracking markers, which were necessary for the hi-tech animated graphics to adhere to his skin. And of course, since the project wasn’t bid or scheduled for this change, there were no assets in place to handle the task in the given schedule. So a decision was made to tackle these tracks in Flame, using UV tracking and stabilizing techniques, and rendered unwraps with graphics assembled in After Effects.

Overall, probably not the most efficient approach to the problem, given the 12 spots, and the sheer amount of facial and arm articulation in The Future’s movements. But an interesting challenge nonetheless. It took about 2-3 weeks to handle everything, of which I was tasked with leading the charge. And honestly, it was pretty painful. But at the end of it, I had a new set of tricks to apply to any and all future projects (no pun intended).

I also handled some look development on The Future. But that task went through many hands, until The Future’s appearance was agreed upon by agency and client.