Toyota Safety Sense: “Crash Test Dummies: Overheard”

ROLE: Senior Flame Artist / VFX Compositor
VENDOR: The Mill
AGENCY: Saatchi & Saatchi L.A.
DIRECTOR: Speck / Gordon

The Crash Test Dummies look to be out of a job, thanks to Toyota’s new safety features, titled Toyota Safety Sense, included in their latest models. This spot brings back these humorous characters as the punchline to Toyota’s ongoing efforts to make driving a safer experience.

Although shot in-camera, the dummies had to be augmented at the joints and neck to accurately depict real world crash test mannequins. Most of that was handled with CG and Nuke, with background clean ups aided by Flame. I tackled a few of those.

But my main responsibility, other than managing the conform, was look devving and comping the test facility environments. Various split screens, CG extensions, and matte paintings were used to extend the space, which was originally shot in a hanger.

Tracking and integration were particularly challenging. The foreground interior hallways were separate from the warehouse car plates, neither shot with motion control. So various retiming and hand tracking techniques had to be used to fit these square pegs into the round holes. Thankfully, some of these shots were lock offs, or had minimal camera moves.

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