G-Star / Destroy to Construct

We were delighted to be commissioned by Rankin Film to collaborate on this striking new commercial for the G-Star RAW.

Inspired by its design philosophy ‘Destroy to Construct’, the G-Star creative team created a campaign concept that visualises the brand’s design approach. The film marks the second in the series of films for the RAW label. The film stars the Ballerina Keenan Kampa of the Mariinsky Ballet Company and Sergio Pizzorno of Kasabian, who also composed the music for the film.

The film is a combination of stills, live action and CG. The shoot needed much planning, a huge set was needed with a substantial lighting rig to create the over silhouetted super slow motion images. The sequences were shot using two Phantom cameras at 2500fps over several days, the stars were given full body scans in order to capture their exact geometry. This would aid us greatly when we came to perform the explosive takeovers in Houdini. Further shoots captured torn cloth thrown into the air. The team hoped to create an imaginable scene, so the elements needed to feel natural and real.

The elements were conformed and the process of tracking the shots commenced. Due to the linear nature of the film this did not pose too many issues however careful attention was needed in tracking the stars to their CG doubles. We understood the value of creating the film fully within Houdini, so built a character rig for both Keenan and Sergio and the whole sequence was built digitally. This allowed our animators to do some very clever tricks, such as the ripping of the clothes.

Once all elements were matched, further finessing was required. The total effect consisted of a multi layered simulation approach combining cloth ripping, porcelain physics for the face and hands, threads and fur. All of which had to be highly controllable given that Rankin’s vision was one of a continuous stream of destruction and construction.

The final shot proved to be the most challenging, as there is no cut and the transition needed to see wood, metal and guitar strings evolve into bones and clothes. To enable this effect two simulations were required, which were then blended mid point. However, any change to the speed of the running dog or the camera move would require the process to be regenerated.

Final elements such as lighting, texture and shading demanded a real degree of sophistication as the ever changing properties of the exploding materials and elements needed to adapt in a seamless way, without the audience being aware.

The compositing team then went to work bringing all the elements together and adding the finishing touches of this dynamic stylish film.