ALIEN studio was founded in 2003 in Slovakia and now is one of the market leaders in its country regarding 3D animation, graphics and visual effects. They have produced numerous successful 3D advertising campaigns (animations and prints) for global brands such as Heineken, Coca-Cola, Škoda, Kia or Suzuki and many local clients from advertising, financial or telco segment. Studio even won a prestigious international Award at Cannes Corporate Media & TV Awards for their work on a 12-minute 3D animated film (Odyssey of Energy for Enel).
Pal Pushkash, project manager at ALIEN studio, accepted to share the agency’s work and the VFX breakdown of the O2 Slovakia 2019 Couples Campaign.
How long have you been working for ALIEN studio and what was the level of involvement of the studio in this campaign (did you start to work on the original brief from the client or did you realize the film based on a given-scenario)?
I've been working for two years in ALIEN studio and O2 Slovakia is my main client all that time. We are responsible for the 3D production and together with director Dano Dekan we bring "life" 😊to the campaign :). Mostly we get a concept of the story on paper and then we start with the realization.
How many shots and frames were there in total for the campaign?
There were 20 unique shots for this campaign (main 30“ + 3 x 15“ additional spots). Together more than 1,200 frames were rendered.
What was your schedule to produce
the campaign and how many people worked on it?
We have got about a month for
the 30 second main ad and another month for the rest of the campaign - three 15-second HW ads. So approx. two months in total. I had a team of five people
working on this campaign.
You used 3ds Max + V-Ray: in your day-to-day work and in this specific campaign. To you, what are the main advantages of working with Chaos Group’s V-Ray renderer?
V-Ray gives us predictable results. In final
rendering scenes we have to merge together several plugins (Forest Pack, Ornatrix) with some heavy geometries of animals or fluid simulations from
With V-Ray we can render all those
layers at once without special tweaks which speed up our workflow. Together with director of photography we
could tweak lighting and volumetric effects in realtime thanks to interactive
Sea, animated animals, underwater lightning, textures… What were the main technical challenges of this campaign?
Because all those scenes, meshes, fluid
simulations and hires textures, our scenes became a bit gigantic, thanks to V-ray proxy and it's instancing, we could save a lot of disk size and make it
also easier to send to RANCH render farm.
You used the services of a render
farm, RANCH Computing, to render several shots of the campaign. Why did integrate
them in your workflow and what were the main benefits?
We rendered all shots on RANCH Computing render farm. After using several other render farms, we are finally find one which give us renders we want to see. It means number of wrong rendered frames was minimal, but not zero :). If we had some issues, guys at support service promptly investigated our scenes and gave us tips what we or then need to modify to make some flawless renders. So in next campaing we got zero wrong frames :)
What will be the next steps for the O2 Slovakia campaigns: more animals, more simulations, a different environment…?
I'm curious too but I hope all of above :). Every campaign we prepare something new, environments or characters so we can't wait to accept another (3D) production challenge.