At SWAY, efficiency and quality of work is paramount. Tools should never get in the way of the creative process and the SCRATCH Data-Centric Workflow Solution fits this profile. SCRATCH was brought in at the last minute to replace a competitive DI solution so that the project could be completed on time and within a stable DI pipeline. SWAY has high praise for SCRATCH and the ASSIMILATE team that stayed the course with them.
SWAY Studio, founded in Los Angeles in 2001 by Mark Glaser, is a high-end computer animation and visual effectsboutique that specializes in photo-real CGI and character animation for broadcast commercials. Like most boutiques, they’re always working with a budget squeeze, yet they continually turn out mind-blowing work that keeps the projects rolling in. Their global client list includes commercials for McDonalds, Cingular, Pontiac, Lexus, Honda, and Reebok to name a few.
|Mezzo commercial: Rob Nederhorst of SWAY uses SCRATCH SCAFFOLDS in CONstruct mode.|
Most recently, SWAY developed a commercial spot for Mezzo products in Southeast Asia, the first of two projects awarded by director Joseph Kosinski. Robert Nederhorst, Visual Effects Supervisor at SWAY, could feel the rush of excitement when taking on the challenge of a commercial with a completely computergenerated (CG) environment that was heavy on photorealistic animation and 3D effects, as well as seamless integration of live models into the CG background. «We had approximately six weeks to complete the first commercial that included shooting in 35mm film, creating the CG environment, 2 minutes of tracking, rotoscoping, rig removal, editing, color grading, rendering, compositing — essentially everything, including comps that were incredibly difficult,» said Nederhorst. «When I got into this business, I wanted to work on killer projects with really great people and this was definitely one of those opportunities.»
Nederhorst describes the creative development for this project as one of his more interesting undertakings. «Kosinski met with our team and talked about the methodology and look to achieve. His genius lies in explaining complex yet subtle nuances he wants to achieve and bringing you into his creative vision. He has a clear way of explaining his concepts so that our team could visualize his thinking.» Kosinski’s visual concepts provided the impetus for him and Nederhorst to embark on a scouting trip for sites that would give them a real location from which to create a synthetic yet flawless photorealistic CG environment. «Setting high standards for ourselves, we were on a mission to get the CG background just right, so we actually did a digital scout using Google Earth to find the location we needed. We shot panoramic images of the location so we could base our lighting pipeline on that. In the end, we loaded geographic data into a terrain generator, rotating cameras, and placing the viewer in exactly the right location. It paid off because we got exactly what we needed to create the look and environment the director wanted.»
|Mezzo commercial: Primary color grading in SCRATCH|