Director Mark Jenkinson brings us this behind the scenes insight into the making of Lexus 'Swarm', from the important concept stage to the final film.
We were heavily influenced by the Lexus design aesthetics in the involved evolution of the hero characters. In parallel to this, we pre-vised the animations for all shots. These 3D pre-vis co-ordinates were then sent to an electronics company called KMEL in Vancouver, who's bespoke software then interpreted this data.
Filmed in Vancouver at multiple city locations including a public swimming pool, local supermarket, a vintage barber shop, hotel and the famous Museum of Anthropology designed by Canadian architect Arthur Erickson, motion capture environments were created on all sets, in which computers controlled each of the hero characters individually, all flying perfectly in formation, in and around the various set up's throughout the commercial. This unique technological and client work flow solution, was an important practical solution to the brief and with our lead 3D CG artist Mike Chapman and a large team of CG artists, we were able to augment a lot of in camera shots and indeed develop others entirely in CG.
What we end up with in 'Swarm' is a world first. The spot takes existing quadrotor or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) technology out of its typical engineering environment and flies them in real locations. The result is a playful story of quads exploring the city at night, set to a Jonathan Goldstein composed original musical track.