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Creative
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Big Buoy Takes Us Behind the Scenes with TransPennine Express

Big Buoy, 3 months, 3 weeks ago

We take a look at the VFX & 3D behind WCRS' new film

Big Buoy Takes Us Behind the Scenes with TransPennine Express

This 60-second commercial sees TransPennine Express' renewed mission to connect the North to make it greater than it's ever been. TransPennine Express is a vibrant and modern rail operator for the north of England and Scotland.

The 'Where Next?' campaign took great advantage of Big Buoy's resources; the company had its best researchers, colourists, Flame, 3D, and After Effects artists on board to create the final product you now see before you.

Big Buoy began working on TransPennine Express ten weeks before final delivery. Initial meetings took place between Jim Allen (Senior Flame Artist), WCRS (Agency), and Anthony Dickenson (Director) to establish how to bring the idea to life.

Previs started immediately after using storyboards and rough V/O to work out timings and content. Big Buoy’s 3D team created early stage castle models to help get an idea of the pace needed.


While this was happening in the VFX department a photographer was sent off around the UK to get shots of castles, buildings and other textures Big Buoy would need in the final renders.

TransPennine was shot using two different methods. The first was by mounting a camera on the back of a train and filming the track and scenery as the train traversed the UK. The second was the hyperlapse technique which needed a lot of stabilisation in post and the 3D team later deformed the footage to make it more 3D.


The footage which was shot from the back of a train was reversed and Flame artists added in new skies, removed the second train track and centred the remaining one. There was also a lot of clean up involved to remove all the electric cables you would normally see running above a train track.


Big Buoy’s 3D team developed the trains, bridges, buildings, hot air balloons and other elements from the Photographer’s shots. By mapping the textures and images they created polymodels which were then given extra textural elements to give them even more depth.

All the places you see in the advert are real landmarks/towns/cities that the TransPennine Express journeys through.

You can watch the full ad below.


Creative Agency

Creative Director: Steve Hawthorne / Katy Hopkins

Producer: Louise Bonnar

Creative Agency: WCRS

Post Production / VFX

Colourist: Mark Horrobin

Post Production House: Big Buoy

Pre-Viz: Big Buoy

Producer: Stacia Akaba

VFX Supervisor: Jim Allen

Executive Producer: Kristy May Currie

Flame Artists: (Lead) Jim Allen

Production Company

Production Company: All Mighty Pictures

Producer: Mark Harbour

Director: Anthony Dickenson

Category: Services, toursim , Travel

Genre: Visual VFX