Heliguy & Method Studios Encapsulate Life Without Pain for Panadol
Grey Group Singapore's idea for Panadol's new global campaign was ambitious. The agency wanted to use Panadol's distinctive capsule shape as a visual metaphor. The aim was to present the unique capsule shape of most Panadol products as an astonishing capsule-shaped planet.
From this planet, it would launch its stories of the real-life situations that Panadol helps to keep going even when pain has struck. Grey also wanted to integrate capsule shapes into the live action footage, to underline Panadol's role in allowing "life to take place" regardless.
Method Studios' creative team in Sydney and director, Richard Swan, were engaged to unravel the question of how to unlock the idea. And Swan brought in Guy Alexander and his team from Heliguy.
Says Alexander: "Richard came to me with a very ambitious project combining large drone elements that would capture the action and provide plates so they could model the environments to blend in with CG effects and shape them together into different circular worlds. Planning was critical to any success and we went through a heavy R&D process with our engineers to find the right fit with lens and super high res camera platforms.
"This was in consultation with award-winning DOP, Benjamin Shirley. It's like nothing we have shot before. Nor have I seen anything like this done in drone cinematography across the globe. It was amazing to see the transformation from what we shot and the end result. The team at Method did an incredible job combining all these elements."
The challenge was twofold. Firstly, the team had to make the capsule hyper-realistic, which meant that the film combined multiple effects and techniques. Matte painting and CGI landscapes were perfectly mapped on the capsule shape to create a realistic world. Secondly, the film had to feature "life taking place" in very different environments, adding in live action material.
Alexander and his team at Heliguy used their drone to photo-scan environments, so that they could be digitally recreated. This CG footage was blended with live action to create the pill-shaped world. The drone was also used to shoot four different scenarios using motion tracking.
Says Swan: "Having access to the drone to gather this data was crucial, allowing a patterned sweep of the entire set location. The resolution and clarity of the footage it captured was perfect for recreating 3D photo scans of the environments, which could then be used for extending the shot footage and stitching the tracked camera into an extended version of the shot."
Method Studios added additional capsule-shapes into all scenarios -- the paddleboards, the lunch table, the blueprint, and the stadium. This live-action had to be integrated seamlessly into the CGI environment. Then movement was added to everything so that the planet moves in unison with the camera, and one scene moves into the next, creating the perfect flow.
Says Tyrone Estephan, executive producer, Method Studios: "It was a real privilege to be part of this collective of people. Everyone made major contributions along the way. It was a truly collaborative project, with talented people having fun with the creative and technical possibilities explored."
Heliguy has also recently completed work for the BBC's David Attenborough narrated Planet Earth II, the feature films Breath and Jungle, opening titles for feature film, Looking For Grace, plus commercials for RM Williams, Hyundai Santa Fe, Tourism Tasmania, Foxtel Broadband launch and Opera Australia.