Tuesday, April 08, 2014

12:04 am

Project Overview: Cheetah Power Surge advert
Project InformationSkills and Software
Rendering Engine: Source 2009• Graphic design via Photoshop and Illustrator
Platform: Broadcast TV• Video composition via Premiere and After Effects
Production Time: 7 Weeks• Modeling and animation via Maya

Cheetah Power Surge Commercial


Cheetah Power Surge is a caffeine-free energy drink primarily sold in Canada, advertising an energy boost that lacks the "crash" commonly felt when caffeine wears off.

This thirty-second advert was created as an entry to a contest to win $20,000 if selected as the winner among thousands of other entries. Entries were voted on by the public to increase the chances of winning. Votes weren't the only determining factor, as "judges" ultimately decided the winners, even if the entries were submitted near the cutoff date.

"Cheetah Power Surge - Push your game to the edge"


This commercial was a fun project to work on, as it was created almost entirely in Valve's Source engine. Models were constructed, UV-mapped, textured, animated, and then rendered in real-time, using the Hammer editor as a placement and choreography tool. This was effectively a form of machinima, before the advent of Source Filmmaker and similar tools. I learned about cinematography; shot angles, framing, panning, etc. as well as about the flexibility of shooting in a live engine with an editor at my fingertips. If something needed minute adjustment, it could be done within seconds. Once elements were prepared, even recompiling a model to tweak an animation took less than a minute to bake and import.

I have roots in graphic design and video editing, so this was an excellent opportunity to merge the two hobbies while working on a single creative project. A mixture of Adobe's Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere Pro, and After Effects were used to bring this thirty-second spot to life. Of particular interest are the motion graphics used as transitions between the different colours, as well as the texture on the can at the beginning and end of the spot. The motion graphics were a new experiment for me; through vector path creation, to animated reveals, to object path-following, it was a challenging and rewarding experience. The can graphic was designed using a scanned image of the original as a reference, with the final product mimicking the original very closely. The texture maps even included layered specular maps in order to give different specular reflections for the plastic graphic wrap versus the bare aluminum surface.

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