A horde of ASICS-clad runners converge on a vast all-terrain mountain in ASICS biggest ever brand campaign, ‘Its a Big World. Go Run It.’ Directed by Chris Sargent through Somesuch and conceived by 180 Amsterdam, the spot features extensive VFX from MPC including CG runners and multiple matte painting shots.
ASICS brings together every kind of running tribe from all corners of the earth, creating an awesome spectacle of trail, road, endurance and even ice runners coming together like armies. Each runner displays their unique approach as they head towards a mountain constructed of every kind of running terrain. MPC’s VFX team created the structure in CG, adding to the look by layering up multiple 3D matte paintings.
Director Chris Sargent said of the process, "Working with MPC was a wonderfully collaborative experience. It was consistent and productive. Sharing at it's best. It never wavered in direction - that being forward and upward. They were creative in their thinking and cared about the project as much as possible. It showed in their hard work and absolute dedication to realism vs. completion. I couldn’t be happier with the process as much as the final result."
VFX Supervisor Franck Lambertz led the epic proceedings, “The multiple location shoot was challenging but Chris came back with such stunning footage it was easy for us to follow his lead and embrace the spirit of the spot. New Zealand’s Mount Alfred was transformed to merge all the sporting conditions – a sort of ‘super mountain’ that could never exist in the real world. We worked closely with 180’s creative team and Chris to avoid a segmented look and instead embraced the mountains natural shape to justify the different vegetation and weather.”
New Zealand provided the perfect location for shooting the various terrain, with Queenstown providing lush forests, sandy desert and snow, all converging on the peak of Mount Alfred.
The VFX team recreated the mountain in CG, so that it was possible to see the different terrain and locations the runners have crossed. The task was a very intricate one, adding 3D DMP layers to ensure the mountain looked completely realistic throughout.
Although the spot stars many real-life athletes, to create a veritable army the team looked to CG software Miarmy. The CG crowds were programmed to perform specific actions, and to avoid each other with continuous collision detection. The runners were designed by the VFX team in intricate detail, right down to the cloth textures and colours, before they were integrated into the Miarmy software. 2D crowd replication techniques were also used, which involved isolating action from certain takes to choreograph more runners into the hero scene.
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