Just add water

Just add water

Former “Daddy”, now Crispin Porter + Bogusky Europe, awarded Syndicate the job of producing, filming and post producing a spot for Autodesk’s AEC software (Architectural Engineering and Construction). The challenge was to deliver a spot with both technical edge and creative appeal for this particular end user.

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A technical assignment showcasing architectural workflow

Björn Benckert, Syndicate creative lead, describes the process:

“I believe every architect or engineer would be quite interested to view the “behind the scenes” for this film. Every shot was previsualized and resembled an architectural schematic. Much of the scenery was designed as individual architectural models derived from the 3D previsualization. Certain elements were designed virtually, then actualized in 3D and shot together with water. It was quite complex since most scenes were shot in individual layers. Each layer had unique proportions. It truly was an autodesk production, with all pre visuals and Milo animations rendered in our proprietary Autodesk 3D Studio Max / Milo plugin. Even the final post production was completed using 3DS Max and Autodesk Flame. The spot was created with nearly all the same tools that were being showcased in the spot. We just added water.”

Driven by the animatic

The limited budget along with the complexity of the camera moves demanded that the shots match the animatic perfectly. Everything was pre programmed in the Syndicate proprietary Milo 3DS max plugin.

The animatic also served as the blueprint for the models that we created for the spot. Our creative decisions were made long before we were in the studio for the actual shoot.

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A few buckets help…

Most everything got wet! Including us! Plus it took time between takes to allow everything to dry. A hot air gun cut the shooting time in half. A few buckets helped as well…..

Controlling the water

The staircase was built in MDF according to the schematics that we designed directly from the animatic. A slight tilt of the set ensured that the water drained properly as well.

Looking ahead

The Syndicate team looks forward to perfecting the art of filming miniature sets. Using 3D models along with organic elements, like water, is an approach that has unlimited creative possibilities.