VFX and animation studio Brickyard VFX recently teamed with ad agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners and production company Interrogate on a :30 spot “Big Is On,” for the upcoming 2013-2014 NBA season. Brickyard completed visual effects for the spot, which is currently airing across the U.S. and features hoop stars Kyrie Irving, Paul George, Damian Lillard, Kemba Walker, Jrue Holiday, Gordon Hayward, Greg Monroe, Kenneth Faried, Harrison Barnes, John Wall and Mike Conley Jr.
“We have been working on NBA campaigns with Goodby since 2007 and it never gets old,” said Linda Jackson, producer, Brickyard VFX. “Each year we love the opportunity to highlight some of the game’s top athletes while challenging our artists with unique production executions.”
Brickyard’s lead VFX artist, Patrick Poulatian, provided on-set VFX supervision for the marathon one-day shoot at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). All 11 players were captured completing their signature moves, in addition to choreographed moves which would allow for final-composited shots showing one continuous movement, made up of jump cuts of multiple players in action.
Poulatian then traveled to the Indiana Pacers’ Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, and the Verizon Center in Washington D.C., home of the Washington Wizards. In each location, he shot footage of the empty arena in different lighting scenarios (including full house lights, only the Jumbotron lights, only the ground floor lights, and only the suite lights) as reference points in order to accurately animate the lighting for the final spot. The Brickyard VFX team then generated 2D environments for each player’s home arena to digitally replace the UNLV arena, with multiple lighting animation passes for each. In addition, Brickyard’s designers animated the in-arena graphics that circle the court, customized to match the team branding for each player.