Wednesday, 22 February 2012

IGA - Odeur de Pain

Hey everyone,

two new IGA ads recently aired on tv and we can finally show them off!  We'll start with "Odeur de pain", and for your pleasure, here's our most extensive making of so far:

Animation Department:

Animatic 2d
This is the 2d storyboard that Benoit Therriault, our Concept artist, has drawn for the project. This is the step where the clients get the first view of their ads. This is the key moment to comments the camera angles, the general lenght of each shots and see if the storytelling works. In this case, it took 5 versions of the board, including a radical change for the last shot when we see all the floating characters to get the board to a point where the animators could start working without the fear of starting over completely if the clients changes idea.

Animatic 3d
This is the part where basic 3d scenes are created based on the 2d animatic. In this case, we stayed really really close to the original drawings for the blocking of the animation. Sometimes, some shot changes when done in 3d because of technical reasons, so it's important to straighten those possible problem right away in this step. We also make sure at this step that everyone love the camera work because this is when it's "locked" for the rest of the project.

Animation WIP
This is a Work In Progress of the animation itself. The intention (the emotions/actions they show) of the characters sometimes (read often) needs to change as the project move along. Sometimes the changes are from the clients themselves, but it happens that the animators suggest changes aswell depending on their knowledge of the timing of the shots and their general awesomness.

Near Final Animation
This is the final stage of tweaking. The secondary animation are added in (hair, hand animated cloth, simulated cloth, etc.). In this case, some actions changed to bring the project closer to the vision of the client.

Final Ad:
This is the final delivered project.

Miquel Campos, our character TD, is quite familiar with Gear and come up with fancy custom modules and tools for our animators. For those interested, here's some screen cap of some of them:

Character Development:
"Odeur de Pain" was one of the most challenging of the IGA ads because we had to create ALOT of characters for the final scene where they are all floating around the bakery. From the start we had a solid management solution to maker sure we didn't forget a step somewhere for one of them.

The characters were all shaded and textured in a shading scene
 to make sure they were all balanced.
As you an see below, most of the time at this point the characters still don't have their hair setup because those are being built in parallel.

Environment Layout:
Layouts for this project were quite something because they were the biggest, most detailed environment of the whole campaign. In the precedent ads, we usually stayed in a single environment, but this time the camera had to travel through all of the IGA.  We reused alot of the environment from the previous projects, but we still had to work on them to make sure they were good looking in other angles.

Our Vegetables and fruits department, reworked for "Odeur de Pain"
The bakery department

The oven needed quite some work because
we had a full frame on it in the last sequence.
We even named it after our 3d project manager!
Early lighting test

For the hair simulation our artists use curves as guide to create the "brushing" of the hair, also knows as hair cut.  Once they got the main guides in place, an ice setup create strands which follows those curves.  You can see those strands below in the first image. The strands are assigned a color so it's easy to see to which curves they are assigned.  Those strands are then simulated to create mouvement.
Hair is then generated from those strands to make sure every space is filled with a hair.

...sometimes our test render aren't so great..

Annotation on render for further tweak on hair settings
We also had to create "smoke" that represented the smell of the bread.  It was quite a challenge because it couldn't like smoke (fear that the grocery store would seems to be on fire), and it had to look tasty. Yep. Tasty smoke which isn't smoke. hehe.  After several attempt, we ended up with somethings that, we think, fits the description!


By disabling certains element like SSS and subdivision, Arnold's IPR gives us an almost realtime feedback while tweaking lights.

When we have to render the characters in a separate pass, we try to use the background render as reference for lighting or even camera project the background renders on the objects so they bounce colors on the character.

Lighting an exterior was a pleasure in Arnold so we had some fun in 3d instead of using a photo montage/painting.  We also have to keep in mind that in a future IGA campaign, we might have to film the store from outside, so we made sure we had that environment done.

We usually try to render characters in the same pass as the background to get the most out of Arnold's GI bounces, but this time it was too much render for the time we had so the characters were rendered separately.

And just to give proper credit to the team of artist:

Benoit Therriault          :: Concept/Storyboard Artist
Pierre-Hughes Dallaire :: Lead Animator
David Marquis             :: Animator
David St-Amant           :: Animator
Guillaume Pelletier        :: Animator
Miquel Campos            :: Character TD
Mikhail Semionov         :: Character modelling
Isabelle Mainville          :: Texture and Shading
Marc Lebuis                 :: Modelling and Texture
Dominik Kirouac          :: Hair and smoke simulation
Luc Girard                    :: Hair Simulation
Jean-S. Guillemette       :: Modelling, Lighting, Comp
Bruno-O. Laflamme      :: Shading, Lighting, Lead Comp
Sylvain Lebeau              :: VFX Supervisor, Lighting, Comp


  1. Wow, thank you for this insight into your Arnold process.

  2. Great stuff. Beau travail de pro.

  3. Really great walk through on an excellent spot guys - big thumbs up!

  4. Thanks for the insight guys... love your character work!

  5. Thank you for your comments! Very appreciated!

  6. excellent work! just one question: how much time do you had to make this? Thanks!

  7. Hi!
    Thanks for the comments!

    We had around 5weeks with a team of 14 artists.

  8. Amazing work, congratulations.

    Paulo C. Duarte

  9. This commercial was amazing, really, no fanboyism :P
    The first think I thought when I saw the thumbnail of the video in blendernation was "my god, this looks like pixar". I've seen so many mediocre commercials in 3d, this comes so fresh, and even better you share the insights, many thanks!

  10. Nice breakdown of you process

  11. Can't tell you how immensely helpful it is to see your breakdown. Keep up the beautiful work!

  12. Agreed Sebastian , i swear i almost thought it was a trailer for a movie , it reminded me of Ratatuoille from pixar, only better by the way, which software or download did you use , Good work!!!!!

  13. This was great and inspiring post. Thanks!

  14. Very Nice website. I just finished mine and i was looking for some ideas and your website gave me some.2d animation studios