Creative team at Method Studios created this innovative commercial
Making of Guitar milk sim by Method Studios
"Milk Life Anthem"TVC
Method Studios recently created TVC ‘Milk Life Anthem’. In this TVC the creative team at Method Studios shown milk in motion through CG Milk reference: In the spot, milk splashes are shown in high speed photography ‘moments’ with little motion blur. In order to establish the right detail, a stills campaign featuring pinup girls in milk dresses by Jaroslav Wieczorkiewiz was referenced.
Additional reference came from videos discovered online. “Bizarrely we even managed to find a video of people rolling around at high speed,” says creative director Dan Seddon, “so we have some pretty good reference.” The team gathered milk splashes during a one day Phantom camera shoot, which were also later used in comp to supplement the CG milk simulations.
R&D: Interestingly, initial tests into replicating the look of milk both as a slow motion splash and in the proposed outdoor setting revealed that it was difficult to achieve the right level of translucency and surface tension. “If we put enough markers we could get a really thin never-ending stretching stream of milk that looks very realistic,” says lead FX artist Andreu Lucio, “but we really couldn’t handle the speed of it, so we had to mimic that with a FLIP solver.” Ultimately, the look was adapted in Houdini for each ‘moment’ - whether that was as a propeller, a parachute or a large splash as someone plays a guitar.
The shoot: A mix of boards and previs informed the shoot for the spot. Method also acquired HDRIs, intending to apply these to their CG milk. But they found that it was almost too realistic and not as beautiful as the spot required (partly because the milk would be seen outdoors rather than in an indoor beauty shoot). Action was capture on the Sony F-55 between 120 and 240 fps. “We liked the lack of motion blur,” adds VFX supervisor Eduardo Alvin Cruz, commenting on the acquired footage. “We had to grow the elements in normal speed realtime, and then freeze the moment very fast. So we were actually fighting those moments with the speeds.”
Shot examples: To make the first milk moment with the propellers, Method tracked the boy and his mother and used crude digi-double stand-ins as placeholders. The milk sim was then run, with continuous tweaks (at first the milk covered up too much of the mother). Although a large degree of accuracy was not built into this ‘roto-mation’, a further technique adopted by Method involved taking 2D roto and extruding that into three dimensions to use as more accurate holdouts during rendering.
The basketball shot proved tricky as the original plan was to shoot the performer from a low angle as if he was mid-rocket launch. Method R&D the milk sim for that angle, but on set this could not be captured, so the sim had to be re-adjusted accordingly.