Half imagined and half real, the idea was to use the environment as the opposing character in the story of each athlete. A big design challenge for the films was to find the right balance of reality and imagination and set the right tone.
Even though it was the middle of summer in Montreal, the spots were shot on location, giving it better framing reference for the final vfx backgrounds, and more realistic lighting for the talent and in camera elements. For the most part, the weather cooperated, with overcast clouds providing the flat lighting that was needed. When the sun did come out, silks we used to diffuse the light and create the same effect.
The guys at Intrigue-FX provided some great practical ice and snow elements for the foreground, which worked really well as a starting point for the VFX work.
Lead 2D Artist Westley Sarokin notes, "Adidas is a perfect example of what can be created when every aspect of client interaction, production, and VFX all come together perfectly. Shooting the scenes in practical environments with natural lighting rather than in a studio on greenscreen ensured that all the performances looked real. Using a combination of CG environments, matte paintings, and atmospheric elements, the world we created looks fantastic but believable, with just the right amount of naturalistic art direction that allowed the films really come together."