VES Nom for Mattel Hot Wheels Delivers Razzle-Dazzle to Toy Category
Y&R California's "Immersion" commercial for Mattel Hot
Wheels isn't your typical toy spot. "Immersion" takes viewers on a
fantastical action-packed car chase featuring Hot Wheels car models
scaled to real hot-rod size. Y&R enlisted The Mill L.A. to
create an almost entirely CG spot which was so convincing it earned
a VES nomination for Outstanding Virtual Cinematography.
"We wanted to make a fun spot showing toyish cars that were
realistically animated and cool looking," says Felix Urquiza, our
Lead 3D Artist on "Immersion." "We had to find the right look, a
mix between a photo-real world and the more stylized world of our
Working closely with the agency and Urquiza, our Robert Sethi
and Steve Beck directed the Mattel Hot Wheels' stars: Twinmill, the
green hero car which is based on a real-world version of a Twinmill
Mattel built, and competitor hot rods Boneshaker, Urban Agent and
Howling Heat. "Our biggest challenge directing was trying to fit
all the action into a :30 spot," Sethi says. "We tried to show and
go through as many scenarios as possible from the perspective of a
child's unfiltered imagination, rapidly changing and evolving."
Urquiza built the pipeline for the job, encompassing textures,
models, naming conventions, folders, resolutions and more. "It was
tricky dealing with 100 percent CG and no live plates," he
explains. "We started from scratch, took photos for reference, then
replicated in CG. This meant ensuring every little detail, from
color to decals to tire rims, contour, etc., had to be exactly like
the real Twinmill Mattel built.
"For Boneshaker, Urban Agent and Howling Heat we modeled based
on CAD renders of the toy car, finding a balance between toy and
realistic cars," Urquiza continues. "Having to render with motion
blur, full CG environment and full HD, our render time averaged
about two hours a frame."
Beck sums up the atypical toy commercial project: "We're so used to
making commercials that are of a serious nature, and product
focused. This was a chance for us to stretch our imaginations and
have some fun. To make something that appeals to kids and the kid
in all of us. It's a good old-fashioned car chase with sharks!
What's not appealing about that!?"