Time-lapse photography and post-production artistry combined to enhance the life-cycle of a tomato plant in this touching 30-second spot to promote Nature Sweet’s tomatoes as vine-nurtured and handpicked for home-grown taste.
Director, and The Mill NY's lead CG artist on the Pampered spot,
Ben Smith meticulously plotted a series of shots to show a tender
seedling growing into a vine which tenderly pampers and protects
its ripening tomatoes. The blend of live-action and animation
needed the expertise of DP photographer Michel Amado Carpio in
Guadalajara, Mexico. 'Michel took time-lapse photography over 22
days, which provided reference for our animation,' Ben explains.
'From it, we could analyse how the plants actually grew. We also
used some as background plates for the final composite.'
A rough edit followed a two-day shoot in Mexico. 'We cut the
footage and got our broad-strokes idea of timing and pace,' says
Ben. 'We kept the beginning and end, but the middle was created
digitally.' The greatest challenge was to get the tomato plant
appear to grow naturally. 'We had a live plant,' Smith adds, 'so we
could observe how light passed through leaves, and the veins and
hairs that are visible in a macro world. All such details and the
shallow depth of field give the spot its realistic feel.'