By making enough experiments and big changes in the beginning we were able to come up with a good plan to follow through. It's pretty evident when you compare the colour sketch and the final image."
Art Director Mikko Torvinen of TBWAPHS approached us with an idea for a print. The main concept was to visualize the excitement of watching football - it's like riding a rollercoaster once you have stakes in the game. The brief was accompanied with a basic sketch of the idea, but it was quite evident all the excitement wasn't there yet.
We started fiddling with the concept and pretty soon came to the conclusion that we want to include more of a first person perspective into the picture. Coincidentally Tuomas Korpi and Mikko Vormala had admired the work of Adam Haynes (http://stickfort.com/) just the day before and wanted to include some of his wicked perspectives into the picture.
Mika Rantala did a 15 min hit-and-run type of sketch in 3D just to give us an idea of the basic composition. We presented the sketch to Torvinen accompanied with our ideas for the production. He was convinced this approach will hit the spot and so we got to work.
We started designing the basic form and composition by simply sketching the roller coaster tracks as broad lines. We tested a bit more complex forms with stands and all, but soon decided to shoot down all the extensive fuss. AD Mikko Torvinen was confident that the few core elements with the roller coaster tracks in a stadium like form will communicate the idea most efficiently.
Once we had the composition down Tuomas painted a colour and mood sketch to act as a guideline for the production. "Once I saw the colour sketch I knew this one's going to be good", says Mikko Torvinen.
The Magic Button
While the paintbrush guys were planning the overall look, Jerry Ylilammi was busy preparing the right tools for building the rollercoaster in 3D. Right from the beginning it was evident that the track wasn't going to be built part by part by hand. With around two dozen laps around the court the track would be so complex that doing it manually would rob us of the ability to make enough versions to nail the right form.
Jerry scripted us a proprietary rollercoasterizer tool that automatically builds a 3D rollercoaster track in place of a spline. Mikko Vormala made detailed sketches for the parts of the track and Jerry tweaked the engine to produce the track just as we wanted. Once the guiding splines were in place a press of a button produced the tracks, cross beams and other parts that constitute the roller coaster.
The Rollercoasterizer tool allowed us to make a lot of versions and small changes to the form without prematurely retiring a 3D artist or two. Once we had the perfect form and the magic button had done it's work, we did a lot of fine tuning to the track adding cross beams, flagpoles, lights and other small detail as well as removing some unwanted and overlapping parts.
Once the 3D model started to take it's final form Rami Riihijärvi began to build the materials and lights according to the colour and mood sketch. Besides the base lighting and materials his aim was to produce the right tools for the final compositing to get the right mood and sense of scale in the picture. Most of the rendering passes had very little to do with the final image, but they served a part in making it happen.
Some elements such as the hands and the football scarf were photographed by Jani Karvonen to fit the composition perfectly. We also shoot a lot of reference material, some of them well planned, some of them quick cell phone shots at Linnanmäki while waiting for the kids to complete their carousel ride. It all helped us to get into the rollercoaster state of mind.
The final compositing pretty much began as soon as we had our first 3D elements available and lasted all the way throughout the project. Tuomas and Mikko were experimenting with different lighting moods, skies and colours to give the rest of the team a direction of where to head next. A lot of elements such as the small lights of the track were hand painted in place as well as all the football players.
"The picture was challenging in the best way and it came out really nice.", says Tuomas Korpi. "I'm particularly pleased with how well we we're able to plan the picture in pre-production. By making enough experiments and big changes in the beginning we were able to come up with a good plan to follow through. It's pretty evident when you compare the colour sketch and the final image."
Creatives: Mikko Torvinen, Erkko Mannila, Tommy Mäkinen
Art Buyer/Producer: Kirsi Pärni
Account Director: Teppo Juuvinmaa
Account Manager: Maija Nikkonen-Hilli
Piñata artists: Tuomas Korpi, Jerry Ylilammi, Mikko Vormala, Rami Riihijärvi