Whiskas Purple Cat
TVC: Compositing (Flame)
Whiskas biggest campaign of the year (2009) was the relaunch of Whiskas Tasty Textures for cats, directed by James Holt. The LaB Sydney was asked to design and bring to life a believable 3D purple cat character – Whiskas’ first 3D mascot – and composite this realistically into two 30second TVCs with online collateral at The Cat Lounge (site no longer active). He’s warm and loving, yet cheeky and mischievous, and he knows how to get his Whiskas.
In Flame, Eric Shaecter and I teamed up to for a long process of plate cleanup and matte creation, before we could even sink our teeth into the more meaty (excuse the pun) work of compositing cats, shadows, and interaction between 3D and live-action. Shadows and reflections were particularly complicated to match and blend seamlessly with the existing shadows and reflections shot in-camera. Much time was also spent on shots of the cat eating, selectively replacing food chunks and animating these to work with the motion of the cat. Using a plethora of 3D passes, the cat was effectively re-lit inside flame in order to help the cat sit perfectly with the live-action, fine-tuning and balancing as needed.
In addition to the actual compositing of the 3D, some of the processes we undertook were screen replacement, reflection and refraction distortions, plate cleanup (wire removal, desk cleanup, computer cleanup, set extension), food replacement and animation in 2D, props replacement, and pack replacement.