The making of Honda ‘Hands’ fxguide

18 Jun 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on The making of Honda ‘Hands’ fxguide
Bike Honda Elysium

August 28, 2013

With more than six million views on YouTube, Honda’s ‘Hands’ commercial has been watched and re-watched by everyone from racing car enthusiasts to leaf blowing gardeners. Such is the incredible scope of the extended spot, which features a set of hands folding, twisting and turning iconic Honda products from over the years.

We talk to some of the VFX minds behind the TVC – Nexus Productions technical director Dave Walker . Analog Studios director Mike Merron and Analog lead 3D artist Simon Reeves – about how they filmed with real hands, proxy models and then created the final Honda icons in digital form.

fxg . Where did you start with a project like this?

Dave Walker, Nexus . The way we split it up was Nexus (which was also the production company) did a lot of the previs and the animatics stage and then shared animation with Analog. We had a script and general idea from Wieden + Kennedy. We did the storyboards and turned that into a board-a-matic so that we had some rough idea of timings.

Bike Honda Elysium

And from there we started doing some more live action tests – actually just recording the director’s (Adam Foulkes and Alan Smith) hands on a 5D with some proxy objects. We planned it out pretty minutely really, what hand was going to be where, what action we needed to do to get the transformation into the next object. At the same time Analog did lots of tests of tracking data.

Mike Merron, Analog . After having thought about this being a tricky thing to achieve seamlessly, internally what we started doing was shooting our own tests with a fixed POV and trying to figure out how we could track through different cuts. And also exactly what the hands were holding, knowing they’d need to animate and move and guide animation. We ended up cutting out little bits of cardboard and stitching them together and making little rigs and shooting that to see if we could track to it, and also what happens if we had say a little motorcycle and needed to make it the size of a car.

We messed around with different bits of foam and tracking markers and cardboard and we’d cut it up and then try and use some sort of crude mix and overlay method to get the hand in the right kind of position, drop in another section of tracking geometry and then continue the motion. To make sure that was working, we had to get that straight back into Nuke, and using the warp tools we had to stitch and patch our way through different takes. It was working pretty well even on basic models and little metal toy cars with tracking markers.

Watch Analog’s making of video for the spot.

Bike Honda Elysium
Bike Honda Elysium

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