SWAY Studio has a well-earned reputation for standout photo-real car work, and a recent project for Lexus, via Team One, allowed the studio to take its high-end, broadcast quality work into the interactive space. For its first collaboration with Lexus and Team One, SWAY created more than a dozen demonstration movies marketing the high-tech features of the new Lexus HS250h luxury hybrid. The demos depict the Lexus hybrid driving through minimalist, hyper-real city, urban, and country environments. The project, which called for some 300 VFX shots in six weeks, came with a unique and varied set of challenges. According to SWAY VFX Supervisor Aaron Powell, "We started the project with very little to go on, aside from the CAD data of the car." Fortunately, the agency was very open to creative collaboration. SWAY brought in Art Director Serge Machial to assist with concept development. "Team One was very receptive, and it helped our team, who were working on the previs," Powell says. "As is the case with so many projects these days, we were up against a tight deadline so any time we could help speed up the process we jumped right in." "The incorporation of a great deal of motion graphics into nearly every shot compelled us to develop an appropriate pipeline with the partner company supplying most of the motion graphics," adds Powell. "This included 3D, After Effects, and Nuke. In the end, with three different color variations on the car, we had produced about 18 minutes of demos. Lexus was so happy with the results that they want to use some of them for broadcast as well." "We shattered all of our previous records in terms of how fast and efficiently we got this done," says SWAY Founder/Creative Director Mark Glaser. We're constantly adapting and evolving. This project was a surge forward in our throughput capability." One example is SWAY's work for Mini this summer: an all-CG HD broadcast campaign, a first for that car-maker. SWAY brought its talent, skill, and efficiency to bear on the project, completing three spots in four weeks. "We did some really fun, aggressive driving on that one," Glaser says, referring to the SWAY's Drive-A-TronTM technology. Among SWAY's other recent automotive milestones was the first-ever all CG driving shot for BMW.
Agency:Team One, Venice, CA CD:Jon Pierce, Tim Meraz, Phil Glist AD: Vince Murray CW: Madu Kalyannaraman Product Specialist: Robert Jordan Account Executive/Product Specialist: Michael Matsumura Management Supervisor: Ryan Payne Account Executive: Nicole Peyraud Associate Project Manager: Dana Philp Project Manager: Pilar Leff Business Affairs: Janet Anderson Broadcast Coordinator: Robin Alpers Visual Effects: SWAY Studio Creative Director: Mark Glaser VFX Supervisor: Aaron Powell CG Supervisor: Marko Mandaric Art Director: Serge Machial EP: Meredith Machial Producer: Jason Cohon Production Coordinator: Aaron Abt Artists: Art Sayan, Cesar Chavez, Steven Wang, Rob Glaser