Uli Meyer Studio – Domestos “Touch Me”

This commercial was made at Uli Meyer Studios, my role was senior compositor. 3D generalist and lighting TD Mark Bailey took the animated shots and brought them alive in Maya.
I used After Effects and Nuke for compositing. After Effects was used to stabilize some of the footage with its warp stabilizer, and handled the pack shot animations easily. Nuke was used through out for all the CG compositing. The live action shots required some cleanup and rig removing along with tracking points needing to be painted out, I first used SynthEyes to do a camera track this was very useful for some of the tracker removals as I would convert 3d points into 2d ones and attach my paint strokes to it. This workflow allowed the plate to be cleaned very quickly. I also used the tracking data to create a new floor and some geometry of the toilet inside so I could project some dirt and muck onto the live action plate. Geometry was created in Maya, and all projections done inside of Nuke for convenience and flexibility. Most of the CG was graded with mattes or subtraction of passes on the beauty and re-addition of the same pass that we wanted to adjust, this workflow was preferable for Mark as he had the time to tune his materials and lighting of shots to produce a very good looking render. Our renders were all done in house using Smedge, during the first couple of days I spent the time setting up each machine to be consistent with the software we were using and to pull all our plugins from a network source rather than locally. I also created a customized Nuke interface for submitting jobs to Smedge and for our gizmos along with bench-marking and prioritising machines for particular jobs . During the job I render wrangled and made sure we had the resources to get the job out in a timely manner. The fun part obviously was working with Marks renders. I setup a system of taking his Mattes and filtering them into my own channels in Nuke, I knew a certain amount of them would be standard and could be reused through out other Nuke scripts. This worked well in that most of my scripts were grade nodes using a channel for the matte. It kept the script tidy and compact, I would also leave notes in the nodes to make it clearer still what was going on. We added quite a lot of atmosphere to the shots with glows, trying to boost a wet look on the germs, and in camera effects like motion blur and depth of field. Mark worked very hard to make the Motion vector pass work exactly as it should and I have no doubt if it was the newer version of Maya that we were using it would have been easier but due to the germ rigs and associated scripts/ materials we were forced to use Maya 2009.

Mark Baileys website.