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SafeAuto “Never Forget”

Posted in Color, Online / Conform, Visual Effects

In this spot for SafeAuto insurance, we made people and things disappear with a puff of smoke.

I did all the effects with clean plates and magic fairy dust. (Ok, Flame helped too.)

After trying a lot of things to get the look I wanted, I found what worked best was to make a single painted frame as a transitional element. This frame was the exact shape of the object or person, but a “smoky” version of it. I then made a couple of smoke particle passes in Flame using the same color, animated to expand outward and dissipate.

To put all these elements together, I edited immediately from a complete plate to a clean plate with the painted smoky plate for a frame or two, then brought on several layered smoke particle passes. I enhanced the overall effect with a little bit of wispy live action smoke, taken from our selection of stock smoke elements.

The hardest part, though, was making all the surrounding elements react in a believable way. The shadow of the car in the parking lot scene, for instance. I had to ask, “what would a shadow cast from a dense cloud of car-shaped smoke look like?” I also had to use the grocery bag element that was shot separately and comp it behind the little details of the shopping cart. I animated a little orange rolling away so that it would have continuity with the next shot.

I also colored the entire spot and added a sun flare at the end where there was no sun before, where the end logo is.