Mantra rotoscopes Miller Lite spot to reflect design, branding change

Mantra, Creative Group's design and visual effects boutique, recently retooled a Miller Lite spot that had been shot prior to a branding and packing redesign by the beverage maker, conforming it to the new look.

Mantra devoted three teams to various aspects of the project, including one responsible for rotoscoping and 3-D tracking, another 3-D team for building and moving and a third for final compositing work.

Mantra built a new Miller Lite bottle, tracking it along with the commercial's action and the talent's motion, and replaced the Miller Lite label anywhere it appeared in the shot. Replacing the label entailed rebuilding a brand-new bottle, placing ice and moisture around it, and then adding it back into the scene.

Lead 3-D animation director Jinchao Li took the existing scenes as shot and recreated their environments in 3-D. He then added lighting effects to match the original look, which allowed him to properly reflect the light off the bottles that were replaced in each scene.

Artists also had to rotoscope the spot wherever the bottles were and then cut the current images out. They recreated a new 3-D bottle, which was tracked and patched into each scene.

Mantra completed the work in 10 days, working out of its Manhattan-based facility and partnering with its studio in Beijing, China. Helping the team complete the project was an array of software tools, including Adobe Photoshop, Adobe After Effects, Autodesk Maya and 3ds Max for the build and Final Cut for the reconform and output.

Once the spot was completed, it was delivered in HD to ESPN's transmission headquarters via satellite for airing during “SportsCenter” three days later.

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