October 23, 2007


The goal was to convey the reality of a giant pop-up book, with stage hands turning enormous pages that change the scenery around the actual RX350. Physical props were just not practical for a spot like this. The book would measure over 20 feet tall and the weight of the pages and the pop-up extensions would be too great - not to mentioned the concept of performing the page turns in realtime to create a :30 commercial.

Production, instead, built a giant, full-sized book frame for greenscreen, with tabs and wheels that could be manipulated by actual stage hands. The actual pop-up book, with moving parts, was just six feet high and was then married to the greenscreen frame at A52.

Flame and Smoke were used to rotoscope the different pop-up pieces, which were then composited together in Flame. For the city scene, A52's CGI artists recreated elements in Maya using high-rez stills from the shoot as textures, and tracked them to the live-action. Live-action passes of the Lexus, capturing reflections and shadows, were also combined in Flame, and virtual holes were created for the pop-up book's pages in Maya.

A52 artists added additional touches as well, including tabs and wheels for the book using Maya. Flame was used for additional reflections, titles and color grading. Autodesk Smoke handled final assembly.

Butcher edited the spot, which includes original music and sound design by Venice, CA's Robot Repair. Juice in Santa Monica provided the final mix.