Issue: Animation - Jun 16, 2003


NEW YORK - Visual effects house Spontaneous Combustion ( ) provided the effects and animation for the new fruit snack Gushers spot "Karate," which blends live action and CG effects. In "Karate," two kids become so overwhelmed by the fruity flavor their heads are transformed into fruit.

Spontaneous had to replace the children's heads with a CG watermelon and orange, a task made more challenging because the kids are doing a martial arts routine, flipping twisting and jumping. The children's faces were texture wrapped with the fruits' shape to blend seamlessly. In addition, the shadows cast by the children in the live action shoot had to be augmented to reflect the fruit shaped heads. Softimage|XSI, running on a mix of PC-based and SGI Onyx workstations, was used for the CG work and Discreet Inferno for compositing.

Saatchi & Saatchi, New York, conceived the spot; David Jellison of Cohn & Company directed; Rich Rosenbaum of Convergence edited. Spontaneous Combustion credits include executive producer Maribeth Phillips, producer Zu Al-Kadiri, visual effect director/senior inferno artist David Elkins, director of animation Lawrence Nimrichter, Inferno artist Jason Cunningham, animator Michael Donovan and assistant producer Cara Buckley.