July 15, 2002


NEW YORK - The new :30 for Lexus out of agency Team One pits the luxury automobile against the vengeful power of the Wind God.

The spot features a Lexus cruising along the countryside, when a large ominous head resembling a Greek god appears in the sky. Out to show the world of man the meaning of true power, the Wind God begins to wreak havoc on with gale-force winds that capsize a sailboat and topple telephone poles. But the Lexus glides along the road, unimpeded by the unrelenting winds until it drives directly into the Wind God, who implodes and disappears.

The spot was directed by Mehdi Norowzian of Chelsea Pictures (www.chelsea .com) and London based visual effects house The Mill (www.mil.co.uk) was hired to created the wind god in the sky along with the wind and the destruction that follows.

The Mill's senior Flame artist Ant Walsham worked with Norowzian so that cloud shots were used as backplates. With a cloudy sky, Walsham was able to make the wind god blend into the sky using Discreet's Flame and the 5D Cumulo plug-in.

For the final shot wherein the Wind God implodes, 3D animator Aron Hjartarson combined particle animation and a spring system, animating the particle system as if it were a volumetric piece of silk. He started by tracking the live footage of the god with the 3D Equalizer and replacing him with a a wire-frame head in SI3D. Then, several veils of material were built and the spring system was applied, thus creating the motion of the clouds trailing behind as the car drives through the wind god. Several particle systems were animated in a 2D plane with radial forces gathering all the particles into a single focal point - the tail end of the Lexus. When the action of the partiucle was established, veils were applied to replicate the clouds. A camera shader created by the Mill's Dave Levy was used on the particles.