February 7, 2005


NEW YORK - Charlex (www.charlex.com) provided visual effects for a new Volvo spot promoting the power of its XC90 V8 wagon. The commercial compares the thrust of a rocket lifting off with the eight-cylinder horsepower of Volvo's XC90.

Conceived by Euro RSCG, the :30 "Rocket" commercial opens with a large rocket, lifting off from its launch pad. Footage of the rocket is intercut with that of an accelerating XC90. The voiceover notes that the XC90 is the only V8 that has the added power of "legendry Volvo safety." When asked to ponder exactly how powerful that is, the rocket's commander lifts up his face shield ? its Virgin Atlantic's Richard Branson, who states, "Powerful enough to get you into space."

The spot concludes with a VO instructing viewers to go to www.boldlygo.com, where they can enter to win a flight on Virgin Galactic.

The opening shot of the rocket on the launch pad was created from a still frame, with blinking lights, an elevator and smoke added in post. Day footage of the XC90 was given a nighttime look, complete with for night skies. Its billowing dust trail was created in 3D with particle effects.

Archival Apollo rocket footage was color corrected and updated using Discreet Flame. A 3D replica of a Saturn 5 rocket was created using Alias Maya and rendered in Mental Ray at HD resolution. Eyeon Digital Fusion was used for compositing.

Additional effects were added to make Branson look like he was being broadcast from outer space.

Charlex credits include lead Flame artist Philana Dias, CG supervisor Keith McCabe, effects lead Bill Watral and lighting technical director Gong Myung Lee. Agency credits include producer Joe Guyt, creative director John Rhea, creative director Michael Fineberg, art director Rocky Pina and copywriter Larry Silverfine.