Toyota Australia have this month featured a vehicle made of ice in the latest television commercial for the Toyota Prado four wheel drive Landcruiser. In an industrial part of town a four wheel drive vehicle made entirely of ice slithers through the dark streets. Ice breaks off as the vehicle hits the curb. The 4WD narrowly misses a train at a level crossing then slides down a hill, nearly out of control. Out in the country now, the ice vehicle slips between pylons, becoming lit by flames on a bridge. Travelling around narrow country roads the vehicle threatens to roll over the hillside. As the vehicle navigates an off-road hill it appears to be sliding on skis.
As the ice vehicle is overtaken on the open road by a Toyota Prado, the voiceover tells us, “Not all four wheel drives are created equal. Better grip. Better control. Better safety. Toyota Prado. Ingenious driver assist technology. The super: “DAT – Driver Assist Technology – Toyota Prado.” The usual leaping figure can be seen as if in the reflection on ice. Listen carefully and you’ll hear the “Oh what a feeling Toyota” musical theme in the icy music at the end.
The Toyota Prado Ice Sculptures advertising campaign was developed at Saatchi & Saatchi Australia, Sydney by creative directors David Nobay, Jonathan Teo, Stuart Robinson, art director Peter Buckley, copywriters Jay Furby and Tim Brown, and agency producer Scott McBurnie.
Filming for Ice Sculptures was shot in in Newcastle, Canberra and Adaminaby by director Bruce Hunt via @radical.media, Sydney, with director of photography Garry Phillips and co-producer Julianne Shelton.
The Animal Logic team included executive producer Jacqui Newman, producer Caroline Renshaw, production assistant Katie Millington, VFX Supervisor Tim Quarry, lead compositor Andy McKenna, and 3D team leader Tim Quarry. The CG team were Tom Bardwell, Brett Margules, Gerrard Southam, Ian Watson, Bhakar James, Bodie Clare, Andrew Lodge, Phil Wittmer, Larry Townsend and Clinton Downs. Design Assistant was Marianne Khoo.
Editor was Jack Hutchings.
Animal Logic created the 3D computer-generated ice car and carefully choreographed its movement as it glides across various road surfaces, verging on being out of control. Armed with extensive reference supplied by Hunt, Animal Logic Technical Director, Clinton Downs spent weeks upfront developing the look of the ice car giving it a realistic, frosted look complete with internal cracks and crumbled edges.
Tim Quarry led the CG team at Animal Logic and worked closely with Hunt to refine the animation. “We had a lot of reference of cars sliding in snow and on icy roads. Bruce didn’t want the ice car to be dangerously out of control, but more graceful. Our challenge was to make the ice car look translucent and convincing,” said Quarry.
3D pre-visualisation started a couple of weeks before the shoot to help Hunt in determine camera angles of the ice car shots as well as the shot sequence. Once the environments were shot and the animation locked down, time was spent lighting the CG ice car to enhance the cloudy detail of the ice. Each shot was customized with specific lighting techniques to get the interior of the ice block and the refractions correct.
To assist integrating the ice car and particles into their environments, Animal Logic senior Compositor, Andy McKenna added subtle details such as road markings, tyre trails, water droplets, focus pulls, day for night conversions and camera projections.