and animation studio
ProRail is a company that offers and facilitates access to the dutch rail network. This includes maintenance and safety surrounding the rail network in the Netherlands.
For a new safety-campaign, to combat unsafe actions and situations caused by people running, walking their dogs, bird watching, etc next to the train tracks. ProRail wanted to raise awareness for this and show the serious consequences such actions can have.
The concept to visualize and tell this story revolved quite literally around the domino-effect that can be caused. Keeping the seriousness of the topic in mind, the campaign also needed to look fresh and vibrant.
With these concerns and points in mind, we set off to convert these thoughts and idea’s into striking imagery.
A big part of this project was creating a unique visual language in which the story could take place. Furthermore the flow of the commercial and the movements that would facilitate the domino-effect, would be very important to emphasize the message that needed to be told.
Since this project would involve a lot of trickery in terms of perspective, it was vital we had a good understanding of what was needed to be achieved.
Part of this exploration was creating a proof of concept. This then gave us an idea how we should approach shooting the plates, so that they could be integrated into the CG environments.
With an idea of the overall concept and what the client wants to achieve, we start delving into the visual world that can inhabit those things.
We played with stylization in the shapes, amount of detail, lighting and composition.
Having explored the possibilities of the visuals and movement, also conversing with the client, we have a good foundation for bringing the concept to life. And thus the first steps on the actual production can start to take place.
Live action plates were shot on greenscreen, so that the we could integrate them into the CG environments that were created.
Iterating is an important part of the process. This also involves a lot of feedback, both internally and externally. To streamline this stream of communication, and to make sure everyone is on the same page, we use software that can do just that.
Here you can see a top view of one of the sets. Objects are flattened at the same pace the camera comes closer. This way we could keep 3-dimensional objects which retained parallax an realistic light information.
Technically there were also challenges to be solved. Objects needed to be able to fall over to create the domino effect. Yet we also needed to create the illusion that objects still existed in the real world.
To solve this problem we development a tool that could blend between ‘reality’ and ‘ illusion’.
After nailing the chose technique we rendered different passes. The foreground was disconnected from the background and later combined. Light information was baked in one squence and blended with the flattened and animated objects.
Our actors were placed on cards and animated along to make sure they felt part of the CG world.
With this entire process we created 4 vibrant commercials, each 30 seconds long. Each commercial had it’s own locations and stories, resulting in a series of film that helped spread a message from Prorail.
The Compound | Tim van Paassen