FINLANDIA EVOLUTION OF PERFECTION
Evolution of Perfection was done for the worldwide launch of the new Finlandia bottle and was tailored to several media formats including internal marketing, POS marketing, TVC, cinema and internet. The spot gained worldwide attention and was featured in Stash Issue #84.
As the initial brief called for the liquid to form in the shape of the bottle, it was decided fairly early that we needed digital water as the gravity-defying complex behavior was impossible to shoot. The water had to behave in a way that it would fall from the top of the screen and grow into the shape of the bottle while also forming the glass surface. The biggest challenge was matching the look and physics of 3D water and ice to the real elements.
The spot was shot in London by Feel Films using a Photron high-speed camera running at 2500 fps. A high-speed camera requires plenty of light compared to regular cameras. More light also meant more heat, which made shooting with ice somewhat tricky.
For creating artificial water that would match the look of live action footage, the whole studio setup was replicated in 3D. We created high-detail digital versions of the ice cubes and the bottle. The ice had to have a great amount of detail in it like little frozen bubbles and cracks that you can see inside. The basic lighting was actually pretty straightforward: a big diffuser at the back wall that created most of the light in the whole scene with some extra light sources from the sides to create the highlights.
Simulating the liquid in this scale and at a slow speed was very challenging and we needed a lot of iterations to get the right feel into it. The growing bottle effect also needed a more complex system than just whacking the water in and waiting for a nice simulation. VFX Supervisor Iiro Harra created a complex ruckus with external forces and moving proxy geometry for the collisions/forces to shape the liquid. As the bottle also grows out of the liquid simulation, we also needed to design a system to grow the bottle – this growing bottle geometry was also used to keep the particles in the shape of the bottle.
The biggest role in the look development was played by the 3D shaders for the ice and glass. Since the whole spot was done in HD, it’s easy to imagine the hit in render times caused by to reflections and refractions. A solution was found by creating complex shaders and tweaking them in LightWave to get the look we wanted while still having acceptable render times.