Avon’s global ‘Channel’ campaign is a great example of live action and post production coming together to build something which looks magical, but remains entirely believable.  This beautiful spot also reconnected director Tracey Rowe (Grand & Large) with TANQ’s Alex Catchpoole after 14 years and on a different continent.  The two Australians last worked together back in Sydney in 1997.

“How do you reach into a catalog and lift a product right off the page?”  “What does it look like as it comes off the paper?”  And, “How are we going to shoot this?”  were some of the questions discussed during pre-prodution.  Working closely with Director Tracey Rowe TANQ creative director Alex Catchpoole designed the look and feel of the effects.  “I imagined the objects coming up and out of the page, as if through the surface of a liquid, and seeing that beautiful flow of the liquid over the object as it comes out.  I wanted it to feel magical but physical and tactile too.”  For that reason the team decided that the best approach would be a clever combination of live action plates, rather than building everything in CG.

For the shoot, the catalog was printed with blank pages – all the artwork, typography and photographs were added digitally.  This allowed the team at TANQ to seamlessly blend in the ‘hero’ product and place the other products on the page.  They were able to adjust the page layout during the composits and even swap out the secondary products as the campaign evolved.

The products and the hand were shot on greenscreen, and final compositing was done in Flame.  To get the cross sections – or the shapes made as the products are lifted out of the paper, Alex used a simple, low tech approach:  “I filled a bowl with milk and gradually lowered the products in.  It was a perfect reference for the effect – as the milk flowed over the objects I simply copied the shapes.  No rigs, no cameras, just a bowl of milk beside the Flame!”

The challenges that SohoSq brought to TANQ on Avon’s global ‘Channel’ campaign covered all the bases – conceptual design, seamless compositing, layout and design, CGI, beauty retouching, on set VFX supervision, and global mastering.  The spots are currently airing in South America, USA, Europe and Asia.

Check out the shot breakdown ‘here‘.

Credits: // Agency: Soho SQ / Producer: Bonnie Bedell / Production Company: Grand&Large / Director: Tracey Rowe / Editor: Barney Miller @ Company X