MPC Creates CG Athletes for EA SPORTS’ E3 Spots Via Agency Modus Operandi

MPC’s New York and LA studios recently teamed up with Modus Operandi on a pair of adrenaline-pumping spots for EA SPORTS. The fully CG pieces were used to promote the company’s four sports franchises for industry heavyweights at the 2013 E3 conference in Los Angeles.
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IGNITE fuses highlights from EA SPORTS’ Madden NFL, NBA, FIFA 14 and EA SPORTS UFC games into one motivational cinematic presentation of the titles’ new game-play features, from increased artificial intelligence to cloth simulation to better-integrated motion capture. The mammoth job featured 32 shots, three fully CG environments, nearly 50 hero characters and stadium crowds. The spot required a carefully choreographed, comprehensive pipeline that worked closely and efficiently with Modus Operandi and EA’s diverse branches. MPC LA orchestrated a workflow that ran from asset organization and pre-visualization to final cut, developing a universal rig, model and shading tagging system that complemented their existing pipeline and shot-management tool.

“EA SPORTS wanted IGNITE to inspire its fans and showcase the future of EA SPORTS gaming,” states MPC LA VFX Supervisor Ross Denner. “This was a huge job of the same size and scope as a short film, and it required real insights and close creative collaboration from MPC NY. We strove to be a technical and creative partner that would give Modus Operandi the freedom and support they needed to achieve the cinematic effect of the project.”

MPC NY focused its efforts on Feel the Fight, a spot dedicated to EA SPORTS’ new UFC game in a high intensity sequence in which the action seems to come straight at the player. In a spot focused on the electronic representations of real-life athletes, achieving a feel of authenticity was paramount, a challenge that required a massive team effort across MPC.

The 2D team, led by Alex Harding, composited immense amounts of realistic muscle deformation, skin movement, sweat, blood, bruising and damage detail across more than 30 shots. Chris Bernier’s 3D team created models and animation that held true to the fighters’ real-life MMA moves and muscle anatomy, dedicating tremendous amounts of time to creating the precise gesticulation of rippling skin and muscles on the slow-motion moments of impact. An added layer included incorporating MPC’s NY colorist Adrian Seery into the pipeline, allowing the 3D and 2D team to focus on the overall animation, lighting and general look of the piece with Adrian doing an overall grade to the animated piece, nailing consistent and true-to-life skin tones while establishing a look and feel to complement the spot’s epic nature.

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“This was an exciting project to be a part of,” states MPC VFX Supervisor Alex Harding. “Fully CG jobs are very challenging, but they put a huge amount of creative freedom in our court on Feel the Fight, both from a 3D and 2D perspective. The commitment from the team was inspiring and everyone at Modus Operandi was a pleasure to work with.”



Spot Title: “Feel the Fight,” “IGNITE Engine Trailer”
Air Date: June 2013

Client: EA SPORTS (“Feel The Fight”)
Executive Producer: Keith Munro
Executive Producer: Jeff Sharma
Producer: Trevor Delahaye

Art Director: Ian Lloyd
Art Director: Ron Bignell
Art Director: Jenny Freeman

Executive Producer: Todd Batty
Executive Producer: Steve Brooks
Executive Art Director: Rick Stringfellow
Creative Director: Aram Coen
Production Coordinator: Lindsay Yeats

Advertising Agency: Modus Operandi
SVP/Executive Creative Director: Aaron Sternlicht
Creative Director: Marcelo Petrella
Art Director: Jon Farrell
Executive Producer: Brendan Cravitz
Producer: Jason O’Leary
Offline/Online Editor: Matt Delamater
Assistant Editor: Tai Eskrine
Story Board Designer: Jeong Yang (Frameworks)
Production Coordinator: Julian Bishop

Production: Modus Operandi
Director: Marcelo Petrella

VFX (“Feel the Fight)”: MPC NY
Executive Producer: Justin Brukman
Head of Production: Derek Macleod-Veilleux
Creative Consultant: John Sunter
Producers: Michael Stanish, Philip Whalley, Kathy Monahan
VFX Supervisors: Chris Bernier, Alex Harding, Graeme Revell
VFX Team: Sang Lee, Mikael Pettersson, Mikael Marsek, Jimmy San, Liam Griffin, Chiara Antelmi, Allyn Lawson, Tom Carrick, Tom Rowell, Brice Lehman, Chris Antoniou, David Picarda, Levi Peterffy, Sean Ray, Calentina Ercolani, Graeme Eglin, John Sunter. Alex Galan, Alberto Delle Regina, Adam Leary, Ajai Verghese John, Anbarasu Elangovan, Inigo Vima Roy, Kunal Sarkar, Raju Ganesh, Sreejit Kumar, Sumesh Chammancheri, Andres Weber

Executive Producer: Lexi Stearn
Head of Production: Jenny Bright
Creative Director: Ross Denner
Producer: Diana De Vries
Supervisor: Ross Denner
Animation: JD Fievet, Tyler Lancsater, Alejandro Castro, Samir Patel, Ruel Smith, Rigging Ian Wilson, Andrew Lema
Lighting: Fred Durand, William Schilthuis, Jon Balcone, Kenny Jackson, Sanjay Chand, Greg Gangemi, Tim Kafka
Environments: Nathaniel Morgan, Stefano Farci, Hui Bui
FX: John Cherniack, Matt Johnson, Bryan Cox, Yas Koyama
Massive: Amrik Walia, Hayley O’Neill
2D Compositing: Benoit Mannequin Flame, Elliott Brennan Nuke, Clement Renaudin Nuke, Lisa Ryan Nuke

Color Grading (“Feel the Fight”): MPC NY
Colorist: Adrian Seery

Music (“IGNITE”): Mischa “Book” Chillak, The Greater Goods Co.
Sound Design/Mixer: Chris Popkey

Music (“Feel the Fight”): ECHOLAB
Audio Mix/Sound Design: Levels Audio

About MPC:

MPC is a creative studio.

We craft spectacular visual experiences in any space, on any screen.

We have been one of the global leaders in VFX for over 25 years, with industry-leading facilities in London, Vancouver, Los Angeles, New York and Bangalore.

Renowned for adding visual wonder and creative expertise to the advertising, film and entertainment industries, some of our most famous projects include blockbuster movies such as the “Harry Potter” franchise, “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” “Prometheus” and “Life of Pi,” and famous advertising campaigns for brands such as Evian, Cadbury, Sony, Coca Cola and John Lewis.

Our broad range of skill-sets provide a multitude of creative solutions, including concept design, pre-viz, shoot supervision, 2D compositing, 3D/CG effects, animation, motion design, software development, digital and experiential production, colour grading for advertising and any combination of these services.

MPC is the sum of the parts: creative partners and a range of creative solutions harnessed through a dedication to collaboration. It all comes together in our enthusiastic and talented people, working every day to be a part of creating some of the best and most inspirational work in the industry.

MPC is a Technicolor company.