Nice Biscuits were delighted to be approached by Dentsu to work on this ground-breaking project.

It was vital that we worked closely with the agency from the early stages, not only to develop and build a good working relationship but to draw on our experience of Post Production effects, as this was a new area of high-speed filming that had not previously been undertaken.

The concept of ‘Bringing Colour to Life’ was to use different coloured paint reacting to sound waves in ultra slow-motion, to create vivid and inspiring sound-sculptures.

Small pinhead blobs of paint were carefully patterned onto a stretched piece of black rubber. This platform made direct contact with a speaker cone. A musical note was played for a split second through the speaker, which made the paint explode upwards – thus creating the unique sculptures.

To enable this to be captured as a moving image, a Photron Fastcam BC2 was used to film at very high speed. This camera was able shoot at 2000 frames per second (fps) at High Definition. It could shoot at a lower resolution at 5400 fps. The Creatives wanted the sculptures to move even more slowly, whilst retaining the quality, so it was crucial that Paul Wratten attend the two day shoot to give advice. Paul’s role was to prepare the images for Avid offline, and also to co-ordinate test shots to be uploaded to AutoDesk’s Flame. Once uploaded, Flame operator Jonathan Box was able to slow the footage down even further using Motion Estimation.

As a shot is slowed down the Motion Estimation creates missing frames by morphing the in-between frames, thus smoothing out any jerky or jumping pictures. A number of shots were tested to find the optimum camera speed. The final speed that was chosen was 10,400 fps. These test shots were downloaded on the set and shown to the client to give piece of mind that this technique could be used successfully in the final on-line.

The high gloss piano finish of the printer was filmed using Canon’s 7D camera, shot at 1280x720P at 50 fps. The files were treated on set and loaded into Avid in preparation for the offline edit the following morning.

Nice Biscuits’ main Post direction was to enhance the look of the paint sculptures, the printer and its surrounding environment. This entailed refining the formation and the break-up of the paint to push the bold graphic look. Reflections and speed variations were added to a number of shots, and some of the more frantic shots were stabilised to aid the graceful look.

The printer was shot as if floating on a reflective oily liquid, reminiscent of Richard Wilson’s Oil Room at the Saatchi gallery. The dark tones and rippling backgrounds were enhanced further to merge the high gloss printer into its environment.

Production Notes
Product:Canon Pixma
Director:Chris Hewitt
Production Company:Knucklehead
Agency:Dentsu London
Creative:Andy Lockley & Doug Lyon
Ratio:16:9