Clockwork VFX Teams With Agency Rotter And Toys "R" Us To Win Monster 500

Published on in Miscellaneous

Monster 500, the post-apocalyptic mega-race is on, and animation/visual effects studio Clockwork VFX is the creative winner. The studio teamed with agency Rotter Creative Group and Toys "R" Us to launch the new Monster 500 brand. The result is an engaging minute-long spot consisting of beautifully detailed 3D animation.

With 13 team members working for five weeks to complete the complex animation sequences, Clockwork’s creative skills particularly their lighting, texturing and rendering capabilities -- were tested. 

Learn what equipment was used when creating their winning spot, along with industry trends, a partnership with Xbox and much more from Clockwork’s Creative Director/Co-Founder Jason Tomlins.


* What software/equipment do you use to create your animation projects? What is it about the software that makes it a must-have in the studio?

We use Lightwave for 3D and Nuke for compositing. Lightwave is an incredibly robust program that is able to do everything we need right out the box. It is also a very intuitive program that makes creating content quicker and easier than other packages. When it comes to compositing, Nuke has become our choice of weapon - the industry standard for high end commercials as well as film.

* What was the most challenging/complex aspect in creating the Monster 500 commercial? (Congrats by the way, how do you feel about the finished product?)

Well, thanks very much. We loved this project from concept to final. It was just pure kooky, over the top, fun. Of course, as an artist you never truly ‘finish’ an animation there is always something you would love to change or fix. But all things considered, we are really happy with the way it turned out.

Biggest challenge: time. Both in terms of actual production schedule and the length of the piece. We really had to knuckle down to make the deadline. Fortunately for us, the agency and client were amazing - they gave us a great framework to start with and freedom to make decisions within those guidelines. And let us not forget, our team totally kicked ass on this one.

Our second challenge was to create a format that introduces multiple characters/personalities and finds a balance between maintaining high energy and avoiding it becoming too ‘busy’ and hard to take in. That is where the super slo mo shots came in - varying the pace and providing ‘breathers’ to the action.

* Where do you see the world of animation and graphics headed? What changes have you seen in the industry since you first started? 

Over the past few years, I feel the business of animation has been more affected than the technology of animation. With reduced budgets, streamlined communication and the move to place most asset management in "the cloud", we are now a truly global enterprise and ultimately a lot more competitive. In terms of the artistic and technical changes, I think we are reaching a point of saturation - complex photorealism and effects are becoming the norm and high quality renders reserved for  the bigger studios is now been executed by smaller, more cost effective studios. In many ways this has been positive for the short term growth of our industry yet potentially negative when we start to see the long term effects of the larger institutions closing. They have always been at the forefront of innovation (typically these studios have had huge RND teams that push the development of new technology) so it will be interesting to see who/what will take their place.

Animation is in a state of flux, the glamour of working in the industry has started to fade with new recruits wary of the long hours, high demands and smaller salaries. While this may sound somewhat negative, I think it has also had a very positive effect - we are becoming increasingly motivated to find better (more sustainable) ways of working. 

For example, more and more animation studios are creating global partnerships with the common goal of leveraging the strengths gained from their geographical locations and skillsets - brilliant concept artists from Poland, excellent animators from Serbia, great lighting/rendering artists in South Africa and highly experienced producers in New York. Each unit is then linking up and operating within cloud programs such as Skype, Wistia, Muraly, Wiredrive, Frankie, Rebus Render Farm etc. The end result is a pipeline that goes back to ticking all the boxes on both sides of the table.

* What were you involved in, in regards to your partnership with the Kinect Sports Rivals for Xbox One?

Initially we were tasked with developing four stills as promotional pieces for the brand. The client provided very rough doodles of the action poses which we then fleshed into detailed 2D full color concepts and finally into 3D scenes. We were then asked to create several animated pieces to showcase how the new "cube" technology worked as well as cut scenes highlighting the shooting aspect of the game. Creating these animated pieces was a lot of fun and an honor to do, especially as they were shared with the launch of the new Xbox One.

* What’s something about VFX that most people do not know about, until they are actually working in the field?

The time and years of experience it takes to create that last 10% - the little bit that separates good from great.
The value of ‘fairy dust’  that super cute little cheat you figure out after having no joy attacking the problem from a ‘traditional’ angle.

* Have any other projects coming up you can share with us? What are they?

We just finished a really gorgeous new project for Monopoly and will be sharing it on the site in the coming weeks. Also look out for a delicious new Playdoh adventure and some of the sparkliest, girliest work we have ever done. 2014 looks set to be another good year with some fun, diverse projects in the pipeline.

content and images courtesy of Clockwork VFX

ProductionHUB ProductionHUB Logo

Related Blog Posts
Highlighting Incredible Women in Production: Directors of Photography
Highlighting Incredible Women in Production: Directors of Photography
Each year, more and more women filmmakers are stepping into critical roles and getting the credit they deserve, from directing to camera operation, production design and editing. In this piece, we're celebrating just a few of the incredible women DPs by highlighting their accomplishments, their stories, and advice they have for other women in the industry, as well as some of their most notable work.
Published on Wednesday, May 11, 2022
It’s Showtime: Getting Ready for 2022 NAB (Part One)
It’s Showtime: Getting Ready for 2022 NAB (Part One)
It seems like it's been forever since we had the chance to get on the NAB Show floor and honestly, I'm so ready! The people I've talked to are MORE than excited with the prospect of seeing new gear and catching up with industry friends both old and new. If you know us, then you know we'll be there to provide tons of coverage, including our very own ProductionHUB Awards of Excellence.
Published on Tuesday, April 5, 2022
The Future of Service: How Haivision Connect Enables Worship from Anywhere
The Future of Service: How Haivision Connect Enables Worship from Anywhere
Over the last two years, we’ve seen a significant increase in the demand for live and on-demand content across all industries as in-person events, including church services, were put on pause. Since the Covid pandemic began, more organizations turned to employing remote technologies, and now that these technologies are becoming the norm, the world has come to realize how useful they are. Much like hybrid work models, the trend of virtual events is becoming more popular and is here to stay. Ministries and churches recognize the benefit of live streaming services as it allows them to build online communities and reach a wider audience.
Published on Tuesday, March 29, 2022


There are no comments on this blog post.

You must be logged in to leave a comment.