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The commercial was done completely in stereoscopic 3D
Coca-Cola's 2012 Euro Cup "Spirit of the Euro" commercial is an animated wild ride that captures the excitement, fun and craziness of the soccer tournament and its fans. In the spot, a very passionate fan zooms through the sky in a Coca-Cola powered soccer boot, releasing soccer ball bubbles in its wake that turn all they touch into deliriously enthusiastic soccer fans.
Produced by Portland, Oregon based BENT IMAGE LAB and directed by Carlos Lascano, "Spirit of the Euro" is a highly creative and exciting commercial that required equally intense and vibrant color to bring it to life, which was achieved thanks to Jalal Jemison, BENT's lead colorist, and Blackmagic Design's DaVinci Resolve color correction software.
A Need for Speed
In order to make "Spirit of the Euro" really pop, the commercial was done completely in stereoscopic 3D. While the outcome is spectacular, color grading in stereoscopic 3D requires a greater time investment, as both the left and right eye grades must match perfectly, effectively doubling the time it takes to color a 2D grade.
In order to help expedite this process, Resolve allows real time concurrent grading and display of stereoscopic 3D timelines, as well as side by side, line by line, checkerboard and anaglyph comparison between eyes. Resolve also includes automatic 3D alignment tools to remove slight errors between cameras on 3D rigs.
"When working on a stereo project, it's all about speed and efficiency, and Resolve's features allowed me to work faster than any other step in the production process," said Jalal. "Even though this was my first stereo project, I was able to create different mattes for the left and right eye and complete the stereo grade in no time at all."
"There's always a crazy push, and our studio was finishing shots and giving me new or alternative ones as I was coloring," continued Jalal. "The spot was colored in about a day and a half, and we delivered the spot to the client roughly 20 minutes after I finished coloring, so speed was essential."
Jalal also cited Resolve's tracking feature as an essential time saver. Resolve includes a powerful 3D tracker that locks Power Windows to objects and reduces the need for key generation. "The tracker is phenomenal. There were so many different shots, color keys and mattes from CG that I had to track, and the speed with which Resolve tracked them really boosted efficiency," he said.
In grading a frame in which one character had crossed in front of another character, Resolve's matte mixing was helpful in adding and subtracting keys. Instead of creating a new matte from CG, Jalal was able to color the key to keep the matte clean.
"There are compositing techniques inside of Resolve that saved me the time and headache of repeatedly having to go back and get new mattes, which meant switching between programs," said Jalal. "Same with creating a blur. I was able to alpha export and layer the grades without leaving the program. There were times when the shots were rendered in Linear EXR, and I could use LUTs per node without having to change the color space from another program. It's real time instant gratification."
Multiple Versions Demand Flexibility
In anticipation of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Jalal was responsible for multiple deliveries of the same commercial, including seasonal spots for winter and summer for which he used the same scenes, but made the colors cooler with greens and blacks for winter, while the summer version had warmer highlights.
Jalal was also responsible for delivering different versions for specific geographies, with France, Germany, Russia and Poland each requiring their own personalized jerseys.
"At times, I struggled in composite to get just the right color for each country's specific jersey. However, I was able to visually match the references in Resolve to the color keys and mattes in composite and change the color of the jerseys to meet the client's satisfaction," said Jalal.
"For color correction and grading, Resolve is the best out there," concluded Jalal. "Its layout and toolset are design with efficiency in mind, and everything from its price, marketing and stability do wonders for a colorist's workflow."