Here’s How MPC Created “The New Kid” at DICK’S
Working with Oscar-nominees Shawn Levy (Stranger Things, Night at the Museum) and Will Gluck (Peter Rabbit), the MPC crew populates an all-night party at DICK’S Sporting Goods with 46 CG characters including the star Nike Air Max 270.
MPC Creative Director Ashley Bernes: “The inherent challenge was to take a photo-realistic inanimate object, place it in a live-action setting, and make it behave in a way that’s not natural.
“While there is an aspect of creative license when you’re working with a character such as a robot or a mythical creature when it comes to an everyday object such as a shoe, we needed to make it look like it’s walking on its own – not like someone is walking in it.
“Levy and Gluck brought an incredible wealth of experience in both live-action and animation which proved critical in defining the rules of this film.
“We needed to create an emotional connection with these characters, and as they don’t have faces, we had to convey the emotion through motion and behavior.
“Research was carried out on the movement of animals that have similar proportions as the objects, for example, incorporating the elegant movement of a flamingo’s long neck into the behavior of the golf clubs and making the hockey stick’s gliding movements similar to that of a dolphin.
“The main character is a new shoe in the store, so there was a very fine line between giving it a young, curious childlike personality, and making sure it didn’t seem too scared or timid.”
“We used Maxine’s laces as arms in one sequence so she could join hands with another character, so we had to balance the behavior of an arm with the behavior of a piece of string, which was a challenge.”
Client: DICKS Sporting Goods
Directors: Shawn Levy, Will Gluck
Production Company: Pacific Rim
Directors: Shawn Levy, Will Gluck
VFX: Moving Picture Company
Creative Director: Ashley Bernes
VFX Supervisor: Ashley Bernes, Rob Hodgson
Executive Producer: Matthew Loranger
Producer: Chris Connolly
Production Coordinator: Katherine Miccio
Managing Director: Angela Lupo
2D Lead: Tobey Lindback
3D Lead: Chris Bernier
Animation Lead: Graeme Revell
2D Team: Renato Carone, Ruairi Twohig, Julien Aucouturier , Yashvardhan Jain, Lawrence Merrill , Chris Green, Esther Song
Lighting Team: Andrew Ortiz, Dan Fine, Lucy Choi, Ash Yee, Roberto Maki
Rigging: Wesley Schneider
Modeling: Jemmy Molero
Animation Team: Jacob Fradkin, Mike Lombardo, Ross Scroble, Anthony Travieso, Joerg Volk, Yarim Machado
Concept Design: Roger Hom, Tyler Gibb, Andrew Brooks, Morgan Schweitzer
Additional Production Support: Neela Kumuda, Quentin Martin, Stephanie Mollett, Mark Driscoll, Salil Thapa
Additional 3D Support: Santosh Gunaseelan, Raju Ganesh S, Mark Robinson, Brendon Echsner
Assets: Andre Monteiro, Vaibhav Gupta, Mohammad Asif, Sandeep B K, GopikaPriya M, Kalaiarasu Puhalendhi, S Shashi Kumar, Ullas. Thunga K, Sunil Manohas Mohapratra, Alexandre Corcoy, Helene Frery, Anbarasu Elangovan
Rigging: Subbaiah A, Kuntal Kanti Bera, Yeshwanth Garlapati, Gretchen Asmar, Alexandre Sauthier
Animation: Ganael Chevallier, Cedric Jeanne, Geoffroy Barbet-Massin, Andrew Price, Samir Patel, Venkatesan D
Lighting: Pierre Jury, Guillaume Parra
Additional 2D Support: Mahendra Natha Reddy, Sugumar S, Bhushanam Mukkala, Ajeet Pratap Singh, Suresh Pitchuka, Maniraj G, Gokulakrishnan M G, Likin Ganapathi C P
Tracking: Ganesh Kumar S, Anirudh Kurve, Tejashwini N, Showber Shadik, Shridhar Bhat, Suhas N, Ankit Dheraj Toppo
Colorist: Kris Smale