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“Asphalt Xtreme” Storyboards

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Woohoo!  Here’s another fun project from earlier this year that I’m very proud to show- fun video game racing action! The “Asphalt” Series is well known in gaming circles as a premium racing product and I was very excited to be involved with my clients at PSYOP for their pitch and production of this great spot.

Conceptually, it’s very simple:  Showcase the main themes of the game series: Racing, Mayhem, and Variety.  Variety of cars, and variety environments.  Hate to say it, but this was kind of an easy one for me… A commercial like this has no room for subtlety, so it’s just a matter of attempting to give equal weight to the important elements (variety of cars and environments) and balance that with a ramping of the action to an ultimate climax, all within 30 seconds!!  EXTREME!!!

 

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It’s crunch time!

 

This project had two parts- the pitch and the production.  For the pitch (in which we try to “win” the job), we kind of had a looser goal- wow the client with, well, creative compositions to showcase the action and variety.  Promise them the moon and see if we can deliver. There were all kinds of different ideas being tossed about- mostly the idea was to bring a realistic visualization of the gameplay to the screen.  Also on the job were some very talented 3d and concept artists, and we all pitched in to contributed pieces of the final puzzle.  The pitch was won on the merits of this collaboration- some of which I’ll share with you below (they didn’t make the final cut, but helped advance the job along, and look cool, besides!).

 

a

I liked the idea of a rally car using a hidden rope bridge to find a shortcut to get ahead of the main pack! Many video games have hidden passageways, and this was in that spirit.

 

b

As above, so below; an early concept of the dune buggy jump- it was an earlier understanding that these cars would “find” the best route forward based on their natural abilities.

 

c

I really liked the sense of speed in this early frame- many of which were drawn based on other artist’s tight compositions.

 

d

Among the natural environments, we assumed there would be a mandate to have more urban or industrial environments as well, but not so much in the final edit. Nevertheless, we had prepared works in the case of that possibility. Here, the racers surge towards an active loading dock area.

 

e

Again, we see the variety of cars and car abilities in their approach to surmounting the dynamic racing obstacles before them.

 

f

Seeking to really emphasize the sense of racing through rally courses worldwide, we seized upon opportunities to utilize highly recognizable landmarks and locations.

 

g

Concept for a “desert” title composition.

 

h

Another alternate concept for a “Jungle” title composition.

 

It was a great team effort, and we won the job.  Now comes the hard part- execution.  They had me back to refine some concepts and nail transitions into something that hit all the marks.  You ready for the boards?  Here you go!

 

And here’s the final spot!

What a wild ride!  Soo….. Sometimes I have a massive amount of input on a job, and I feel like I get to pick all the shots, and control the pacing, and the visual storytelling (remember, for many jobs, and certainly in this case, I’m not even given a script or shotlist).  BUT in this case, much of the concepting was done by talented 2d and 3d artists working concurrently- and so about the only idea I want to point out that I specifically contributed was the opening transition where the camera appears to be POV from the view of the bumper, but pulls out to be the POV looking into the reflection of the bumper.  As far as I know, I “invented” that, at least in this kind of car/racing/bumper context.  The thing about that kind of camera move is, it’s something you can only pull off in CG, so you’d never see that in classic cinema- since you’d have to magically “erase” the reflection of the cameraman.  So, there you go, I did something cool.  But even so, just as much if not more credit goes to the director and the CG artists for actually pulling it off and making it look amazing- you never know with uncharted territory, but that’s life… TO THE XTREME!!!!

Thanks for reading, see you next time!

-Max

 

:30 B&W Family Food Kids Pitch Boards Products Samples Shoot Boards Storyboarding VFX

Nutella “Spread the Happiness” Storyboards

 

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OMG pancakes!!!

Woohoo! In addition to the previous Nutella spot, I happened to do the boards for the most recent follow up- “Spread the Happiness!”  Once again produced by my great clients at Brand New School.

They are playing this spot a LOT on TV right now- which is great, since it rocks!  It’s fun, it’s pop, it’s delicious.

The challenges involved in this spot were finding a fresh take on simple transitions and how best to style them in an appetizing way and choreograph them best to the music.  I drew a LOT of frames for it, as we would build many animatics to see what worked best- there was a lot of experimentation with different kinds of wipes and reveals.  But that’s the best way to get things perfect!

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I always enjoy drawing families having fun.  It turns out though, one thing that is hard to draw is people sitting around a table.  It sounds simple but it’s really tricky because you have to draw in near perfect perspective just to get the height and distance relationships right between the chair and the table, and then again for the people who actually sit in them.  If you draw it wrong, all your chairs will look like they are different sizes, or even like your actors are sitting on phonebooks or booster seats.  It’s tough!  One of those things that you only notice if you do it wrong, and since I think mine turned out pretty decent, I have to make a point about it 🙂  I left the extra “empty” space at the top of the frame because at one point we weren’t sure if there would be text, logo, or slogan superimposed there.

Here’s a great drawing of a product shot- always important to draw the product really well!!!

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Here’s the full board sequence:

 

And for comparison, here’s the final commercial!  Turned out pretty cool!

 

It’s a fun song, but when you work with the editors and animators that have to cut the commercial together, you have to listen to the song over and over and over and over again until it loses all meaning.  Yup, there’s a limit to how much happiness one can take!  Ha!

Thanks!  See you next time.

-Max

:45 B&W Corporate Females iOS/Mobile Mobile Nature Samples Shoot Boards Sketch Software Storyboarding

Intel Series pt 6: “Kayak”

 

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Our last one for the Intel series!  What a journey.

Starting out, we see a typical video conference.  Our high profile businesswoman is kicking corporate butt.  But then we reveal that she’s actually lakeside- using the power of Intel to convince her colleagues that she’s all business, but actually keeping a great work/life separation.  Neat!

Here’s the boards:

 

And here’s the final spot!

 

Finally!  Done with Intel!  I’ll take a small break and come back with new spots soon.  Thanks for hanging in there!

-Max

:45 Action B&W Humor Internet Males Samples Shoot Boards Sketch Software Storyboarding

Intel Series pt 5: “Replay”

 

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Here’s another in the Intel series- quickly executed shoot boards for an Intel campaign highlighting tech innovations in daily life.

This one’s silly- a dude gets hit in the face with a water balloon- a slow motion video captures the impact and aftermath- EPIC PRANK.  All that’s left is to edit and post it online for all to see!  Intel makes it easy.

Not too complicated- Here’s the boards:

 

 

And here’s the final spot!

 

One more to go!

-Max

:45 B&W Internet Samples Shoot Boards Sketch Software Storyboarding

Intel Series pt 4: “Hello”

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Another quick one for the “Intel” series- a series of closeup portraits of tech users from all walks of life and points on the globe.  No matter who you are, your tech is as personal as your… uh, personality.  You unique thing, you.

The client had cast all the actors for the spot already, so these were quickly drafted from reference photos supplied by the client.  I think I did a pretty good job of quickly capturing their likenesses!

 

Here’s the boards:

And here’s the final spot!

The big noticeable difference between the boards and the final is the casting of the last actor in series- they switched it up from a techy “Zuckerburg” type character to a foxy hip urbanite of multiracial ethnography. Oh Snap!

Thanks, stay tuned for more!

-Max

 

:45 Action B&W Males Mobile Nature Samples Shoot Boards Sketch Storyboarding Tools Vehicles VFX

Intel Series pt 3: “Drone”

 

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Lost in the woods?  Panicked for your life?  Hunted by bears?  No worry, Intel is there with a superintelligent rescue drone to track you by your heat signature and lead you back to civilization- capable of dodging trees in it’s path as well.

This board continues the Intel Series I knocked out a while back- shoot boards for 6 separate spots, all drawn in a day and a half.

I like the panicked shots of the hiker in my boards- seems like it got tamed down a bit in the final version.  See for yourself!

Here’s the boards:

And here’s the final spot!

More to come!

-Max

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