Animal Logic Adds Skies and Pods for Toohey's Extra Dry

Money doesn’t grow on trees. Neither does beer. But the latter can grow up from the ground at least in the new spot ‘HarvesTED’ for Toohey’s Extra Dry.
The spot opens with a hipster-farmer plucking a single hair from his quaff, planting it and dousing the soil with some Toohey’s Extra Dry. AS the seasons change little pods grow to eight feet until it is time for the harvest. The hundreds of pods open, each containing a hipster clone holding a beer and the farmer plucks the fruits of his labor.

Click below to Watch the spot.

To achieve the passage of seasons Animal Logic was brought on to handle the extensive sky replacements for every shot of the spot as well as replicate and composite the few practical pods into a field of hundreds.

“The sky replacement was quite a major undertaking just because things weren’t set up during the shoot to easily do a sky replacement. There was no chroma-key or anything like that,” explains VFX Supervisor Leoni Willis. “We had depict a passage of time and show a number of moods in the sky and the clouds, the sunrise and sunset, the daybreak, different weather conditions. So it wasn’t one set style of sky, it was coming up with a whole range of skies to get that feeling across. And then adding animation to put movement I the clouds.”
They culled the skies from their own stills library of skies, stills taken around the time of the shoot and even used one sky from one shot that was composited into a different shot. Autodesk Flame was used for all the compositing work on the spot. Once composited they added subtle movement and a unique color treatment to the skies.

“The skies obviously had to blend in with what was shot but we also wanted to give them a little bit of an unusual feel to them, not so weird that it wouldn’t be believable but the director was keen to make then just a little unusual so that’s why we went for dramatic colorings in some of them – the pinks and oranges and such,” says Willis.

They also had to multiply the number of pods from the handful of practical pods to an entire field using the stills Willis took on set. Then they had to create the effect of the pods blooming with the sunrise.

“The pod replacement when they start to open in the morning was a huge composite because there were just six pods shot and I added over 70 and then also to make them feel that they were interacting with the sun I placed in the sky so that when the sun came up the pods opened. To get a level of realism took quite a while,” Willis says. “Then the following shot with the pods opening, they had one pod on set that was a mechanical opening pod and that was shot against chroma-key. That was a lockoff that I just repositioned the three different ones and retimed them so that they didn’t open at exactly the same time.”

Additionally, Animal Logic composited in the water from the motorcycle, some of the spray from the extinguisher and the pollen dust swirling around the pods as they open.