Dexigner has posted an in-depth article detailing the production of the new 2010 Lexus RX commercials, including how some of the digital effects were created. This part was especially interesting:
“City” opens on the RX sitting in traffic. But the vehicle has a secret weapon-XM real-time traffic monitoring that reveals driving conditions on the road ahead. Suddenly, massive cranes descend from the sky, picking up the offending traffic and lifting buildings from their foundations so the driver can travel unimpeded to his final destination.
During the live-action shoot, the RX was shot sitting in downtown Los Angeles, surrounded by about 10 cars. Digital Domain augmented the traffic by adding an additional 60 all-digital vehicles. The artists also did rig removal on three cars shot in-camera as they were being suspended by cranes, added the metal claws and dozens more CG cars also being lifted by the giant machinery. And because silver cars are notorious for acting as mirrors when captured on camera, Digital Domain replaced the RX with a digital version at the end, just before the vehicle arrives at an independent music store, also constructed entirely in CG.
It’s funny, because back in December I posted photos of some Lexus’ suspended by cranes in downtown Los Angeles, and couldn’t figure out which models they were. Mystery solved!