SyFlex in a Commercial for Aditya Birla Group


Corporate identity commercial


Special Effects: JCS postproductions
Completion: February 2004 Creative Director: Ilan Bouni
Art Director: Yaron Yashinski
Director: Yariv Gaber
3D Artists: Haim Sarusi,Ofer Shafir,Saar Galown, Tal Fisher & Vook Apshtein
Head of Composting: Yaron Yashinski


JCS used syFlex extensively in the production of this commercial. Almost every frame where the huge flag is seen has syFlex involved...

Special interview with the JCS team

In February 2004, Syflex received a thank-you email from Post Production house, JCS. Head of 3D department, Haim Surusi, wrote:
"We have just finished a big project here at JCS. Syflex was the key for the success of this project. 95% of the cloth in this commercial is Syflex. We wish to thank you for this great software"

We loved the email, and loved the commercial even more. So we spoke with Ilan Bouni, Creative Director, and Haim Sarusi, 3D Lead Artist about their work on the "India Project"

The commercial was created for ADITYA BIRLA GROUP, one of the biggest companies in India. The 60 second long piece follows a man running across eight landmarks in the world, holding the company's flag. Each landmark represents a brand of ADITYA BIRLA GROUP in the world. In every shot the flag appears, transforming its shape and performing a new spectacle.

Syflex: How was the flag concept developed?

Ilan: The Indian ad agency came up with the initial concept of a man running across the world holding a flag. They hired director Yariv Gaber, who took this idea a few steps farther, turning the flag into the focal point of the commercial. The flag became the vehicle that moves the running man from pyramids in Egypt to the Great wall of China, from the Niagara Falls to the Opera house in Australia.

The flag was originally created in real cloth to be shot live, but the team at JCS ended up using a 3D flag, simulated with SyFlex in nearly all of the shots.

Haim: The character was shot on blue screen, and the backgrounds are made out of live shots combined with 3D work. On top of all that, there is the main star, the flag. SyFlex gave us the flexibility we needed to create such complex combination of imagery, human movement and cloth movement.

We had a dedicated team of four 3D artists, who learned Syflex for that project. We first developed the look and feel of the material, and then the techniques to make the flag perform and be in synch with the human character.

Syflex: How did you give the right characteristics to the flag?

Ilan: I brought fabrics and references with me from India, and we explored the qualities of the real materials before going to the 3D. Later we even based the "mass" parameter in SyFlex on real measurements of the weight and size of the actual fabric. We discovered that this was the right way to reach a fabric that behaved in the way we wanted.

Syflex: How did you reach the right movements?

Ilan: Every day we would put 5000 frames of simulation to render at night, and came back in the morning to choose the parts that work best for our purposes!

Syflex: What were the resolutions you dealt with?

Ilan: Huge. We needed the flag to be big enough to cover the pyramids!.

Haim: SyFlex works very fast with cloth as big as 300x300 polygons. To add more details we used a displacement map

Syflex: What was the most challenging shot?

Ilan: Every shot brought a new challenge, and there were more than 50 shots!!

Haim: One of the trickiest shot to get right was the one with the tree. It took us some time to figure out how to create the effect of the tree "giving birth" to the pieces of cloth. We ended up animating the cloth flying into the tree, and then reversing the animation

Ofer Shafir, Technical Lead on the project, enters the room, to see who Syflex is... He tells us that there were two key solutions in the work on the "Indian Challenge": Turning the simulations into shape (baking) before applying any manipulations (such as reversing the animation in the tree shot), and rendering those banks of 5,000 frames every night.

"SyFlex is fast, accessible and friendly" Ofer concludes.

"SyFlex was so easy to learn, it took us one hour to understand how to work with it" Adds Haim.


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