Watch: That's Not CGI. It's Just Water, Paint, and a Robotic Arm
This is probably one of the most jaw-dropping commercials you'll see this year, especially when you learn how it was made.
There are only a few things in filmmaking that get me jumping up and down like a kid waking up on Christmas morning, and one of them is brilliant practical effects. So, when I saw this commercial entitled "Epiphany" for paint company Sherman-Williams, created by McKinney Advertising and Psyop, and then learned that zero CGI was used to create it, I jumped out of bed in my reindeer pajamas and dove headfirst into a pile of presents. (Uh, so to speak.)
It's kind of difficult to fully articulate what's going on in this ad, but just imagine flying through clouds made of undulating paint and then coming upon a giant blue and green paint tornado. Why am I trying to explain it?Just watch it for yourself!
Cool, right? Yeah, I know, it's pretty cool. But guess what? "What, V?" Not a drop of CGI was used in this ad (except for the actual paint can). Really, a tub full of water, paint, a robotic arm, and a high-speed Phantom camera were pretty much all that was used to capture this amazing piece of art. So really, while the actual ad was spectacular, the story behind how it was made is on a whole other level.
In order for these types of high-speed macro shots to work, you've got to get every single detail nailed down before you actual go to shoot it. Choreography is the glue that holds projects like this together, so it has to be solid and perfect. Aside from the technical aspect, though, is the creativity required to essentially make materials, like paint, do things that you don't really see it do in the natural world. For instance, Psyop used a power drill submerged in water to get a vortex thing going, which caused the paint to form that awesome paint tornado...the paintnado. In fact, Psyop used a ton of interesting techniques to get paint to "tell a different story," as they put it.
If you want to know how McKinney and Psyop masterminded this incredible ad, check out the behind-the-scenes video below:
To learn more about the ad and how it was made, head on over to PSYOP's blog.