Wild tiger population is at an all-time low. This evocative spot, launched as part of WWF’s campaign to double the number of wild tigers by 2020, depicts an ordinary, suburban family nursing a tiger back to health in their own home, before releasing him back into the wild.
Our VFX artists collaborated with JWT and Partizan’s award-winning Martin Stirling – described as ‘one of the internet’s most watched directors’ - for this important charity film. The team worked on the pre-visualization and shot composition, supervised the shoot and planned the VFX, before crafting, animating and compositing the fully-CG tiger into the film over a three-month period.
Matteo La Motta, VFX Supervisor 3D, comments: ‘Although it sounds ridiculous, we started by using a life-sized toy tiger on the shoot to bring it to life. As well as capturing lighting references and shadows, this gave the actors their sight lines, and helped them to react accurately in the presence of an enormous animal. When it came to animating the CG creature, we used references of real tigers for its different expressions and movements, for example when he is in pain, sleeping, or walking down the stairs.'
‘It’s a real challenge to maintain the realism and believability of a 700lb tiger’, Matteo continues. ‘We do creature work all the time, but this spot was particularly challenging because the animal is taken out of context – or its natural environment - and placed in a small, human and domestic space. To make sure we achieved total accuracy with the light, for example casting the correct shadows, we rebuilt the entire house in CG, paying particularly close attention to the bed to make sure it responds to the tiger's weight and movement.’
The film ends with the family saying an emotional goodbye to the healed animal, sending a simple yet powerful message that normal people can help to save tigers.
To join the conversation, search #iProtectTigers on Twitter.
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