Illusion CGI and Lego Build the Future
We’re betting you were a kid once. Remember how everyone asked what you wanted to be when you grew up? All answers were accepted but somehow none of them were right, and you probably changed them constantly. Ballerina, firefighter, astronaut, marine veterinarian, candy taster, game player, garbage handler. As kids our potential was shaped by our heroes, and those often changed with every new season. It was an important experience in goal making and dreaming, but something most adults leave out of the conversation is that our future isn’t just what we dream: it’s what we make it. Lego recently teamed up with Illusion CGI and Ogilvy Thailand to bring that challenging adult reality together with the dreams we had as kids into a campaign that is immediate, affecting, and also viral on social media.
The tagline for their campaign is “Build the future” and features a trio of kids building the appropriate outfits for three dreamy grown-up professions: astronaut, rock star, firefighter. Each kid is building one the outfit around them out of Legos, making for structures that are not only engineering marvels, but also in some way creating a piece that’s not only an expression of aspiration but also a cocoon for a wonderful life.
“Lego’s ultimate purpose is to inspire and develop children to think creatively, reason systematically and release their potential to shape their own future. The brand believes that play is a key element in children’s growth and development. High-quality play enriches a child’s life and lays a strong foundation for adult life,” Ogilvy Thailand vice chairman Nopadol Srikieatikajohn told AdFreak. By illustrating careers that draw from the sciences, the arts, and social services, the campaign targets kids with an incredibly broad range of interests and passions – which is perhaps why the world is talking about the campaign.’
While at Cannes Lions last month, “Build the future” took home three silver Lions and one bronze. We couldn’t be more proud of Illusion CGI.
Illusion CGI Packs It All In for Voxpax
Medicine, when used appropriately, has the potential to set us free. Whether it’s a pounding headache while you’re trying to work, or muscle pain after an intense work out, doctors and pharmacists are always trying to help us live more healthful, productive, and comfortable lives. They’ve made it possible for us to push our bodies to the limit in the pursuit of exploration and fun. Lehning Laboratoires is also trying to solve these challenges using homeopathy. They just introduced a new product and needed a creative and imaginative way to show it off to potential customers. They asked Illusion CGI to bring their inventive point of view and execution for this unique health solution in a campaign with the tagline “Just Press to Free Your Voice.”
Voxpax was created help patients recover their voices from hoarseness. Anyone who has spent time at a club late at night or gone to a rousing basketball game can tell you this is an ailment that will get in the way of your daily routine, but avoiding the events that cause it is to avoid the pleasures of life. Illusion wanted to bring the energy and personalities that share this issue and combine them with the reality of the product. The two ideas came together as a pair of CGI illustrations that are quite literally a representation of both people and medicine. Inside the Voxpax blister pack you’ll find a rocker who is incredibly alive but also looks like he’s sculpted out of the pills themselves. The second ad features a sports fan passionately expressing support for his team. After all, a fan’s voice will be as hoarse as the performer’s the next day. These are the people who are going to press the pills out of the packs to free their voices. A brand is only as good as its clients, and Illusion CGI has brought them together seamlessly.
Check out their award winning work and a sketch from the early stages of this project.
Illusion CGI Takes on Conservation with Robin Wood
As our heavy march towards the future goes on, we find ourselves consuming natural resources at an incredible rate. It’s understandable that logging, clearing land for farming, and searching for oil are natural steps to fulfill the needs of the expanding world population, but it’s easy to forget the impact that these processes leave behind. Every square mile that we take over or destroy represents the home of sometimes thousands of animals that will be displaced, often with nowhere to go. For most of us, this happens hundreds, if not thousands of miles away, very much out of sight of most who consume the fruits of this destructive labor. To make the message clearer to those who need to hear it, Robin Wood teamed up with Illusion CGI to create a visceral message that teaches as much as it communicates emotion.
A series of three images combines the destruction of these habitats with the animal whose home is being compromised. Through artful visual combination of land, human interaction, and the shape of the animal a message comes through without words. “We needed the audience to be aware of the situation, that how we have been treating the environment is making these animals disappear,” explains Post Rattanas of Illusion CGI. “Our part is to make this brutal visual look amazing and charming enough to catch viewer’s attention and communicate the idea.” Each process happens in a different location and affects a different animal. Icy oil rigging and drilling makes the body of a polar bear, fleeing to a new ice floe. A deer flees from a massive logging field to find a new forest, if it can. And a capuchin monkey escapes, its back engulfed in the flames that are clearing its home for farming. “The capuchin monkey was the most painful piece because its back is on fire and running for its life. Heat and fire will always express a feeling to the audience,” explains Post.
The images are beautiful in their creation and composition, but what’s most important in projects like this is to make an impact, to communicate with the audience in a way that they’ll understand the gravity of the situation. “We are doing our best to catch the viewer's attention by making a stunning visual and at the same time communicate this idea out clearly so they are more aware of the situation,” explains Post. Messaging only counts if your audience gets the message, so Illusion hit the balance of creating arresting images that are impeccably well done at the same time that they are emotional and striking. They call for a closer look, bringing us into the issue and demanding our response.
Illusion Studio Imagines Jeep's Cultural Impact
If you ask Post Rattanas from Illusion CGI Studio what the process was for their latest campaign with Jeep, he’ll humbly downplay the incredible work that they did. In reality, every pixel in the final images are a result of careful planning and masterful artistry by the team at Illusion.
The campaign is about influence. They imagined how Jeep’s signature look (most specifically the design of their front grates) would affect those impressed by them and leave an impact years later. In three images, fictional native peoples in a handful of different environments are seen with Jeep imagery absorbed into their cultures in ways that are both playful and seamless. At once they call to Jeep’s history of being an iconic car manufacturer and illustrate the multi-terrain abilities of their cars and trucks. The desert, rainforest, and tundra are all represented, all environments where a Jeep can perform precisely how the driver needs.
Each tribe in these locations is presented in their own imagined traditional way, but applying the front grate and headlight shape iconic to Jeep. Illusion started with photographs and then composited and retouched the Jeep elements onto the images. That means that in the photo of the forest tribe, all the paint was applied through CGI. Creating that kind of incredible realism in computer generated imagery comes only through mastery. “It’s technique,” Post explains. “The artists really know the effects of the edges of the paint and how it would look on each part of the body.” In short: it works because Illusion is simply very good at what they do. That image isn’t only painted to add Jeep elements, but the forest that surrounds the tribe members is a composite from a handful of separate photographs all stitched together into the final image.
Illusion CGI loves doing projects like this because these techniques have become second nature to them. For them, it’s all about execution since they’re already so familiar with the process. “It’s something that we’re experts on,” Post says. “We know exactly what to do. The client briefs us and then we can just go and do it.” This expertise echoes through all their work, including a recent campaign with 28 Too Many to end female genital mutilation that is still practiced in 28 African countries. The campaign recently won Illusion CGI three Gold Cannes Lions and can be found in their portfolio.