Pinnacle Pest Control - Chowtime Commercial

THE PROJECT

Create a commercial to advertise Pinnacle Pest Control's methods for removing termites from the home. I was asked by my creative director to create a 3D scene depicting termites inside of the wood in a home. The camera would fly through the eaten wood and then fly out. The eaten portion should spell the word "chowtime." Once the word is visible, a liquid would fill the crevices of the word and destroy the termites. The whole project had to be completed in a few days.

THE PROCESS

To begin, I had to research what California termites look like so I collected images I found on the web. I then used this to build a model in Autodesk Maya which would be used for animation. While I was working on that, the creative director drew the word "chowtime" in Illustrator and, once completed, I imported the Illustrator file into Maya so I could extrude it and build the wood that the termites would be tunneling through. Once I had the background completed, I returned to the termite model and finished it up and then set to work unwrapping and texturing it using images I found off the web. I then rigged the termite in preparation for animation.
Next, I created a cycling general animation of the termite head and antennae moving. I followed that up by creating a walk cycle for the termite and moved both of these animations into Maya's trax editor so that I could use them easily on multiple copies of the termite model.
I duplicated the termites and placed them around the background in the general area they were going to be. Next, I set up a camera and animated it so that it flew through the word "chowtime" and then zoomed out to reveal the whole word.
I then added the looping animations to the termites to give them some life and set them walking on a path through the word "chowtime."
Now it was time to tackle the liquid simulation. I used Maya's bifrost liquid simulator to create the simulation and created a custom material so that it looked like an orange oil.
I lit the entire scene and rendered each portion out individually (termites, background, and liquid simulation).
I then brought all of the renders into Adobe Premiere to bring the whole scene together. Once the scene was complete, I brought in an After Effects text animation that the creative director created as well as some stock video of a family in a kitchen. I then added the voice over that was previously recorded and started cutting the commercial together to fit the voice over. Finally, the video was sent to a freelance sound designer to add the sound effects. I then collected those files and imported them into Premiere and into the sequence.

THE RESULT

The client was ecstatic over the commercial. They were surprised that we were able to put together such high-quality work in such a short amount of time.