When the agency Space needed an innovative solution to bring to life their creative idea and concept for their client, Happy Finish stepped up to the bar with our selected Director, Danny Vaia from Punq to direct and creatively produce a 360° virtual reality (VR) distillery tour with a twist for Glenfiddich’s campaign “Journey into the Mind of the Malt Master”.
Happy Finish supported Space producing the experience end to end. The opening sequence offers stunning nature perspectives of Scotland and aerial views of the original Glenfiddich brewery, to place you at the start of the Whisky brewing process.
This project was challenging from a VFX stand point; in post production of 360°VR many of the common shortcuts such perspective hiding or cut-aways can rarely be applied, new techniques need to be developed from the ground up. The technical artist’s attention to detail also gets divided across a larger plane of a 360° circumference as opposed to just a single perspective. At the core of the production it required careful planning and execution of a green screen shoot with actor Steve Hay by our VR & VFX Supervisor, Davide Preite. Both the CG environments and a replica of the Glenfiddich stag were built in 3D Max and Maya and rendered with VRay.
The Foundry’s Nuke was the major compositing and integration platform handling the visual effects and VR aspects of the project. Environments were built and animated to best fit the narrative of the Glenfiddich production process, developed by Space. There are light references to the film, The Matrix, with the infinite white space and a plethora of whisky barrels. A technically intricate walkway was staged to engage the viewer in the 360° space.
Leigh Chapman, Senior Account Director at agency Space, highlights that, “This experience is a pioneering application of 360 VR which fits perfectly with Glenfiddich's maverick history. As the world’s best selling single malt Scotch they have a great story to share and this medium is the perfect platform to bring it to the world. Leigh adds,
“It’s been great to work with an integrated production company
such as Happy Finish that understands the client needs
and the state-of-the-art production and technology.”
Commenting on the project, Dele Momoh, VR & VFX Producer at Happy Finish, said, “We are always thrilled to work with creatively daring and progressive clients to produce cutting-edge projects. With the new and rapidly growing medium of Virtual Reality the story has really only just begun. There are quite literally worlds worth of new creative ground to cover. One of the project’s key challenges involved orchestrating different film elements on stage of a 360° environment. We had a live character and narrator shot on green screen, leading us through a sequence of full CG and 2D environments interacting with a full CG character, a stag.”