The Argos christmas advert of 2016 was my first project at Electric Theatre Collective in London.
For this advert I developed a range of FX, from atmospheric fog and snowflakes to more obvious ice spray, snow chunks coming off skates, breath and smoke.
The ice spray set-up I developed in a procedural fashion to make sure it could be plugged in to the skates of any yeti in any shot, and would function as intended. With only minor tweaks per shot, this was successfully achieved.
The complete effect consisted of multiple layers – a trail of ice bits scraped off the surface, a spray of larger particles mixed in with snow chunks, and a layer of thinner ice fog which evaporated faster than the others.
The scraped off ice trail grounds the effect in its icy environment while the snow chunks flying off connect it with the snow lying around everywhere. A whirly spray effect finally added a touch of speed and dynamic movement to the overall effect.
The atmospheric effects are very subtle, mainly snow flakes to marry the shots together with the wintery setting. A bit of turbulence added to snowflakes near yeti’s passing by was again intended to add a touch of speed and realism.
The smoke effects were used in the shots where Yetis would jump off ramps. These were achieved by mixing in the velocity of the Yetis with a turbulence field used to advect the fog volumes. Particles and chunks were then mixed in, advected by the same volumes, to add to their visibility and realism.
Please check out the advert below: