Macy's had a real mixed bag of visual effects which included greenscreen composites and CG set-extensions. The main challenge of this project was to create a convincing environment, both inside and out, of the celebrity-filled store.
Framestore's CG set supervisor Jenny Bichsel was on hand to oversee the interior greenscreen environment and worked in collaboration with the set designer to imagine the extension of the store beyond the confines of the studio. Jenny was able to input the designers renderings on Google Sketchup Pro into Maya and continued her work on-set so that she could share the result with both DP John Lindley and Director Hank Perlman. On set props and textures were also shot as references to aid in the CG re-creation.
This particular Macy's set included glass entrance doors to the store so B camera elements were shot for these composites. 2D supervisor Maryanne Butler had a small crew on 34th street, close to the famous Herald Square store, to shoot the exterior street scene with New York city traffic. Later exterior greenscreen elements of people were shot at the studio location to be composited with the midtown plates to create the appropriate environment beyond the entrance doors.
Additional sequences with effects were scenes including a falling 'Harold' (the new store manager) into the arms of Taylor Swift. Shot on a bed of mats to help Miss Swift deal with the true weight of our hero, extra plates were shot of the environment and her dress so that the mats could be seamlessly removed. A little bounce in Harold's fall was also composited in Flame as was Miss Taylor's moving skirt.
Another challenge lay in the Diddy Dash spot, featuring P. Diddy. In this sequence we had to imagine an infinite room full of thousands of 'Diddys'. A small group of Diddy doubles were used and shot in a handful of different positions and camera angles to help with the final composite, whilst a matte painting, developed by artist Zack Lydon, was used as the final room itself. A test composite done on-set using Nuke was shown to Mr. Diddy who, obviously impressed at the way it was looking, made a last-minute decision to be incorporated into the scene. See if you can spot him!