Tide’s tie-in with the Marvel Studios release of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is loaded with nods to the long-running superhero franchise.
When Doctor Strange’s colleague Sorcerer Supreme Wong undertakes the task of cleaning up the independently-minded Cloak of Levitation, smeared with pizza flour and pieces of tuna melt, he turns to Tide Pods. A true fan favorite, the script sought to provide a context within which the cloak was the hero – cleverly building a narrative based on a throwaway line from Wong in a previous film.
Working alongside Bullitt director Anthony Leonardi and Saatchi & Saatchi New York, Framestore’s LA-based team was involved in the project from beginning to end on an extremely challenging timeline. Creative Director Alex Thomas led the incredibly committed crew, which covered on-set supervision, to CG character and environments, as well as FX work in Maya, Houdini, Nuke and Flame.
“Dr Strange’s cloak is so much more than an accessory, and each film reveals more and more of its mischievous character,” said Alex Thomas, Creative Director at Framestore. “This is the first time Dr Strange’s cloak is given chief protagonist status, making it both newsworthy and unique. Securing actor Benedict Wong was crucial to the authenticity and success of the project, and with a plethora of easter eggs for the devout Marvel fan, it’s a piece that will sustain multiple viewings.”
The effort required the team to walk a fine line between creating a property dirty enough to sell the story, but which was ultimately fixable with Tide Pods. Framestore’s texturing department, which relied heavily on the power of Substance Painter, worked alongside Nuke compositors and the FX team which used Houdini to bring the cloth to life with realistic sims that often border on the comedic.
“It's always a pleasure when you get the opportunity to work with such a beloved and high profile Marvel property,” said Framestore 3D Supervisor, Brian Creasey. “Utilizing assets from our pipeline that were previously featured in the original Dr. Strange film, our major challenge was to bring a dirty and stained version of the cloak that met the brief and demonstrated what the product was capable of.”
The spot was color graded by Tom Poole of Company 3.