Depending on your age, this commercial might not fire on any cylinders aside from how oddly surreal it is. The commercial is from Renault and plays in Brazil…and features live-action characters from an early 80’s Dungeons & Dragons cartoon.

Image result for d&d cartoon

To say that this ad firm nailed it is an understatement, but why? Apparently, the D&D cartoon is a cult classic in Brazil so while I have fond memories of this cartoon from my Saturday mornings, it apparently resonates a lot stronger now with folks Way Down South than it would here in the U.S.

Aside from seeing this cartoon made real, what I liked about the commercial is that there’s some pretty good effects being shown. I went back through the video a few times and took some GIFs of some of these for analysis.

First up is the ranger’s magical bow. Normally, this bow has no string until he pulls back, and then the arrow forms. I think this might be fairly easy to handle using paths, masks, and the VideoCopilot Saber plugin along with some post application touch-ups for brightness and flares and such. If I were to film something like this live in my back yard, the actor would probably need to have some kind of light in both hands to provide the realistic lighting effects where relevant.

Second up is the barbarian’s club smash. Once again, we can turn to VideoCopilot because they provided a cool tutorial video on how to create lighting effects with out-of-the-box Ae tools that could be applied here. There’d also need to be some smoke video added, and a ground-based lighting solution to provide the realistic reflections.

Last one is the paladin’s shield dome. This would be really interesting. There are elements of Saber, distortion, fire, and the fact that there are arcs of lightning passing over the surface of the dome would make it a really cool effect to try. Because the effect is 3D-ish, there’d need to be some camera tracking as well, since the dome’s footprint is very prevalent. It also would require very few props from the execution standpoint, because there’s so much interference in front of the actors that it’s difficult to say if there are any internal lighting effects.

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