AP: There are three colour themes in the entire Prius V series. Can you tell us what each conveys?
Sergio del Puerto: The white theme was inspired by fairytales, far more whimsical than the other two designs. We call this one ‘More Versatility’ and it’s more for families. It tells of story of the big space available inside the trunk, using a myriad of colours and objects like topiaries, balloons, birthday party items, a range of suitcases and funny dogs and kids… This visual was the most photographic, with near everything shot in studio.
The corporate blue background image is titled ‘More Efficiency’, depicting things that a guy who owned a Toyota could do. With his Prius V and its exceptional fuel efficiency he can visit a rock concert, see the final match of his favourite baseball team, enjoy a barbecue at the beach or go snowboarding, among other activities.
Finally the black background image is titled ‘More Connectivity’ and depicts the mobile apps like Bing, iHeartRadio, MovieTickets.com, OpenTable and Pandora through the car’s Entune system. These apps are represented by a number of coloured objects in a dark space, expressing the possibilities of a vibrant nightlife.
AP: Can you tell us what the studio’s major visual inspirations for these designs were?
Sergio del Puerto: The main inspiration for ‘More Versatile’ were the worlds of the Brothers Grimm, the palace topiaries of the Eighteenth Century, a girlie birthday party, all interpreted in our fashion. The inspiration for ‘More efficiency’ was LA style, like surf, cool stores, concert venues, Route 66 rest areas with dinosaurs, the circus and roller coasters. Finally, the inspiration for ‘More Connectivity’ was a contemporary high-tech look with glossy elements.
AP: How did the general mood amongst the creative team help bring this project to life?
Sergio del Puerto: It was truly a complex project. It took three months of pre-production, six days of photo shooting, two months for post-production. It was the biggest and most exciting campaign ever completed by us, commissioned by Saatchi & Saatchi, LA. With more than 30 professionals involved, each object was shot separately.
The agency supplied us with just one pencil sketch to get the idea rolling and a 14-page script with so many details, in a literature-style, so we thought we would never get it done, as we thought this was more Spielberg’s thing. But the good thing is when we finished the project we realised we had completed exactly what was in that script – a great feeling.
AP: Can you tell us about any revisions that had to be made during the production process?
Sergio del Puerto: The revisions were really painful. It took six rounds in two months. This was almost like a final project in itself, just to complete three sketches. There were tons of calls and emails during this time. But this process is totally necessary to formulate all your intentions and making sure all the team involved are on the same page.
AP: Can you please tell us how Photoshop helped you visualise your projects?
Jimmy Anderson: Photoshop was used for compositing, combining the real photos with the CGI renders, to give it an authentic look and feel. All of the colour corrections in post-production were mainly in Photoshop. The tools most commonly used were the Pen, for selecting mask areas and cropping, and the Brush and Eraser. We also worked a lot with Smart Objects for lossless resizing, and of course tons of adjustment layers where applied so we could work in an editable, non-destructive way.
AP: What specific 3D software was applied to create visuals?
Jimmy Anderson: We used CINEMA 4D for CGI elements. This is the program mainly used for all our CG production. The only external plug-in used in the project was the V-Ray render engine. For us, this is the best way to get the most realistic renders. Each visual in our compositions was rendered separately.
Serial Cut, established by Sergio del Puerto, focuses on art direction for international advertising projects. It creates slick and bold images through tactile sets and 3D production. Typography has an important role too. All works embrace pop culture, luxury and surrealism at the same time.