News Production & Post

World Cup dreams in Flames

22 June 2006

Autodesk’s Discreet Flame VFX system was used by The Mill to create Football Dream, a commercial for the UK-based bank Nationwide Building Society, promoting the society’s longstanding relationship with the England football team. In the ad, a bank manager falls asleep while speaking to a client about loan rates. He dreams that he is a goalkeeper who is only one penalty save away from winning the World Cup for England. After taunting the penalty taker, the bank manager makes a victorious save with an overhead scissor kick.

As a lead Flame artist at The Mill explained: "We used Autodesk’s Discreet Flame system to create various aspects of the dream sequence. First, Flame was used to design and build the football stadium and to create abstract crowds that make it clear that the bank manager is dreaming. Next, to create one smooth shot of the overhead scissor kick save, I had to cut and fold the bank manager’s body movements in Flame. Lastly, Flame was used to add in a variety of smaller elements such as confetti, flares, neon lights and signs around the stadium."

A Düsseldorf based post-production facility Locomotion used a variety of Autodesk products to create a commercial for a mobile phone network — O2 Germany. In the spirit of the World Cup, the ad shows four German football legends engaging in an impromptu football game inside one of their homes. As they play, the walls of the house fly away and a football stadium is exposed. Maya was used to create the ad’s stylised 3D world, including the house, furniture, balls, stadium, shadows and mobile phones. Combustion visual effects software was also used for b-spline rotoscoping work and pre-composites, while the Flame system was used for high definition finalisation.

Florida-based Deep Blue Sea created broadcast promos, bumpers and opens, as well as the channel logo for Mundial Total – DIRECTV’s Latin American World Cup channel. Digital artists used Flame for the rotoscoping, tracking, compositing and conform of all 2D and 3D components. The system was also used for colour correction work. Based on the performance of the Flame system throughout this project, Deep Blue Sea’s sister studio, Manhattan Transfer, purchased two Flames and two Smoke 2K editing and finishing systems, all running on Linux.

For full details on how Autodesk products were used to create World Cup commercials and broadcast graphics, and to view images of the ads, please visit


Similar stories