Yes, This is A Computer Generated Character

Stockholm, Sweden-based vfx shop Important Looking Pirates (ILP) created the impressive animation for this Aco skin care product commercial. Yes, the woman is live-action in some parts of the spot too, but I was unable to identify when she was live-action and when she was computer animated until reading the description and watching the making of clip. Photoreal animation is commonplace today, and its last frontier—believable human beings for extended periods of time—doesn’t seem too far away anymore.

Below, ILP reveals how they used CGI:

We had the pleasure of working with Philippe Tempelman from Social Club on a new commercial for Aco. It is a beautiful 30 second skin care spot about how the different moments and emotions of life leaves a trail and affects our skin. Our work was to track and composite digital tears for two shots and also to create a smooth camera pull back when we go from a macro shot of the women’s eye. The latter turned out to be trickier than it might sound. We had to mix different takes of the filmed pullback in order to have crisp material that was in focus during the full length of the shot. We also did additional texture and 3d work in the macro part of the camera move. The refined material was was then project onto a CG double in order to create a smooth digital camera pull back.

(h/t, Todd Kelley)


  • Michael

    Very impressive work. It’s the animation part that makes photoreal humans tricky I believe. Very well done in this case though.

    The last shot was obvious due to the camera movement I’d say. The one with the tear running down her cheek and the closeup of the eye I would not have spotted.

    -And please no rants that this should have been 2d, -and / or that we should brind 2d back instead ;)

    • Aaron

      Bring back pin screen! Bring back strata cut! Bring back “lumage”!

      • IJK

        I miss the days when cartoons had no sound and required speech bubbles. Back then, you had to PAY ATTENTION if you wanted to enjoy the darn thing, otherwise you’d miss what they were saying!

  • Mike

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  • Nathan

    It’s an essential step for the rich moisture anti-age face cream advertising field.

  • Johnny Luu

    Animate her talking. Then I’ll be impressed.

  • Delta

    Wait, did CartoonBrew already write about the Audrey Hepburn CG ad? This one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gx9eDoS76LM

  • Ian

    Wait, the tear is tracked on and the pullback involves some CG work for macro shot and then has some re-projections. So not sure you can really say this is a CG character at all.

  • GW

    This is impressive but one of the biggest barriers to creating photorealistic human characters has been making ones that aren’t directly based off of somebody. That shows a greater knowledge of how humans look as you can’t compare it to a model to find out if you’re doing it right. Not that this isn’t impressive, but it’s still a little ways from the end of the game.

  • Jason

    So they’re using a fake person to advertise skin care products? Isn’t that kind of false advertising, since an actual person didn’t use it, so viewers won’t know what the “actual” result is?

  • Sarah

    This is not a cg character. They used a cg double to composite the cg tear.

  • Alexander

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