Holiday Message VFX Breakdown

This past holiday season, the award-winning team at Splice crafted a unique and imaginative project for their Holiday E-card. The Splice team shot and produced a two-minute short that featured a unique twist on Santa’s delivery of Christmas gifts that brought holiday cheer to a crew of three in an intergalactic space station. In order to create the short, Splice relied on CINEMA 4D for visual effects, 3D modeling and advanced rendering to create a holiday short that was truly, out of this world.


The initial storyboard for the project was drawn together by Splice Creative Director Shannon Pettini. The project called for 90% CG and 10% actors shot on greenscreen. After reviewing the storyboards, the team knew they were under a tight schedule with compositing, tracking and rendering.


Splice Motion Graphic Designer, Andy Lefton’s adrenaline was on full blast when he found out about the project and that it would consist of stars, nebulas, spacecrafts, and all the other exciting Sci-Fi bells and whistles. Working together, the Splice team utilized CINEMA 4D’s built-in advanced rendering engine for all exterior shots using GI, while integrating Vray into the mix for most of his interior renderings. For motion tracking software, Lefton used SynthEyes, which integrated into CINEMA 4D easily. CINEMA 4D’s external compositing was a vital tool for the large amount of data tracking and 3D layers that needed to be extracted from CINEMA 4D in order to composite lighting elements and VFX layers in post-production. The software proved itself yet again and excelled as everything was done down to the wire. Both After Effects and Flame were used for compositing and the 3D Data was extracted from CINEMA 4D flawlessly.


“CINEMA 4D’s user interface is the best on the market, and I say this with experience,” concludes Lefton. “I’ve worked with other platforms and attempting to navigate between view ports, tools and attributes has always been a less-than-stellar experience when using other software.”


MAXON’S CINEMA 4D made Splice’s 2011 holiday video possible with no problems at all. The end product was a huge success and viewed by thousands around the world.