The team was tasked not only with the creation of the lion-man and its cameo-making cub in the closing moments of the film, but environment and vehicle augmentation throughout to best showcase the sleek new S-Class. The dream-like state entered into by the lion, though set in theory in the brief, proved a creative challenge, prompting collaboration across the wider team as they sought the best possible visuals to pinpoint the vehicle’s key comfort features.
The artists were also responsible for creating pristine, modern environments for the film, which would duly reflect the Mercedes-Benz brand. 2D clean-up was undertaken in the office, bathroom and street scenes, whilst two bespoke matte paintings were created: one wide cityscape, and another for the closing driveway shot.
For the new S-Class itself, CG proved key in answering how to shoot the new vehicle in public view. Due to the hot anticipation around the model’s release, various shots – such as those on Madrid’s famous Bridge of Toledo – were achieved only by physically covering the new features of the car, to be reconstructed and implemented later in post-production. Special attention was also paid to the silhouette of the car, which had been illuminated by light trucks in the exterior shots. Leonardo’s team took care to remove any hint of reflection of the set-up, in the knowledge that the lines of the new model would be key to the impact and beauty of the campaign.