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ROOF Studio Animates A Beautiful Sight for Vabysmo

19/06/2024

ROOF Studio Animates A Beautiful Sight for Vabysmo

Brie Clayton June 19, 2024

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In honor of Mother's Day, Genentech and Grey Health spotlight the gravity of vision and community in a heartwarming point-of-view (POV) film. Developed in partnership with highly-awarded animation studio ROOF Studio and composer Joel P West of Marvel-acclaim (Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings), the film shows the integration of patients, their loved ones, and doctors coming together in community to care for each other's vision using Vabysmo, a treatment 95% of retina specialists would trust to care for their own loved one's vision.

The premise behind the film focuses on how our mothers help shape our vision for the world. So, when their vision is at risk due to wet age-related macular degeneration, which is among the leading causes of vision loss in people over 60 in the US, how we care for them means everything. The strong narrative in A Beautiful Sight juxtaposes a mother's vision loss with her son's steps to become a retina specialist. Using the first-person POV, the film showcases how our vision is cared for, literally and metaphorically.

A Beautiful Sight begins from the perspective of a baby boy in a crib, gazing into his mother's smiling eyes. A series of vignettes unfold, capturing the loving bond between mother and son through time. From first steps, bedtime stories, and learning to ride a bike to the teenage years, playing baseball, and learning to drive, their bond grows stronger. With her son grown up and off to college, their separation is bittersweet. Fast forward, the film concludes with a shot of the mother sitting in a patient room. The point of view shifts to a blurry image of the doctor, the mother's son, now a retina specialist treating her for vision loss.

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A Beautiful Sight' was conceived with a grand vision: to redefine the standards of craft and storytelling within the realm of branded pharmaceutical advertising. Traditionally dominated by predictable lifestyle imagery and functional communication approaches, our aim is to elevate the narrative, emotion, and visual experience to new heights, shared Bruno Rebelo, Executive Creative Director at Grey Health.

Directed by Guto Terni, Vinicius Costa, and Lucas Camargo of ROOF Studio, the film builds on the team's legacy of heartfelt storytelling driven by majestically stylized 3D characters and worlds. Beautifully telling the story of a 40-year time gap, innovative facial mapping technology was used to enhance the 3D characters' features for emotional readability. The film also features detailed, vibrant environments - from seeing your mother for the very first time to ultimately becoming her doctor - improving visible accessibility along the way.

According to ROOF, the key to this story was creating an emotional journey wherein the audience could live it alongside the boy and momentarily forget that there is even a camera involved.

We used the camera as an extension of his sight, moving it with the natural dynamics of human vision, said Terni. His eye blinks' served as a natural transition between scenes, while the focus shifts and head movements mimic the precise way humans look around. All in all, this visual concept deepened the feeling of connection we aimed to establish in the story and, ultimately, illuminated how the mother nurtured her son's imagination and aspirations - from a firsthand perspective.

Pulling focus on the mother's own journey, ROOF leveraged groundbreaking facial motion capture technology to achieve the emotional depth required for the story. To ensure the mother's expressions felt genuine and humanly relatable, they cast an actor for the mocap sessions and brought them to life in their 3D model with striking detail.

Emotion drives this story, and our facial capture technique helped amplify the mother's complex sentimental journey spanning love, pride, and nostalgia, with impact and unprecedented realism, explained Costa. This story is intended for adults, so it was critical to humanize the CGI character development by showcasing their imperfections through close-up shots and textures that tacitly evolve over time.

Covering the lifespan of a character was really challenging during the concept phase, added Camargo. We didn't have much time to develop these studies, so we needed to nail an entry point that established a baseline for the quintessential, huggable, and warm mom figure. We then imagined the character in the various required situations and designed her assertively to fit those narrative moments with appropriate wardrobe and hair solutions. Our goal was to narrow the path of concepts while still generating a rich and diverse range.

Breathing feelings and life into the film through the character animations of the mother, ROOF masterfully depicted her aging process, emphasizing her natural features, such as her skin and hair, with nuance.

ROOF extended this concept to the CGI details exhibited in the mother's wardrobe. They conducted historical research on styles through the years, imagining what her character might wear from one decade to the next. From the frayed edges of her denim overalls to the lint on her knit sweater to the various eyeglasses she dons as time passes, the details are painstakingly textural, period-specific, and bursting with earthy colors.

Every project comes with its own challenges, whether related to technique, costs, or sch
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