See how MPC created a land of VFX dinosaurs for Nescafé Goldblend

MPC gets prehistoric for Publicis’ latest coffee spot, creating a T-Rex family and other Jurassic creatures

MPC has created a prehistoric land of dinosaurs in Publicis’ latest spot for Nescafé Goldblend 

Directed by Park Pictures duo Christian & Patrick, the 60-second spot was a huge undertaking for the VFX team, with multiple dinosaurs created from scratch

Other effects made use of impressive matte paintings, including an animated lava-spewing volcano, designed as a backdrop.

The spot follows a mother and son on an epic trip in search of dinosaurs, featuring running commentary from a visionary played by ‘The Missing’ actor Tcheky Karyo.

The spot was filmed among the stunning scenery of South Africa’s Royal Natal National Park, with the world-famous rock Amphitheatre slightly augmented by the VFX team.

Shooting conditions in the park proved challenging, with a daily two-hour hike to locations with the team carrying all the kit required.

Local Zulu guides were employed to help with the more treacherous terrain, including crossing a rocky stream via a rope bridge.

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Back in the studio, VFX Supervisor Dan Sanders led the team in creating a prehistoric look.

In addition to the matte painted volcano and corresponding reflection seen in the canoe scene, the team added extra waterfalls, clouds and mist, and altered the appearance of the sky and time of day.

Jon Park supervised the 3D team in the creation of the Jurassic creatures, with a main focus on the T-rex and her babies.

Park explained, “Each dinosaur was treated individually, with the team modelling and rigging herds of brachiosaurus, pterodactyls, stegosaurus and the iconic T-rex.”

“As there was no stand in reference on set, apart from various crew members undertaking dinosaur role play, the lighting, measurements and even crocodile skin references acquired by our shoot supervisor Jim Radford were indispensable.”

The dinosaurs were integrated using multiple techniques.

“For the T-rex scenes we used GOBO techniques to create a dappled light effect over the dinosaur’s skin, which quickly draws the eye to the animated creatures.” explained Sanders.

“The mother’s mouth features some pretty extraordinary saliva, which we actually shot at MPC playing around with soap suds and an aerosol spray can.”

“This was then composited into her mouth for the final menacing effect.”

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