Vicon House of Moves Captures Crash Test Performance for Lexus "Light" Commercial

Motion capture and animation company, Vicon House of Moves (HOM), provided motion capture for the :30 "Light" commercial for Lexus that first aired September 7, 2011. Directed by Daniel Kleinman of Epoch Films, the spot was part of the luxury carmaker's "Engineering Amazing" campaign.

Full-service advertising agency Team One created the concept that highlights the advanced simulation technology Lexus developed in pursuit of industry-leading safety. Through the use of motion capture, the difference in data derived from a typical crash test dummy and the Lexus "crash test genius" are illustrated with tiny dots of light outlining a driver in a slow-motion simulated crash. Production company Epoch Films enlisted Vicon House of Moves for the motion capture and data processing, and a52 to complete the visual effects for the spot.

The "Light" commercial was shot at Vicon HOM on their 2,520 square foot main stage, which features 80 Vicon T160 16-megapixel cameras. A stunt coordinator designed a 40-foot rig that was able to simulate the effects of an automobile collision with a stunt performer in the driver's seat. The performer was outfitted in a mocap suit and was thrust forward in the rig with movements similar to those of a crash test dummy captured by the Vicon cameras. Once the data was captured, Vicon HOM retargeted the data at their Los Angeles studio for a52 to integrate into the final spot.

"With this project we were able to showcase the flexibility of working on the House of Moves stages for mocap," said Brian Rausch, Vice President of Production, Vicon, House of Moves. "Our stages and capture volumes are big enough to facilitate a shoot that required a custom 40-foot rig to simulate a crash test scenario that exists in an automobile factory. While as a standard we capture at 120 Frames Per Second (FPS) we increased the rate of the T160 to 240 FPS to capture even more detail at the point of impact. It was incredibly interesting to see what the body goes through in a collision."