Visual effects: O2 Priority Moments advert


This advert for O2’s new Priority Moments service caught my attention recently, due to its use of visual effects (VFX) to create some wonderful illusions.

Matt Chandler is one of the VFX artists who worked on this advert, and he has written this blog post about it.  Here are some links to his personal website, blog, Vimeo page and LinkedIn page.

He is co-owner of the VFX company which created the advert – Analog Pixel Ltd, based in London, England.  He has uploaded a copy of the advert onto Vimeo, with more information about the VFX software used (Autodesk 3ds Max, V-Ray, NUKE and Adobe After Effects) and the other people who worked on the advert:

The advert consists of four VFX shots, in which physical objects are magically pulled out of mobile phones.  To appreciate these shots more fully, I have slowed them down to 25% speed in the videos below.

VFX shot 1 – Book


I love the way the person presses one end of the book to make the other end pop out!

Also, the book is quite small while “inside” the phone, but once it has been pulled out and turned round, it has become a full-size book.  This illusion has been skillfully created, and most viewers won’t notice it at first.  Observe the initial position of the person’s thumb, gripping the book near its lower end.  Once the book has been pulled out and turned round, it has grown larger and the person’s thumb is now gripping the book near the middle.

VFX shot 2 – Bottle


Matt Chandler reveals some interesting details about this shot in his blog post:

More time was spent painting out the terrible weather from the shoot and even stabilising the pizza topping (which was blowing around in the wind) than the 3D

The pizza topping looks completely motionless in the finished shot – no viewer would guess that the wind was blowing it around in the original footage!

VFX shot 3 – Bag


In my opinion, this is the most impressive VFX shot.  Points to note:

  • The dark grey decorative ribbon bow is initially flat when it slides into view, and then rises out of the screen to become 3D.
  • The ribbon bow gets squashed when the person reaches into the screen to grab the bag handle.  At this point, the end of the bag handle mysteriously appears from within the ribbon bow, before the four white triangular panels have begun to open.
  • As the bag is being pulled out of the screen, there are some tiny sparkling points of white light surrounding it.  It’s not clear whether this is deliberate (to symbolise the magic of a bag being pulled out of the phone) or accidental (a VFX artifact which should have been removed).

I’m guessing that the bag is real and the ribbon bow is CGI, but it’s hard to tell!

VFX shot 4 – Ticket


This is a less complex shot, but still a very convincing illusion.

When the ticket is sliding off the screen, the light of the screen is illuminating the ticket from underneath, causing it to glow.  It’s details like that which help to make these VFX shots so convincing.


One response to “Visual effects: O2 Priority Moments advert

  1. Hi Michael,
    Glad you enjoyed the O2 commercial VFX. Thanks for the praise on your blog site and heres an additional video that shows all the CG parts, including the canvas bag.

    Matt Chandler

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