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Use of CGI in Kalbitor campaign

Case study: Taylor James' creative lead, Dallas Carroll, takes us through the crucial stages of this complex production for the pharmaceutical brand Kalbitor

Creative production company Taylor James were asked to produce a multi-disciplined creative campaign for the pharmaceutical brand Kalbitor. In this case study, Taylor James' creative lead, Dallas Carroll, takes us through the crucial stages of this complex production. 

Client brief 
GSW Worldwide approached Taylor James to produce a three-part print campaign for Kalbitor, a prescription medicine used to treat sudden attacks of Hereditary Angioedema (HA), a disorder which causes severe swelling of the airways, limbs and intestinal tracks, and has been described as feeling like the body is attacking itself.    

To illustrate this pain, the concept was to show a hand creeping under a patient's skin and attacking from within. We knew this brief had the potential to be visually striking, but it was essential the final execution clearly conveyed the pain of these potentially life threatening attacks.

Achieving photographic realism was vital in order to maximise the visual impact of the ads. Our roots as photographic retouchers allowed us to fully understand the components and technical challenges involved when working with single frames or large-scale multi-part compositions. Following our REALWorld Rendering process, we planned out a pipeline for the project that integrated photography, CGI and post-production. 

Presentation showing the various production stages 

TIP: Use the arrow buttons to navigate through the different images, or select 'more' then 'autoplay'

Use of CGI
CGI played an integral part in achieving a convincing and realistic finish. CGI allowed us to accurately sculpt our female hands around the neck and to texture the hands with the correct skin form for each different area of the body; for example, the hands around the throat had to feel like they were under the skin of the neck and to look almost vacuum sealed in order to emphasise the tightness of the restricted airways. We wanted certain features of the hand to be defined, such as tendons, knuckles and finger nails, while the overlaying skin texture still had to look like the neck. Skin on the neck is very different to skin on the back of a hand – It has larger texture and pores, different colours and vein structures and hairs, all of which needed to be retained to keep the authenticity of the campaign.

We were then able to shoot specific areas of the model's neck to use as textures for our CG hands. We stretched the skin in order to achieve the desired look in the final images, later, subtle colour blemishes, veining and hairs added on top for the finishing details. Our Invega 'skin' campaign for Invega, through Ogilvy Healthworld, ran in a similar vein to this one.  

The whole process used a multi-disciplined approach and it was therefore vital for us to control each aspect of the production so we could really optimise all of our services into one efficient and cost-effective workflow. We worked with a photographer to capture all the necessary model shots and textures needed for the CGI. We shot supporting reference material of hands pushing through latex allowing us to quickly explore different levels of tension and also give the 3D artists a really good starting point for how much form and structure of the hand we would see though the skin.   

Animation: How it all came together

The flexibility we had from handling the entire production allowed us to streamline the whole process, enabling us to spend more time in key areas to really push the levels of quality, while at the same time optimising our production schedule with teams working in parallel, hitting deadlines and maximising the client's budget. In this way we were able to deliver a campaign that truly conveys to the viewer the messages about the extraordinary pharmaceutical product, Kalbitor.

The Kalbitor campaign has won several industry awards for creativity and execution, including a gold and bronze CLIO Healthcare Award.

Agency: GSW Worldwide (on behalf of pharmaceutical client)

Creative production studio: Taylor James

Campaign/client: Kalbitor

Photographer: LJ Hopkinson

The Author
Dallas Carroll is creative lead at Taylor James - a speciality creative agency working with some of the world's top health and pharma brands and advertising agencies. 

8th June 2011


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