This commercial required a robot to have a dance-off with the very talented Justen Beer.
Director Michael Gracey wanted to avoid it looking like a man in a suit, and instead asked that we build the robot in 3D, so we began by creating hundreds of sketches and design concepts until we homed in on the look of the robot.

Once the overall design was approved by the director and the agency, we began sculpting the model so that the next round of approvals would be based on lit 3D model turntables rather than flat drawings. We were also modelling all the necessary mechanical parts and cables, which would be unlikely to change, and building the animation rig.
Furthermore we also made sure that all the mechanics were functional and realistic from an engineering perspective, so as to add to the authenticity.

Meanwhile in Barcelona, Nineteentwenty VFX supervisor Ludo Fealy oversaw both the live action shoot, as well as the motion capture session with Bboy Cloud, the dance choreographer who had previously worked out his routine together with Justen Beer.

As soon as we had capture data we started testing it on the rig (see left), adjusting for areas where the mechanics would need to be adapted to the range of motion, and tweaking the rig to optimise the pipeline. We also received lighting information and the footage so we could camera track shots and begin lighting them. Somewhat trickier was going through the process of finding the right motion capture take to best match the live action shot, and often this involved combining and mixing together various takes to get the best motion.

While we were dealing with the robot, the folks at Nineteentwenty were busy cleaning up shots and creating the screens and their visuals to be placed on the walls in the background, as well as the suspended holographic screens (one of which our robot walks through). All the while we refined our lighting and shading, and we tweaked the motion data and added further detailed animation to every shot, particularly the fingers which had no original motion capture.

Here is a making-of showing some of the process: