Client: McDonald’s

Agency: Leptir Produkcija

McDonald’s McSundae Commercial Breakdown and some tips on making CG Food look delicious

General Technical Overview of the project

The main idea behind the concept was to create an effective showcase of ice cream and its preparation process.

The whole process was made in 3ds Max, from camera animation to the ice cream creation. We are always trying to keep the entire process in 3ds Max because it allows us to have a procedural approach in solving the potential issues. In order to keep observers focused on details but at the same time to simplify the process, we have applied modifiers stacking as much as possible.

In the projects when the advanced fluid simulation is required (ex: Chocolate, milk splashes etc.), we are using real flow but when we need to achieve more complex animation, we finish it in Maya and send it to 3ds Max.

As for the render engine, we have decided that this is a great project to use FStorm because there is not much subsurface rendering and therefore due to the GPU side of FStorm the render frame was only a few minutes. For that reason we are looking to turn to GPU renders whenever we can. In case that the project requires something more complex, we use the CPU render engine.

Our biggest challenge in this project was adapting our existing pipeline to the Fstorm render engine. When you change something big such as the type of render engine, you have a lot of R&D work to do in order to learn how this tool/software works and to implement it to the existing pipeline.

Some tips on making CG Food look so delicious

For many years we have been working on projects that showcase the food in an effective and attractive way which is mandatory in food advertising. On projects like “McDonalds McSundae Ice Cream” and ” Ice Cream Chocolate Explosion Animation”, they both require the liquid effects to have strong performance. In order to animate them so vivid, we often open simulation setups from the previous projects and build on the same process. This method saves us time and allows us to meet the short deadlines in the fast advertising world.

When making CG ice cream, the references are an essential part of the process. Whatever you are doing, keep your references visually close. Then try to make it look as close as possible to the reference you have. If you can’t achieve that in 3D then move to the compositing and push it towards the reference to look as close as possible. What people are missing the most when it comes to the food rendering are the colours in shadows. You should be very careful with colour nuance in the shadows in order to make food more appealing to the consumers.

We are always trying to use as little lightning as possible. If we can make our scene more effective with one main light and one backlight, then we are going to do so. But different products require different lightning dynamics. It all depends on what atmosphere you want to achieve. For example, diffused light is more suitable for milk chocolate but for energy chocolate bars, you need strong light and sharp shadows.