Mercedes – Time to Look Up Again

“Hey Jess, wanna re-create an 80′s retro karate arcade game for our latest Mercedes spot?” They said. “Erm, no thanks. I’m busy” is not what I said.

So… Time Based Arts ( yes I know, I should rename to Time Based Onions or something better ) asked if I could do some retro animation for Sebastian Strasser’s latest spot for Mercedes. The idea being that as we’re young we see the wonder in the world and our imagination is open, but as we get older and burdened with the complexities of modern life our heads drop and this new car has the power to release the inner kid in us all. I however wouldn’t know anything about that, I can’t drive.

Armed with a youtube link of Karate Champ, lots of reference and feeling well and truly out of my comfort zone… I set too it. As it turned out it was an incredibly fun and rewarding experience. I figured the best approach was go big and scale down to the pixels needed… rather than start at 1:1. Illustrating a large karate toon in a t-pose, I used the old separate limbs and the Wonderfull Duik script for AE to frame by frame pose my paper doll. Each frame became part of a short sequence of an attack, essentially creating the sprites that would have been in an original game. Then it was just a question of resizing without any anti-aliasing, cleaning up and time remapping a fight sequence between 2 dolls. All set amongst windy blossom trees against Mt. Fuji backdrop at sunset. classic.

29 – 35 secs, blink and you might miss it :)

Watch the spot here:


Watch the supplied Karate game animation here:


Agency – Antoni
Director – Sebastian Strasser

Time Based Arts
VFX Supervisor – Mike Skrgatic
Colourist – Simone Grattarola
Lead Flame – Sheldon Gardner
Smoke – Mike Aveling
Flame – Matt Jackson
Nuke – Ralph Briscoe, Josh Sutcliffe, Fernando Ferrer, Borja Hernandez Abellan, Dave Clark
3D – Ben Cantor, Chris Wood, Sam Osborne, Federico Vanone, David Loh, James Mann, Daniel Davie, Ariel Flores
Design / Animation – Jess Gorick
Producer – Tom Johnson
Offline editor – Paul Hardcastle @ Trim

Time Based Arts