I recently competed a job with Time Based Arts for MSN/Microsoft. The spot was directed by Tomato. Their directorial approach is the opposite of Ben Hibons (who directed both sequences in my last post) Where as Ben knows his entire world in minutiae, a question to Tomato along the lines of, "does it look like this?" will typically receive an answer such as, "maybe". For them, the entire process is a voyage of discovery.
Tomato arrived with a selection of images and video clips. These were narrowed down to three core elements, a torus, a flock and a fractal. I created about a dozen animation tests for each, which were then refined and cross pollinated. Tomato constantly challenged me to 'break' the tools and conventional ways of working. For example, geometry that constantly changed topology, textures that 'swam' through models or a flocking system that flew through right angles.
I developed the modeling, animation and sequence. Lighting was executed by Remi. The flip text by Jess. Flame was handled by Mike, Jim and Sheldon. Production, JD and [lots of] coffee and cake by Stephanie. All at TBA. The [familiar?] voice is Paul Megan.