No CGI, Just Awesome Practical Effects were used for this Creative Ad

The brilliant teams at McKinney and PSYOP created an incredible TV commercial for Sherwin-Williams to show off their Emerald line of paints. Tech-savvy aesthetes still need to buy paint … but how do you capture their attention? With a fascinating underwater ad that features robot arms, beautiful clouds of paint, and absolutely no CGI.

A Phantom camera was mounted on the high-speed robot arm called Spike, providing outstanding motion control. The camera movements were planned out on the computer before hand, and then the sequence was captured automatically by Spike. The team was tasked with strategically pouring different colors into a 400 gallon tank.

Director Eben Mears of Psyop said: “This is something dynamic and fun; it stays true to the paint. All of the Emerald paint is the real paint that’s being used in this film, and everything that you see is true to life. It couldn’t be any cooler.”

To better appreciate the technical mastery rolled into these 30 seconds, a two-minute making-of details every last anxious moment. For some, it may prove more compelling than the ad itself, because you can see the way water actually interacts with Emerald.

While watching the ad for the first time, we simply couldn’t believe this was all done with paint, water, and standard editing. But it was, as the behind the scenes video they released shows.