Top Spots: Visuals

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Honda "Together"

An abstract animation gem, this Garrison Keillor-narrated spot follows a family that's abstractly represented by shapes. Mother and father are orange and blue circles, while baby is a smaller yellow one, and the family dog is a barking brown rectangle. It's an entertaining way of representing the space offered in Honda's FR-V, and for once, a spot that trusts the audience to use a little imagination.

Animation Company: Tandem Films/London Director/Designer/Animator: David Daniels Animators: Richard Jones, Daniel Greaves Agency: Wieden+Kennedy/London CW: Ben Walker. AD: Matt Gooden CDs: Tony Davidson, Kim PapworthProducers: Alison Graham, Mike Bell Live Action Direction: Stuart Parr/Blink, London Sound Design: Shriek/London Postproduction: The Mill/London

Nike "Gary Sheffield"

Psyop turns athletes into animated superheroes in a series of spots that bring a hybrid style of comics, anime, and action to cinemas through a combination of 2-D backgrounds and 3-D animation that the team calls "Shoxploitation." In "Gary Sheffield," the baseball player is Sledge, an underground subway worker who saves the girl from shady villains. Encompassing multiple genres and cultural touchpoints, the spots maintain a uniform look and make celebrity endorsement look fresh.

Directors: Kylie Matulick, Todd Mueller/Psyop, N.Y. Copywriter: Steve Raymond Executive Producer: Justin Booth-Clibborn Producer: Boo Wong Editor: Jed Boyar Music Producer: Jed Boyar

Nextel "The Deal"

To make workers look like bees with blurry buzzing arms and legs, VFX artists at the Mill suspended individual actors on wires against a blue screen, shooting them moving at the slow rate of one frame per second. For more complicated shots, photos were used to make CG images of workers, but it's an effect that impresses and keeps the audience guessing as to how it was done.

Postproduction: The Mill Producers: Verity Grantham, Jo Arghiris Visual Effects Supervisor: Hitesh Patel Telecine Artist: Fergus McCall Flame: Angus Kneale, Jamie Scott, Dave Parker, Ian Plumb, Dirk Greene, Ben Turner, Tara DeMarco, Richard De Carteret Flame Assist: Anu Nagaraj, Andi Dorfan 3-D: Ben Smith, Dadi Einarsson, Rob Petrie Agency: TBWA/Chiat/Day, N.Y. Executive Creative Director: Gerry Graf CD/AD: Joel Rodriguez CWs: John Patroulis, Scott Kaplan Editor: Jun Diaz/Mackenzie Cutler

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