KIA, Totally Transformed

MPC LA engineers big change for Kia Hamsters

MPC recently teamed up with David&Goliath and on an ambitious overhaul of Kia’s famous hamsters. Directed by David&Goliath executive creative director Colin Jeffery, MPC handled all VFX work and finishing on the spot, which introduces the all-new 2014 Kia Soul.

Totally Transformed follows the overweight hamsters through a total fitness makeover, from the gym to the pool to the barbershop, mirroring the efforts of a Kia engineer as he perfects each element of the new Soul in a far-off lab. 

These dual makeover montages collide in the final scene, where the three now-stylish and svelte hamster mascots swagger from their flashy overhauled Kia Soul onto a red carpet. Colin said of the spot, "With the help of Lady Gaga, some current fashion trends and our friends at MPC VFX, we introduce a sleeker, sexier and more sophisticated Soul. The hamsters don't look too shabby themselves."

From pre-previs to the final grade, MPC created the hamsters and seamlessly integrated them into Jeffery’s live-action footage. Each shot was pre-visualized with an emphasis on performance, which helped inform the approach to directing actors on the shoot. Special attention was paid to ensuring realism for the hamsters’ look; MPC artists implemented a custom fur and physically-based shader set up to create photo-real characters in live action environments.

The story required MPC artists to push their set-up much further than in previous incarnations of the Hamster series.

 A sequence involving a hamster diving into and swimming through water proved to be an engaging challenge for the team, requiring heavy duty real world solutions. “We  really wanted to bring the personality out of the hamsters so we built advanced facial and body muscle rigs to achieve fluid integration with the live action,” recalled VFX Supervisor and 3D Lead Andy Boyd. “The result needed to be unnoticeable – like you’ve seen a giant hamster in a speedo and goggles before, and we happened to get some nice shots of it!"

Behind The Scenes




David & Goliath

Production Company


Colin Jeffery

Chief Creative Officer

David Angelo

Executive Creative Director

Colin Jeffery

Creative Directors

Gary DuToit, Eron Broughton


Greg Buri

ACD/Art Director

Basil Cowieson, Kriss Grove

Agency Executive Producer/Managing Director

Carol Lombard

Agency Executive Producer

Paul Albanese

Production Company Producer

Kathy Rhodes


Toby Irwin


Angus Wall @ Rock Paper Scissors

Assistant Editor

Austyn Daines


Toby Louie

Special EFX

Legacy Effects




Mark Gethin



VFX Executive Producer

Asher Edwards

VFX Producer

Nicole Fina

VFX Supervisor/ 3D Lead

Andy Boyd

2D Supervisor

Jake Montgomery

Animation Lead

Stew Burris

VFX Team

Charles Trippe, William Schilthuis, Clement Renaudin, Ian Wilson, Jean-Dominque Fievet, Shaun Comly, Hayley O'Neil, Aaron Hamman, Mike Wynd, Jason Heinz, Brendan Smith, Mark Holden, R. Balakrishnan, Felix, R. Rajinkanth, C. Rajkumar, S. Sundaramoorthy. S. Sugumar, Vishai Kaushai, D. Venkatesan, Ganesh Kumar, Jacob Oommen, Sathya Narayanan Grade