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Appointment to View: The making of the 'Quit' anti-smoking ad

Anti-smoking charity 'Quit' has launched a cinema campaign showing a young woman aging prematurely as she draws on a cigarette. Post-production house Framestore gives an insight to how the effect was created.

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The ad, created by agency Iris, shows a young girl, Sophie, sitting in a room smoking a cigarette. With each drag, she gains wrinkles until she wears the face of a much older woman.

To create the effect the actress was filmed smoking multiple cigarettes before a much older actress, chosen for her similar bone structure, was filmed sat in exactly the same position.

Following the shoot, Paul O'Brien from post-production house Framestore used 2d compositing and editing software Discreet Logic Smoke to create the effect, a lengthy process that was extended after it was decided changes needed to be made that meant the entire post production process had to be restarted after the first edit..

As the older lady's face was not an exact match to Sophie's, O'Brien had to edit the footage by cutting her face into sections and painstakingly drawing out the wrinkled lines and hand patching them onto Sophie’s face.

He said: "The reason I took bits was because the face moved in such an intricate way. I took cuts from under the eyes, around the mouth and so on and then placed them onto Sophie's face."

Any slight move either actor had made during the filming added to the difficulty of the patching. Also, because Sophie was smoking and the older lady wasn't, he was forced to use numerous layers and various methods of highlighting and lowlighting to blend the two together. In total, the ad took two weeks to edit.

Ad director Steve Hudson from production company Hungry Man said: "Any post production person will tell you that human faces are the hardest to deal with, but Paul did a fantastic job."

The strapline for the ad aims to strike a chord with image conscious teenagers. At the end of the spot the words 'smoking ages you by up to 19 years' appear on the screen.

Hudson said: "kids think they're immortal these days, all you can do is appeal to their vanity." The ad will run across UK cinemas.

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