Alumni Bring Celebrity High School Photos to Life in Super Bowl Commercial

By: Desiree Massei Filed under: Visual Design

February 9, 2017

If you were one of the over 111 million people watching Super Bowl 51—and its commercials—on Sunday, then you also saw the work of alumni Jose Limon (Bachelor of Science in Media Arts & Animation, 2013) and Jessica Hurst (Bachelor of Science in Media Arts & Animation, 2012) from The Art Institute of California–Inland Empire, a campus of Argosy University. 

Limon and Hurst worked as part of studio a52’s VFX team on Honda’s “Yearbook” commercial, which featured celebrity yearbook photos coming to life and encouraging viewers to follow their dreams. The pair worked on a number of the photos including those of Tina Fey, Magic Johnson, Stan Lee, Robert Redford, and Missy Elliot.

For a52, the challenge was to keep the likeness and youth of the celebrities without changing the essence of the original yearbook photos. To accomplish this task, most of the celebrity photos were created through a mix of both 3D and 2D compositing, while Missy Elliot and Viola Davis were full CG models. 

According to Limon, “It was an interesting and intense project. The time frame was around two months, which is crazy short for a project that demanded so much and had such high expectations and standards.”

Limon is a CG Modeler for a52, with work that has been featured in various shows, games, films, and commercials (including two other Super Bowl spots). He recently was awarded an Emmy for Outstanding Main Title Design for his work as part of a team creating The Man in the High Castle title sequence. He also previously received an Emmy nomination for work on the title sequence of Daredevil.

Hurst is a Freelance Junior 3D Modeler for a52, who has recently worked on title sequences for HBO’s The Young Pope and Westworld and as a CG artist on The Origins of Ilvermorny video for Warner Bros.

The Honda “Yearbook” commercial aired during Super Bowl 51 on Sunday, February 5, 2017, and has been talked about by Forbes, the New York Post, and the Today Show. Inside Edition even described the commercial as the “Super Bowl’s most charming ad.”

Congratulations to these talented alumni. To all Art Institutes students, we say, "If you want to make a commercial, make a commercial."

See for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

Learn more about our programs.

Get Brochure

By: Desiree Massei Filed under: Visual Design

February 9, 2017