The Mill team of VFX artists carefully crafted the cars and environment entirely in CG over the course of just nine weeks to help create a powerful, mechanical and organic spot.
Andrew and BBH collaborated with Creative Consultant Rupert
Sanders on the project, he comments, "On a film that pushes the
boundaries such as this, it was fantastic to have Rupert on board.
His experience and vision really helped refine the narrative and
look, and he was the perfect sounding-board, challenging our
decision making throughout the process."
The Mill's in-house VFX concept design team were involved at every
stage of the project from concept to the final execution designing
all the environments and look frames involved in creating the 100%
Lead 3D Artist Mike Chapman comments, "Every single component of
each car was precisely crafted in 3D. Working in a fully CG
environment allowed us to be flexible with our camera positions and
framing, but also meant that everything in the chamber environment
had to be designed in meticulous detail.
One of the main challenges of the whole job was the fine line we
were treading between the mechanical and organic, some of the
animation tests we tried were a bit too grotesque and uncomfortable
to watch and some just too clinical and lacked impact".
Mill Colourist Matthew Osborne added to the dark, intense,
atmospheric tone of the film in the grade, working to ensure that
the images flowed seamlessly and retained as much detail as
Andrew continues, "I had great confidence from the start that our
CG team could make both cars and the environment look 100%
photoreal, and even by Mill standards I think the team nailed
It's hard not to make both cars look amazing. They are both
incredibly well designed with an iconic shape. The aim was to
create an environment, which looked like a slick machine, making
the room part of the story as though almost nursing the car.
It's so important that the audience feel the animalistic power and
life emanating from the R8. The trap in fully CG jobs sometimes is
that they can feel too clinical or cold, but the animation here
makes the spot so much more emotive and there's real power in its
darkness. I'm proud of how we managed to convey the narrative,
which treads the line between violent and clinical and organic. The
strong creative idea and quality of the execution really takes this
away from being a normal piece of work to a much braver
Mill+ Executive Director Stephen Venning comments, "Once in a
while a project comes along like this that really inspires everyone
involved. One that really highlights The Mill's expertise in CGI,
but brings the added layer of the Mill+ team's ability to create a
really strong, almost dark narrative.
'Birth' for me is an outstandingly brave concept and required
Andrew and the VFX team to push the boundaries of believability. I
absolutely love it. Just brilliant work all round".