45-second spot marks the launch of Audi’s new A3 range, showcasing it in a bespoke
futuristic setting. Viewers are transported to the ‘Audi Smart Factory of the Future’
where we see two versions of the car, one yellow and one blue, racing one
another through a series of mechanical landscapes.
by Mill+’s Andrew Proctor, The Mill’s 3D team carefully
crafted the cars and environments entirely in CG whilst maintaining a strong sense
of realism, allowing the viewer to feel truly transported into another world.
Mill Producer Justin Stiebel comments; “It
was a pleasure as always, to work with Thjnk and Audi on this exciting brief.
The campaign provided an opportunity to build on an already strong relationship
pushing the boundaries of what had been achieved creatively in Audi ‘Birth’.
Andrew and the team demonstrated a clear understanding of Audi’s vision, which
is evident in the final result. Huge credit to all involved and I look forward
to seeing where this relationship heads next”.
Director Andrew Proctor explains; “I was instantly drawn to the
project as the brief was to create something never seen before; an Audi factory
of the future.
I love creating worlds; something new, something
exciting and I really liked the tone that Heiko and the team at Thjnk were
aiming to achieve.
Creatively, the job was to build a world that is
believable and instantly very ‘Audi’, but one that is slightly futuristic. The
technology is tangible and realistic, but everything is just pushed that bit
further and is that bit more intriguing.
I was thrilled to work with Audi again after
completing Audi ‘Birth’ last year, which was a seminal project for myself, and for
The Mill. I was keen to delve into 'Next Level' and develop what we had done on
‘Birth’ but on a much bigger scale.”
VFX Supervisor Mike Chapman further explains; “Our main task was to bring
realism and life to the multiple, full CG environments that housed the action
throughout the spot. Not only did we have to faithfully recreate the
two Audi A3s that our protagonists drove and ensure they looked and moved
realistically, but this also had to be backed up by the world around them.
We based the shading of the cars from real world
references taken on set and adopted a similar approach for the environment, helping
to ground even a futuristic space in some sort of reality.
We started building the environments by using a
technique called 'Kit Bashing', which creates a mass of different elements that
can be put together in many different combinations. This helped us to create
the visual density in the environments. Once a rough layout had been done, this
was then passed back to The Mill’s animation, look development
and lighting artists who refined the camera angles, the movement of the car and
set the mood in each environment through lighting and texture.
Due to the amount of models in each scene,
the size of these were so large that
it meant we had to carry around a lot of data. This
challenge led to a new approach using 'Mill Procedural'; an in-house
tool that carries a proxy of the model you want in your scene and only loads it
when needed during rendering. Instancing this enabled the team to
edit, load and save the scenes a lot faster, ensuring that each scene creation
was more manageable and efficient”.
Part of The Mill’s project
brief from Thjnk and Audi also included the development of a bespoke gaming
app; The Mill’s first collaborative mobile app for a TVC launch. The app,
created by The Mill’s Product Development Team, allows users to compete for high scores with
other drivers from across the globe as they undertake a number of unique tracks
using a customised A3 model.