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Emerson Employs CG Animals from The Mill NY to Tout Their Capabilities

After the successful collaboration of "Coal," "Orange," and "Wood," the three earlier spots we worked on with  DDB Chicago and Emerson we were delighted to be back on board for their next big campaign.

Bowe King, The Mill's Co-Director on Emerson explains: "The first time we spoke with DDB about their idea for the spots they asked us, 'Do you think this is possible and if so, how?'"

This was a great opportunity for us to flex our CG and compositing muscles. The team had some really strong ideas about where to go with DDB's original sketches as well as feeding in to and changing the story. "We wanted to try different options and see what would happen. We knew our key players were a Kangaroo and a Wolf, so we explored how their stories could be told. Especially with the Wolf as we wanted to see what story made the most sense and what kind of journey the wolf should go on. Working with storyboard sketches we began to find images that created the most drama to the campaign," says King.

In tandem with story and storyboard sketches, the design team came up with stoic and evocative images for each spot. In the initial style development phase, the idea was to make ensure they incorporated the brand while also pushing the brand image forward. Our design team and directors made beautiful style frames that got everyone really excited and were invaluable tools throughout the entire process.

The biggest challenge on the job was to bring everything to life as the entire spot would be fully CG. "We couldn't just go to the Arctic and shoot back plates to composite onto," explains Rob Petrie, the co-director.

The focus for R&D was the generation and grooming of the wolf's hair. After extensive research, the team discovered that there are roughly 14-16 different types of hair on a wolf. "XSI was used for the grooming and then an ICE compound called Melena allowed the hair to naturally blow in the wind. It also enabled us to render a huge amount of hair," Petrie says.

Everyone is delighted with the final result and the process was one of considerable collaboration and communication among The Mill, DDB Chicago and Emerson.



  • Agency: DDB Chicago
  • Producer: Brigette Whisnant
  • Creative Director: Marcia Iacobucci
  • Creatives: Gary Matusek, Jeff Loibl


  • Production Company: The Mill NY
  • Director: Bowe King and Rob Petrie


  • Editing Company: The Mill NY
  • Editor: Ryan McKenna

Post-Production / VFX

  • Post-Production / VFX Company: The Mill
  • VFX Producer: Rachel Stones
  • Creative Director: Gavin Wellsman
  • 2D Lead Artists: Gigi Ng
  • 2D Artists: Erin Nash
  • 3D Artists: Kevin Ives, Alex Allain, Sauce Vilas, Emily Meger, Sandor Toledo, Iker De Los Mozos, Sam Driscoll, Paul Liaw

project information


Bowe King and Rob Petrie


DDB Chicago

Production Company:

The Mill NY



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