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
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
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.