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Toyota Avalon

A Radically New Formula


A car born from courage, inspiration and determination

Saatchi & Saatchi, along with the powerful eye of Oskar Holmedal and The Mill LA, demonstrate the stunning drip development of the new 2013 Toyota Avalon.

The spots fluid effect was initially shot in a water tank, with a mixture of ink and caramel used to achieve the correct consistency. The Mill LA's Creative Director, Robert Sethi, supervised the VFX shoot on set, and shared that "the challenge was to maintain the ink's poetic nature, while at the same time giving it enough direction to reveal the product." The difficult task was met head on by The Mill's CG Supervisor, Josh Hatton, and his CG team who seamlessly build the new Avalon out of the lightweight, dancing liquid. 

The CG Team then focused on rounds of RnD in order to master the weight of the fluid, constantly referring to the shoot footage, eventually setting up a mini reproduction of the shoot's water tank inside the studio. "Our biggest challenge was the shot where the water drains to reveal the finished car," explains Josh.  "The draining water needed ink, bubbles, splashes, and foam to make it photorealistic.  It's an incredibly complex and heavy simulation.  We made sure we got everything right from the film left behind by the dropping water level, to the subtle rivulets running off the car."

After the lyrical ink and proper suds had been mastered, the spot's beautiful composition was handled in Nuke, followed by Flame work to achieve the appropriate underwater feel. The end result is a stunning piece that not only captures the elegance of liquid, but the impressive nature of the new Toyota Avalon.



  • Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi LA
  • Producer: Rachel Seitel, Jesse Pugh
  • Creative Director: John Payne
  • Account Director: Erica Baker


  • Production Company: Smuggler
  • Director: Stylewar
  • Executive Producer: Joni Williamson
  • Producer: Joanna Manning
  • Director of Photography: Joost Van Gelder


  • Editing Company: Whitehouse
  • Editor: Russell Icke
  • Edit Assist: Zach Vlandik

Post-Production / VFX

  • Post-Production / VFX Company: The Mill
  • Executive Producer: Sue Troyan
  • VFX Producer: Rachael Trillo
  • Shoot Supervisor: Robert Sethi
  • Creative Director: Robert Sethi
  • 2D Lead Artists: Chris Knight, Eugene Gauran, Ed Laag
  • 3D Lead Artists: Josh Hatton
  • 2D Artists: Dag Ivarsoy, Evan Langley Laffin, Nick Tayler, Tom Van Dop
  • 3D Artists: Brett Angelillis, Matt Bohnert, Hartwell Durfor, Rick Fuentealba, Gregory Gangemi, Yorie Kumalasari, Meng Yang Lu, James Ma, Phill Mayer, Felix Urquiza, Adam Carroll

project information




Saatchi & Saatchi LA

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