Reflecting on The Nike World Cup Spot Featuring Ada Hegerberg with Our Bangalore Team

Featuring DFX Supervisor, Amit Patil and Senior Lighting Artist, Setty Ashok Chakravarty and Compositing Lead, Udaykiran Chowdary
Community September 18, 2023

What was the most exciting part of working on this spot?

Amit: It’s always exciting working with live-action and CGI. We combined CGI and live action to look real and give a seamless experience to the viewer.

Setty: The most exciting part of this project was having the chance to let my imagination come to life and see my ideas transformed to realistic visual elements on screen. That was incredibly fulfilling.

Udaykiran: The most exciting part was integrating the CG crowd into the scene, the whole spot looks stunning after adding the crowd, stadium (in some areas) and some smoke flares from FX.

What was the biggest challenge for you on this project?

Amit: I would say it was the timeline that we finished the whole project in. We worked on it for 5 weeks from scratch – building the CGI stadium and the crowd simulations and working on 35+ shots.

Setty: My biggest challenge was streamlining crowds at scale and complexity, ensuring realism – another aspect of this was the render memory management with high-render quality throughout. There were multiple shots which needed continuity in terms of look and feel. So, these were the most challenging parts of this project.

Udaykiran: On the compositing side, the challenge came in the form of adding the CG crowd and getting back the characters from the plate and adding them on top. There are many players running in the scene, with roto in place. So, blending the edges and getting the look of the crowd is not that simple.

We had almost 15 shots from Comp with each Comp artist working on 2 to 3 shots simultaneously. It takes a lot of time and effort to coordinate with everyone and see that each and every shot is balanced with one another for the continuity to be maintained.

What’s the best place to think when you’re struggling with your creative process?

Amit: For me, it has always been going to YouTube or The Mill Archive to look at the past work The Mill has already done.

Setty: When I am struggling with creative work, I often tend to visualize what I want the shot to look like and that works for me in problem-solving.

Udaykiran: Whenever we face any roadblocks, the best thing is to spend some time on the shot along with the artist who is working on that. We work together to fix the look of the shot and keep on working on it until we get the desired look, there are no short cuts in the process.

Who was your most fun collaborator from another location of The Mill?

Amit: The whole team is fun to work with. If I had to name someone, then it would be Ben Turner, Luke Webster, Declan Andrews, and Ed Shires from London. Working with this team is always fun! 🙂

Setty: Working at The Mill is always fun and cool and I enjoy every project for different reasons. On this spot, I remember when I was working with Luke Webster – CG Lead from London, I had an amazing and fun time. I would like to add that he was open to sharing ideas which tends to make the collaboration process more enjoyable.

Udaykiran: It was fun working with Ben Gallagher – 2D Lead Artist and Ben Turner – Head of 2D from The Mill, London. The collaboration between us was smooth and fun.

What’s the coolest thing you learned this year in VFX or animation?

Amit: Every job that I work on, I learn something or the other. It can be very small or very significant, from communicating in an aesthetic way to receiving and implementing feedback. I have learned many things after working at The Mill. I think the quality of work and the culture here is amazing.

Setty: Earlier, I used to work mostly on Maya projects. But this year I got the chance to work on Houdini projects. I gained hands-on Houdini experience, and this also helped me in solving most of the creative challenges that I faced.

Udaykiran: Every year we learn something and gain something, sharpening our VFX skills with every new project we work on. One project will not be like another. While we execute and deliver them with perfection, finding smart ways or new techniques to tackle the shots is what we learn on every project.

View the full spot and credits here