LBB | The Mill Paris Crafts Cute CG Character for Latest Peugeot 308 Campaign

Directed by Mark Jenkinson with the Open agency, Peugeot unveils campaign with a Pixar-style camera mascot made in full CG by The Mill Paris
Press July 3, 2023

Who knows where attraction will take you? A message that sets the tone for Peugeot’s new brand campaign for the launch of the 308 electric model. In this campaign, directed by Mark Jenkinson, a camera falls under the spell of the new Peugeot and decides to follow it around town. Despite the pitfalls, nothing can distract its gaze from the new vehicle. A sympathetic story written by the Open agency, produced by Movie Magic and post-produced by Else, in which the artists of The Mill Paris were able to bring this endearing mascot to life. Not forgetting Philip Louis Hambi’s colour grading touch.

“Our mission was to create and integrate a 3D camera character into all the shots to tell a love story between the camera and the new Peugeot vehicle. Right from the start I enjoyed the scenario and the technical challenges we were given. I had the impression that it was a short animated film with a sympathetic story including 32 shots to rig and a unique and endearing character to create from scratch. A pleasure for a CG enthusiast!

In agreement with the director, the client and the agency, we quickly went looking for visual references. Very quickly our inspiration turned to Pixar classics that spoke to us. We created several CG asset mock-ups to validate the modelling, rigging, textures and shading. We wanted a friendly, emotive camera with a slightly weathered look without it looking dirty or obsolete. I think we’ve managed to give the camera life and personality without creating a cartoony asset.

To optimise production time and harmonise the lighting and look of all the shots, I created a special tree structure and nomenclature to make compositing more efficient. Added to this important work on the camera were details that served the script, such as rain, water on the camera, reflections, etc. I’m proud of the CG team, because together we succeeded in creating an endearing character who is totally integrated into the story.” said Mickael Girod, CG supervisor.

“It was great working with the awesome Mark Jenkinson and Ottar Gudnason on this spot for Peugeot’s new all electric 308. Shout out to the Mill Paris team who brought our little hero to life.” said Philip Louis Hambi, colourist.

“It was a very interesting and exciting project because we had the opportunity to create and develop a character from scratch. It is always rewarding to explore every technique, from the first designs to the first animation intentions. Our main mission was to create the camera character and insert him into the shots.

It is not always easy to animate an object that isn’t usually animated: how do you make it walk? Where should the joints be placed? Which parts are metal or plastic? Which elements can be bent? There were a lot of questions that we answered with the whole team, especially the CG Supervisor, Mickaël Girod. As well as the asset, I was in charge, with VFX Producer Stéphanie Mollet, of the overall management of the shots, our collaboration with the colourist Philip Louis Hambi from The Mill London and the overall finishing.

During the shoot, the idea of printing the camera model in 3D quickly became obvious and enabled us to work more efficiently. Working with director Mark Jenkinson and DOP Ottar Gudnason was a real pleasure.

Once in the studio, it was a pleasure to work with the Open/180 Amsterdam agency, Stéphane LeCoq, Jake Butler, Nikk Kugge, Patricia Lucas, Florence Marquet and Stellantis.” said Alexis Baillia, VFX supervisor.

“It was the first time I’d worked on a project for the Peugeot brand (Stellantis) and the concept appealed to me straight away because of its highly creative aspect: it’s really original, for a car ad, to have a little Pixar-style camera that falls under the charm of the vehicle and decides to follow it around town!

Around twenty people worked on this project in The Mill Paris studio, and we were able to benefit from the support of the Bangalore studio for all the preparatory work on roto and track, as well as clean-up and compositing. I worked with VFX producer Rushikesh Shelar who was my main contact there.The Bangalore team deployed resources very quickly and adapted to our needs. It is always a pleasure to be able to collaborate in this way with other studios in the group.

This was a global campaign, requiring the rigging of 70 shots and the delivery of numerous versions, around 80 masters for the TVC and 25 for the digital part, all of which were handled by VFX Producer Kahina Lamblin.

Not surprisingly, the collaboration with the Open agency, with whom we had already worked in the past, went very well. The dialogue was open and we enjoyed working together. The agency trusted us and allowed us to come up with lots of creative ideas to keep making the film better. It’s always a pleasure to combine technical VFX with creative storytelling, especially when you see the final result. A big well done to the whole team, who redoubled their efforts to bring this lovely film to life, and we’re proud of it!” said Stéphanie Mollet, VFX producer.

View the full article from LBB here.