Solve creative problems by creating our own ground-breaking products that transform efficiency, creativity and possibilities.
Better than preparing for the future is creating it. Our team of dreamers, creators and makers defy current realities with innovative prototypes and products that solve for your design and business challenges. Hardware, software, trends, tools and conventions.
We’re here to outsmart, improve and enhance to create impact for a beautiful future.
Products / Web / Apps / Software / Hardware / Tools
The Mill Blackbird® is a ground-breaking car rig that can be shot at any time, in any location, without the need to rely on a physical car. It is able to quickly transform its chassis to match the exact length and width of almost any car.
Powered by an electric motor, it can be programmed to imitate acceleration curves and gearing shifts and the adjustable suspension alters ride height, rigidity and dampening to replicate typical driving characteristics.
The rig took over two years to develop and was hand built by the world’s top technicians from JemFX in the very same hanger that the BLACKBIRD SR-71 supersonic jet was once manufactured – the car rig’s name is a nod to this legacy of stealth design.
The Mill BLACKBIRD® is able to capture quality footage and data due to its camera array and tailor-made stabilisation unit, engineered in collaboration with Performance Filmworks’ legendary, multi award winning technician, Lev Yevstratov. A combination of high dynamic range imagery and 3D laser scanning generates a virtual version of the environment, producing 100% realistic CG renderings. The Mill has taken this a step further, developing a bespoke BLACKBIRD® AR application that allows you to see the intended vehicle in CG, tracked live over the rig on location.
Whether for automotive advertising content or visualising the latest advances in car design, The Mill BLACKBIRD® inspires and expands creative opportunities, offering a truly flexible production tool without sacrificing any quality or direction.
Mill Scout is an Augmented Reality (AR) application for smartphones and tablets that can help Directors, Creatives and Visual Effects Supervisors visualize CGI characters and objects live on-set, in-situ through the Director’s lens.
Traditionally, creative teams are unable to visualize CGI objects until after the shoot during the post-production process, however, using Mill Scout enables immediate visualization of any object during filming that has been preloaded onto the app. By placing CGI objects into real-world environments using Mill Scout, creative teams are now able to tailor shots to VFX specifics, offering up heightened creative flexibility and nuance during the on-set direction process.
Mill Scout has already successfully been used by Directors and Visual Effects Supervisors for brands such as Lexus, Honda and PlayStation.
The app runs standalone on iOS for iPhone and iPad with no other dependencies on hardware, keeping the app portable and easily accessible from anywhere. Assets prepped using any 3D software can be uploaded into the app, which was built using Unity and Apple’s AR kit.
Mill Canvas is our proprietary real-time platform capable of procedurally generating motion graphics based on a series of ‘beauty rules’. The system uses a procedural grid system for pseudo-random graphics generation, dialing in parameters like subdivisions and count for a wide variety of grid layouts. Libraries of generative modules for solid shapes, outlines, blur panels, live camera feeds, live text, and audio-reactive shaders allowed us to procedurally generate signage, interstitials, and title sequences in real-time.
A custom GUI was developed in order to define aesthetic parameters within a system full of unpredictability and surprise, allowing us to explore different attributes, such as probability, frequency and color. The resulting product is an answer for digital retail signage, OOH advertising, and modular/high variation motion graphics creation.
Thousands of physical locations with various digital signage, all served the same products, messaging and visual brand guidelines that never loop, respond to any data stream, listen to customer’s voice and gesture input, and can update behaviors and content in seconds from a single control interface.
Apply this to shops, stadiums, museums, lobbies, theme parks, airports…
Canvas changes the way we think about creating experiences and content. It demonstrates the vast potential of human-machine collaboration, a subject The Mill has been exploring through the use and development of AI, real-time animation, and generative art. Finally, it highlights the beauty of discovery, as no design iteration ever need be the same.
You can get in touch with our teams to find out more about using these products here.