– Trip to The Mill –

Yesterday we went over to London for the day as we were invited to TheMill, where we were shown examples of some of the work they have produced. TheMill as a company focuses mainly on advertisement, having worked alongside some popular names to create enhanced CG visuals. Some of the examples that were shown to us were well known to most of us, particularly a piece that they did for Heathrow Airport – incorporating two CG bears into the airport itself, putting together a warm Christmas advertisement for the whole family to enjoy. I’ve known myself of some of the work that has come from the artists based at The Mill, but even being shown the same stuff again by Garreth Gaydon and David Hempstead made the work seem some what even more incredible, whilst also allowing to me gain even more respect for the amount of work that they have accomplished over the years. I really enjoyed being able to get an insight to the construction of a majority of scenes within various pieces – although I may not yet know the exact technical terms for certain processes and how they are achieved, this experience allowed me to gain a sense of what work and artistic elements go into the smallest piece of detail – as well as how initial sketches work into becoming amazing visual interpretations, I still valued having the opportunity to visit the company and take a look at their workspace and team in their local space.

A piece of work that Garreth and David showed us and seemed very proud of was their work that they did alongside The Chemical Brothers, where the featured woman, a dancer, had her limbs slowly transforming to a mesh like texture – the process happened during her dance routine throughout the video. This all worked very well and was incomparable to any other music video or any video that I have seen before, combining real time footage, a huge amount of CG – introducing textures to the final product. Through being shown breakdowns of this project it was very clear how much work went into this, along side the size of the team that were put together.

The video below shows a small insight into the breakdown of the project, it talks through processes such as scanning the girls body in order to create a digital replica, to be used for the duration, which then allows artists to go on to form the mesh that would manipulate her appearance. It also shows a simple breakdown of how the background was altered in order to work alongside the CG pieces.

Another element of the company that was discussed during our visit, was the unveiling of their ‘prop’, The Blackbird – an adaptable car rig which was made successfully early 2016, the vehicle, although still a work in progress, is used and creates photorealistic CG cars, creating a huge amount of flexibility within the film industry – as The Mill work in advertisement, they work with a number of car manufacturers, having this rig available allows you to transform it to any chosen model, with the technology to adapt to certain acceleration and suspensions of said car as well as the rig itself being able to adjust, through width and length to adder to various models. Creating a more cost effective way of producing adverts as well as voiding issues with car availability, The Blackbird has become a revolutionary part of the industry which will continue to grow. I have included an image and short video to showcase what I am talking about.

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