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The Mill Helps VCCP Show Off Hyundai’s Range of Cars

With the help of The Mill, VCCP developed a strong, simple strategy to show off Hyundais broad range of cars: a car first, a badge second. The campaign comprises seven executions, each showcasing a different car and a different brand message. The cars zip around abstract black-and-white landscapes until it is revealed, through large scale camera zoom-outs, that the cars are in fact tackling terrain provided by giant type spelling out brand messages.

In BECAUSE, we see Hyundais coupe sports car speedily negotiating some tricky corners; the camera pulls out to reveal a tiny car driving around in the letter S, which derives from the final super: I bought it becauSe I like it. Similarly, another spot in the campaign repeatedly uses the word Hide to create the effect of rain pouring onto a windscreen and being thrown off by wipers; the title reads: We have nothing to hide. Other innovative uses of typography include dust trails made from many uses of the word Free and asterixes that symbolize snowflakes.

Tim Brown and Paul Kemp, VCCPs creative team, came to The Mill with Matthias Hoene with nearly 30 scripts in development. The Mills 3D artist, Andrew Proctor, worked closely with both creatives and director to narrow these scripts into seven visually arresting ideas. Andrew created pre-visualization sequences for Hoene to cut together on his laptop using Final Cut Pro. These animatics were then used as blueprints for the shoot, with every shot precisely mimicking the well-planned animatics. Proctor attended the shoot, using a mix-overlay video playback device to check that each shot exactly matched that of the animatic. He also recorded camera angles and distances for input into the final 3D. Live-action effects included building a four-metre high ramp to represent the hump of letter for the car to drive over.

Due to the large scale of the car relative to the size of the studio, the camera could not pull back as far as required to create the effect of a tiny car in mass of typography. So, after the shoot, Proctor built 3D replicas of each car, using texture maps taken from the live action. These were then used to take-over the live action once the camera had zoomed out as far as possible while on set. From these points onward, the commercials become entirely 3D, with 3D zoom-out camera tracks.

Proctor also built reflections (where the typography is reflected in the body of the car) and shadows. All 3D elements were then fed into flame where Barnsley seamlessly composited them. Barnsley also used some additional 3D textures, like road surfaces, to make the openings of each commercial seem more conventional; to make it look like a car was being driven on a white road. Flame was also used to remove all signs of rigs and marker references.

Post Production: The MillProducer: Lee PaveyTelecine Artist: Adam ScottVFX Supervisor / Lead 3D: Andrew Proctor3D: Paul DenhardLead Flame: BarnsleyFlame Assist: James Corden

Airdate: December 26, 2004Kit: XSI, After Effects, Final Cut Pro, flame, Spirit

The Mill specializes in high-end visual effects for commercials, music promos and television. Since 1990, The Mill has built an impressive client-base of some of the worlds best commercials directors, and advertising agencies handling accounts such as Levis, Pepsi, Guinness, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. In May 2002, The Mill opened in New York.