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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

VFX Studio Mill Created Cloth Town for Comfort


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- The Mill, a Oscar-winning visual effects company creates a magnificent Cloth Town in a Commercial spot for Unilever's fabric softener brand "Comfort". This is the second commercial spot by Mill for the Unilever's Comfort. Unilever's second outing for Comfort with The Mill and Director Rachel Guidera, sees jet setting Jeannie swinging herself effortlessly through a cloth-styled French Riviera.
Snip: 3D Supervisor Rob Van Den Bragt guided the team through the many complicated 3D challenges. Grant Walker modeled every crease, button and over-locked seams in the cars, roads and buildings. The Mill 3D team successfully created a soft and tangible 'clothiness' that is so vital to the Comfort world look and feel. Jimmy Kiddell extended the cloth Riviera environments with subtle matte paintings further depicting the architecture of the area. More background cloth ‘extras’ were needed than initially considered, as the number of characters grew to 'cloth' effect record proportions. Creating cloth ‘extras’ was a challenging task, as the characters had to be distinctive, but not so distinctive that they would upstage the hero action. Josh Fourt-Wells devised a clever way of populating the scenes by building an extensive library of detailed cloth body and head parts, that he mixed and matched to create the many background cloth characters.Laurent Makowski and Fabrice Le Nezet lit and textured Jeannie, along with the rest of the cloth-Riviera, striking a sublime balance between summer sun and the delicate radiance required with lighting fabric. Exploiting the 16 bit capabilities of Mental Ray, they also pioneered new opportunities for grading, allowing a sunnier and more detailed Clothworld.
Animators Josh Fourt-Wells, Douglas Lassance, Rob Van De and Ed Boldero brought the Riviera to life. Josh had the interesting job of animating ‘Stiff Jeans Guy’, who, being stiff, seemed to oppose every natural instinct of animation.Paul Freeman added the final touches in Flame, working closely with 3D to extricate as many layers as possible, allowing him to add depth and atmosphere to the CG scenes.
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