The Mill works its magic to create a heavenly new falling angels spot
‘My Angel Girlfriend’ is the latest ad of the Angels campaign for the Axe/Lynx Excite range, created by The Mill in collaboration with creative agency BBH London. Director Frank Todaro worked on the 60-second commercial, which follows the struggles of a Lynx guy who tries to incorporate a winged beauty into his everyday life.
The Mill team used the combined powers of Maya, mental ray, Nuke and Flame to create the intricate effects. They were also able to rely on the experience gained from working on the first spot, ‘Even Angels will Fall’, earlier this year.
A big challenge to overcome was tackling the amount of interaction the CG wings needed to have with the environment. Mike Chapman, the shoot supervisor and 3D lead on the project, explains: “As well as the ornamental and decorative look from the last commercial, the new narrative required the wings to be able to hit people and objects while keeping the same level of realism.
“This was factored in on both the shoot and back in the studio, with shots meticulously planned. A rig was built on set that would give us a similar footprint to our CG wings, without impeding the action of our angel when clattering into things. We also needed to revisit the feather rig to add in more control to allow us to bend individual feathers around people and props – the effect of this is most clearly illustrated in the restaurant sequence.”
The team’s experience on the previous spot proved helpful, saving valuable production time and allowing them to focus on improving the photo-realistic wings. ”One of the main additions was a fur pass that gave us a softer, more tactile feel to the shoulders of the wings, which really help push the detail in the close-ups,” says Chapman.