“The enthralling promo uses a range of highly technical visual effects techniques, which are perfectly paired with the organic flow and movement of professional dancer Sonoya Mizuno; to produce a captivating story that perfectly entwines with the iconic Chemical Brothers sound, featuring Beck.
Inspired by procedural cellular structures, with an aim to mix the mechanical and organic, we see the protagonist gradually turn into a fully 3D printed structure as she dances around the studio.
The Mill’s VFX team worked closely with Dom&Nic to achieve this effect by extensively and meticulously tracking the dancer’s movements in order to replace her limbs and eventually her whole torso, with a lattice of 3D mesh.
Photogrammetry scanning was used to create a fully CG model of the dancer’s body including photo real textures. CG clothing was also built in Marvellous Designer and then rendered in Arnold.
Head of 3D David Fleet comments, “The sheer complexity of this project is what made it unique. The amount of camera and body tracking alone was a huge challenge, as well as consistently seamlessly lighting one shot as long as this.
We created clean plates for seven thousand frames entailing a huge amount of traditional hand painted comp work. To lighten the load, the team created a bespoke tool specifically for this project, which automatically scanned our footage for clean parts of the set, projecting them onto the areas that the dancer occupied.
We scanned the entire set using Lidar technology to give us an accurate 3D model of the entire environment, enabling us to track the camera as closely as possible.”
The Mill’s ECD Neil Davies comments, “The opportunity to work with Dom & Nic, The Chemical Brothers, Beck, Sonoya Mizuno and Wayne McGregor was a very exciting proposition.
Not only was this a break-through project for The Mill; one of extreme technical complexity and precision, but it’s simply a real piece of art.
As the viewer, you are lost in the dancer’s movement as the mechanical and physical blend into one. The final film is simple yet complex, and utterly mesmerising.”