The Mill Does ‘The Moves’ with Comfort

It was a first for the Mill when animator Rob van den Bragt took the in-house director chair for Comfort new pop-and-bop promo-style commercial ?‚àö√ë‚àö‚â§Do the Moves’s.

Having already managed previous innovative ads for Comfort and countless other clients, Rob had, he points out, ‘the advantage of knowing the people, the company structure, the toolset and the assets.’

It proved a very successful approach: ‘Do the Moves’s is one of the first testaments to this new alternative offered to our clients,’ says Rob.

Getting across Comfort message of soft-to-wear, good-to-be-in clothing that releases freshness to the touch, the Mill annimator Jesus Parra created a real sense of movement in the dance cycle; it was important too to have clear poses and movements that would work well in animated form ?Äì and that viewers could easily copy (even Tony Blair does the moves on!).
The initial choreography of the dance was designed whilst working closely with Johan Bjorgvin. Designer Matthieu Bessudo came on board to work on the characters, and Jimmy Kiddell on the layouts, colours and props for the sets.

Because the 17 characters ?‚àö√ë‚àö¬® which include Dutch grannies, playful kids and Hawaiian hula dancers ?‚àö√ë‚àö¬® are almost all unique designs, it meant that each one had to be individually created. That where the ?‚àö√ë‚àö‚â§rigging blocks’s toolset previously developed by Rob for Comfort ?‚àö√ë‚àö‚â§City Stop’s commercial came in, enabling the animators to import separate rigged legs, arms and torsos, and allowing them to transfer dance moves from the base character to other characters at the click of a couple of buttons.

Different character modellers stamped their own artistic style on the five locations, giving each one a distinctive flavour while still maintaining a strong visual flow from one shot to the next. (Although the rigging blocks were initially developed for Comfort, generic tool that can easily be applied to other projects.

All the cloth simulations ?Äì including scarves, ties, skirts and flapping curtains as well as cloth branches and trees ?Äì were done using the brand new Maya8.5 cloth simulator nCloth, which gave Technical Director David Knight outstanding control over movement and setup. Finally, we wrapped up the two-and-a-half month production with six days of grading and compositing on Flame. Colours needed to be bold and cheerful to emphasise the feelgood mood. Giles Cheetham was given rough comps, done in Shake by rendering team Laurent Makowski and Fabrice Le Nezet.

Following the success of the this commercial, Rob is currently finishing his second inhouse directing job at The Mill.

view ‘The Moves’ here.

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