Audi A8 – Advanced State Of Mind

  • Director: Russell Tickner
  • Production Company: The Mill, Crocodile Films
  • Agency: Creativeland Asia
  • Task: Stereo Camera Tracking, Layout, Animation

This project was The Mill’s first major stereo commercial. It was a web and television project, directed in-house and it provided a unique set of challenges. I was tasked with overseeing the camera tracking and layout for the job. It was an interesting challenge that saw us overcome for the first time many common problems with tracking stereo footage such as misaligned cameras and colour discrepancies between the left and right eye cameras.

The job was carried out using Maya and all of the camera tracking was done in 3DEqualizer. As this was a stereo camera job, there could be no margin for error when it came to camera placement in the 3D environment as it would immediately look wrong when viewed with anagylph (red/cyan) glasses or on a 3D monitor. It was therefore also my job to always make sure that the tracked cameras in their environments worked at the correct depth alongside the live action.

The commercial was shot using a parrallel mirror rig, where the two cameras are at 90 degrees to each other and one camera is reflected off a mirror. This meant that the effective distance between the two cameras could be as small as director wanted. It also meant that we could shift the convergence point of the 3d in post rather than having our convergence point set on the shoot day as would have been the case if we had shot on a convergent or “toe in” camera rig.

Making Of Audi A8

Below are a few examples of animation work in progress alongside an anaglyph 3D precomp. This was one way of us being able to check the depth of the 3D scene. We also had a few 3D monitors, some of which required the “passive” polarized glasses technology similar to most 3D cinema experiences and some of which used the “active” shutter glasses technology.