Rolls Royce + The Mill

Rolls Royce + The Mill

Rolls Royce | “I Am Ghost”
The Mill is a visual effects and content creation studio collaborating on VFX, digital and design projects for the advertising, games and music industries. With studios in London, New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, they partner with the world’s best agencies, groundbreaking directors, creative firms and visionary brands. Working with Daughter.Studio, Mill+ created this stylish spot for Rolls Royce and their latest ‘Ghost’ model. The Mill’s VFX team utilized Legacy 4K glass overlays from Lens Distortions. The slick spot moves seamlessly from one image to the next using clever geometric based design to depict various aspects of a highly desirable lifestyle, personifying the ‘ghost’ or essence of the car and its owner.
“I wanted something textural and emotive, not the normal approach to a car commercial. I was thinking title sequence beauty, seamless transitioning, moments of wonder… more music promo and fashion film.”
Mill+ Director FILFURY explains, “This was a dream project to work on – design elegance, rooted in geometric form, symmetry, and simplicity. This was the story of ‘I AM GHOST’. My desire was to hint at luxurious, functional design found within our owner’s life, and do this through a palette of clever reveals and transitions – matching vehicle form with architecture, objects, motion, and nature. All breathtakingly elegant and purposeful. I wanted something textural and emotive, not the normal approach to a car commercial. I was thinking title sequence beauty, seamless transitioning moments of wonder, more music promo and fashion film. The result is a dark sophisticated image palette with rim lit form. This was design lead, sexy and cool. Confident mark making through a beautiful celebration of the Ghost form. This isn’t design for design’s sake however, there is substance and storytelling.”
“The glass effects help add a touch of nostalgic feeling to what can sometimes be stark and crisp environments. They harp back to a photographic, lensic treatment many viewers feel more connection with.”
Mill Lead 3D Artist Dan Moller continues, “One of the main challenges of this spot was working out how to blend a large number of shots together; it’s about three-quarters of the way through the film before a hard-cut takes place. Through careful previz and shot development, rapid iteration with both rough 3D and testing in 2D we were able to find some quality solutions. By leveraging all our departments against this problem-solving process, from concept to motion graphics and design through to CG and 2D we were able to easily troubleshoot all problems put before us. A key challenge came in art directing the rolling highlights across the form of the Ghost. We rendered reflected UV passes, then rotomated gobo shapes over the top using STMaps in Nuke. These gobo sequences were then rendered back out of Nuke, plugged into the UV shapes in Maya and rendered back over the car. This resulted in a speedy and intuitive solution to the highlights problem through a slick collaboration between our 2D and 3D departments.”
It was important to Rolls Royce to differentiate the Ghost film from their other product films, primarily through an emphasis on colour. This became a particular focus for our lighting team to ensure this was communicated as effectively as possible, and also played into our post treatment in 2D. During this phase led by Mill 2D Lead, James Mac, lens elements were carefully selected to add both texture and colour to each shot, with those finishing touches truly elevating the film.’ Amongst them were glass overlay elements from Lens Distortions.
“The glass elements have been a long-standing consideration for myself when I need to add depth and layered chromatic dispersion to shots. They help add a touch of nostalgic feeling to what can sometimes be stark and crisp environments. They harp back to a photographic, lensic treatment many viewers feel more connection with. I also used the Legacy 4K glass effects to drive narrow focus effects through portions of the imagery, helping take the edge off the CGI elements,” James Mac said. “Virtually every project benefits from having Lens Distortions used to treat and layer the frame. They are my go-to textural footage,” he added.

Save when you purchase the entire suite of cinematic video effects.

Save when you purchase the entire suite of cinematic video effects.

A week in Hawaii with Matt Komo

A week in Hawaii with Matt Komo

H A W A I I | Matt Komo explores the Aloha State

Most people know of Matt Komo from his iconic personal content on YouTube and Instagram, but many don’t know he is also a prolific content creator behind the camera for some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry.

He has worked with the likes of the Chainsmokers, Steve Aoki, Martin Garrix, on top of his work with the biggest brands in the world. An MTV project took Matt to Hawaii recently and, true to form, a cinematic vlog followed.

When Matt Komo and friends find themselves in Hawaii for a week, we get a fun perspective on one of the most beautiful states in the union.

When he uses our Luminary glass overlays, we get a solid example of how to employ the effects both creatively and sparingly at the same time.

“Dynamic transitions that carry the story along are a hallmark of my films,” Matt said. “Luminary gives me another creative option to play with in post and adapt to my own signature style.”

Check out the 0:25 second mark to see how he used a Luminary 4K overlay to tie a few waterfall shots together. At 4:22 you’ll notice a clever sequence where Matt arranged one of the effects followed by a leaf shot for visual consistency.

See more of Matt’s work on Youtube and Instagram.

Video

Photo

What’s New in Luminary for Video

What’s New in Luminary for Video

Luminary Glass Overlays | The definitive post-production counterpart to an iconic cinematography technique
Since the beginning, unique glass effects have been a hallmark of Lens Distortions. Luminary is the quintessential example of this signature style.

From delicate to assertive, these glass textures offer you a unique way to complement your subject, accentuate or soften parts of your shot, and add complexity to your film.

Luminary

Distinguished Glass Overlays

Signature Style
This pack contains some unapologetically bold looks for scenes where you’re really seeking to make a statement. But it also contains no shortage of nuanced and intricate elements for adding just a touch of subtle intrigue to your shot.

Luminary is the iconic glass shoot-through style from A to Z.

What’s New
Luminary now includes 90 glass overlays and is organized into 5 distinct categories to better showcase the diversity of looks.

We’ve created some new clips to make one of the most popular use cases (transitions) easier and added a few previously unreleased overlays to really round out the mix.

As always, we’ve meticulously curated the essential effects based on aesthetic and use case.

Explore the effect categories in Luminary and see some classic use cases in the brand new overview video.

We’ve also some created new tutorials for Final Cut X, Premiere, and After Effects, which can be found below.

Existing Luminary customers can download the new clips and category structure as a free update. Just use the original download links in your email receipt or account.

5 Distinct Categories
90 Effects Total
01 – Quick

Grab attention and create a sense of urgency with the clips in the Quick folder. These also work great as transition elements between cuts and also pair perfectly with speed-ramped shots.

02 – Bold

Make a statement with these gorgeous, refined glass overlays. Some are silky and soft, others are more complex… but all of them are perfect for framing your shots with light.

03 – Delicate

Based on the classic glass shoot-through technique, these overlays are perfect for accenting small, profound moments.

04 – Immersive

Wrap your subject in glimmering bokeh and light. Use these effects to create a sense of awe or magic.

05 – Intricate

Use these unique effects to add subtle glints of light to objects.

Existing Luminary customers can download the new clips and category structure as a free update. Just use the original download links in your email receipt or account.

 
Tutorial: Using Luminary in Premiere
Learn to how to frame your shot with glass using Luminary in Adobe Premiere.
Tutorial: Using Luminary in Final Cut X
Learn to how to frame your shot with glass using Luminary in Final Cut X.
Tutorial: Advanced Glints in AE
Learn how to create stylized glints and reflections in After Effects using Luminary.

Luminary

Distinguished Glass Overlays

Features

  • Includes 90 curated clips
  • 5 Distinct Categories
  • Compatible with all major video editing apps, including Adobe Premiere, Final Cut Pro, and DaVinci Resolve.
  • 4K ProRes: 15GB
  • 4K H264: 2.1GB
  • 2K ProRes: 4.5GB
  • 2K H264: 450MB
  • Royalty Free

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Features

  • Includes 90 curated clips
  • 5 Distinct Categories
  • Compatible with all major video editing apps, including Adobe Premiere, Final Cut Pro, and DaVinci Resolve.
  • 4K ProRes: 15GB
  • 4K H264: 2.1GB
  • 2K ProRes: 4.5GB
  • 2K H264: 450MB

View License Agreement

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GMC “The Perfect Shot”

GMC “The Perfect Shot”

GMC “The Perfect Shot” | An inside look from pitch to post-production

Nate Gunn is a Salt Lake based visual storyteller with a passion for non-traditional advertising. He helps companies discover new ways to display their message by creating branded content that’s more lifestyle focused, rather than product focused. Nate was kind enough to share the challenges and triumphs of this GMC spot on a photographer’s journey, which incorporates our Luminary and Light Hits 4K packs.

What’s the backstory on this project?

I’ve always wanted to work with car brands, but the competition is brutal. I was so close to not submitting a pitch on this one. In the few months before I had lost a pitch to Ram Trucks and two other great projects that I really wanted. Emotionally I was in a bad place. When you spend a few days writing a treatment, you almost convince yourself that it’s already your project, and so the losses hurt.

“…it was a risk, but I think that’s what they’re looking for sometimes.”

I decided to go for it and just do me. I think I was up against 30+ directors and I pitched something that was far from the creative, it was a risk, but I think that’s what they’re looking for sometimes. All too often I’m trying to just give the brand or agency what they want to hear, when maybe they want to just be inspired and feel your love and passion for the project.

What made your pitch different?

In the beginning, the client was looking to shoot an actor portraying a photographer. A guy shooting in a studio or out on a simple model shoot. The goal was to tie in the similarities of a photographers desire for precision and perfection with the precision of the truck.

I just knew that for a truck brand a real story would play better to their viewers. I pitched the idea of my photographer buddy Kevin Winzeler out on an actual assignment in Moab, Utah. They loved the concept and even switched the featured truck over to the Sierra All terrain model.

“That was a hard one to cut. We worked so hard for it, but I just knew it wasn’t up to par.”

What was production like? 

Honestly one of the most fun shoots I’ve done. So crazy, but we had a great crew and a good time. We had the tightest deadline and Kevin is a busy guy between having a successful career in photography and four kids. We had a little over a week of pre-pro and then two days to shoot with him.

We had a really slim and simple production, always liking to keep it as low-key as possible. GMC trucked down the Sierra. It was DP Nate Sorensen and I on the camera, with Weston Fuller assisting, a driver and truck prep guy, then a team of two guys from Circa3 flying and operating the drone.

We shot on the RED Dragon in 6k. Lenses were a set of Leica Rs (some of my all-time favorites). We had a gimbal and just regular set up.

What challenges did this project present?

With such little time, the pressure was on for sure. Sorensen and I headed down to Moab a day early to scout. I finished out the storyboards on the drive. I had already digitally scouted everything the week before, so in the morning we took a quick look at the spots and everything checked out well.

On our last night, we did this brutal hike up to an area called Castleton rock. It’s a short hike distance wise, but seriously steep and we underestimated how long the hike would take. We were racing to catch the sun before it dipped behind the horizon.

We got one shot up there that is in the final spot, but we didn’t get the one I had planned for. It ended up being too dark and muddy of a shot. I had no choice but to cut it out in the editing room. That was a hard one to cut. We worked so hard for it, but I just knew it wasn’t up to par.

The location of that last shot in the commercial was definitely the scene I wanted most for the project and it had to be just right. And yet it was the only location I didn’t have locked down. A lot of locations that I had Google mapped weren’t working out. So toward the end of the day, we made an hour-and-a-half trip in hopes that this last spot (which I had been avoiding due to the long drive) would give us the setting we needed. The trek was worth it, the location ended up being perfect.

Featured Posts

Rolls Royce + The Mill

Rolls Royce + The Mill

Working with Daughter.Studio, Mill+ created this stylish spot for Rolls Royce and their latest Ghost model. The Mill’s VFX team utilized 4K Signature Glass Effects from Lens Distortions to create a highly stylized aesthetic.

The Mill

The Mill

The Mill’s VFX Supervisor Pete Rypstra shares a little glimpse into their project for Castrol EDGE which utilizes our Legacy 4k glass elements.

“I would warm up or cool down Light Hits and Luminary to help enhance the look even that much more.”

Tell us about the look and feel you were going for. How did Lens Distortions effects contribute to your aesthetic?

I had the whole spot pretty much put together and storyboarded before we shot, leaving a little wiggle room for any unexpected moments. I wanted 80 percent of the shots to be pre-morning light and sunset. I wanted to really show a true photographers reality. They’re up early and working till the light is out.

A big reason I choose Moab as the location for the project is because of the frequent storm systems that role through. We ended up having a lot of these gorgeous storm clouds the entire time we were out there.

I knew while we were there that Light Hits would come in to help. In the edit, I subtly used light hits and Luminary to enhance a flat shot here and there (see 0:20 and 0:34). I added luminary in a shot of the truck’s headlights just to give them a bit more flare (see 0:12).

I love to add some color to the effects. The color on this project was on the cooler side and then we would add warmth in Kevin’s skin tones and in the red landscape. I would warm up or cool down Light Hits and Luminary to help enhance the look even that much more.

To see more of Nate’s work, check out vimeo.com/nategunn.
BTS photography By Nate Gunn and Weston Fuller.

Explore the effects used in this post

Luminary

Luminary was crafted with fashion projects and luxury brands in mind and is filled with gorgeous overlays made from intricate glass elements.

Light Hits

Soft and simple. Light Hits is made from actual sunlight, and helps you quickly add a little extra pop to the corners of your shots.

Behind the Scenes // Audi R8 “Masterpiece”

Behind the Scenes // Audi R8 “Masterpiece”

Audi R8 “Masterpiece” | Behind the visuals of this impressive portfolio project

Chris Leclerc is a director and cinematographer based out of Los Angeles. Over the past decade, his work has taken him to 35 countries and 6 continents. Chris recently wrapped this impressive portfolio piece, and when we heard how some of our video effects helped shaped the project, we had to get the full story. Be sure to check out the VFX breakdown below.

What inspired you to put the time and money into a personal project like this?
I think as a director you have to constantly push yourself creatively in order to not get stuck. I happened to be visiting my folks in Wisconsin at the same time my friend Paul Theodoroff was just getting back from LA himself. He’s a really solid Director of Photography so when he called and said, “Dude, let’s shoot something,” I was all in and we started pulling together ideas. We knew the idea had to be simple, something we could shoot over a weekend with a small crew and lean resources.

I’d been itching to do a project where I could push the level when it comes to dramatic lighting and cinematic shots, just something fresh for my portfolio that would raise the bar another notch for my upcoming client work. I had just picked up your 4K Luminary and Light Hits effects packs, so they were top of mind when I set out on this project.

“… how we found our talent is indie-filmmaking at it’s best.”

How did you source your location, gear, collaborators, etc?
We were able to shoot it at friend’s place, and we borrowed the Audi R8 from a personal connection. We basically didn’t sleep for a weekend and worked our brains out. We rented the Lomo Anamorphic lenses and the RED dragon online.

The story of how we found our talent is indie-filmmaking at it’s best. We pulled together a few friends to make up the crew and one had a connection who we thought really looked the part for the talent and agreed to do the project with us. We were scheduled to start shooting at 9pm on Friday night. We were on set, all ready to shoot, and we were looking at the time. It was 9:30 and we thought, “I hope this guy doesn’t flake out on us.” Then it’s 10pm, and still no sign of our talent. So we were all freaking out.

One of our grips went on Facebook and literally contacted 20 of his friends. He finally got ahold of one guy who turned out to be an actor and a model and showed up on set by 10:30pm. He stuck with us till 4am shooting, which was awesome. We had a problem and everyone was really resourceful in helping figure it out. It was a great collaborative effort by our whole team.

I’ve been fortunate to have gotten to know some really talented industry folks over the past 10 years and I had some specific folks I wanted to collaborate with on this project. I already mentioned Paul Theodoroff, who was DoP. The project simply wouldn’t have happened without him. Good sound design is important for any spot, but in an ad for a sports car, you definitely can’t skimp. Zak DeVries really delivered there. I can’t say enough good things about Tyler Roth at Company 3 for the incredible color grade on this project.

Featured Posts

Rolls Royce + The Mill

Rolls Royce + The Mill

Working with Daughter.Studio, Mill+ created this stylish spot for Rolls Royce and their latest Ghost model. The Mill’s VFX team utilized 4K Signature Glass Effects from Lens Distortions to create a highly stylized aesthetic.

A week in Hawaii with Matt Komo

A week in Hawaii with Matt Komo

Get an adventurous perspective on one of the most beautiful states in the union and see how Matt uses our Luminary 4K glass overlays.

What’s New in Luminary for Video

What’s New in Luminary for Video

To better showcase the diversity of looks in this pack, we’ve organized it into curated categories, created some quick clips to make one of the most popular use cases (transitions) easier, and added a few previously unreleased overlays to really round out the mix.

Tell us about how you shot the car shots
One of the biggest challenges was shooting at dusk because you have such a limited window for the “blue hour”. We only had time for 1 or 2 shots per “blue hour”, so we got up early and shot at about 4:30am and then again in the evening. The toughest part was getting fog on the road since we didn’t have the budget for a massive industrial fogger. We just went to Walmart and bought a mosquito fogger and filled it with mineral oil. It worked great!
We mapped out a section of the road, had the PA’s fogging it, then we’d radio down to the driver and have them drive down. The other thing that was tough was that we couldn’t just drive down the road for an hour and keep shooting. We had to keep re-fogging one area, drive the car through, turn the car around, fog it again, and drive the car through. Take after take to get the look right.
It didn’t help that the Audi goes 0-60 in like 2.7 seconds (all the car people will probably correct me on that) and my Subaru, well, doesn’t. So we weren’t able to drive the car quite as fast as we wanted and ended up speeding up a lot of the shots in post. It turned out alright, but it’s definitely no Russian arm on a Porsche.

Collections

See how emerging artists and global brands use Lens Distortions in their projects.

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“We used a flashlight to create of some of the in-camera lens flares, but we used Light Hits to really accentuate those and add the red color.”

So how were you able to get a tight shot of the character’s face with the lights whizzing by while flying down the highway?
The interior driving shots were something that we knew we’d have to experiment with. Again… no budget, we had to be creative. We used kino tubes and had some of our grips and PA’s just swinging the lights around the actor’s head, and we shook the camera while the lights were swirling around. We also turned up the shutter on the camera to help add some of the motion feel. You’d never know that we were just sitting in a barn at 3am shaking a camera and moving lights around.
How did you guys pull off that “fire down the exhaust” shot? Did you animate it?
I wanted to portray the power of the engine. We all know the classic shot of the pistons firing and the gasoline coming to the engine. I called an animation buddy, and he said it’d be too expensive. So I went to Home Depot in search of a more practical solution and came across the pipe section.
I thought, “What if I used hairspray and a little flame, and fired it down one of these steel pipes. I could use a macro lens on my camera and put a little piece of glass at the end to protect the lens.” So that’s what we did! We shot it in slow motion, at like 240fps on the RED. We were sitting in my apartment with the RED laying on the ground shooting hairspray down a pipe and igniting it, and we kept doing it over and over till we got something cool. I think the fire alarm went off a few times.
How did knowing what you can do with Luminary and Light Hits in post affect some of your decisions on set?
After looking at a lot of other car spots in pre-production, we noticed that in many high-end budget commercials, there are these subtle little flares and flashes that make the spot more dynamic. With Lens Distortions, I knew I’d be able to add the same effects in post-production, and not have to try and shoot that all in-camera. Going into production, I already had a couple scenes in mind where I knew adding a little extra piece of light with Light Hits or texture with Luminary was going to work well.

“During production, it was reassuring to know I could fine tune the look with Lens Distortions.”

When I was storyboarding the project, I knew I wanted a scene where the car turned on and seemed like it rumbled the whole barn. And to visually show that, we had this table full of tools that our grips shook really hard, and then in post, I used Luminary to add some extra movement to the shot to help make it look a little more dramatic.
Paul brought some interesting ideas to the table when it comes to color and hues. When the character walks into the garage (which was actually a friend’s barn), you see these awesome red highlights that contrast with the cool tones. One thing we noticed as we started shooting was how important the color red is to Audi’s brand, so we kept coming up with ways to tie that color into the whole spot.
I was messing around with Light Hits and I tried tinting them red to match some of Audi’s red, and it worked wonderfully. It was really simple to do in Premiere, just adjust the color, turn down the intensity, and add it to the corner of the shot. That part was all done in the edit, not in-camera. This helped create more consistency with lighting we used on set.
When we were shooting the interiors of the car, I knew I wanted this red light to be passing over the driver. We used a flashlight to create of some of the in-camera lens flares, but we used Light Hits to really accentuate those and add the red color. During production, it was reassuring to know I could fine tune the look with Lens Distortions.

You can see more of Chris’s work on his website and you can also see more of Paul Theodoroff’s work on his website.

Explore the effects used in this post

Light Hits

Soft and simple. Light Hits is made from actual sunlight, and helps you quickly add a little extra pop to the corners of your shots.

Luminary

Luminary was crafted with fashion projects and luxury brands in mind and is filled with gorgeous overlays made from intricate glass elements.

White In Revery // Cinematic Wedding Films

White In Revery // Cinematic Wedding Films

White In Revery | Cinematic wedding films
“We consider Lens Distortions effects as that ‘cherry-on-top’ to the film.”
White In Revery is a husband and wife team based in Denver, CO that specializes in storytelling primarily, but not exclusively, as wedding filmmakers. They currently use our full lineup of 4K Video Overlays.
White in Revery shared some of their best tips for editing wedding videos with our Light Hits lens flares and Shimmer particle effects. “We love utilizing Lens Distortions effects to smoothly guide the viewer throughout our films and to articulate certain moods. Sometimes there is negative space that we subtly fill with a Light Hit to help the viewer focus on the content and emotion that is actually going on in the scene.” “We use Light Hits to add movement to a still frame, smooth out transitions between shots, and even strengthen pivotal beats in a song to make the scene a bit stronger and more effective. We consider Lens Distortions effects as that ‘cherry-on-top’ to the film.” “For receptions, Shimmer is fantastic. We sometimes have to balance a photographer’s flash into a shot and the Shimmer pack really smooths it out. By incorporating Shimmer into dancing sequences, we feel it adds just enough movement and energy to the frame without being too distracting.”  
See more of White In Revery’s work at whiteinrevery.com.

Explore the effects in this post

Luminary

Luminary was crafted with fashion projects and luxury brands in mind and is filled with gorgeous overlays made from intricate glass elements.

Light Hits

Soft and simple. Light Hits is made from actual sunlight, and helps you quickly add a little extra pop to the corners of your shots.

Shimmer

Optically-captured in stunning detail, Shimmer is made from glistening particles, glass shards, and explosive fragments of light.

Fog

Cinematic haze, smoke, and atmospheric effects

Legacy

Stunning textures, light leaks, and flares. Made from shards of glass and crystal, Legacy is packed with curated clips for your next music video, commercial, or narrative.