Media company, The Mill, has created The BLACKBIRD, a fully adjustable car rig which can be filmed anywhere then edited to create a realistic CG image of any automotive model. When filming car commercials in the past, many factors can prevent the content produced from being relevant and accurate. These factors primarily relate to outdated footage that includes car availability, revisions to the model after launch and location limitations. Because of this, commercials have can become extremely expensive and take extended periods of time to film due to companies regularly re-shooting to get the ideal final product.
For the BLACKBIRD project, The Mill teamed up with the JemFX, Performance Filmworks, and Keslow Camera to incorporate each company’s expertise into the rig’s design. The final result is an apparatus which allows auto companies to take video anywhere, at any time, without the actual car or preferred location needed in the process.
To film a specific model, The BLACKBIRD transforms its shape to fit the wheels, frame length, and height of the car being advertised. Once it matches these characteristics, sensors on the car are able to match up a CG image of the model to the rig, making a realistic motion shot. Furthermore, to ensure that every aspect of the car is being replicated, The BLACKBIRD is powered by an electric motor programmed to accelerate at the same rate as the model being advertised.
The BLACKBIRD also contains a high quality stabilized camera mounted to the inner frame, recording clear footage during test drives. Range imagery and 3D laser scanning are then used to generate a virtual image of the outer environment, as well as replicate the interior of the car being advertised.
In order to create this highly customizable apparatus, an immense amount of design and planning went into the project. Much like the combination of expertise seen in the making of the BLACKBIRD, Eclipse Automation’s design, mechanical and controls engineering departments all work closely together to ensure that we not only meet your needs, but provide you with additional progressive options that offer added value.
Source: The Mill