The Mill’s Blackbird Camera Car Is a Real-Life Transformer

VFX studio The Mill built their own adaptable camera car to replace any vehicle imaginable in post.

The Mill teamed up with Performance Filmworks, JemFX, and Keslow to create the ultimate camera car. Unlike other camera cars, the Blackbird camera car is designed fully replace any car in post production.

Take a look at the vehicle in action.

The Mill BLACKBIRD from The Mill on Vimeo.

The car took 2 years to develop and finalize. The rig can be used at any time of day, in any location. Its chassis can adapt in length and width and can emulate any vehicle.

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In post-production the  VFX team to can go in and drop any CG body on top of the Blackbird.

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The Blackbird camera car is equipped with a 360 high dynamic range camera array, electronic stabilization and 3d laser scanners. The system allows The Mill to create a virtual version of the car’s location. This produces 100% realistic CG renderings. The production team can use the Blackbird AR app to see a live CG rendering of the vehicle on location.

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The Mill’s International Executive Vice President, Alistair Thompson points out:

We can unequivocally say that The Mill BLACKBIRD® is a tool to solve real problems for the advertising industry. It is no vanity project. It was the genuine needs of our advertising clients that made the Blackbird happen and their constant support and input has shaped its design and made it the game changing innovation that it has become. The Blackbird journey has only just begun though and the technology and the thinking behind it will evolve. We hope it will continue to provide inspiration for the whole industry and most importantly, in turn, our clients will create ways of using it that we have not even comprehended yet. This is what excites us the most!

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