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Einstein Knows Best - Smart Meters - Smart Energy JPG
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Einstein Knows Best - Smart Energy
Smart Meters

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Einstein Knows Best - Smart Energy - Smart Meters

Shortlist

Title: Einstein Knows Best
Brand: Smart Energy
Product: Smart Meters
Entrant Company: The Mill
Agency Network: BBDO
Client: Smart Energy
Creative Director: Alex Hammond
Production Company: MJZ
Director: Rocky Morton
Agency Producer: Zoe Robley
Production Company Producer: Sara Nouman
Post Production Company: Chris Allen, Sean Francis
Visual Effects: 2D Lead Artist: Ben Turner / 3D Lead Artist: Alex Hammond / 2D Artist: Matthew McDougal 3D Artist: Harsh Borah, Clare Williams, Andreas Graichen, Maria Carriedo, Sefki Ibrahim, Joao Pires, Dan Yargici
Other: Colourist: James Bamford
Notes: When we first saw this script we were all incredibly excited as we knew it would be a once-in-a-lifetime project. We had to recreate Einstein in digital form to help explain the benefits of smart meters.

We realised that to digitally recreate such an amazing human being with such historical importance would be immensely challenging but hugely rewarding. We had to make sure that not only was this a convincing CG human but it also portrayed Einstein with the familiarity that everyone has for him.

A slightly intimidating prospect, but a project like this doesn’t come around often. We spent the first few weeks researching Einstein, both from a physical appearance through the ages and also very importantly, who he was as a person. What did he stand for and what did he believe in? How did he interact on camera and surrounded by people? Ultimately we had to understand his personality intrinsically.

Unlike most awkward, introspective scientific geniuses of his generation, he always had a joke for the cameras and reveled in attention. He had a childlike wonder and saw the world very differently to most people- this is what set him apart and his high level of intelligence was also socially apparent when we caught a glimpse of his personal life.

For VFX this project is unique and groundbreaking as lately, we have seen an explosion of digital humans but not ones you are entirely convinced by. So for us at The Mill, we spent months researching and developing a robust toolset so we could convincingly portray his personality.

To achieve this, we worked with DI4D to employ the most cutting-edge 4D Volumetric capture to scan our actor. The most important factor when creating a photoreal CG human is building an animation rig and interpreting motion data that maintains high fidelity to the performance or actor you are referencing so for this reason volumetric capture made total sense.

The way to face moves is ultimately the key in all of this. Get this right and the rest is…. definitely not easy… but a bit easier to dissect!.

What makes our system unique is that we are capturing sequences of blend shapes as opposed to a more traditional method of single linear blend shapes. This allowed us to re-create the most subtle facial performances and elevate our facial workflow with the most intricate detail using our millFACS system.

This system was developed in order to manage complex data obtained from high-resolution expression and performance scanning.