The Mill’s CG animals for Opel Motorsport are cheeky & ridiculous

Hamburg agency Scholz & Friends teamed up with London production company The Mill (and its content-driven collective Mill+) to promote Opel Motorsport’s new campaign.

The chosen premise follows five wind-swept and charismatic animals experiencing the intense speed felt within the cockpit of a rally racecar.

The humorous CG film uses five unorthodox drivers with distinct personalities – a lion, toad, pig, orangutan and squirrel – to emphasise the idea that anyone can sign up to Opel Motorsports’ network of racers. 

The Racing Faces campaign ad, with the slogan “Join the race!”, declares anyone can have the chance to qualify for the ADAC Opel Rallye Cup. The launch of the ad is timed well with Opel’s recent win of the FIA European Rally Championships by its junior team.

The tongue flapping, salvia spitting, hair-waving disparate crew of animals react to the force of a huge turbine engine in comical and drastic style, creating a light-hearted visual accompanied by Motley Crue’s Kick Start My Heart soundtrack.

Creative director Willy Kaussen and the team at Scholz & Friends came up with the original animal concept, and The Mill’s 3D animation team worked closely with Willy to bring high-resolution detail to each of the animal characters whilst keeping humour at the forefront. Along with the animation team, lighting renderers, modellers and compositors  took six months to produce the film. 

“Believing that the job’s success relied on pushing the physical comedy performances, we were keen to develop a small number of animal characters, building each with a distinctive personality,” says Mill+ director Jimmy Kiddell. 

“From an extremely lazy pig with a fondness for being tickled, to a big easy rider orang-utan, a high energy adrenalin junkie of a squirrel, a novice skydiving to a and an extremely vain lion always looking out for a hair-styling opportunity.”

From a 2D perspective, lead 2D artist Peter Hodsman says every shot was built and styled to enhance the storytelling whilst creating visually engaging images. 

The Mill’s 3D team, lead by Dan Moller, teased out the theatrical nature of the crazy animals by refining elements like the lighting.

“This project was a rare treat to work on. Colourful, bold and fun,” says Dan.

Earlier in the year, The Mill released BLACKBIRD, the first full adjustable car rig that creates photorealistic CG cars.

The production company’s other clients include Tesco, Nike, Honda, and music videos for Kings of Leon and Hailee Steinfeld.

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