The Mill L.A. Delivers Tasty Carl's Jr. Spot That Hamburger Lovers Will Relish
October 4, 2011

The Mill L.A. Delivers Tasty Carl's Jr. Spot That Hamburger Lovers Will Relish

Los Angeles, Calif. - Succulent hamburger lovers everywhere relish the new Carl's Jr. commercial, "Hamblor, God of Hamburgers," created by David & Goliath, directed by Smuggler's Guy Shelmerdine, and replete with VFX from The Mill L.A.

The spot features Hamblor using his god-like warrior powers to create the ultimate Steakhouse Burger. An exploding mountain of blue cheese, crispy onion strings shooting from Hamblor's palms, and a giant St. Bernard delivering a barrel of A1 Steak Sauce are among the fantastical feats of Hamblor that The Mill helped bring to life.

"The agency was very collaborative which helped us turn the project around in a short time frame," explains Gawain Liddiard, our VFX supervisor/3D lead artist on Hamblor. "They spent a lot of time with us, providing smart fast feedback. Guy was also very receptive and we worked together to provide the most spectacular visual effects we could. It was a great sign that at one point Guy seemed to struggle to see where we had put in certain CG elements such as replacing the miniature steakhouse with a full CG version."

While initially the steakhouse was meant to be a location plate combined with a miniature shoot of the hand ripping out a miniature of the steak house, the final scene included mainly 3D elements and a matte painting of the background. Decals on the windows, a menu on the outside wall, ripped up concrete, and snapping power cables also were created. Bill Higgins, VFX supervisor/2D lead artist, says his team augmented the scene by comping in CG particle dust, debris, and smoke that he and Liddiard shot on set with the Canon 5D Mark II.

"It was amazing to work with Guy and Chivo [Academy Award-nominated DP Emmanuel Lubezki]," Higgins says. "We took their practical atmosphere in the foreground and enhanced and added to it in post. For example, we used a horse on green screen to have the actor act like he was riding away on a dog who we comped in later."

Liddiard says the Photofly program was used to fill in a gap in the pipeline, providing results much like the more expensive L.I.D.A.R. scanning process used in big budget film projects. "Photofly takes many carefully shot images of the set and props, and automatically generates surprisingly accurate high resolution models," Liddiard says. "The end result was very useful and we're starting to use Photofly on more and more projects.

"When a project comes in that asks us to create a heavenly environment where you're so high up you're on the edge of the atmosphere with elements that are truly giant-sized and a space that's godly, you know you're in for an unusually fun experience," Liddiard laughs.