It looks like a vehicle Batman might drive, but it’s actually being used for advertising. The Mill BLACKBIRD is an adjustable car rig that is used as a base for photoreal CG cars, allowing companies to essentially use this in place of an actual vehicle when filming commercials.
Check out the Mill’s description of why the BLACKBIRD is important:
The Mill has created The Mill BLACKBIRDS, the first fully adjustable car rig that creates photoreal CG cars—it’s a car rig that can be shot at any time, in any location, without the need to rely on a physical car.
According to the video, the biggest hurdle facing advertising is car availability and model revisions, making it difficult to find the time to film a commercial. So, instead of filming the car that’s actually being advertised, the BLACKBIRD acts as a stand-in—and CG does the rest. It’s a bit like using a stuntman during action sequences.
Despite its odd appearance, the BLACKBIRD is actually a pretty cool bit of engineering. At the push of a button, the rig can adjust its length by four feet and width by ten inches. That would sure come in handy when parking in Los Angeles. In addition, its electric motor is programmable, giving it the ability to emulate the driving characteristics of many different vehicles.
The very existence of the BLACKBIRD doesn’t really endear the car industry to customers, who already have a pretty turbulent relationship with manufacturers because of unscrupulous behavior. Now the cars we see in commercials might not even be what people go to a dealership to buy.
One comment on the video’s YouTube page put it best, “This is why I have trust issues.” Indeed.
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