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  • Writer's pictureAmanda Skeith

SCAD x The Mill: Week One

Updated: Apr 5, 2021

Process Blog for SDGM 560, a 10 week collaboration with The Mill at SCAD.


Week One Updates

During our first meeting we were introduced to the teams for our collaborative projects. I am a part of Team BANE:

Elyse Resseguie: FX

Billy Morris: FX

T'Naige Wallace: Compositing

Amanda Skeith: Lighting and Look Development

Rachel Marren: Sound Design (Recruited outside of class)

Each team will create an advertisement for a vehicle, a frequent project for artists at The Mill. We began the brainstorming process immediately in order to develop four possible concepts to pitch to the class at the second class session. Based on our concepts and gathered references I created a mood/color palette reference for each of our four ideas:

(In order: Concept 1, Concept 2, Concept 3, Concept 4)

The feedback we received during class made us rethink our concepts and approach. Our biggest issue was that the plans were likely overly ambitious given the time frame. Feeling frustrated, we considered going back to the drawing board. However we ultimately decided that we felt excited about our first concept - a car speeding down a neon sign filled road, narrowly escaping the ground caving in behind it. After further research, we reframed the concept with a new environment and mood.


In a wide open landscape at dusk, a speeding Ford Mustang narrowly escapes being swallowed up by the street collapsing into lava behind it.

"Ford: Built for the road ahead."

Our mood is meant to feel adventurous, more confident and curious as opposed to stressful. Blue is associated with stability, power, and reliability, and while the lava and destruction are moving fast, we know the Ford Mustang is faster. We also want the warm glow of the lava and headlights to pop against the darker background.

Instead of a bright neon city street, we went with an environment inspired by the volcanic landscapes of Iceland with the road collapsing into lava. The FX of the road destruction will be done in Houdini, the car and rest of the environment will be rendered with Arnold in Maya, and anything above the horizon will be completed with projections/matte painting in Vue and Nuke. Only the glow of the lava will be visible, and will therefore be accomplished through lighting rather than FX.

Terrain Asset Ideas

Assets from Quixel

Asset Checklist

Rough thumbnails for shot composition ideas to share at BANE team meeting (3/25)

Previs by Billy Morris

Ford Mustang Model from CG Trader

Final Pitch Presentation

With previs, concept drawings, and searches for models underway, we are ready for the formal pitch on Tuesday (3/30)! So excited to see what we can accomplish over the next 9 weeks!

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