The Mill’s BLACKBIRD – The Car that Transforms into ANY CAR

The Mill’s BLACKBIRD – The Car that Transforms into ANY CAR

FineAuto

Special effects company The Mill has come up with a technology so intruiging, we just had to give it a go. Meet the ‘Blackbird’, which is all about taking movie magic to the next level. It allows filmmakers to render any car they require over the top of a special rig, in ultra-HD realism, without the car itself having to go anywhere near the set.Underneath the mass of cameras, sensors and matt black bodywork, the Blackbird is an electric car that can alter its track and wheelbase, plus the driving characteristics of its electric motor and suspension, to match any model your heart desires. Simply bolt on the right wheels, drive around (preferably like a lunatic) and computers far too complicated for our tiny little minds render the car on top, even matching the reflections to the real-world surroundings.Subscribe for more awesome videos: YouTube channel: TopGear.com website: Facebook: Twitter:

hello and welcome to a land of automotive make-believe a place where nothing is quite what it seems I know it looks like I’m walking down the middle of a New York Street and I know this looks like a Ford Mustang but neither is real I’m actually in LA on the back lot of the Paramount Studios and this this is Anna Ford Mustang this is any car you want it to be this is the Blackbird so I’m joined here by Alistair Thompson the leader of the team at the mill who created the Blackbird Alistair can you tell us what is this all about okay I think you’ve got to think of the Blackbird as motion capture for cars it might sound a little strange but actually there’s many occasions where people are shooting and they can’t get the car that they need for the production so imagine you’re trying to capture legacy vehicle perhaps a sports car that’s is very few of or super expensive to get hold of then the Blackbird can be that car or if you’re a car manufacturer and you’re trying to design a new vehicle you can do with the Blackbird of the mill we’re all about creating effects that are completely real and believable and the only way to really do that is to have something tangible to ground it with the great thing about the Blackbird is it is a car it drives with a real driver it interacts with the ground just the way a car would but then you can in reskin with any vehicle that you want on top because you’ve got a chassis that’s completely adaptable you can change it by four feet in length and ten inches and width we have fully adjustable suspension so you can change not just the wheelbase and the track you can also change the actual the way the car reacts to all again as well see the damping the suspension which is pretty amazing now you said something about the electric motor being very interesting about that can adapt as well can you talk about that a great thing about that is it it’s programmable so we can tell it what kind of acceleration curve or gearing that we wanted to replicate they can also output all this data so we could know what it’s been doing and then we could marry that with the technical stuff that we have on here to recreate reflections and the environment around it so this is a stabilization system it’s kind of like a Steadicam but inverted and put in here we have four cameras on there that all stitch together to give us the world photographically and then we have a lidar scanner which scans the environment recreates that three dimensions we can put those two things together and we can be completely authentic in terms of what reflection would look like on the skin of the vehicle and we get the authenticity from the driver and the actual car itself driving along wheels on the ground suspension moving to every bump in the road except you want to drive I do thank you guys wait if you do ask so that’s the Blackbird the film industry’s newest and greatest new toy it’s clever it’s really clever but it’s not quite perfect just yet for instance it can’t become a full-size truck but then they can fix that in Blackbird 2.0 so for now the only question that really remains is which car Blackbird thinks I should be driving home it preyus I think I’ll walk you you

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