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The Mill NY & Draftfcb for Valspar’s Chameleon



‘Jon and Val’ step out of intricate animal world to become full CGI actors

The Mill NY & Draftfcb for Valspar’s Chameleon


Jon and Val are just a typical married CG chameleon couple turned reptilian representatives in Valspar's new spot 'Changes'.
From the live action shoot, where two life size 3D printed models were used as stand-ins for the chameleons to editorial, CG, design and 2D, The Mill and Mill+ teams worked to help ‘Jon and Val’ step out from their intricate animal world and become full CGI actors.
For Mill+ directors Ben Smith and Yann Mabille the real trick was giving their two stars a distinctive personality without compromising their animal nature. "Chameleons are more engaging as characters when we tap into their features as animals and not humans," says Yann. "The goal was to make sure Jon and Val looked friendly and instantly readable as chameleons! We developed who they are by going through a full character concept exploration."
While it was important to perfect the two as individuals, the way they interacted as a couple was another very key challenge.  Ben recalls, "A fun part of the process was giving Jon and Val the subtle, nuanced animation that made them really feel and act like a married couple, with a sign here, a roll of the eye there, with an overall physical familiarity that speaks of their enduring marriage and relationship."
"You can't just give one female eyelashes and call it a day," character designer Tim Haldeen explains, working with Bryce Wymer they created the look of the Jon and Val, delicately shading between the lines of personality and reality.  
The end film is a colorful and charming piece with two loveable characters that perfectly embody the do-it-yourself spirit that comes with home improvement.
Agency: Draft FCB Chicago
Producer: Kelly Lose Giardino
Creatives: Myra Mazzei, Drew Donatelle
Production Company: The Mill
Director: Ben Smith, Yann Mabille
Executive Producer: Ian Bearce
Producer: R. Stephan Mohammed
Editing Company: The Mill
Editor: Jonathan Rippon
Post-Production / VFX 
Post-Production / VFX Company: The Mill
Mill Office: New York
Executive Producer: Jo Arghiris
VFX Producer: Zu Alkadiri, Heath Raymond (Colour), Dee Allen (Colour)
2D Lead Artists: Tomas Wall
3D Lead Artists: Christian Nielsen
2D Artists: Erin Nash
3D Artists: Joshua Merck, Laurent Makowski, Laurent Giaume, Timothy Kim, Alex Allain, Zang Chen, Justin Diamond, Hassan Taimur, Paul Liaw, John Wilson, Jeffrey Lee, Han Hu, Christina Ku, Han Hu
Motion Graphics: Tetsuro Mise
Colourist: Damien Van Der Cruyssen
Character Designer: Tim Haldeen, Bryce Wymer
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