Lloyds – The Running of the Horses

Working with adam&eveDDB and Director Sam Pilling out of Pulse, The Mill helped to create this awe-inspiring spot featuring a…
Lloyds "The Running of the Horses"
Case Study

Working with adam&eveDDB and Director Sam Pilling out of Pulse, The Mill helped to create this awe-inspiring spot featuring a herd of galloping horses seamlessly composited into a remote beach setting. 

Inspired by the rare sight, the group then head down to meet the horses who slow down and interact with the humans, a nod to the supportive nature of Lloyd’s customer service and the long lasting use of the iconic black horse to encapsulate this message.

The Mill’s VFX team seamlessly composited a number of CG, photoreal horses into the herd to enhance the overall feel of the spot.

Lead 2D Artist, Carl Norton explains, ‘Director Sam PIlling shot an incredible backdrop for us to work with and achieved some really beautiful in-camera moments through the running horses.

Although we were lucky enough to shoot with around 25 real horses, our job was to grow this number to give the sense of scale which is achieved in the final film.

This not only applied to wider shots but many of the close up ones where we wanted to work on the composition of shots or to manipulate some of the horses’ movement. As you can imagine, horses are incredibly hard to predict so having the CG horses worked up to such a high standard gave us real control on shots.’

Lead 3D Artist Sam Driscoll adds, ‘There were some excellent ingredients that went into the making of this project. A lovely script, a gorgeous shoot, a talented director and a wonderful team here at The Mill.

We were given the task to integrate some CG, photoreal horses alongside real life ones. The CG had to look perfect and hold up next to the real thing, there was nowhere to hide. We wanted our work to be as close to invisible as possible.

We created an intelligent system that allowed us to quickly design a large herd of horses complete with hair simulations, splashes, sand kicks, hoofprints and spray. We were able to quickly change the horses actions and render them without needing to re-simulate, which is normally a very time consuming process for our machines.

The benefit for our clients and for us was that we were very easily able to make multiple iterations of the shots in a short space of time. Everything was created and rendered in Houdini and Mantra.

We are immensely proud of the project and It was fantastic to work with adam&eveDDB once again and a delight to work with the very talented and charismatic director, Sam Pilling.

Mill Colourist James Bamford explains, ‘It was a real pleasure working with Sam again on this beautiful project. The grade was very much a collaborative process with Sam, and Creative Directors, Graham and James, all helping to pave the way to the final result. The project involved a lot of VFX work so the grade was a fluid one which changed shape over the course of the project. The main challenge was keeping the time of day true to the part of the film, to give the feeling of a warming and inspiring sunrise.’


Agency: adam&eveDDB
Producer: Celestine Hall
Creative Director: Ben Priest
Creatives: Graham Cappi and James Gillham

Production Company
Production Company: Pulse
Director: Sam Pilling
Producer: Arlene McGann

Editorial: Speade
Editor: Ellie Johnson
Edit Assist: Steven Waltham

VFX Production
VFX: The Mill
Producer: Clare Melia
Shoot Supervisor: Carl Norton and Sam Driscoll

VFX Creative
VFX Creative: The Mill
2D Lead Artist: Carl Norton
3D Lead Artist: Sam Driscoll
2D Artist: Gary, Driver, Nina Mosand & George Rockliffe
3D Artist: Pavel Mamichev, Ashley Tilley, Dan Yargici, Michael O’Donoghue, Vicky McIntyre, Kevin O’Sullivan, Tony Atherton, Antoine Mariez, Alejandra Alabadi Arago, Luis Cancio, Peter Agg, Kristian Olsson, Ganesh Lamkhade, Sathyaraj A, Spandana Battula, Sunil MM, Murali Krishna Reddy, Senthil Murugan Balasundaram
Matte Painting: Can Y. Sanalan

Colour: The Mill
Colourist: James Bamford

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