Graphic Design

City of Possibilities

The Mill + RP3 Agency
Angus Kneale & Ben Smith
Ian Bearce
Nic Barnes
Bill Pope
Tim Haldeen
2+ Team Members
The Mill worked with RP3 Agency to design and produce “City of Possibilities” for Norfolk Southern. The spot uses CG and live action to showcase the transformative power of freight shipping.
The Concept

To show the power of freight shipping, the spot depicts a model train bringing a complex city to life in a little boy’s room. To capture this concept, they started with initial storyboards.

Initial Storyboard
The Production

The biggest challenge was creating and designing the cast of toy characters from scratch, then animating each to look and feel realistic. For the shoot, the set was built 5 feet off the ground in a modular approach that allowed sections of the floor to be removed to get the camera into “toy perspective”.

Over 40 individual toys and pop-up books were sketched and designed for the spot.
During filming models were used for visual references.
Characters were drawn with detail then created in Maya.
Characters where then animated in Maya to give a realistic feel.
Animated characters were placed into the live action scene.
The final render shows all the details that were put into every scene.

The final process flawlessly blended the CGI characters into the live action world and presents railroad shipping in a new light.

Making of Video
Norfolk Southern
Angus Kneale & Ben Smith Animation Directors
Ian Bearce Executive Producer
Nic Barnes Producer
Bill Pope Director of Photography
Tim Haldeen Design Art Director
Jim Lansbury Creative Director
Chris Sheldon & Jim Lansbury Art Director & Copy Writer
Submit your work
We will contact you once your submission is approved.
Please allow 24hrs for your project to appear in the directory.
Have a Great Project you’d like to share?
See if you have what it takes to get through our nomination process but be prepared to back it up with some great behind the scenes materials.
Please attach jpg or png at 1280x1024
Sign Up
Minimum 6 characters
Already a member? Sign in
Sign In
Not a member? Sign up here
One click sign in if your account is connected to Facebook or LinkedIn
Forgot Password
Enter your email address below and we'll send you an email with instructions on how to reset your password.
Check your email!
We have sent an email to the address you provided. Follow the instructions in that email to reset your password. Thanks!