Virtual production: New John Deere spot employs LED volume
January 5, 2024

Virtual production: New John Deere spot employs LED volume

LOS ANGELES — Impossible Objects ( and female director Jay Walker recently used virtual production technology to create a John Deere commercial that highlights women's empowerment. All Kinds of Fields takes viewers on a journey through the eyes of a little girl, who dreams of welding, running heavy equipment and even launching a satellite into space. The project was conceived by Signal Theory and required Walker and the team at Impossible Objects to bring the young girl’s imagination to life.

The spot combines both a practical environment - the girl’s bedroom - and three virtual settings. The project was the result of a collaboration with NantStudios, which is home to an LED volume. Over just two days, the various settings were captured. Impossible Objects’ virtual art department created the industrial garage, the engineering room and mission control, along with a set extension for the LED volume, and a few fully-CG assets, such as the tractor and the branded John Deere satellite. The team relied on CAD files, Autodesk’s Maya, Adobe’s Substance Painter, Unreal Engine from Epic Games and SideFX’s Houdini. Once the virtual assets were complete, the team built the bedroom set, prepped the shots and rigged the lighting one day before the shoot. 

“With our LED volume approach, we can shoot in breathtaking places, a mission control viewing room, and an enormous factory in a single day,” explains Impossible Objects’ EP Sarah James. “By pairing this impressive and innovative technology with practical, real-life set design to give us depth and foreground, the results are stunning and, most importantly, grounded in realism.” 

“John Deere is making a conscious effort to support women in STEM fields, and as one of the few female directors versed in the technically complex LED volume shoot process, this was an inspiring campaign to work on,” says Walker. “It was doubly rewarding to invite a ‘Free the Work’ mentee to shadow this shoot, making it a full circle female empowerment experience, true to the creative concept.”  

Jon Chema served as cinematographer on the project, which was graded at Ethos Studio by Dante Pasquinelli. JSM handled the music composition and mix, with Nathan Kil providing sound design.