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Audi PixelProject

Audi approached us with a dark and dramatic idea for their new catalogue – a technical look in a virtual world, to emphasise the high level of intelligence in the cars’ systems.

We created a futuristic architectural vision to set the cars in, underscored by abstract, rhythmic patterns of pixels, dissolving and coalescing.

Enjoy an epic trip behind the scenes in our video, from initial research, via glimpses into the technical elements to fly-throughs of the individual images. Or delve into further details below….

Further details from the technical point of view:
Richard Jenkinson, CGI Artist at Recom Berlin, tells how we handled the creation of the geometry and distribution of the pixels in 3D:

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Once the point clouds were created using Photoscan, we imported them into Maya to make the initial models. Then we worked on grid patterns – enjoyable but surprisingly challenging to keep convincing.

Proximity

Once we’d made the grid patterns to represent pixels, we made a build up for each area, so the retoucher could add or remove density where required. Then…rinse and repeat, eleven times.
1. Initial pixel distribution for the ‘Tunnel’ image:

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2: Another pixel distribution, for the ‘Circle’ image:scene2_pixelonly_-127

Jonas Braukmann, CGI Director at Recom Berlin, filled in further detail on moving from the three-dimensional model to the two-dimensional finished product. As a big project with eleven images, this demanded maximised flexibility so we could work closely with the creatives at Kolle Rebbe on individual areas within each one.

“We needed control over pixel density in certain areas, to keep the illusion of natural flowing pixels, whilst keeping realistic vanishing points. The ‘rule of proximity’ was a big challenge – we needed different density levels and subdivided pixel layers in different levels of order and randomness.”

The catalogue, the first for the new Audi A5 coupé and S5 coupé design, is now in use throughout Germany.

Audi Catalogue

Final Images.
The elegant shape of the catalogue demanded super-wide panoramic versions to form extra long double page spreads.

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Client: AUDI AG Agency: Kolle Rebbe Creative Director: Jörg Dittmann Art Director: Marcus Kubicke Photographer: Markus Wendler CGI Director: Jonas Braukmann CGI Artist: Eugen Albrandt, Richard Jenkinson Post Artist: Jonas Braukmann, Jonathan Clarke, June Lee Art Buyer: Kathrin Grün

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Credits:

Agency: Kolle Rebbe
Creative Director: Jörge Dittmann
Art Director: Markus Kubicke
Photographer:  Markus Wendler, represented by Tim Michel
CGI Director: Jonas Braukmann / Recom Berlin
CGI artists: Eugen Albrant, Richard Jenkinson / Recom Stuttgart & Recom Berlin
Post Artists: Jonas Braukmann, Jonathan Clarke, June Lee / Recom Berlin
Art Buyer: Kathrin Grün

Stuff we like: Weronika Gesicka

Polish artist Weronika Gesicka was delving into the concept of Engrams when she made this series of entrancingly surreal image manipulations from old stock photos…

Concept & Creative Director:
Marc Trautmann

Architecture:
Franken Architelten

CGI Artists:
Kristian Turner, Anna Toropova / Recom Farmhouse

Post Artists:
Kate Brown, Riikka Eiro / Recom Farmhouse

Making of: Lamborghini Aventador with Marc Trautmann

Marc Trautmann came to us with an idea for a creative collaboration between CGI, photography, and architecture. The astonishing sculpted form of the Lamborghini Aventador would be set in deconstructed architectural elements, inspired by Daniel Libeskind, with both the car and the setting realised entirely in CGI.

“The concept of the personal CGI work was to create power and dynamics by dissolving conventional spatial structures.”

We loved the idea of creating an environment that would mesh perfectly with the extravagantly powerful style of the car, the challenge of making such an impossible setting look believable, and of course the collaboration between three creative disciplines.

1.Sketching out ideas

The first stage is to sketch out the initial concepts – no matter how technological the execution, there’s still nothing like breaking out the sharpies and sketchpads for free experimentation and collaboration in the early stages.

Initial sketches

 

2. Moodboard: structure, architecture, light.

When we are planning a deconstructed architectural enviroment, it’s vital to find reference for the elements so that they are completely convincing. We looked for abstract shattered planes and shards to inspire ideas, but also for reference of how light would move and react between the shapes. And we sought out architecture – both imagined and built – that was close to our vision, to see how it is structured in reality.

Moodboard_architecture and structure

3. Architectural session 

Marc worked with Franken Architekten to construct and then deconstruct a setting around the car. Originally created in architectural CAD, they were exported as .dwg files for us to work with in Maya.

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1511_150407_MTR Aventador_Perspective_01

4. Initial tests with the car

Once the initial concept is drafted, we began to refine the ideas in Maya. We experimented with different directions and angles and light sources within the architectural setting.

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Once we were happy with the angles and the placement of the car, we crafted preliminary passes on lighting and mood.

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5. Materials.

The next stage is to look in detail at the textures of concrete, steel and glass – once again, we make moodboards of real-world examples.

Moodboard 2 - Materials

For the detailed observations to make the renders perfectly convincing, we used material references from Marc Trautmann – the concrete floor of his studio had the perfect worn industrial texture we were after.

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With the textures in place, we worked with Marc in developing the background further. Together, we sketched out where texture and lighting should be refined and perfected.

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6. Last adjustments
We tested colour and mood  variants, fine-tuning the lighting and perfecting the dynamism and balance between the structures of the car and of the deconstructed setting. High resolution rendering in Vray shows how the details are coming together here.

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7. The final artwork – three images of an extraordinary car in an extraordinary space.

Concept & Creative Director: Marc Trautmann Architecture: Franken Architelten CGI Artists: Kristian Turner, Anna Toropova / Recom Farmhouse Post Artists: Kate Brown, Riikka Eiro / Recom Farmhouse

Concept & Creative Director: Marc Trautmann Architecture: Franken Architelten CGI Artists: Kristian Turner, Anna Toropova / Recom Farmhouse Post Artists: Kate Brown, Riikka Eiro / Recom Farmhouse

Concept & Creative Director: Marc Trautmann Architecture: Franken Architelten CGI Artists: Kristian Turner, Anna Toropova / Recom Farmhouse Post Artists: Kate Brown, Riikka Eiro / Recom Farmhouse

Fly through the modelling and see how we built up the image, in our behind the scenes movie here!

See the full series on our site here

Concept & Creative Director: Marc Trautmann at Schierke
Architecture: Franken Architekten
CGI Artists: Kristian Turner, Anna Toropova / Recom Farmhouse
Post Artists: Kate Brown, Riikka Eiro / Recom Farmhouse

Cyan II by Øystein Sture Aspelund

Stuff we like: Bright geometry in modern architecture

It’s always amazing when someone shows us a new idea in architectural photography.

Norwegian photographer Øystein Sture Aspelund‘s vision of modernist architecture focuses in on details and textures of modern masterpieces, found by searching through Brasilia, Sao Paulo, rural Bulgaria, Valencia, Bratislava and the Italian coast. Infusing them with strong yet delicate tints of sunsets, cyan and rose, the sweeping and beautiful lines are reminiscent of a new colony on another world.

Your imagination can fill in the rest from these precisely observed details….

Cyan II by Øystein Sture Aspelund Cyan II by Øystein Sture Aspelund Cyan II by Øystein Sture Aspelund Cyan II by Øystein Sture Aspelund Cyan II by Øystein Sture Aspelund Cyan II by Øystein Sture Aspelund

Cyan II by Øystein Sture Aspelund Cyan II by Øystein Sture Aspelund Cyan II by Øystein Sture Aspelund

All photos © Øystein Sture Aspelund
More work  at http://oysteinaspelund.com
The full series is also available for your appreciation on Behance.

CGI by Recom Farmhouse for Virgin Broadband - Detail

100% : Virgin Broadband

Cable specifications! Some might say it’s strictly of interest to your more hardcore nerd, which of course we are. But this is what brings everyone the high speed internet we all love. So we thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of creating Virgin’s DOCSIS®3 Tech cable for a multi-platform campaign – both still and moving assets for print and video adverts.

One of the main challenges was creating a photo-realistic cable. This sounds a lot easier than it is, because when you look at a seemingly smooth metallic material in extreme close-up, it is never perfect. The minute imperfections are actually what gives metal its particular character. In previous campaigns, the cables were photographed – setting the bar high.

We developed custom shading networks including microscratch details giving them the imperfections of the real materials.

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The braiding of the cable housing is perfect, right down to the compression of the snipped ends in the wires.
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A myriad of tiny details were included, such as the champfering of the cable housing shown here.
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Every bend and kink of the copper wiring was faithfully replicated
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For flexibility in animation we developed a rig with which we could quickly adjust both the shapes and the timing of the cable’s growth.
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We made three executions of the idea – Home, Gaming and Video versions.
CGI by Recom Farmhouse for Virgin Broadband - Cable

CGI by Recom Farmhouse for Virgin Broadband - Cable

CGI by Recom Farmhouse for Virgin Broadband - Cable

..and the video work formed the backbone of the motion campaign

The ads were shown all over the UK in an enormous variety of formats, all working well due to the extremely detailed CGI.

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Credits:
Made in Maya
Rendered with V-Ray
Animation composited in After Effects
Stills retouching in Photoshop

Stuff we like: Synchrodogs

Ukranian duo Tania Shcheglova & Roman Noven work under the name Synchrodogs.

Using strictly film cameras “with different levels of crappyness” they create dreamlike and hauntingly beautiful visions with almost no retouching. Central to the work is their own nude bodies in expansive landscapes, with a constant stream of details, abstracts, patterns (and just whatever catches their eye) as accompanying wildcards.

Although they’re determinedly lo-fi artists, working with props, body paint and whatever chance provides, they’re already looking at a future direction in VR art. It will be fascinating to see what their agnostic creative force might bring to a new medium.

The Dallas Contemporary Art Gallery recently exhibited their latest project, Supernatural, inspired by “their own meditation technique”. With help from print sales and uncompromising fashion and editorial work, they took a 4000 mile road trip in the American Southwest –  from Big Bend to White Sands, from Vermilion Cliffs to Antelope Canyon.

As they say themselves: “Describing pictures makes it less interesting for the viewer to see them” so here’s a selection.

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All images © Synchrodogs 2012-2015

More at:

http://www.synchrodogs.com/

https://twitter.com/synchrodogs

https://www.instagram.com/synchrodogs_official/

Making of : Kronenbourg 1664 campaign

The latest Kronenbourg 1664 campaign for French advertising agency Herezie has been a great creative challange. Working closely with the agency from pitch, through studio and location photography to CGI and post production, we were briefed to extend the iconic 1664 ribbon beyond the confines of the bottles label. The creatives at Herezie wanted us to push the boundaries of possibility, playing with perspective and scale in order to create a perfect red cross. Hence, we crafted pink flamingos flying over real beaches, a string of buoys floating on the Mediterranean Sea, a luxurious rooftop bar overlooking the Seine River with laser beams lighting up the city’s night sky which, together with the beer, continue the red ribbons of the 1664 logo.

Recom Farmhouse 1664 advertisign campaign with Alessandra Kila

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Making of : THE DURRELLS for ITV

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This is the first project we have been doing for New York based French photographer Jean-Yves Lemoigne and we’re pretty stoked about it because we’ve been wanting to work with him for a while – check out his work!

For this advertising campaign featuring the new ITV show The Durrells he first traveled to Corfu to capture the landscape and then to London to shoot the actors and animals in the studio. Our part was to combine all the different elements to make them look like they were shot all together. Jean-Yves and creative director Anton Ezer came to our London studio to brief post artist Kate Brown on the mood and the different selects for the actors and animals.

Have a look at the making-of below to see how Kate has worked her magic to bring together these wonderful images. A task made a lot easier by Jean-Yves who shot the separate elements very skilfully, making sure that lighting and perspectives matched perfectly.

MakingOf_The_Durrells

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Stuff we love : DEFENDER (R.I.P!)

Today (29th January 2016) will see the last Landrover Defender roll off the production line in the West Midlands. Almost 70 years since its inception this Iconic utilitarian creation will cease to be built.

As a celebration, here is one of our favourite series’ featuring the legendary vehicle. Photography partners Heckl & Menneman (he&me) masterfully capture its best side, that would be the snowy off-road one.

Salutes all round.

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Making of : FULL CGI LANDSCAPE for AUDI QUATTRO

This is the biggest out of home campaign Hamburg agency Kolle Rebbe has ever produced and it was also our most complex CGI production ever!

For Audi we created a full CGI winter landscape spiralling within itself: road, trees, rocks, snow, clouds and sky all curl around into a perspective that would have been impossible to photograph. In these scenes the cars, also created in CGI, are speeding on a snowy road next to ski runs with real competing athletes.

Audi_RFH-6Audi Quattro Winter Campaign
Audi Quattro Winter Campaign (detail)

With a total of 52 motives distributed in 180 ski areas in Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland and France, the teams in Berlin, Stuttgart and London joined forces to produce these mind twisting visuals under extreme time pressure. The heavy geometry of the landscapes required us to create a new pipeline to handle the different assets and be able to sculpt, texture and light the scenes in real time.

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