We relished the challenge of creating this CGI Porsche Panamera in the rain for a campaign from Kemper Kommmunikation with photographer Erik Chmil.
Here’s a look into how we made it. There’s a selection of 100% crops to zoom in on the details, and a video where you can feast your eyes on the perfectly rendered raindrops on the CGI Porsche.
We used Autodesk VRED to make the car. This execution, with its intricate raindrops, was particularly interesting. The finished image (above) is packed with finely observed details.
As always, the CGI process is grounded in observations of reality. CGI artist Ivo Stanev spent time studying the interaction between the raindrops and the surface of the car. The water acts like hundreds of tiny lenses and we found the best way to light them was to use high resolution HDRI spheres.
Due to their hemisphere shape, formed as the round drops hit a flat surface, the raindrops catch light from the many sources in a night scene like this- street lamps, headlights, windows and so on. This is what makes them sparkle.
To do this, we used high-resolution rain textures with displacement mapping. However, because we wanted to be flexible it was important to react quickly to changes, so we used both triplanar and UV mapping (the process of projecting a 2D image to a 3D model’s surface for texture mapping )
Working with triplanar mapping gives us flexibility because we can easily change the form of the raindrops, especially as the CGI modelled Porsche has High Density Geometry. A good example is the windshield, where UV mapping allowed is to model windscreen wipers with a specific movement. For the rest of the car we used triplanar mapping for flexibility.
It was important for us to show the effect of the wind, changing the shape of the raindrops as they move along the surface of the car’s body.
Also some elements are not as simple to add as you might imagine! We wanted moving, blurred windscreen wipers of course…so we carefully painted where and how the raindrops moved, depending on the motion of the windscreen wipers.
The rendering took a lot of time as well – we used full Global Illumination with a lot of samples…and of course only one HDRI sphere wasn’t enough, so we had to use two or three of them.
We are really pleased with the end result – the painstaking work paid off beautifully.
Fly though the details in our video here…
Agency: Kemper Kommmunikation
Photographer: Erik Chmil
Creative Director: Nadine Kubis
Post-Artist: Thomas Fritz / Recom Stuttgart
CGI Artist: Eugen Albrandt / Recom Stuttgart
CGI Artist: Ivo Stanev / Recom Stuttgart
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.
The braiding of the cable housing is perfect, right down to the compression of the snipped ends in the wires.
A myriad of tiny details were included, such as the champfering of the cable housing shown here.
Every bend and kink of the copper wiring was faithfully replicated
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.
We made three executions of the idea – Home, Gaming and Video versions.
..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.
Made in Maya
Rendered with V-Ray
Animation composited in After Effects
Stills retouching in Photoshop
The latest Kronenbourg 1664 campaign for French advertising agency Herezie has been a great creative challenge. 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.
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 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.
Kai Tietz approached us with yet another awesome Mercedes-Benz Sprinter advertising campaign – and we were happy to be part of the usual Team. We worked together with photographer Martijn Oort to create a series of visuals for the new Sprinter Edition campaign. Martijn was responsible for the photography part and CG supervision. He photographed the backplate and all the people. We created the vehicles and other key elements of the images in CGI. Kai Tietz managed the whole project in the background. Continue reading
For the new Duckstein campaign, photographer Markus Mueller was asked to visualise two men drinking on top of a pint of beer with the foam spilling out and blending into a cloudscape. For this surreal scene Markus contacted CGI director Thorsten Jasper Weese at Recom because he needed to create most of the image in CG. Markus provided us with lots of backplates of real clouds shot during the numerous flights he had taken to photograph the other images for the campaign. We ended up using his shots for the clouds in the distance, and the ground visible through the gaps of the CG clouds. We then developed together with Markus the visuals for the foreground clouds in CGI.
The boxes above are called ‘Bounding Boxes’. They effectively define the boundaries of each of the clouds’s volumes that we have created in CGI.
This is yet another image we have created in collaboration with photographer Markus Wendler for the series “The Dark Side of Los Angeles” which visually narrates ambiguous stories in downtown LA. The vintage cars appearing in each image are completely created in CG. Continue reading
For this site-specific project we were asked by creative director Felipe Nunes Franco to visualise a Renault car breaking through the glass facade of Düsseldorf airport.
Excited by the idea of producing an artwork for a site specific project, a member of our Stuttgart team drove to Düsseldorf for a day to take reference pictures of the actual facade together with the exact measurements of the glass panels. In fact we had to accurately reproduce those dimensions in CG so that the billboard could exactly substitute and replicate the covered area with the car breaking through it.
Shot by photographer David Westphal, this production of images is another fine example of how realistic CG images can look! Our New York team traveled with David to the amazing forests, parks and beaches near Portland, Oregon. Our team provided both on-set retouching and pre-visualisation to allow everyone to see the car in situ and decide on the angles.
Here is the Nissan Qashqai advertising campaign commisioned by TBWA Paris. In these full CGI images the car is placed in an imaginary glass city.