Hookie Tardigrade: Nasa Concept Motorcycle with J. Konrad Schmidt

The Tardigrade is the world’s first moon concept motorcycle.

Inspired by future and past adventures to orbit, original CGI by Andrey Fabishevsky, built by Hookie, photographed by J. Konrad  Schmidt, retouching and post-production CGI elements by Recom Stuttgart.

The Inspiration

Andrey Fabishevsky dreamed up the original idea for a creative sketch challenge with a friend on Instagram, and developed it into a CGI concept. The idea took social media by storm, with features and speculation about the possibilities.
“I’d seen some very stylised and cool concept sketches of NASA motorcycles, and I wanted to make a bike in CGI that felt like a fully functional concept, not just a cool stylised idea.”
– Andrey Fabishevsky

Bringing the dream to life

Among those who saw the idea and loved it was Nico Mueller of Hookie  –  a Dresden based design company working on custom motorbikes, components and accessories. Inspired by Andrey’s visual, they contacted him with the idea of making the bike for real. The project was named “Tardigrade” after the tough little organisms that have been known to survive even in space. Andrey made new CGI drawings, exploring the construction in more detail in preparation for the build.

“Together with Hookie, we made something really cool and fresh. I haven’t seen the motorcycle in real life yet…I hope this will happen soon!”
– Andrey Fabishevsky

The Construction

At Hookie, the process of the build began – intricate welding, careful machining and many late nights brought the Tardigrade into reality.

“A thought experiment that also raises questions about our future: What would life beyond planetary boundaries look like? What demands does outer space make on a bike that can travel in the darkness of space and largely from the shackles of gravity over icy lunar dust? And how far away are we from such scenarios?”
–  Nico Müller, Hookie

 

Read more about the construction on their dedicated site here: Hookie Tardigrade.
For even more details on the build, there’s an in-depth article in BikeExif here.
With the long and detailed build and development complete, they now needed the imagery that would convey the idea and fire the imagination.

The Shoot

The search was on for a location that could stand in for the moon, and friends of Hookie knew the perfect space – a porcelain clay mine in the Czech Republic.

The bike travelled by trailer from Dresden and was lovingly assembled ready to be captured in action for the first time. The fine pale dust of the clay worked brilliantly for both the texture for the bike’s trails, and the lighting and structure of the lunar surface.

” It was surreal. Andrew and Hookie did such an amazing job. Standing on this location with this bike felt like – What else could anyone wish for. It looked right from the first second on.”
– J. Konrad Schmidt

Post Production

Back in Stuttgart, Recom worked with Konrad to achieve an otherworldly atmosphere, referencing real life lunar photography in  the contrast and grading.  Some details were tidied up, such as removing the bike’s  stand and remaking  the wheels in CGI in order to have a realistic feeling of speed.

To break out of every day life, it is always cool to jump into space travel, to create an outer space lunar feel for such  a beautifully designed – out  of this world! – object as the TARDIGRADE. Recom is ready for the moon.”
– Thorsten Jasper Weese, Recom Stuttgart

 

Reception

The bike has been featured widely already  with features  in Designboom, Stirworld, Uncrate,and many more.

Future trajectory

With the world premiere as a part of the ADV:Overland exhibition at Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles in late 2021, Hookie wants to prove that even fantastic ideas can mature into a real, tangible object. All it takes is a vision and curiosity about the unknown.
Keep in contact with the continuing story of the Tardigrade on Hookie’s dedicated site here.

Selection of Images

A selection from the project. See the full series on recomfarmhouse.com here, on recom.de here, or on Behance here.

 

See the full series on recomfarmhouse.com here, on or on Behance here.

Credits
Client: Hookie.co
Photographer: J. Konrad Schmidt
Assistant & Location photos: Jeneba Komma
Original CGI concept: Andrey Fabishevsky
Model: Karolína Machová
Video: David Ohl

Post-Production Credits:
CGI Direction: Thorsten Jasper Weese / Recom Stuttgart
Post Production: Thomas Saalfrank / Recom Stuttgart
CGI Artist: Ronja Wafzig, Thomas Neumeier / Recom Stuttgart

 

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More work at recomfarmhouse.com and our blog madlove.net.
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The Recom Fearhouse

WELCOME BACK TO THE RECOM FEARHOUSE

October hasn’t been the same since our sinister 80s slasher film collided with a thousand-year pandemic. Sorry, multi-year pandemic. A thousand years of this might be too scary, and that’s saying something since we escaped a psychotic Axeman in a forest to a dusk-lit, desolate town, some years prior.

Although, it’s up for debate whether we escaped our most vicious foes after all. I suppose we may have “overlooked” remote work being as debilitating as it has been. With New Yorkers primarily still working from home, and the fun months of banana bread making behind us, we face the difficulty of living in The Recom Fearhouse. Conference calls disrupted by barking dogs, spilled coffee from tripping over children’s toys, ordering pizza in a trance of perpetual snacking…

…not getting enough time to play may have made us all a little “dull.”

This essence of insanity from too much vacationing at home was manifested to match that of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, a cult classic, and a Recom NYC favourite. An avid appreciation for the film spurred numerous easter eggs and tie-ins to the 1980 hit.

A closer look will reveal all… BUT BEWARE! What you see may frighten, perhaps even scar you!

Unable to view the Overlook Hotel in person, we recreated it in CGI from movie references. We matched the lighting, props, and composition from those of the screen grabs.

Once our foundation was set, our team of horror fans began compositing items from our home offices into the scene.

We embellished the truth a bit, making the “real” Recom Fearhouse from children’s toys, cold coffee, and stale pizza to sell that aspect of homegrown insanity. And ya know, a little whiskey for… improved focus… hehe.

Once we’d decorated the room with our aromatic décor, it was time to collect our sheets of sprawled paper with our twist on “All work and no play.”

 Of course, the typewriter alone wouldn’t be enough of a tribute to the pop-culture, trendsetter source material. Pulling out our digital pocketknives, we carved the famous “Redrum” into our tabletop, and we placed them right beside our matching twin VW’s Beetles. Our twins are still in one piece, though…

To keep the spirit of our veneer-sided Jeep Grand Wagoneer and its many frivolous adventures alive, we added it into our finely tuned monitor before calling our latest Recom Fearhouse a closed case.

Maybe next year we’ll dust our Fearhouse Mobile off and see where it takes us. Hopefully somewhere quiet…

Credits:
Creative Direction: Richard Levene, Steven Orts, Andrew Coleman, Robert Russ, Luke Burke / Recom Farmhouse NYC
CGI: Luke Burke / Recom Farmhouse NYC
Retouching & Editing: Steven Orts, Andrew Coleman, Robert Russ / Recom Farmhouse NYC
Sound Compilation: Robert Russ / Recom Farmhouse NYC

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More work at recomfarmhouse.com and our blog madlove.net.
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Making Of: “Vitruvian Man” for Barclays

Barclays wanted to mark the occasion of the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci with a modern evolution of his celebrated “Vitruvian Man“, showing how technology might enhance different parts of the human body.

We created the image in full CGI, in collaboration with photographer Andy Glass.

Appropriately for the subject matter, we started with sketches. Pen and pencil remains as perfect for quick visualisation and prototyping as it was 500 years ago. We put together sketches inspired by existing technology in biotech and visualising futuristic enhancements. Pencil drawings made it easy to react to feedback as we worked with the clients to refine the designs.

The individual parts come together to make the classic “Vitruvian Man” diagram

The CGI team then built the image from scratch, following the concepts and design from our sketches. The most challenging part of the process was keeping the classic design instantly recognisable and coherent, whilst working on the detail of each component and making the whole image both believably realistic and compellingly futuristic

Once all the pieces were fitted together in the final design, we modelled and lighted it, and applied shaders using photographic references to ensure a solid feel to the materials.  A circular platform and illuminated neon square completed the iconic image.

See the whole process here:
Making of “Vitruvian Man” for Barclays Private Finance

 

The image was used for an exclusive wraparound for the Canary Wharf delivery of the Financial Times, and as a poster.

Final image:

And video animation:

Vitruvian Man on Behance.

Client: Barclays Private Bank
Agency: Ogilvy
Photographic & Creative Direction: Andy Glass
Creatives:  Dave Anderson, Richard Barrett, Ian Brassett, James Manning, Giles Montgomery, Jon Morgan
Art Buyer: Lesley Scott
Concept Design: Kristian Turner / Recom Farmhouse
CGI Artists: Alex Bowen, Carlos Pecino, Anna Toropova, Kristian Turner / Recom Farmhouse
Post Artists: Aljaz Bezjak, Kate Brown / Recom Farmhouse

Making Of: “Daily Drivers” – CGI racing car collaboration with Alex Bernstein

Daily Drivers: A peep behind the scenes of a project built on absurdity.

A car is a tool. Its uses range drastically: from everyday tasks like commuting, shopping and school runs, to more exciting functions like self-expression and road trips. And then there’s racing… Race cars are a uniquely specialized end of this spectrum. Their sole purpose is to be fast and light, with creature comforts and road manners thrown out the window all in the name of victory. But at the end of the day, they’re still cars: four wheels, a seat and some pedals.

Daily Drivers Nº 1 : 1999 Toyota GT-One (TS020)

When it comes to getting around the city, most New Yorkers opt for public transportation, because having a car in Manhattan is like trying to paint a mural with a Q-tip. So here — in this alternate and absurdist reality — a few legendary race cars break the boundaries of their purpose.

Daily Drivers Nº 2 : 2003 Bentley Speed 8

In this reality, these retired steeds continue their service. They may not be flat out in Eau Rouge, or spraying gravel off the cliffs of Pikes Peak, but they’re still living, still used, and still loved.

Daily Drivers Nº 3 : 1967 Ferrari 330 P4

Steven Orts of Recom Farmhouse’s New York studio outlined the rough project idea to photographer and amateur racer, Alex Bernstein, who traveled back to his old stomping grounds in New York to brainstorm with the team, scout and shoot in some iconic locations, working his magic to bring this project to life. With his love for motorsports, Alex nailed the angles to capture the city scenes with their obstructions and ambiance, all while still feeling handheld and natural, as if you were walking through the city streets and had just spotted these ridiculously out-of-place machines.

Daily Drivers Nº 4 : 1990 Jaguar XJR-12

All the cars are full CGI. Each model required heavy amounts of refinement, while we retextured and prepped in the studio. With great care and patience, the finer details were added. Dust and grit, scuffs and scrapes, raindrops and reflections all work together to fully immerse these cars into their respective worlds. We captured domes from each location which enabled proper reflections to be brought back into post production. Finally, meticulous colour grading enhanced the light and shade of New York City and integrated the composited images.

Daily Drivers Nº 5 : 1986 Audi Sport Quattro S1 E2

See the full series on Behance.

Daily Drivers 1

Credits: 
Creative Direction: Steven Orts / Recom Farmhouse NYC
Photographer: Alex Bernstein
CGI: Luke Burke & Alex Bowen / Recom Farmhouse NYC
Retouching: Steven Orts & Andrew Coleman / Recom Farmhouse NYC

 

Making of: Perfect Storm with Thomas Brown

Thomas Brown : Perfect Storm

Sci-fi influences are worn proudly on the sleeve of this series for Wallpaper magazine. Thomas Brown was commissioned again for their “Perfect Storm” editorial, in which “elemental forces and industrial strength converge in a whirlwind of high-voltage design”.

Thomas worked with his long term collaborator, the set designer Matt Morris. Together with Cloud and Horse set builders and projectionist Insight Lighting, they created “a dramatic sci-fi world where a weird automated transit system is augmented with external and often extreme natural phenomena.”

Behind the scenes at the warehouse location: Raising and lowering platforms provide unusual viewpoints…and the scissor lifts themselves are incorporated in the set design, whilst projections create different ambiances for each shot

 

 

 

More images behind the scenes, including the construction of the mirrored boxes, from set builders Cloud & Horse here. (Behind the scenes pictures by Alex Davenport)

Clous & Horse behind the scenes

The final images were published in Wallpaper magazine:

 

And you can see the whole series here:
Perfect Storm with Thomas Brown on recomfarmhouse.com

Perfect Storm with Thomas Brown on Behance

Thomas Brown : Perfect Storm

 

Client: Wallpaper
Photographer: Thomas Brown
Photographer’s Agent: Webber Represents
Set Designer: Matt Morris
Set Build: Cloud and Horse
Projectionist: Insight Lighting
Post Artists: Aljaz Bezjak / Maria Luisa Calosso / Recom Farmhouse

Making Of: BMW 7 Series, Full CGI with Alessandra Kila

“The ethereal elements of light, colour and haze transmit feelings and emotions. This has been a great project to experiment with the translation of these emotions from the normally more sterile environment of CGI” – Alessandra Kila

The artist brings her unique creative vision to the new BMW 7 series, in a campaign driven by light. Inspired by exhibition spaces where light interacts with installations to become part of the work, she intersected the sculptural forms of the car with the angular shapes of sharply cut sunbeams, laser curtains and light screens – innovative imagery to reveal the lines of a visionary vehicle.

Originally developed from a creative partnership with the BMW design department, Recom Farmhouse London collaborated intensively with the artist to realise her vision in pure CGI.

Simulating light in volumetric space is challenging enough, and quick previewing of iterations fast enough as to not inhibit the creative process raises further issues. In order to deliver such ambitious images, we developed an intricate technical framework within the CGI software. This custom lighting rig can abstract the visual effect of using a fully physical lighting simulation, but render in a fraction of the time, allowing creative freedom and experimentation. For the final rendering we used the fully physical lighting model for accuracy and photorealism. Take a look behind the scenes here:

The team called on Alessandra’s strong experience with still life art photography to set up varied and subtle lighting for depth and believability in the car and environment. A myriad of tiny details, such as effects of bleeding and darkening, give a natural look, along with elements of photographed neon tubes and illuminated screens. Further lighting directed the balance of warmth and cold in the images.

To create the required atmosphere, she drew on her ongoing exploration of the use of haze to soften light. Here, the haziness carries the light and colour that are central to the project.

BMW / Full CGI Client: BMW Creative Supervision BMW: Florian Hartmann, Julia Obermeier Concept & Art Direction: Alessandra Kila CGI Artist: Kristian Turner, Carlos Pecino, Anna Toropova Post Artist: Pepê Alram, Kate Brown, Riikka Eiro, Maria Luisa Calosso

We introduced dust to give a liquid silkiness to the light. Algorithms that mimic the movement of particles create a heightened atmosphere of dusty air moving in warm light.

Colour was a vital part of this project so the post artists hand tinted the lightwaves being carried through the haze in tonalities of greens, aqua and gold. By literally mixing the colours directly with their virtual paint brushes, they painted the light with the colours of the campaign.

As the car slices through angled laser beams and sheets of pouring light, there’s a tactile and almost synaesthetic quality to the images. The interior shots in particular are hugely innovative: re-imagined as a magical space where anything could happen, and brought to life with light beaming in.

See the full series here on our site and on Behance:

BMW / Full CGI Client: BMW Creative Supervision BMW: Florian Hartmann, Julia Obermeier Concept & Art Direction: Alessandra Kila CGI Artist: Kristian Turner, Carlos Pecino, Anna Toropova Post Artist: Pepê Alram, Kate Brown, Riikka Eiro, Maria Luisa Calosso

Client: BMW
Creative Supervision BMW: Florian Hartmann
Creative Direction BMW Group Design: Julia Obermeyer
Concept & Art Direction: Alessandra Kila
CGI Artists: Kristian Turner, Carlos Pecino, Anna Toropova / Recom Farmhouse
Post Artists: Pepê Alram, Kate Brown, Riikka Eiro, Maria Luisa Calosso / Recom Farmhouse

Volvo with Tomek Olszowski

This cinematic series gives a new slant to the dramatic play of sunlight in a big city, with strong transitions to long edgy shadows. 

Against a backdrop of heritage architecture in Warsaw,  the sleek modern neutrals of the car set the scene for its driver – a bold and stylish redheaded individualist. 

Recom Farmhouse London collaborated with the photographer to intensify the film noir ambiance. A strong duotone palette led by the rich orange and deep greens of the model infuses with subtler tones into the car and background. 

On location in Warsaw, Tomek scouted for locations with interesting light and shadow, no matter how awkward!

Observing the position of the sun, he planned the shoot over time, looking for places where dynamic lines throw the shapes into sharp relief.

For the car, a neutral coloured Volvo was a perfect choice, fitting the overall vision of elegant and modern style with the feeling of heritage in the background.

Amongst the redheaded models cast, Natalia instantly stood out for this shoot, with her striking colouring, purposeful attitude and insouciant style.

Her pierced nose  adds a hint of rebelliousness, and Dorota styled her with a gorgeous series of ensembles in green to lay the natural foundations for the palette, to be developed later in post-production.

In discussions with the team in Recom Farmhouse’s London studio, the decision was to evolve these original colours with cooler notes in the darker tones and a strong overall combination of rich warm oranges and deep cool greens.

Post-production also emphasised the strong transitions between shadows and light.

“Being such a noir narrative, we thought that being kinda duotone could be quite fitting. Also, when properly worked on, I think the carpaint could really “sing” with some cyan/green”. – Pepê / Recom Farmhouse London 

Enjoy the strong shapes and subtle tone combinations of this series here:

Tomek Olszowski - Volvo

See the whole series on Behance here

Photography: Tomek Olszowski
Production: Piotr Stefański
Model: Natalia Michalewska
Stylist: Dorota Magdziarz
Make up & Hair: Magda Gontarczuk
Assist: Dominik Nowak, Adam Gocel, Tomasz Kret
Post Artist: Pepê Alram

Delorean with Tomek Olszowski

“I’ve always wanted to shoot this car. I love its iconic style and I wanted to shoot it outdoors with a natural look, but a dusky and mysterious sci-fi atmosphere. We wanted to shoot as much as possible during the ‘blue hour’ just after the sun goes down, to enhance the otherworldly feel of the series. I started with finding a guy who owns probably the only Delorean in good condition in Poland. We cast for a model and found Monika with her strong look and short crop. Stylist Dorota added a few bold styling accents that would fit in with the eighties ambience without appearing too clichéd. The location needed to be abstract, monochromatic and above all dry, so that we could generate natural dust – a gravel pit proved to be the perfect choice. Technically the dust had its own issues to deal with! It’s very difficult to control, with the wind changing directions every minute.

It also meant that we had very limited opportunities to shoot the Delorean with its iconic gullwing doors open, as we couldn’t risk damage to the car. With the shoot complete, the task of removing every speck of dust for the car was enormous!”

 

In post-production, Recom Farmhouse developed a faded look with an overall combination of magenta/violet, and yellow/orange hues — again, echoing an eighties palette of early digital and laser colours .

See the finished series on  Behance.

 

See the whole project on our site and on Behance.

Photography: Tomek Olszowski
Production: Piotr Stefański / Studio Tecza
Model: Monika Rybicka
Stylist: Dorota Magdziarz / @dorota.magdziarz
Make up: Ewelina Mróz
Car: Michał Kraul
Assistants: Dominik Nowak, Adam Gocel, Tomasz Kret, Filip Wyszyński, Maciek Czerniecki

Post Artists: Nuria Segura, Aljaz Bezjak / Recom Farmhouse London

Making Of: Flooding of the Tate 1928 with Julia Fullerton-Batten

Julia Fullerton-Batten has been working on an ongoing series called “Old Father Thames  “…choosing, investigating and photographing a selection of cultural and historical narratives from along its banks.”

For this particular image, she asked us to flood the Tate with water.

“My image captures the aftermath of the flood in the Tate Gallery when a massive wet painting was carried by a group of porters to safety…Miraculously, despite their immersion in muddy Thames water for several hours, only eighteen paintings were damaged beyond repair.”

Here’s a photo of the original event from 1928:

Tate Flood real photo

Our retouchers Riikka Eiro and Maria Calosso joined the photographer on set at the Tate Britain (which was only available at night) to see what would need to be done, to absorb the feeling and lighting of the room, and to take the thousands of photos to produce an accurate photoscan. This would be used for the reflections of the water, as a very high level of verisimilitude would be vital to conveying the shock of seeing such an iconic room flooded.

Take a look behind the scenes of the shoot in Julia’s film:

The CGI and retouching had to be worked on simultaneously, as the image had to be composited and graded before the water was added, to allow for accuracy in the reflections and adjustments for the overall look.

We modelled a simplified interior of the room from our photoscans and then camera matched so that the distance and perspective we would use for the water would match the rest of the image as we were compositing.  Kristian Turner, head of CGI, worked out the angles within a simplified geometry of the room, and then used that as a camera to project the reflections of this into the water.

Next, we made a basic geometry so that we had the depth in areas where the people intersected with the water. The rest of the bodies were only needed in 2d, for reflections, composited as ‘cards’.

To create the height and pattern of  waves created by the people moving in a room,  we searched for reference on the internet – news photos of floods were a good source. We looked at the way that water moves inside a building and also at what happens when people interact with the water – how their movement as they slosh around inside a room creates ripples and turbulence. It’s possible to map exactly how this would actually look via simulation – but we needed greater artistic control for the right effect.

It’s of huge importance to this project as a body of work that the water is believable as being from the Thames. We used volumetric rendering – normally used for mist and smoke – to add opacity in a realistic way, working with reference photos and our own observations of the river.  In reality the water would have had much more debris. For the image it was important that it retained a river-water look, and that the parquet floor, so familiar to visitors of the Tate, was visible faintly below the water, distorted by the ripples.

Each person’s interaction with the water was individually mapped, such as the movement of the water around their legs. Wet splashes on their clothes were added with retouching.

Details:

The shoot was actually done at night, so we added daylight to the room. The figures were all shot with a softbox flash, and we softened them further for a painterly feel. With painstaking care, we removed all signs of modernity in the room – light switches, alarms, cables and so on, and carefully fine-tuned the colours in the image to reflect the volume of muddy water in the room.

See how we did it stage by stage here:

Final image here:

The final, graded image reflects all the hard work…when the Tate posted it on their Twitter feed on a rainy day, people asked if it was a real picture. We’ll take the compliment 🙂

The project has been featured in many publications including Creative Review,  The Eye of Photography and The Association of Photographers , and the series will be shown in Barcelona later this year as part of the 5th Biennale of Fine Art & Documentary Photography.

See it on Behance here

And on Our site here:

Credits:
Photographer: Julia Fullerton-Batten

Photoshoot Team:
Digital Operator: Gideon Marshall
Assistants: Sebastian Niespialowski, Ken Street, Jason Lewis
Work Experience: Matt Darlington, Jo Cock, Jamie Buckle
Models: Alan Byrch, David Newton, Martin Reines, John Lauri, Paul Orchard, Frank Gordon, Peter Charlton, Christophe Philipps
Stylist: Graham Cruz

Post-Production Team
CGI Artist: Kristian Turner / Recom Farmhouse London
Post Artist:  Riikka Eiro / Recom Farmhouse London
On-set support: Maria Luisa Calosso & Riikka Eiro / Recom Farmhouse London

Recom Farmhaunt

Recom Farmhaunt

Inexplicably a few brave retouchers lived through the night at the Recom Fearhouse forest cabin last Halloween, and the shaken survivors climb back into the veneer-sided station wagon for the next instalment. Escaping the woods, they arrive in a lonely town at dusk…

What warped levels of darkness are layered and blended with a mask of normality?  Will our artists be ready for their “Post” Mortem? Reveal All below….
Peer out from behind the sofa and press play….if you dare.

No horror movie is complete without a poster:

Recom Farmhaunt poster

 

CGI Artists: Luke Burke & Alex Bowen
Retouching: Federico Chiesa
Art Direction: Federico Chiesa
Music composition for animation: Federico Chiesa