New work for Audi, a dark and dramatic concept with a technical look in a virtual world, to emphasise the high level of intelligence in the cars’ systems.
Working with photographer Markus Wendler, we built a futuristic architectural vision to set the cars in, underscored by abstract, rhythmic patterns of pixels, dissolving and coalescing.
Enjoy a 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….
Once the concepts were decided, Markus Wendler travelled to China for the photography, centred around Zaha Hadid’s spectacular Opera House in Guangzhou…very poignant to be working so closely with her complex and beautiful shapes at the time of her death. Because of the organic forms of the building – inspired by the pebbles of its riverside location – it would have been very hard to figure out distances and shapes afterwards. So while Markus began shooting the backplates, his assistant Kolja Schoepe was making invaluable PhotoScan captures, so our CGI artists could recreate the location digitally. He used the latest Canon EOS 5DS R for this and the results were very impressive – the best we have seen yet with PhotoScan.
Meanwhile, as well as shooting the settings, Markus was working on the composition. This was quite a challenge as the angles for the cars had already been determined. With experience and care, he was able to successfully combine the wider angle backgrounds with the long lenses used for the cars.
Richard Jenkinson, CGI Artist at Recom Berlin, explains how we handled the creation of the geometry and distribution of the pixels in 3D:
“After 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.”
“When we’d made the grid patterns to represent pixels, we made a build up for each area. This allows the retoucher to add or remove density where required. Then…rinse and repeat, eleven times.”
Markus joined us again in the studio in Berlin, to fine tune the cars and perfect their lighting and placement within the sets.
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.
The elegant shape of the catalogue demanded super-wide panoramic versions to form extra long images for the double page spreads inside.
Agency: Kolle Rebbe
Creative Director: Jörge Dittmann
Art Director: Markus Kubicke
Photographer: Markus Wendler
Producer: 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: Katrin Grün