Tokyo Maserati Bora with Nick Meek

Our friend Nick Meek approached our London team with this evocative night shot from Tokyo.

Tokyo Night Garage - Nick Meek

He took it a while ago and always loved it, but kept feeling it needed something extra. He began to wonder what it would look like if the rolling gate was opened  – just enough to reveal something special.

Researching vintage cars, he found an unusual and elegant 1970s supercar with a plum paint and golden trim to the scene, and asked us if we could add it to the scene.

Excited about this extraordinary request we reached into our magic bag of CGI tricks, lifted the  door and settled on parking this sweet Maserati Bora inside.

After a successful collaboration process, we’re all happy with the atmospheric result.

Photographer: Nick Meek CGI Artists: Kristian Turner Post Artist: Maria Luisa Calosso

 

Red Car, Red Room

We were so happy with how the Maserati turned out that we wanted to work with it some more. A CGI group challenge, themed on “Red Car, Red Room” was the perfect place to take the car out of the garage and reveal it in all its glory. Take a closer look at the exotic and gorgeous Maserati Bora in detail here.

Maserati Bora CGI

Crop detail of the gold trim:

Maserati Bora CGI (crop)

 

Software:
Autodesk Maya
Chaos Group V-Ray
Adobe Photoshop

Credits: Tokyo Garage
Photographer: Nick Meek
CGI Artist: Kristian Turner / Recom Farmhouse
Post Artist: Maria Luisa Calosso, Kate Brown / Recom Farmhouse

Credits: Red Car Red Room
CGI Artist: Kristian Turner / Recom Farmhouse
Post Artist: Pêpe Alram / Recom Farmhouse

100% – Porsche Panamera

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.

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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.

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Mapping techniques:
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.

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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.

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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.

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Fly though the details in our video here…

Client: Porsche
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

Infiniti with Nick Meek – Behind the Scenes

Having recently established a new look for Infiniti, Nick Meek was asked once again by CP+B to apply his distinctive high key style to five more models of their fleet.

Infiniti QX70

We were delighted to work once again on the post-production throughout the shoot, both on location and in the studio.

This was a shoot of epic proportions!

  • 3 months
  • 3 productions
  • 27 major exterior shots
  • 50 detail shots
  • 6 different models
  • Crew of 18

The Southern California locations included urban LA environments, desert highways, bridges, as well as an airport and a racetrack. With one of our retouchers constantly on set, we were able to jump start the post production. First pass amends could be in place before sending files to the agency, with feedback from Nick and the clients on set already incorporated.

The production convoy sets off to the desert:

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The car travels in the finest style of course.

Gear and preparation:

Nick’s camera mounted to the end of the rig and ready to shoot.

So many measures to work against the fierce desert sun! This flexible arm keeps the camera in shade and and can also be used to block flare.

It’s a long walk back once the rig is set up – this is at its maximum extension.

The captures go directly to Kate’s workstation. We use walkie-talkies to keep in touch, so post-production can begin smoothly and directly from the image capture.

This exterior station is a convenient direct point for the client signing off elements such as the angle of the car. Left to right: CD Doug Kohnen of CP+B, Kara Hughes of Infiniti, Nick Meek.

Nick inspects some images in the workstation.

At other locations, a smaller portable sun shelter is useful.

Nick goes handheld and low angle for detail shots.

Setting up the ‘Lizard‘ to capture HDR spheres for reference, so we have a full record of the background in case of any later alterations – this means that if we need to change any details we have an accurate record for reflections and lighting on the car.

Capturing some city skyscrapers with the Lizard for use as backup for the city location, in case they were needed.


Life on the set

Tunnel vision can set in on these long shoots…

But the epic skies and open desert are stunning.

Hats are a necessity when working long hours in the blasting desert sunshine.

Clouds drift by as we wait for the perfect light
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Even in the desert, the production team have to be vigilant – when the weather comes in, it happens fast! Approaching storms mean everything has to go under cover at very short notice.

Here it comes!

However the show must go on – no storm can stop Nick from continuing to work! Even in these conditions, he was able to capture great results. These were the shooting conditions:

…and this is the final result!

The precipitation did have some unexpected and spectacular side effects…

In between all the hard work during these long days on the road there were always moments of fun, where we got to play with an array of toys the crew had brought along (e-skateboards, mini motorcycle, remote controlled cars etc), and as we were being baked by the hot desert sun, we got to listen to some fine tunes by the motorhome band, while being spoiled by some amazing catered foods – Many thanks to Will Taylor of Ink and Oranges for their work on production!

Recom kept standards high with Kate coming first in her Go-Kart team.

The rig came in handy as a gigantic “selfie stick” to capture the crew, though no cable release was long enough to operate the camera!

Left to right:

Not shown:

All in all a very productive and delightful job. It was great to work once again with Nick Meek, the production was a big success and the same team is currently in the US working on the next Infiniti project.

Infiniti QX70

See the full series on our site here.

Mustang with Uli Heckmann

A quick peek on-set, and behind the scenes with the photographer –  shooting with Uli Heckmann, for the launch of the new Mustang 2018 with GTB (formerly Team Detroit) and JB5 Productions.

The car wasn’t yet available for shooting, so we took shots of  last year’s model as a stand-in to refer to, and then added this year’s car in CGI during post-production.

We always seem to be up ladders – shooting the models, and background separately. The stand-in car helps to get the lighting as realistic as possible.

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The final shot with all elements combined, including CGI car swapped in.

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Setting up the camera at the bridge – shooting HDR domes along the bridge with the Lizard to make a 360 light capture for the CGI car.

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Final shot using the lighting captures for perfect realism on the CGI car

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Stumptown brewery location. We shot all around this area, exploring different locations, areas and different talent options.

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Final shot – This was put together from a number of different elements from the day’s shooting. 

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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
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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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Aventador_03_KTT_f78

 

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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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Aventador_09_KTT_masterLayer

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.

Aventador16_12_KTT

 

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

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

Making of : Full CGI landscape for Audi Quattro

This is the biggest international 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-6

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.

 

Client: Audi Agency: Kolle Rebbe Creative Director: Jörg Dittmann Art Director: Benjamin Allwardt Project Manager: Amelie Pamp Art Buyer: Katja Sluyter Post Production Project Manager : Lars Wittmark CGI Directors: Christoph Bolten and Jonas Braukmann / Recom Farmhouse CGI Lead Artist: Kristian Turner / Recom Farmhouse CGI Artists: Richard Jenkinson, Florian Einfalt, Dariusz Makowski, Christian Schemer / Recom Farmhouse Post Artists: Pepê Alram, Kate Brown, Nele Ebner and Jonas Braukmann / Recom Farmhouse

Audi Quattro Winter Campaign

Client: Audi Agency: Kolle Rebbe Creative Director: Jörg Dittmann Art Director: Benjamin Allwardt Project Manager: Amelie Pamp Art Buyer: Katja Sluyter Post Production Project Manager : Lars Wittmark CGI Directors: Christoph Bolten and Jonas Braukmann / Recom Farmhouse CGI Lead Artist: Kristian Turner / Recom Farmhouse CGI Artists: Richard Jenkinson, Florian Einfalt, Dariusz Makowski, Christian Schemer / Recom Farmhouse Post Artists: Pepê Alram, Kate Brown, Nele Ebner and Jonas Braukmann / Recom Farmhouse

Audi Quattro Winter Campaign

 

Our CGI artists started with a simplified geometry of the spiral. Once the basic shape was achieved, this could then be sculpted in detail. In the meantime other artists were generating and rendering trees and moss.

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Simplified geometry to create the spiral landscape

A small team went to Poland another one went to Chamonix in France where thanks to our friends Nick and Martha, we found the perfect locations to photograph and scan cliffs and rocks with a drone.

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First 3D result of scanned rock

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First 3D result of scanned rock

Terrain Geometry

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CGI Trees

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Audi Quattro Winter Campaign

Client: Audi Agency: Kolle Rebbe Creative Director: Jörg Dittmann Art Director: Benjamin Allwardt Project Manager: Amelie Pamp Art Buyer: Katja Sluyter Post Production Project Manager : Lars Wittmark CGI Directors: Christoph Bolten and Jonas Braukmann / Recom Farmhouse CGI Lead Artist: Kristian Turner / Recom Farmhouse CGI Artists: Richard Jenkinson, Florian Einfalt, Dariusz Makowski, Christian Schemer / Recom Farmhouse Post Artists: Pepê Alram, Kate Brown, Nele Ebner and Jonas Braukmann / Recom Farmhouse

Audi Quattro Winter Campaign (detail)

Client: Audi Agency: Kolle Rebbe Creative Director: Jörg Dittmann Art Director: Benjamin Allwardt Project Manager: Amelie Pamp Art Buyer: Katja Sluyter Post Production Project Manager : Lars Wittmark CGI Directors: Christoph Bolten and Jonas Braukmann / Recom Farmhouse CGI Lead Artist: Kristian Turner / Recom Farmhouse CGI Artists: Richard Jenkinson, Florian Einfalt, Dariusz Makowski, Christian Schemer / Recom Farmhouse Post Artists: Pepê Alram, Kate Brown, Nele Ebner and Jonas Braukmann / Recom Farmhouse

Audi Quattro Winter Campaign (detail)

 

It has been a lot of intense work to produce all the visuals for this campaign, but nonetheless an amazing collaboration with the creatives at Kolle Rebbe! . . .  and the campaign is everywhere!

Client: Audi Agency: Kolle Rebbe Creative Director: Jörg Dittmann Art Director: Benjamin Allwardt Project Manager: Amelie Pamp Art Buyer: Katja Sluyter Post Production Project Manager : Lars Wittmark CGI Directors: Christoph Bolten and Jonas Braukmann / Recom Farmhouse CGI Lead Artist: Kristian Turner / Recom Farmhouse CGI Artists: Richard Jenkinson, Florian Einfalt, Dariusz Makowski, Christian Schemer / Recom Farmhouse Post Artists: Pepê Alram, Kate Brown, Nele Ebner and Jonas Braukmann / Recom Farmhouse
Audi_RFH-3

 

CREDITS:

Client: Audi
Agency: Kolle Rebbe
Creative Director: Jörg Dittmann
Art Director: Benjamin Allwardt and Marcus Kubicke
Project Manager: Amelie Pamp
Art Buyer: Katja Sluyter
Post Production Project Manager : Lars Wittmaak / Recom Stuttgart
CGI Directors: Christoph Bolten / Recom Farmhouse London and Jonas Braukmann / Recom Berlin
CGI Lead Artist: Kristian Turner / Recom Farmhouse London
CGI Artists: Richard Jenkinson / Recom Berlin; Florian Einfalt and Dariusz Makowski / Recom Farmhouse London; Ivo Stanev / Recom Stuttgart
Post Artists: Pepê Alram and Kate Brown / Recom Farmhouse London; Christian Schemer and Nele Ebner / Recom Stuttgart; Jonas Braukmann / Recom Berlin

Making of : Mercedes Sprinter

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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.

In the scene above, the balloon and the lower part of the building on the left hand side have been created in CGI. Due to location limitations on Berlin Gendarmenmarkt, we weren’t allowed to remove umbrellas in the background. That’s why we partly replaced the lower bit of the building with CG elements.

Martijn directed up to 50 people on a carpark in Berlin to populate the scene. All the people in the crowd have been masked and placed one by one in the image.

It was fun to create the balloon, although there were not lots of appropriate references to follow when it came to inflated elephants. We had to ask ourselves: “how does an elephant balloon fold once in tension?” and “how do the different parts of the balloon join together?” Below are screen grabs of the elephant modelled in Zbrush.

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Here is the final CGI elephant balloon.

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Below is a point cloud from our scans of the building we used to replace the umbrellas on Gendarmenmarkt.

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For the image below, the whole quarry has been 3D scanned and recreated in Maya, though we only rendered the areas around the drillhead for the final image. The full quarry geometry helped us to position pipes, screws and detail elements on Martijn’s backplate photography anyway. The drill has been modelled in Zbrush and then we rendered everything (despite the vehicle, that was Vred) in Vray.

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This is a snap taken whilst our CGI director and artists where on location scanning the quarry. And below a 3D cloud of the quarry’s wall stitched together.

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Below are the sketches for the drill and the  geometry created in ZBrush.

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Martijn shot lots of awesome falling dust and gravel bits that we comped in photoshop. Have a look at the details of the final image by clicking on the image below and zooming in 100%.

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CREDITS:

Client: Mercedes Benz
Agency: Lukas Lindemann Rosinski
Photographer: Martijn Oort
Projectmanagement: Kai Tietz Produktion Gmbh
Art Director: Dennis Mensching
Post-Artist: Jonas Braukmann / Recom Berlin
CGI-Artist: Richard Jenkinson / Recom Berlin

Making of : Honda CR-V – The Road to Great is Endless

Recom Farmhouse Honda CR-V The Road to Great is Endless

Honda’s endless quest to communicate a never ending commitment to performance and quality has translated into this brilliant Droste effect advertising campaign. The Droste effect is an optical illusion whereby a picture appears repeated within itself in an endless way. Created both as a TV commercial and a print campaign, we worked with photographer Nick Meek to create a set of 3 images in which, every time, a smaller version of the image is repeated within a billboard forever showing the same.

Our CGI director Christoph Bolten worked from the earliest pitching stage with Nick and the team from McGarryBowen to help bringing it all together. He travelled to Spain with the crew to pre-visualise the car on set and to capture the lighting environment for all shots by shooting HDR spheres – see snapshots below.

Once back in London, our 3d-Artist Florian Einfalt created the billboards and power lines, making sure to add enough imperfections and signs of age to have them blend credibly with the landscape. Post-Artist Pepe Alram then created the final composition and look – and this is how he did it:

Honda the road of great is endless

Above: a gif animation showing the optical illusion of the Droste effect.

Recom Farmhouse Honda CR-V The Road to Great is Endless

 

CREDITS:  

Client: Honda
Agency: McGarryBowen
Creative Director: Angus MacAdam
Art Director: Holly Fallow, Charlotte Watmough
Photographer: Nick Meek
CGI Director: Christoph Bolten at Recom Farmhouse
CGI Artists: Florian Einfalt, Kristian Turner at Recom Farmhouse
Post Artist: Pepe Alram at Recom Farmhouse

Making of : Ford Explorer 360 degree

We have already posted the making of the Ford Explorer advertising print campaign in January. This time we would like to show you how we made the amazing 360 degree views of the car that our team in New York and Berlin have produced nearly entirely in CG. Yes, both the car and the pebble floor! The sky and surrounding nature were shot by photographer David Westphal.

One challenge faced by our team was the technical restriction given by the Ford web team. The animation could only be a max of 72 frames (and the current Ford website will only show 36 of them). This also explains why the final videos are not a very smooth animation.

But for our CG artist Richard Jenkinson the main challenges with this project were the size of the area of floor that needed to be rendered, and the level of detail required. The geometry of the pebbles had to be managed in an efficient way to achieve a realistic render-time. The camera gets very close to the floor at one point in the move, so the detail needed to be there, but not everywhere, as this would have been way too much geometry to render effectively. 

In the end we decided to use displacement maps on a low-poly floor. Richard then used normal-mapping to add fine detail to the geometry. Below is how we did it.

Firstly, Richard studied reference photos from the actual shoot, specifically the scale of the pebbles, and how the tracks are formed in them.

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The amount of polygons required to render in CG the whole floor were far too many to have on one plane. So Rich took 4 overlapping planes in Zbrush, to test whether the repeating texture was going to work as a displacement.

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He then sculpted the tracks into the floor in Zbrush. Below is an early test image of the scene with a simple lighting set up made to check the scale of everything relative to the car. It was also used to see if there was enough detail at the lowest point of the camera’s move.

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For this reason we scattered more pebbles geometry across the floor.

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Below is the final pebble floor with reflection maps added, and the correct background and HDRI lighting situation ready to be rendered, and composited with the car which was made by our New York team.

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Below are the final 360 degree views of the Ford Explorer in Ruby Red. The whole range was shown on the Ford website.

CREDITS:

Agency: Team Detroit
Art Director: Andrew Smith
Photographer: David Westphal
CGI Artist: Richard Jenkinson and the NYC Team at Recom Farmhouse
Animation: Recom Farmhouse NYC Team
Post: Recom Farmhouse NYC Team

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