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

 

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
All by Recom Farmhouse London

Making of : Kronenbourg 1664 campaign

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.

Recom Farmhouse 1664 advertisign campaign with Alessandra Kila

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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.

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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
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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 : IN THE GARDEN by Clemens Ascher

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Clemens Ascher’s latest series “IN THE GARDEN” depicts scenes from an indoor garden complex.
The world he represents appears to be entirely artificial, a plastic utopia carefully designed to deliver happiness and comfort to its inhabitants. The bright and saturated colours in these pictures are seemingly trying to compensate for the void in which these people live.

We have helped our friend Clemens in constructing this dystopian vision by adding some CG elements to his pictures. Together we discussed the set prior to his shoot and we came to the conclusion that models, plastic plants, carpets and placeholders for walls were going to be photographed, whilst windows, final walls and all other architectural elements would be created in CG.

Photographer: Clemens Ascher Fashion Stylist: Alice Whiting

Hair Stylist: Craig McAtear CGI Director: Kristian Turner / Recom Farmhouse 
CGI Artist: Florian Einfalt / Recom Farmhouse Post Artist: Pepe Alram, Kate Brown, Andrea Tosello / Recom Farmhouse

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Making of : Balloons Series

CGI director Thorsten Jasper Weese and CGI artist Inez Budzyńska in the Stuttgart studio have had some fun playing with a CG hot air balloon. The balloon itself was originally created for another series of images but only featured in the distance. They loved the look of it so much they decided to re-purpose it as the hero in its own little story. They came up with the idea of making it appear in ordinary urban settings as if the shots were taken through a window. They wanted to create a dreamy effect where the ordinary and plausible would be combined with the uncommon and improbable.
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Making of : Duckstein Beer by Markus Mueller

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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.

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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.

Image converted using ifftoany

The wire frame above explains better the geometry that our CG artist Richard Jenkinson has used for the making of the clouds.

He also created different passes to help our creative retoucher Jonas Braukmann in making the content of the pint look real.

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The render of the white cloud pass is the light and shadow created by the sun. The red one has been used to mimic the sunset warm light. The last render is a ‘World Normals’ pass. The colours indicate the direction of each of the tiny parts of the fluid, which all together, make the cloud. This allowed our retoucher to fine-tune the light and shadow.

And this is how Jonas did it.

Client: Duckstein Photographer: Markus Mueller CGI-Director: Thorsten Jasper Weese Post-Artist: Jonas Braukmann CGI-Artist: Richard Jenkinson

CREDITS:

Client: Duckstein

Photographer: Markus Mueller

CGI-Director: Thorsten Jasper Weese / Recom

Post-Artist: Jonas Braukmann / Recom CGI-Artist: Richard Jenkinson / Recom

Making of : The dark side of Los Angeles (part II)

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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.
For this one we used a classic Chevrolet Camaro. Markus photographed the backplate, whilst we shot the models against a green screen and we then comped them into our CG car.

Below is how we assembled all together.

It is a welcome change of subject for us to work on old and used cars as we need to add lots of extra details which are at the opposite end of the perfect glossy surfaces we are used to work on. So here for example we had to add condensation on the car windows, scratches, dust, rust, worn tyres and finger prints. All details which make a car look real!

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See the series on our website or on Behance.

 

CREDITS:

Photographer: Markus Wendler
CGI-Director: Christoph Bolten
CGI-Artists: Kristian Turner, Richard Jenkinson, Simon Watts, Dariusz Makowski
Post-Artists: Kate Booker, Riikka Eiro, Pepe Alram

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