Tag Archives: creative retouching

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 Yorker’s 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

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

 

More work at recomfarmhouse.com.
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Mercedes with Nick Meek

Bold primary colours meet strong abstract shapes in this campaign for Mercedes from Antoni. We travelled with photographer Nick Meek to Calvert Studios, an extraordinary and unique open air car studio in Spain.

The crew arrives:

The cars wait for the light under a pitch black sky in the open air studio:

Nick discusses options in the early morning light

Dawn at the studio

First rays of light

Scouting for angles

Christoph on set:

Nick shooting backplates:

The crew in the shade:

White light white heat:

Success! Celebrating a great shoot.

The dream team – Jorge, Nick, Christoph and Paul.

The final images are used in the deluxe print campaign.

And billboards in place in Germany

See all the finished images on Behance here and try to work out which ones are CGI…

Client: Mercedes-Benz Deutschland
Photographer: Nick Meek
Assistants: Jorge Dieguez, Paul Blundell

Executive Production: Siobhan Squire
Location: Calvert Studios

Agency: Antoni
Executive Creative Director: Veit Moeller
Creative Director: Christian Kies, Christopher Hoene
Art Director: Mathias Wilke, Tim Grötzinger
Copywriter: Matti Lietsch, Luca Haeussler
Head of Product Communication Cars Germany: Christine Wolburg
Product Communication Cars Germany: Nancy Weitling
Art Buyer: Valerie Opitz

CGI Artist: Kristian Turner / Recom Farmhouse
Post Artists: Pepe Alram, Kate Brown, Maria Luisa Calosso, Nuria Segura, Aljaz Bezjak / Recom Farmhouse

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

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

Tomek Olszowski - Volvo

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:

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 begins…

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.

 

 

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

Project: Tate Britain Flood / Julia Fullerton-Batten Photographer: Julia Fullerton-Batten CGI Artist: Kristian Turner Post Artist: Riikka Eiro

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.

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

 

Nick Meek for Nissan

On Location: Nissan Juke

We travelled to Spain with Nick Meek to shoot the new Nissan Juke in a series of elegant architectural settings. For post-production, this involved a wide spectrum of skills – from shooting duplicate cars in order to avoid complex reflections, bringing sunshine to a rainy day, and finally a dramatic day-to-night conversion.

For this shot, the reflections of the structure were too much to be removed in post, so Nick photographed duplicate cars inside and outside the building. The two can be seen here:

Nissan Juke - Recom Farmhouse On Set

Christoph captures additional backplate elements.

Quick retouch on set to confirm that everything is in place

 

The next day, the heavens opened…

Nissan Juke - Recom Farmhouse On Set

But the rigshot must be completed!

Sunny weather again for the harbour shot

Nissan Juke - Recom Farmhouse On Set

 

…and out to sea to shoot the skyline. The cityscape that you see in the shot was puzzled together from many separate shots to get the perfect backplate, evocative of an attractive city without detracting the viewer from the car as the hero of the shot.

Nissan Juke - Recom Farmhouse On Set

Nights are drawing in! After the shoot was completed, Nissan wanted a night-time version of one of the shots. This was a very interesting challenge – moving a very high key image to be ultra low key

The car is a new, special edition model, so the alterations were complex – far beyond just changing the colour. We re-rendered the paint and the interior of the car – only tyres and lights remain from the original model. Using the HDR spheres that we’d produced at the time, we re-rendered the building and environment. The floor was taken from the original (pre-retouching) imagery, so retained its texture and was accurate at night. We replaced the city at skyline at the back with sourced material to make a new nightscape.

The new shot retains the elegant simplicity of composition that is a key part of the original, whilst adding the distinct ambience of a moonlit night.

Nissan

See the process here:

And the whole campaign on Behance here.

Client: Nissan Europe

Agency: TBWA/Paris

Art Director: Elisabeth Ribeiro

Assistant Art Director: Maude Muller

Art Buyer: Marie Moulin

Photographer: Nick Meek

Production: New Moon Productions

CGI Artist: Kristian Turner (daytime shot), Carlos Pecino (night time shot)

Post Artists: Pepê Alram, Ulf Cantignon, Christoph Bolten

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
Audi Q8, photographer Ben Stockley, retouching by Recom Farmhouse

Making of: Audi Q8 with Ben Stockley

Dark matters in this dramatic Audi campaign. We created still images in a huge variety of media formats, and also animated cinemagraphs.

From the early bidding stages onwards, our London team was heavily involved in the technical realisation of both still and moving imagery. This was some of the most intense post-production work we’ve been involved with and we are all very proud of the final results with their unique mix of realism and epic style, inspired by movie posters.

The biggest challenge in these shots was that the usual process was reversed. Normally, a car is shot on a location that is as physically similar as possible to the final backplate, and the original plan was photograph the car on the site. However as the Q8 is a completely new Audi model, with only a handful of prototype cars in the world, there wasn’t one available for the shoot in Scotland. So for these images, the backplates had to come first. Ben Stockley started out by capturing cityscapes in Scotland and London which we used to make initial compositions.

With the backplates shot, post artist Pepê Alram joined the photographer and art director Raymond Chan to shoot the cars in the studio with the initial background compositions projected onto giant screens. We fine-tuned the process together through constant experimentation with everything from the size of the car to the colour palettes. We refined the look tirelessly, with on-set input from Christoph Bolten, head of Recom Farmhouse London,  until we had completely realistic reflections in the sheet metal and had captured the filmic quality we were after.

In our London studio, post artists Kate Brown and Pepê Alram worked alongside Ben & Raymond to meticulously piece the puzzle together by merging studio and background shots. CGI elements replaced outdated model parts, we added a wet road, layers of rain, lens flares and other foreground elements. The reflections were eventually reduced for a more subtle and natural feel, retaining the perfect placement that we worked on so carefully.

The still images: 

Audi Q8, photographer Ben Stockley, retouching by Recom Farmhouse

 

Audi Q8, photographer Ben Stockley, retouching by Recom Farmhouse

 

Audi Q8, photographer Ben Stockley, retouching by Recom Farmhouse

At all points of the process, we had considered how these images would work with their added motion elements. The final piece of work was to fine tune the looping animations and bring three atmospheric cinemagraphs to life – a rainy night, lightning flickering around a foggy bridge, and a sparkling cityscape under racing clouds.

The Cinemagraphs

See how the layers build up to create the ambience of a cool and rainy city evening in our making-of here:

The campaign is currently on display on digital billboards across the UK.

Client: Audi

Agency: BBH

Photographer: Ben Stockley

Art Director: Raymond Chan

Copywriter: Simon Cenamor

Post Artists: Kate Brown, Pepê Alram, Riikka Eiro, Aljaz Bezjak, Maria Luisa Calosso, Nuria Segura

Animation: Aljaz Bezjak

Agency Producers: Adam Overton, Aine Donovan

Photographer’s Agent: Siobhan Squire

 

 

 

 

 

 

Making of Frame Magazine Covers with Thomas Brown and Andrew Stellitano

Frame Magazine assigned photographer Thomas Brown and set designer Andrew Stellitano to create visual interpretations of four themes for their four latest issues – they always work in series for their covers, which they treat as an art project in themselves.

This way of working was an ideal fit for Thomas and Andrew, who enjoy the process of creating a thematically coherent series with colour and abstraction as the central concepts. The only stipulation that Frame made was that the images should be colourful, and there should be an environmental, spatial feel to the images, with architectural depth.

Having worked often together before, they took the initial proposal as a framework but built on it as the work progressed.

One of the most enjoyable parts of this project was the discovery of new ideas to try, as they arose from the initial concepts. It wasn’t all chin-stroking….there was a lot of laughter along the way, as these behind the scenes photos show – enjoy!

 

Nº 1 of 4: Doubt.

This was inspired by the idea of image as deceptions – thinking about the current geopolitical situation, fake news, the difficulty of knowing what is actually real.

“For the cover of this issue, we created a spatial experience that is all in the mind. The world seems to have flipped on its head, and nothing is as it seems. A tunnel that extends off into the distance is, on close examination, made out of a modular toolkit of materials”  — Thomas Brown and  Andrew Stellitano 

‘Using wood, paper, watercolour, acrylic, glass, organic materials and glycerine, …[they] built a multilayered world that hovers between fantasy and reality. Aptly titled Doubt, it’s their first cover in a series of four’

—  Frame Magazine

Nº 2 of 4: Ephemeral.

Exploring the idea of temporality and events such as fashion shows that are hugely involved but fleeting. Flashes in eight different colours captured blocks falling around the static forms.

“Inspired by the speed at which the world is changing, we wanted to create a sculpture that is more than the sum of its parts and that can be captured only as a photograph. With our camera, we compress time.” — Thomas Brown and  Andrew Stellitano 

 

“Using stroboscopic lighting in combination with long time exposures the photographer captured moving elements around a static object, creating a feeling of impermanence.” —  Frame Magazine

Nº 3 of 4: Environment.

Here, the duo considered the enviroment in conjunction with illusion and image-making. It’s full of opposites – bringing the outside inside, gravity defying rocks, objectifying the natural and slicing the outside into contained bars in the background.

“We were inspired by a Diane Arbus photograph taken behind the scenes at Disneyland. The image shows huge boulders on wheels against the vast Californian landscape – an artificial backdrop at second sight. It’s a spellbinding scene that puts our expectation of reality into flux. ” — Thomas Brown and  Andrew Stellitano 

 

 

“An outdoor environment that doesn’t play by the normal rules of physics. Rocks become easily transportable objects, and panels function as portals to an alternate reality” —  Frame Magazine

 

Nº 4 of 4: Food.

For the final image, they chose the theme of food. Though it’s ubiquitous, it’s not often an environmental element. The can is revolutionary – its invention changed our relationship to food completely. Its reminiscent of a bitmap, modular, reactive with its simple silver surface which both renders it invisible and responds to the environment around it with reflection and distortion. The shallow water below joins the elements by rising to the right height to make the cans appear to unite, and the projection of Kyoto adds yet another layer of texture and colour.

Shallow water was just below to join elements

“Photography can be a wasteful business, but the contents of all the cans on this issue’s cover were either donated to food banks or turned into amazing corn bread, corn curry and corn fritters. We never want to eat corn again”

— Thomas Brown and  Andrew Stellitano 

“To round off their series of four covers, designed to explore materiality and space [they] … chose food packaging as their medium. Stacked to form primary shapes, the tins create an intriguing landscape.” —  Frame Magazine

Client: Frame Magazine
Photographer: Thomas Brown
Art Direction: Studio&
Set Designer: Stellitano Studio
Post Artist: Aljaz Bezjak / Recom Farmhouse London
Photographer Agent: Webber Represents

 You can also see the final images on our website and on Behance

Recom Farmhouse is on InstagramFacebookVimeo and Twitter!
More work at recomfarmhouse.com.

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