How to bring the sunshine when the weather just will not co-operate? This is how we do it:
Marc Trautmann took the new compact crossover E-Pace on a week long shoot to the streets of London for its latest campaign. The brief called for a sunny, late afternoon atmosphere, but the weather refused to cooperate. This didn’t stop our post artist Pepê Alram from using his mad sunshine painting skills, and together the team transformed a gloomy day into a pleasant, bustling afternoon in the city.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Once we were happy with the angles and the placement of the car, we crafted preliminary passes on lighting and mood.
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.
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.
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.
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.
7. The final artwork – three images of an extraordinary car in an extraordinary space.
Fly through the modelling and see how we built up the image, in our behind the scenes movie here!
A few months ago two members of our team, Kate and Dave, flew to Cortina D’Ampezzo, Italy to work on the new VW Golf Alltrack brochure and advertising campaign shot by photographer Marc Trautmann. They were on set to speed-up the post-production process providing both on-set retouching and pre-visualisation.
Marc Trautmann at work in Cortina D’Ampezzo, Italy.
Whilst Marc was shooting the landscapes, Dave was doing the on set pre-visualisation of the car to allow everyone to see it in situ and decide on the angles. In the meantime Kate was working closely with art director Camille Lafourcade on low resolution comps of the images as the backgrounds were made of multiple photographic elements. We also shot HDR spheres on location in order to recreate identical lighting for the CGI car.
By the time the shoot was finished, our London studio had already received low resolution composites of the backgrounds and final pre-vis of each car angle. The next stages were to light and render and composite the cars, fine tune the images in high resolution and to create a colour mood. For the final tweaks our team were joined by the photographer, the client and the agency in London to sign off the images.
Above: Making-of of VW Golf All Track
Agency: DDB Berlin
Art Director: Camille Lafourcade, Christoph Stender
Photographer: Marc Trautmann
CGI Director: Kristian Turner
CGI Artist: Kristian Turner
Post Artist: Kate Brown, Riikka Eiro, Andrea Tosello