Infinti – 360

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Comprised of 16 interactive pieces for Infiniti’s global website, the automotive brand’s range of vehicles are shown off to their very best.

Each video features a 360 degree time-lapse exploration around of each car, plus interior 360 videos, taking you 24hrs around the clock within unique outdoor environments. Each video is designed to loop perfectly to allow for infinite rotation on Infiniti’s website, www.infiniti.com.

CGI

Concept

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The latest campaign for Nissan’s popular car division, Infiniti, does not disappoint. The 360 animations for their FPO-G Covertible, G Coupe, G Sedan, M, EX, FX, QX and JX, form part of the car brands latest online marketing drive.

The brief was to create sixteen photo-realistic 360º animations for the global range of Infiniti vehicles; providing a more immersive and engaging interaction between the consumer and the brand.  The different background environments had to reflect the personalities of each vehicle, whilst transitioning through a day to night time-lapse effect.  Through both exterior and interior animations we had to really capture the premium qualities that evoke consumer aspiration for the product.

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Pre-Production

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The chosen approach was to do the full production in CGI as this gave us the most flexibility and control over the movement and timing of the skies and still seamlessly integrate the lighting into the surrounding environments. Each camera move had to consider the continuous movement of the sun in relation to the framing of the camera as it transitioned through a looped night to day sequence and to also remain consistent for both exterior and interior shots.

The challenge of each animation was to really immerse each vehicle into its environment, but still balance the ever-changing lighting to always compliment the styling and design of the product, be it day or night.   To achieve a convincing level of photographic realism, it was crucial that all the lighting and reflections of the car and environment maintained its integrity to the lighting and movement of sky and cloud’s above.

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CGI Production

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We set aside R&D time to develop an approach for creating animated HDRI sequences.  (A HDRI is essentially a dome sky that sits over the whole scene, and is used as a light source and for reflections into the 3d scene beneath it.) Our solution was to use ‘Digital Nature’ software Vue, by Eon.  This allowed us to have complete creative control over the look and feel of the skies at different times of day and be able to control the rate of change in the clouds to achieve just the right balance of ‘time lapse’ effect that the client wanted.

For the environments we used a combination of CGI foregrounds and Matte painted backgrounds to create seamless blends. Matte Painting is a time and cost efficient way of creating elements of a scene that are further away from camera, between mid ground and distant horizon. Our skilled retoucher’s utilised our own extensive stock libraries to build the different matte’s required, with additional material captured by our in-house photographers for more specific details.  The final matte’s are then projected onto basic 3d geometry, so they are still affected by the light and shadows from the clouds, to keep the depth and form of a true 3d scene.

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Post-Production

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 The hero of the animations however is of course the cars and with all auto-motive campaigns, it is vital that every detail is correct and all the materials and different textures feel completely authentic and accurate for the consumer. Each material ‘shader’ had to react accurately with a continually changing light source and moving camera.  As well as the light from the sky dome, we also carefully light specific areas around the car, just like a photographer would normally do on a ‘live’ shoot.  We build very detailed ‘virtual’ lighting rigs, to ensure every part of the car looks its very best, but still feels naturally balanced within the world it sits.

The hero of the animations however is of course the cars and with all auto-motive campaigns, it is vital that every detail is correct and all the materials and different textures feel completely authentic and accurate for the consumer. Each material ‘shader’ had to react accurately with a continually changing light source and moving camera.  As well as the light from the sky dome, we also carefully light specific areas around the car, just like a photographer would normally do on a ‘live’ shoot.  We build very detailed ‘virtual’ lighting rigs, to ensure every part of the car looks its very best, but still feels naturally balanced within the world it sits.

 For eight vehicles, exterior and interiors, with varying regional and global specifications, there was was a huge amount of data a technical information to manage. Utilizing many in house tools created by our R&D department, we introduced many automated processes to track and handle all aspects of data translation through to final rendering. These tools are continually been improved to maximise time and budgets and along with our client friendly 5 stage REALWorld Rendering™ process and dedicated Project managers ensures a very efficient and smooth running project.

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Results

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These 16 complete CGI interactive motion pieces and corresponding stills were created in just 8 weeks, for the launch of a dedicated microsite .  The purpose built environments take you through a time-lapse from night to day. Creating the complete pieces in CGI gave us full control over the lighting and camera moves to truly integrate the vehicles. It is this type of tight creative and production management from concept to completion that ensures the success of a project such as this.

Through decisive and creative problem solving, production issues and budget constraints can always be overcome. And with our creative and technical skills in-house, and the complete production delivered under one roof, we gain efficiencies that can be passed along. It allows us to strive for the highest levels of realism and a superior quality finish.

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