Turkish Airlines

Turkish Airlines’ sponsorship of the Manchester United team features some famous faces alongside a plane you wouldn’t think is actually CGI. The print campaign was produced by Taylor James in collaboration with DEPOfilm, in conjunction with a TV commercial. 

The campaign required photo-real integration of a CGI environment with a photographic shoot of time-starved celebrity footballers. It saw us implement all of our in-house skills in photography, CGI and retouch bringing the concept to life with a complete virtual environment.






The brief was to produce a portrait and a landscape print image of five Manchester United players on a Turkish Airline flight, running in conjunction with the Turkish Airlines thirty second TV ad, following the infamous football clubs sponsorship deal with the airline. 

The agency’s vision was clean, friendly and natural maximising the realism and enhancing the chemistry between the players. The initial layout came from the agency, DEPOfilm, Turkey, a sketch of the five players in the first class cabin of the plane.


The Challenge – Virtual Environments and Time-Stretched Celebrities

This project is a great example of how photography can be integrated into cgi environments. A real Turkish Airlines plane was not available to us, neither was any 3d design data, which meant we had to create the full interior cabin solely from 2d blueprints. Taking these precise diagrams we were able to reconstruct a perfect replica of cabin all in CGI. Every detail was carefully sculpted and textures and materials applied from swatch references.

Shoot Production

Once the interior is complete, we could then start to look at camera position and Lensing to establish the best composition and layout for the required crops.

Lighting was faithfully recreated to match the illumination of the actual cabin, with additional sun light added from outside the plane to give the correct balance, mood and atmospherics.

After posing CGI ‘mannequins’ to represent each players action, we now had a perfect blueprint for all our shoot requirements. This was essential as we had only been granted access to the players for 10 minutes each.  But with the camera, lighting and poses all planned out in advance, this was not a problem.

CGI Production and Photography Integration

It was a bare bones shoot, designed to capture exactly what we needed and nothing more. The pre planning stage in CGI allowed us to fully exploit every efficiency for technical planning, time logistics and costs.

At the integration stage is where the environment really starts to come together with the photography and we explored the aesthetics of the shot, lighting and shaders. 



From a virtual plane, a 1 day shoot and 10 minutes per player, we created 2 striking images to support Turkish Airlines’ proud sponsorship of Manchester United. This is a great example of how combining CGI and photography though a full-service production allows us to efficiently blend multiple disciplines to produce the highest quality images.  It is this type of creative management from concept to completion that ensures the success of a project such as this.

The final press and billboard campaign included Manchester United players Ryan Giggs, Edwin Van Der Sar, Anderson, Ji -Sung Park and Dimitar Berbatov.

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