TJ’s latest advertising campaign for Turkish Airlines in light of their recent sponsorship of the Manchester United team features some famous faces. The ad, which has launched across Europe was produced by TJ in collaboration with DEPOfilm and is running in conjunction with a 30sec TV commercial. The line-up of players includes: Ryan Giggs, Edwin Van Der Sar, Anderson, Ji-Sung Park and Dimitar Berbatov. The ad 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 required the inside of the plane to be built entirely in CGI, with the players to be photographed and later integrated into the scene. Logistically, the inside of the plane would not have been easy to shoot. With such limited space, the process within the actual environment would have been time consuming and cost-prohibitive for the client. We also only had a short time allocation with each player. The CGI team built a 3D environment, referencing detailed blueprints of the interior of the plane provided by the client. In order to maintain continuity, we created the CGI scene setups before the shoot in Manchester, so that detailed camera, lens and scene measurements could be followed.
The final layouts demonstrate the level of photo-realism that can be achieved in 3D, when the execution is finely controlled. Working alongside LJ Hopkinson on set, a regular photographer for the studio with a portfolio of sports star work under her belt- their expertise was essential to plan and capture the necessary shots to be integrated with the CGI environment.
The results speak for themselves! Go Behind the Scenes and see the project take flight, with exclusive on set images!
'Behind the scenes'
The brief was to produce two images, a portrait- which was a later addition by the agency, and a landscape shot 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 final shots list was to include: Ryan Giggs, Edwin Van Der Sar, Anderson, Ji -Sung Park and Dimitar Berbatov.
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- two of them standing playing with a football, Anderson and Berbatov, on the interactive games consol, Park, and Giggs getting served a meal whilst Van Der Sar sat back with his feet up.
TJ was brought on board because of the strength in our ability to integrate various disciplines together and produce results. Having worked on various projects over the last decade which required our photographic and creative eye, but also our technical ability as CG and retouch artists- this was the perfect job for the team. We have great experience of how a shoot should be performed to get the best out of CGI. With Turkish Airlines, due to time and budget constraints, as well as space to perform the shoot, it was decided that the aeroplane set would be created in CGI. This gave us the maximum flexibility needed to get a great shot of the plane and the players doing various activities whilst showcasing the products available on a Turkish Airline flight.
After agreeing on the best possible technical route to achieve the aeroplane shot we got to work on the initial CGI scene set-up which would need to be completed and signed-off by the client before the shoot. This allowed for a detailed camera, lens and scene measurements for our commissioned photographer, LJ Hopkinson, and for our Creative Lead, Josh, to prep the shoot and setup the players to match the scene setup exactly. Our history working with photographer’s meant we had previous knowledge on who the best person for the job would be. LJ has an impressive portfolio having worked with various sports stars before- we knew she’d be perfect for the job. The final product had to look completely photo-real, so the way in which the players interacted with their environment had to match exactly. The scene setups were created using detailed blueprints provided by the client. The team had to factor in a medium format camera which would be used on set when the 3D scenes were being built. At this stage client sign-off was crucial in regard to the general proportions and composition of the shot. Once approved, we were then able to get into detailed modelling, which enabled us to create highly detailed and accurate 3D models.
Having handled the complete production meant the team could organise and allocate resources efficiently whilst maintaining quality and providing the flexibility to push the creative aspects that would have otherwise been restricted. Planning was crucial prior to the shoot. Armed with the scene setups, we were able to spend a day before the actual shoot organising the set with a pre-light shoot. This allowed us to provide detailed camera, lens and scene measurements- everything could be mapped out in the studio with masking tape. This included: the aisles, the seat positions, whilst also marking off where each player should stand in relation to the camera. We also had a full dress rehearsal at this stage. We had various options of chairs and apple boxes to build up arm rests and increase the height of different chairs if necessary.
When the actual shoot day came, the little time we had with the players could be used wisely. Equipped with an IPAD, we could use it remotely on set which allowed us to sync in to the raw files, so we could view shots whilst shooting. This was not only helpful for the client who was on set and allowed them to give instant approval on the images, but it also meant we could show the players when they had to make slight adjustments to their position if needed. At this stage, we made sure that when photographing the players and props, there should be no obstruction so any repositioning needed in retouch would be made easier- without the need to rebuild anything.
In the final milestone stages of production, once the shoot had taken place, additional textures and lighting was added by the CG department. This is the part of the project where the environment really starts to come together and we get to explore the aesthetics of the shot, lighting, integration with the photography and shaders. This is where the final renders were passed on to retouch and everything could come together as one final composition. The POV, lensing and lighting were consistent for both set ups, so the integration was relatively straightforward. At Taylor James we’re renowned for our photo-real work- in order to achieve this with Turkish Airlines, it was important that the retouch team was fully aware of where the body part interacted with the interior and each instance created a variety of directional and holding shadows to fully integrate the players within the scene.
The colour grade and the overall feel to the image was the final stage of the process. The image needed to look friendly and modern, but ultimately realistic. Using atmospheric and ZDepth renders as masks for lighting adjustments we were able to create accurate light passes through he windows, tonal variations and defocusing which gave realistic depth to the image.
This campaign is a strong example of the key benefits an innovative and cross-disciplined creative production house can offer in bringing a concept to life. From the outset TJ and the agency shared a similar vision of the plane, the overall feel and mood and the interaction of the players. However, initially, Turkish Airlines wanted something a bit more de-saturated and less friendly but luckily we managed to find a happy medium. The client and agency have been very happy with the results so far, as are we.
PRE-PRODUCTION / AGENCY LAYOUT
PRE-PRODUCTION / REFERENCE IMAGES
PRE-PRODUCTION / BLUEPRINTS
PRE-PRODUCTION / SCENE SETUP
PRE-PRODUCTION / ASSET PLACEMENT
PRODUCTION / PRE-SHOOT CGI RERERENCE
PRODUCTION / MODELS AND TEXTURES