With this video we demonstrate the various layers involved in creating the final image of the Lamborghini Aventador racing up a hill. We want to show people that this complex creative process is more than just a click-and-you’ve-got-the-pic process.
In all honesty, it’s even more complicated; we can show you what we do to arrive at the finished picture, but we can’t show you the thought processes behind it. Everyone’s thought processes are different; so that’s where art takes over from the technical exercise of processing the creative image.
On a simplistic level, people like fast cars. So this video demonstrates what it takes to combine a fast CG car – in this case a Lamborghini – together with a photograph to create a striking image.
So first of all we used a backplate taken by Harniman of the Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb, which is the oldest motorsport event in the world set in deepest rural Worcestershire.
We needed to examine the real car to check detailing and take material references so we dropped into our local Lamborghini showroom in Birmingham.
We then collated and started to analyse the pictures, checking all of the attributes of the surfaces. After visually deconstructing the car, we took the elements and reconstructed this to create the CGI version.
So here’s the process we use when doing this kind of work. And this process would also apply to, say, a home interior or the design of a piece of furniture as much as it would a car driving up a hill at speed. It’s fairly in depth, but worth mentioning.
- Initially we take the Lamborghini as a greyscale model. A clone, if you like. Prior to the video we prepped the car in terms of textures and shaders.
- We place the backplate into the virtual scene.
- So now we’ve got a 3d modelled prepped car, with all the materials on it in the Shelsley backplate. We then create a grid that helps with the perspective and camera matching.
- Align the virtual camera so the car looks like it’s on the photographic road.
- Once the car is on the road, we create a personalised reg plate and go into more detail of the car components.
- The front of the car will not be seen in the final image and so the main focus is the rear three quarters.
- We change the interior from orange to a yellow leather trim.
- Back on the exterior the 360 degree HDR environment capture is applied around the car in the scene to provide lighting and reflections.
- We begin the retouching stage by applying movement to the static backplate. We then use 3D layers and techniques to generate the shadow underneath the vehicle. Further tweaking of the grade, highlights and colours help to embed the car into the environment.
So even at this retouching stage it requires a lot of creativity and attention to detail to give more shape and definition to the car.
We then set the mood of the shot, darken around the trees to centre focus on the car. We also wanted to switch on the rear side lights on the Lamborghini.
Creative licence allows us to exaggerate sunlight and blooms of colours, so we paint these in, simulating light entering between the leaves and trees accentuating shadows. This gives it more drama. Almost a cinematic effect.
And there you have it – the finished Lamborghini gunning up the hill at Shelsley Walsh.