Renault Clio 2012 video projection mapping – making of

Renault Clio 2012 video projection mapping – making of

Renault has been a long standing client of Publicis. A client that demands the most polished,
technology-assisted advertising available. Renault sees their product as high quality, high tech,
with enormous emphasis on design, and requires the same from it’s partners,
especially us – Renault’s advertising agency. Renault Clio is a top selling car in our region. And in order to portray this position,
Publicis has concieved an event for Clio resellers, that reflects the key Clio features: ecology, safety, design, sportness, technology. It’s always a challenge to show so many
key features in one physical event, but I believe we nailed it. Of course the event consists of many,
many different elements, like set design, lightning, music, dancers, food and drinks, … but what made this event special, was the projection mapping technique
used to portray the Clio story. When Publicis approached us with the idea,
we were, of course, very, very excited. 3fs truly believes to be the highest
multimedia technology service provider, and we took the project as a fantastic challenge. Combining computer generated graphic skills with architecture, film techniques, lots of mathematics and overall aesthetic polishness. Time constraint was enormous,
but I still believe we did a great job. Renault Clio projection mapping had to be done in top secret. We could not see the actual car until only a week before the event. So months of production time were done using simulation only with the help of the 3d model Renault has provided us with. This created additional obstacles, but thanks to the precision of the given model, we were able to succed in simulating
90% of the given scenario in our 3d enviroment. The new Clio is a really good, sporty looking car, with some really interesting new design features, But the headlights were especially tricky, because they have a lot of details and we
really had to show them and amplify them, so the public could see the new Renault design language. With this kind of projects, constant changes
in the last minute are a given. Lucky for us we were capable of simulating almost
all scenarios internally using high end software, but some stuff was of course untestable
until we actually got the car itself in a proper enviroment with all the projectors installed. We worked closely with Publicis event production team,
solving many problems as we went along. Luckilly, all the people involved were extremely professional, so migranes were almost always avoided. Projection mapping is a very complex technology, trying to fake real space using 3d graphics, compositing, multiple projectors and projector scenes, music, sound effects, … and all this synced to a fraction of a second. Our pipeline is usually based on Cinema4D. We truly believe this is the most optimal software for the given job, allowing us fast paced production and fantastic
communication with post-production software, such as After Effects. Cinema’s strong point is the scripting
node based system called Xpresso; using that allowed us maximum possible freedom
when syncing projection cameras, 3d effects, and other crucial elements of CG production. When you work on extremely tight schedule, you better not make any mistakes in the rendering process. Since Murphy applies to CG as well,
we also made mistakes, and final shots needed some post-production polishing. Given Cinema’s fantastic multipass render
and export to After Effects we made it through. Everytime there is a complex element in a project, you are always hugely limited by time, and at the end, by budget as well. 3D graphics and never before tested
projection mapping pipeline put even more pressure on the team. New ways of working had to be invented
pretty much from scratch, so we could provide the expected “WOW” factor. In the beginning we belived, that tackling this
projection mapping beast will be a pretty straightforward job. Unfortunatelly we soon realized,
that we would need twice the team, in order to deliver. So we had to take a few steps back,
mathematically analyze the problem and think out of the box. Brute force was out of the question. After a few weeks of testing we polished the idea
of so-called parallel projection mapping, using simulated camera mapping techniques
with a lot of post-production polishing. This means that once the projection points of views were defined, we could simulate camera mapping inside of Cinema4D, rendering full scale effects only once and later only adjusting already rendered
frames via camera mapping again, fixing the seams of accidentally moved projectors. This technique saved us months of work. When we established how we will match the projectors on site, we could proceed with the final rendering. The workflow was really straight forward. First we rendered everything to multi-pass
to have it ready for After Effects. Then we applied the color correction, depth of field, motion blur, and rendered that to a sequence, that was used as a texture inside Cinema. That texture was projected back
from the parallel camera onto the car, and the final step was to render
what the projectors in 3D see. Taking shortcuts, without risking the quality,
is the key in the video effects industry. What we did with parallel projection mapping was really crazy, but we also had to use some other tricks in other elements of the whole animation
because of time constraints. Like for instance, the engine animation, there is no actual 3d engine model at all. All in all it was a really interesting and fun project to work on. It took three visual effects operators, three projectors, two months, without the real car until the very end, and with classical advertising constraints
around last minute changes to achieve this quite impressive projection mapping element of this overall fantastic Renault Clio event. We were happy to be a part of it. Damn it was tough, but we did it. I need some sleep now. twice the time, and four times the budget

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  1. Can you help me guys. I have problem with cinema 4d. When i put image or video to background, and put some text on that image or video and press render. The image and video are like out of focus, they are not clear or sharp. Waht shoul i do?

  2. Perfect job guys, and thanks for sharing.
    One of most atractive market variants I've ever seen.
    Result shows the amount of effort and knowladge of 3D and graffic stuff.

  3. Good job! Question – why you don't use After Effect from the beginning to build the car model and put it to Arena? Is it less work to use only 2 programs Arena+After Effect then three: 4 D cinema+After Effect+Arena?

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