INK combines computer-aided design and digital art in one beautiful short

Land Rover is constantly looking for new and unique ways to showcase the technological innovation packed away inside its vehicles. But how can you demonstrate technical and spacial details without endless streams of figures? In the case of this latest animation, you take on the talent at INK to create a fully CG break-apart exposé.

In the spot the camera swoops around the Land Rover Discovery Sport, each shot elegantly pulling apart the chassis of the vehicle and revealing the mechanical renders hidden underneath. It’s a video as efficient as it is beautiful, showcasing the technical aspects of the Discovery Sport from an instantly understandable visual standpoint.

“By combining technical understanding with beautiful imagery, we hoped to create an animation that remained visually engaging while clearly and accurately explaining the Discovery Sport’s packaging achievements,” explains David Macey, Creative Director at INK.

Having previously produced a series of animations exploring the Land Rover range, INK has built up a strong understanding of the product. This proved essential in successfully meeting the visual demands of the brief: “At one end of the spectrum was the task of making sure that the practical design feats of everyday car components such as the glove box and USB ports were able to capture the attention they deserved,” explains Mike Haas, Animation Director, at INK. “At the other, we faced the challenge of communicating very technical elements such as the Discovery Sport’s rear suspension system as cleanly and accessibly as possible.”

Following the initial briefs, INK was supplied with CAD versions of the Discovery Sport model, including elements such as the suspension system and engine. However, these were not artistic models but engineering data, and that meant that work needed to be done to get them ready for CGI production. “One of the biggest challenges was translating the CAD data over to our 3D pipeline in 3ds Max,” says Macey. “This is because the data comes through as raw models with no materials, so each piece of geometry needs to be checked or remodelled, and  have textures and shaders applied.”

Another problem was that the CAD data only included car elements related to the mechanical components of the car. “We only receive hard surface data, so every soft surface in the car had to be remodelled,” says Macey. “That included the stitching in the seats, all the leather components, the car doors, the instrument panel – none of that comes through with the CAD data.”

Once these models were ready, the creation of an animatic was required to carefully choreograph the animation. The bursting apart and gradual reassembly of the various components needed to be achieved in such a way that the overall structure of the vehicle remained readable throughout the film.

“Maintaining the impact of the original explosion while ensuring that no shot became too visually chaotic was a fine balancing act,” says Haas. “We planned for that in the animatic stage, where we carefully choreographed the whole film.

“Once we had that ready we could work on the rendering – it usually took us two-three V-Ray render passes to get the final frame looking good. We also did lots of still frame renders while working on the animatic, so we could plan how we were going to comp the shot using NUKE.”

This careful approach makes for a unique vehicle spot indeed – one that explores the technical specifications and underlying structure of the Discovery Sport without straying from the immediacy of visual impact.

“The Discovery’s true uniqueness lies in the sum of its parts,” concludes Macey. “The things we’re highlighting in the film might be everyday objects, but there’s a backstory to them – people have spent two-three years designing each of them, maybe longer. Our job is to bring that story to life with animation – to take something that might normally be taken for granted, and to make it something really interesting.”


Agency: FP Creative
Creative director: Dave Macey
Creatives: Yane Markulev, James Ball, Nicolas Lekai, Georgi Marinov, Farid Akhadov. Kamen Sirashki
Director: Michael Haas
Production company: INK
Post: INK

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