Simon Puschmann Brings Together Photography and CGI in State-of-the-Art Automotive Film

Simon Puschmann and Harvest Digital Agriculture are taking automotive 3D animation to a new level. Wanting to show that working from a photographic perspective with state-of-the-art tools and technology, Simon and Harvest, who recently added a stills division to their studio, sought to show that a realistic, high-level automotive animation could be created with a combination of traditional automotive photography and 3D animation.

Working with Copywriter Michael Kröger and the experts at Harvest, Simon conceived of an automotive video which he would direct as a photographer and in partnership with a CGI expert that would demonstrate the value of an approach rooted in photography.

“It was about approaching the project as a photographer and partnering with the experts at Harvest to produce a highly detailed and polished film using a traditional photographic approach to a broadcast-level production,” added Simon. “I wanted to transfer my passion for detail and the play of light from stills to the motion picture and use CGI in a way that proved that it doesn’t have to be sterile, too technical or emotionally numb when you have a passion for detail and 3D experts on your side.”

The “Road Not Taken,” was set to the eponymous Robert Frost poem read by a German/American rapper and accompanied by a powerful drum-only soundtrack that was drummed live in the studio. “A bold and masculine man has stopped at a fork in the road,” adds Simon. “He then makes a choice and drives his Audi RS5 through the archaic coastal landscape. High-tech meets primal instinct.”

Shot with a Red Epic and a Red Scarlett on a drone and car-to-car and a gimbal, the footage was captured using a stand-in Audi with the exterior of the final car created entirely in CGI. The reflections were captured by Go-Pro cameras and the lighting references with a sphere.

“Generally this approach takes a lot of the work away from the set and towards post production,” adds Simon. “But this approach means a lot less equipment and people than on a film set. For these types of productions, Harvest is the perfect partner with their expertise in both still and motion. The goal is to create a consistent high end look and feel for the clients in both disciplines.”

A making of video documents the technical side of the project. It shows how the car is built layer by layer and its way from the Matrix to “Reality”.

Behind-the-Scenes: Shooting the Film

Behind-the-Scenes: Recording the Soundtrack

Film: Simon Puschmann
Idea: Michael Kröger
Editing, CGI, Compositing and Grading, Sound Design and Music: Harvest Digital Agriculture

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