New avenues for the marketing of cars are being opened up by advances in 3D simulation which allow designers and advertising agencies to place moving vehicles in purpose-filmed scenes without the vehicle leaving the showroom or studio.
German company Mackevision Medien Design GmbH has introduced "Motionbox," which is described as a “unique moving image database consisting of footage specially tailored for the needs of automotive industry users – a solution which reduces the time and risks involved in film production”.
“Creating comparable film material in a real production is a major undertaking for automobile manufacturers. They have to camouflaging vehicles, block roads, transport crews, vehicles and equipment and shoot for days – with the duration dictated by the weather. Motionbox provides an optimum alternative. The users responsible for the project can simply construct the clipboard the way they imagine it", says Stephan Baier, General Manager Products & Development at Mackevision.
“Motionbox frees up time which can instead be invested in quality management and the finished production – for absolutely perfect results. It also frees up creativity and provides space for new ideas. Users have the opportunity to come up with new ideas for the film design. For example, vehicle animations and different camera settings can be selected as desired and more diversity integrated into the scene selection,” he says.
According to Baier the automotive industry traditionally has a high demand for image and film content. Computer Generated Imagery (CGI) is being increasingly used to generate images in order to have full control over the visuals while saving time and money. “CGI has developed into an alternative means of image generation capable of offering the same quality as still images. Thanks to technical advances and specialized service providers, this development has now expanded into the field of moving images,” he says.
Mackevision estimates that up to 80% of all visual content can be depicted photorealistically using footage material and CGI. The "heart" of “Motionbox” is a library of high definition, uncompressed film material shot specially for the automotive industry. The film material shows panoramic mountain roads, breath-taking coastal shots or city footage such as Côte d’Azur, Kaunertal or Los Angeles.
Users search the library by using a world map to determine the location or by keyword. They select the scene or stills which best meet their requirements. “In the process, they create their own individual clipboard and become their own director,” says Mackevision. The combination of pre-produced film material and CGI post-production enables Mackevision's experts to photorealistically place almost any vehicle in the chosen scene. The end product has a resolution of up to 4K and 50 frames per second, which makes it suitable for use in a broad variety of different communication channels – without any of the production risks usually involved in physically going out on location. Future model or product updates can be easily integrated into the existing film.