Thursday, 24 May 2012

Bombardier - Launching the Learjet 75

So we've had the pleasure to work on an amazing project for Bombardier. We were contacted by the agency Jblp and director Christian Beltrami.who developed the first draft of the storyboard.  The main idea was clear: Introduce the new Learjet 75 and 70 in a way Bombardier never used before. Usually Bombardier prefer a more corporate approach that shows every new specs of the airplane, but for this, they wanted to base their approach more on emotions than rationality.

Here's the final result:

To get there, we took the first draft of the storyboard, and our concept artist worked with the director to clearly devellop the storyline. Here's a few snapshot of the final storyboard:

One thing that was clear from there, it would be quite a challenge to render. An interior room, without any direct lighting.  The only light source in the scene would be the 4 huge screens that made up the walls.

As usual, we put our faith into Arnold rendered from SolidAngle, and it paid off.  Arnold really nailed the light bounce from the screens and delivered beautiful renders with relatively low render times, which we needed in order to render the full 2min30 video on time.

First off, here's a few work in progress render of the shading on the airplanes:

Making sure the shading look good in every type of lighting
The Learjet75 in our Shading Scene
Early shading and lighting test to estimate the amount
of sample needed to render a noise free image

Then our new Motiongrapher, Guillaume Combeaud, did some magic and created everything we needed to make this room alive.  All the "footage" that light up the screens (and hence, light our room and airplane) went through his workstation.  We did alot of crosswalk between department to transfer him the airplane, the walls and the room so he could always put in context his mograph and make sure it looked good in every shot. Here's a sample of the mograph Guillaume did. 

An exemple of one of the effect created in 3d

For each shot, he delivered to the 3d department a wide "slide", which would fit on the UVs of the walls. You can see some of them here:

And some breakdown to show Animatic, 3d Render and final compositing

And finally, just some final render. Make sure to look at them in full screen!


  1. Amazing! Such difficult lighting conditions for a raytracer and Arnold makes it look like it doesn't even care.

    Just wondering why you didn't render volumetrics in the cabin with Arnold instead of faking them in post?

    Or maybe you did, and you just comped it back from seeparate AOV?

    1. Actually we indeed used Arnold to render the volumetric rays. It was a separate pass (volumetric pass shader with our key light and every object in Black without Alpha) so we could comp it on top and adjust the intensity as desired by the client so it doesn't look like there is smoke in the cabin :)

      Thank you!

  2. Hi! The shots with the dark plane lit by reflections only are insane!
    Do you mind sharing how you set up the shader for the airplane metal. I really like the slight unevenness in the metal. Is that bump or displacement? What other textures did you use for that shader?

  3. Hi Alexander! Sorry for the late reply, I've been quite busy in the last months and the blog kind of died, but I'm trying to revive it!

    For the reflection on the plane, it is mostly bump but also modelling. We had several shots with the setup, and since lighting is minimal, we gave a lot of importance to reflection, hence the modelling time to make sure everything felt natural