Tuesday, December 22, 2015
We’d like to wish you all a very Happy Christmas...
What about New Year?
Our Christmas Baubles are a little teaser of things to come from Set Visions in the New Year.
With a new look on the cards, new staff and some exciting new services – 2016 is set to be our best year yet. We hope it is for you too!
Wishing you the very best Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Friday, December 11, 2015
With modern advances in CGI quality it is increasingly possible to create imagery that can perfectly mimic a photograph. For many of our clients this brings a number of benefits from traditional photography. Not only can they have ideas without limitations for their set builds, but they are also able to bring many cost efficiencies through reusing the CGI sets we build for them, and also by creating multiple renders of the same products but in different colours or with different finishes. CGI also has cost savings as there is no physical set build and therefore no wastage.
But getting amazing photorealism isn’t just a case of setting up a 3D room set and hitting the render button. The Pix team are a unique blend of traditional photographers, stylists, CGI artists and post production experts. Combined with the unique processes we employ to create Pix CGI we are able to produce photorealistic CGI that feels real to our client’s customers.
Well, believe it or not – when it comes to producing CGI that feels real, a lot of it comes down to the art of imperfection. It is a case of adding the imperfections and limitations that real sets, real cameras and real lights can create when taking a real photograph. Without these imperfections CGI can feel too perfect!
For a recent Pix CGI photography job, our client was more insistent than most that these imperfections were introduced to their CGI shots and that real period architectural details were replicated.
Here are just a few shots of many which highlight some of the imperfections and limitations we accounted for when producing the shots for our client.
No room for symmetry
The room set we built was based on a period conversion. Often when producing CGI room sets for these kinds of properties it is an easy choice to avoid some of the far from perfect lines and architectural curiosities – instead building sets which create perfect balance and symmetry when rendered as a final shot. With these shots we created a more realistic room set by incorporating the imperfect build qualities which would be found within a more typical period conversion.
No room for the camera
More often than not CGI artists will ‘cheat’ a shot. Placing virtual cameras where, in reality, if the room were within a real house, they wouldn’t be able to place a camera. For instance a wall or some fitted furniture might be in the way. The Pix CGI photographs rendered for this job accounted for all the limitations a real room within a house would place on camera placement. In this shot – the output is on the border of being a little cramped – but feels more real as a result of placing these limitations.
All too often the finishes applied to CGI photography are so perfect that the shots can appear almost hyperreal – an unachievable reality! For the shot below the stone surrounds to the windows and doors were deliberately created so that they did not line up. The plaster was also created to blend into the stonework and not be completely vertical. This creates a very traditional period feel to the set. The ceiling boards were also created with a random pattern so that they were not too neat.
Wednesday, December 2, 2015
Set Visions’ very own philanthropist is at it again. Never shy to pose for charity, Graham has once again taken to the catwalk as part of what’s becoming an annual appearance for him at the “Ladies Lunch” - hosted every December by The Huddersfield Town Foundation in aid of raising money to support some great projects for local children.
On his best model behaviour… He doesn’t look a day older than last year:
About The Huddersfield Town Foundation
The brainchild of Huddersfield Town Football Club’s Chairman Dean Hoyle - the foundation’s overall aim is to help improve the quality of life for children and young people across Huddersfield and West Yorkshire.
Money raised at the Ladies Lunch will go towards initiatives such as the “Early Kick-Off” Breakfast Club which evolved to provide a complimentary healthy breakfast to supplement the wellbeing of children, many of whom it was identified, were sadly attending school daily without a breakfast to kick-start their day.
Friday, October 30, 2015
We've some new recruits and some promotions. All aimed at bringing our clients the very best imagery for their visual communications.
To continue to lead the way in photorealistic CGI photography for the homes and interiors industries - we're constantly sourcing the very best talent to deliver our unique blend of CGI and photography - Pix.
Many 3D/CGI 'visualisation' companies tend to come from an architectural visualisation background - meaning their imagery can often feel functional and lifeless. We however are a photography company. We've been delivering beautiful lifestyle product photography and room set photography for several decades - and we've retained the talent to continue to do so. But we evolved. In the mid 2000s, when we saw the opportunities that photorealistic CGI could present to our customers we created Pix - where CGI becomes photography.
With Pix - we bring together a blend of creative stylists, photographers and CGI artists to create aspirational lifestyle CGI photography that looks like real photography - but has the versatility, and hyper real desirable aesthetic that can only be achieved thorough CGI.
And so - as Pix goes from strength to strength we're building our team in such a way that our product can get better and better.
Welcome - Marshall, Owen and Danny, and congratulations to Jal on her promotion.
Not only do we deliver high end creative CGI imagery - but we deliver on time and on budget. We can't do this without the rigour that our Project Management team bring to our projects. As our latest addition Marshall brings an essential new element. As a trained architect he is extremely well placed to direct our creative teams in the delivery of lifelike and innovative aspirational roomsets to display our clients products.
Perfectly dovetailing with Marshall - Owen joins us from a strong architectural background. After completing a degree in Architectural Studies at the University of Nottingham Owen decided to focus his creative talents as a 3d artist. We were blown away by his CV - his renders include precision work for Formula 1 - and we are confident our clients will benefit from his unique blend of talents.
Danny joins us as a highly skilled and exprienced pure 3D Artist. Having studied 3d Animation and Special Effects at Leeds Metropolitan University - his purist training in modelling, textures, lighting and animation mean he is able to apply a multitude of skills to breathe life into the roomsets that architectural specialists like Owen have created.
When it comes to breathing life into our CGI - Jal is instrumental. After working as a stylist for Pix for the last 5 years she has been promoted to Head of Creative. Jal is responsible for ensuring all our jobs are created with realism, desirability and aspiration in mind! Jal and her team of stylists 'know' what imagery will create desire in our client's customers. With a background in fashion, studying at The London College of Fashion - she ensures her team not only have an eye for creating beautifully propped compositions - but that they apply audience research and the latest understanding of trends to create captivating lifestyle imagery.
We look forward to seeing the amazing work these creatively balanced new team members will build together for Pix and our clients.
Friday, September 25, 2015
We recently approached an office furniture company to ask whether they’d thought of trying CGI as an alternative to traditional photography.
Up until that point in time they had not been convinced that CGI would give them a quality and realism becoming of their brand.
So… we thought we’d show them what Set Visions’ Pix can do.
You can see the results for yourself:
Set Visions Pix’s honed production processes are grounded by our background in lifestyle product photography.
We know what makes a great photograph.
Our photographers, stylists and CGI artists collaborate to create the perfectly lit and propped compositions.
Smart (and skilled) post-production enables us to seamlessly create composites using live models, and live photographed props such as flowers and plants which are harder to recreate within CGI to the level of realism that we demand. The results - photorealistic CGI photography that our clients love.
Cost savings. There really is nothing to lose.
Our CGI really is remarkably realistic, and with recent advances in technology, as well as our finely tuned efficient production process - it really is great value.
CGI brings a multitude of cost savings for customers who may currently use traditional photography.
For more information read the pages on our Pix website which cover:
Thursday, September 10, 2015
We’d like to introduce “Set Visions: Horizons” a series of blog posts where we’ll be looking at some of the uses of emerging technologies that some retailers and retail brands are experimenting in - and which we believe will be part of the mainstream in the coming years.
A retail revolution is coming - are you ready?
Having originally started as a Photography Studio in the 90s - evolving over the last decade to deliver CGI photography and interactive visualisers, we’ve become acutely aware of the need to embrace technology as visual communications continue to evolve at fast pace.
Augmented reality, virtual reality, digital immersive experiences - they are all on the horizon, and Set Visons have the vision to create and deliver them now through our in-house team and innovation partnerships.
We’ll cover subjects like Virtual & Augmented Reality in future ‘Horizons’ blog posts… but for our first in the series we are focusing on immersive retail experiences.
Set Visions: Horizons. Part 1 - Immersive retail experiences
We were actually prompted to write this series of blog posts following the announcement of some of the great interactive installations and technologies that have been encoperated into the 14m refurbishment of John Lewis’ homes department of their flagship Oxford Street store which reopened last week.
Encoperating digital experiences into the retail environment isn’t especially new - but as the worlds of commerce and consumer technologies get closer together, the opportunities to produce increasingly personal and engaging content and experiences aimed at increasing sales is growing. Below are some of the great examples we have seen most recently.
John Lewis - Head of Design
The show-stealer is the 'Head of Design', a 2.5m high pod in the shape of a head on the second floor. You enter, respond to a series of psychometric picture tests on an ipad, and leave with a carefully curated moodboard of colours, textures and styles, which you email to yourself.
Tom Dixon - Multiplex - Working, playing and entertaining
This autumn Tom Dixon presents MULTIPLEX at the Old Selfridges Hotel, an immersive, multi-sensory department store of tomorrow. MULTIPLEX brings together design, technology, fashion, film and interiors to explore how the future of retail might look, sound, smell, taste and feel.
Tom says: ‘The high streets are fighting a losing battle against the shift to online shopping, while eyewatering rents for prime locations squeeze traditional stores even further. It is time to radically rethink how these spaces can become relevant again in a digitally-defined future. The Multiplex is a prototype shop for the future, a multiple stage for new ideas. Just as in the modern world, the artificial distinctions between Designers, Artists, Manufacturers, Wholesalers and Retailers, Communicators, Entertainers and Customers blur, merge and get redefined. The space becomes a resource for working, playing and entertaining, for inspiration and for business, a platform for superior broadcasting of brands and ideas and a temporary central London entertainment space for new commerce.’
Nike's new 'digital' retail experience
Aware of how today's consumers are utilizing both the digital and physical worlds; Nike sought to create a new 'digital' retail experience. An experience which combines retail store, eCommerce and mobile customer journeys – seamlessly.
Image and Social: The Media Wall
A multi-touch, multi-user wall displays campaigns, products and related social media bursts.
Interaction and Comparison: The Nike Bootroom
An 65'' interactive surface with multi-touch facilitates employees and enables customers on their continued journey. Nike products are comparable with real-time availability for size and color, detected by the ERP system.
Customization and Purchase: The Replica Kiosk
A digital retail kiosk with a 65" touch display where Nike Football fans can find, customize and order their favorite Nike team products. Here one can see product availability in real-time for both in-store or online purchase.
Bloomingdale’s Ralph Lauren Clothing To-Go Window
Bloomingdale’s Manhattan flagship store sought to convert passersby into paying customers this Father’s Day with six interactive window displays of Ralph Lauren clothing. Shoppers on-the-go could tap color swatches on a touchscreen facing the sidewalk. That same colored shirt, tie or pants would materialize behind the window. If they liked what they saw, they could text “POLO” for a link to a checkout page.
The experience also aimed to avoid slowing shoppers down — they could opt to have the clothing hand-delivered to the sidewalk, completing the entire impulse buy without ever setting foot in the store.
Rebecca Minkoff’s Interactive Dressing Room
The mirror in the fitting room of Rebecca Minkoff’s SoHo store doubles as a personal shopping assistant, inviting shoppers to reflect (in every sense of the word) on which designer handbag suits their taste. A touchscreen display suggests alternative designs and colors. Shoppers can flip through their options, make a purchase or even adjust the mood lighting.
Mr Porter x Kingsman Immersive Pod Experience
Using a custom-built green screen and a bullet time camera rig 16 simultaneous images of a model striking a thematic pose were shot, whilst dressed head-to-toe in clothing from the Mr Porter x Kingsman Collection.
These images were then composited together onto background scenes that were recreated to match three key locations from the film. When guests enter the pod and align themselves with the appropriate markers, the same bullet rig captures their image, creating the illusion of their presence within the film, head-to-toe in the stylish collaborative range. The footage is converted into an animated .gif that guests can share on social media or save via email.
Macallan Whisky - 3D Holographic Point of Sale Display
The creative tells the story of the whisky from its heritage in the Scottish Highlands to the unique Macallan distillation process. The campaign features the product itself with 3D animations appearing in and around The Macallan 1824 limited release decanter.
Each stage of the distillery process is visualised from barley fields to quality oak casts, to highlight the processes that contribute to the colour, aroma and flavour of The Macallan, as the tagline states “All our experience distilled into one special collection.”
A retail revolution is coming - are you ready?
Get in touch with Set Visions if you are interested in exploring the possibilities of these emerging technologies.