April 4, 2012

A MAGIC HORSE FOR ARIAT

A really amazing and FUN assignment came our way just before the end of last year and it went live on Ariat's site this week. An image for Western Boots involving a pretty Western girl on a magic horse to be made out of the fancy embroidery you see on the side of these boots. Warhorse meet fashion challenge. Since the image is to be seen in Western lifestyle magazines and speaking to an audience quite knowledgeable about horses, it's probably needless to say, I learned a few things about horse anatomy and equestarian jargon in the process. This gig also gave us a chance to team up with the incredibly talented Claudia Götzelmann again to create the beauty shot of the girl. If you're familiar with this blog, or just the Raygun work, you may remember Claudia's name from the collaboration a while back with Pacifica, the water goddess. Something we just riffed on back then to explore how CGI could mesh up with fashion photography. And here we had our chance to collaborate on a real job. Take a look behind the scenes, outtakes from the shoot and a bit of the process that led up to the final image. Giddy up!

To start we needed to figure out a prop to shoot our girl on. We wanted her to look like she's actually sitting on a horse and at the same time capture her inside back leg on every take, since the magic horse would be partially see-through. A specialty acrylic manufacturer in LA who was a bit baffled at our request (later to be known as the giant glass mailbox) provided us with the solution in record time. Seen here, my wingman John who assembled the final rig and main CGI gunner Kevin doing the giddy up stress-test the day before the shoot.

It's working!

No green screen here: We had a few quick renderings with a simple glass material of the CGI horse in various poses on-set to try them out with a some of the shots coming out of Capture right away.

And continued post shoot with the same technique to explore at a wide number of selects and horse poses to find the best combo.

The finalized model complete with mane and tail details, ready for the render room.

We used the embroidery designs on the boot for reference to design the pattern that was to make up the final magic horse.

Some call it UV map, we call it a canvas. It linked to the model of the horse in the render room, allowing us to play with an array of designs and see them on the horse in real time.

One of the pattern designs on the model.

Close to final render pass.

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