Augmented/Virtual Reality Techniques Being Applied to Car Commercials

Maya Computer Graphics

Wow, a real life Transformer? Has a chassis that can adapt to match the exact length and width of nearly every car. Is electric powered! Can be tuned to simulate the characteristics of almost any car (ride height, rigidity, damping, gear shifts, acceleration, etc). Basically The Mill’s BLACKBIRD is a blank car you can swap in for any car of your dreams.

Augment Reality Car

Has 4x RED cameras mounted to film its surroundings, also a laser scanner to recreate the environment for accurate compositing (such as reflections) and for VR (you can see the HTC Vive used in the video).

HTC Vive Virtual Reality Headset

Then a CG car body gets dropped over on top of it in post. Clients can even use the Blackbird Augment Reality app to see a live CG rendering of the vehicle on location.

Augmented Reality App

This can be useful to car manufacturers for a number of reasons, such as if availability of the car is difficult due to production scheduling vs shoot dates, or if the car needs to be kept tightly under wraps from the motoring paparazzi. Or if numerous variants of the car advert are needed (due to changes from one year’s model to the next, or due to different versions of the car for different regions of the world).

Car Commercial Variations

Fantastic use of merging Virtual Reality techniques with conventional filming.

Watch the whole video here:

Laser Scanning Photogrammetry for Virtual Reality

Augment Reality with multiple car variants for the commercial

Virtual Reality Photogrammetry Scene Recreation with Augmented Reality App

First time I remember coming across a tutorial of the uses of CGI cars being composited into a real life scene was years ago when I saw this HitFilm tutorial, is worth a watch if you’re curious about understanding the basics of how this works: