The challenge: Harnessing emotions to inspire purchase decisions
Korean automakers KIA will be launching their new Stinger model on the German market at the end of 2017. The noises from the trade press in the run-up to the launch have been extremely favorable. At an imposing 4.83 meters long and 1.87 meters wide, even at first glance the Stinger oozes class. The front-end features a new, wider incarnation of the iconic KIA tiger nose grille, eye-catching vents and a striking headlight design. As the gaze wanders back along the vehicle, the long hood, sleek sides and coupé-style body culminate in a distinctive rear end. But when it comes to the punch that the new model packs under the hood, words no longer suffice and only moving images can fit the bill: max. 370 hp, 0-100 km/h in 5.1 seconds and a top speed of 270 km/h.
Facts and figures are all well and good, but when it comes to choosing a car emotions are more important than ever. That is why KIA wanted to create spectacular visual experiences for prospective customers that give the new model a powerful emotional charge. The goal was to use the medium of film in the build-up to the Stinger launch to spark an enduring desire to go out and buy the vehicle.
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The solution: Perfect choreography
The problem is that real-life location shoots are extremely expensive and time-consuming. On top of the financial constraints, they also have technical limitations. Particularly when highlighting a vehicle’s speed and maneuverability, computer animations often use visual effects to create a far greater impact. With this in mind, KIA commissioned CGI specialists Mackevision to develop a 30-second animation containing high-end visuals that would showcase the new Stinger to maximum effect.
Making it happen: Fully simulated animation
The KIA commission was new territory for Mackevision the Stinger animation was the first time that the company had produced a fully simulated animation with no manual operations. By taking this approach it was possible to deliver both genuine efficiency gains and enhanced realism, despite the fact that the film’s visual concept called for a mix of clean plates and stands in the same shots. During the course of the project, as well as developing a new car shading tool in order to create stunning 3D light and shadow effects for the KIA Stinger, Mackevision also refined its techniques for generating projection mapping environments. In the VFX business, this term refers to digital 3D models onto which an animation of a moving vehicle for example can be projected.
In terms of efficiency, the Stinger animation benefited enormously from a pipeline adaptation of Mackevision’s Motionbox that allowed certain operations for each shot to be performed up to 150 percent faster than was previously possible. Motionbox is a constantly expanding database of reusable high-quality image and motion sequences that makes it easy, for instance, to set a Stinger 360 degree animation against the backdrop of a breathtaking canyon landscape.
In all, the finished film features seven Motionbox shots, three full-CGI shots and two beauty shots. Mackevision’s animation offers its customer KIA Motors Ltd. a dazzling array of options for capturing prospective customers’ imagination for the new Stinger through TV commercials, YouTube videos and showroom presentations.