Making of illustrations for Vredestein website. Part Two

Part One    Part Two

Product placement

Working on product graphics for Vredestein website I at the same time was looking for adequate entourage. Undoubtedly, automobile is best for the purpose. But we shouldn’t forget that with all its stringent beauty it is to play minor part here—it is only a “medium” and should not drive the viewer’s attention away from the tires. Though it can’t be too homely either.

Company representatives have arranged with the leading producers of automobiles for permissible use of their steel horses in their presentations. And as the products belong to the premium segment category, they have chosen the appropriate class of cars. Let the blame for the fact that all the automobiles chosen are German-made and uncompromisingly black lie with the brand manager.

Narrated by Andrey Tikhanov

Day 1
I find comfort in the hope that there will be a spacious dark hangar with a dazzling car rolling in, where I could set the lights and have the curtains to avoid unwanted reflections. Cherishing this and anticipating pleasant work I imagine something like this:

(Photo borrowed from Cardesignnews)

I grab lighting equipment, the tripod, the cords, the screen stands. Feeling relaxed, I am off to do the shooting outside the studio, just as usual. The fully equipped team composed of one person.

Contrary to the enthusiastic opinions, miracles do not happen. The car is in the showroom, which is a thing to have expected. There are other cars beside it and a checked drop ceiling that together with everything else gets reflected and produces moiré fringes on the car. I ask the staff to have the car outside—it will be easier to clean off reflections of the sky and buildings. I make attempts to screen the car, but the blowing wind makes it impossible. So I just get added evidence that a car is much like a ball—there is no point in screening, the only good way is shooting in studio. This means nothing can help me at the moment. What to do but to bow low one more time to Thomas Noll and his colleagues.
I abandon all the accessories…

With a camera in hands I do a dance around this princess changing shooting angles:

A couple more shots as a bonus (I might need them):

Lets take a bit of engine for the future. While I am about it, I climb the fire ladder and change positions to take shots pretending like I got some fairy dust.

Then, I choose the separate details—I shall most likely need to conceive their design (which is of prior importance) when drawing.

Utmost attention to the brand BWM wheel:

Day 2
I return home, get Photoshop, brushes and paints. Choose the view:

Trace the shape elements with curves, do the filling in to basically redraw the body. And set it for the black background.

I leave only the soft box reflections—they highlight the geometry and plastic of the body. I do not clean all the debris off the headlights because I want them to look natural.

Retouching done in large size:

(See a 1042×845 image)

(Turn the wheel of this hottie)

Day 3
Lets do the same thing with the rest of the models.

I shoot a Mercedes (out in the street on a wet gloomy day with passers-by turning their heads and security men feeling uneasy).

Here is a suitable view:

I get rid of extraneous reflections, increase contrast and adapt it to the black background. Eliminate the blue reflections of the sky.

Looks good.

Day 4. Lets enjoy the classics
I need a 1920s automobile for the Classic autos section. Here, my international passport is still valid. I fly for a couple of days to Stuttgart—you won’t find a better Mercedes-Benz collection anywhere.
This one is sure well preserved:

The plates, as you may remember, kept me busy for quite some time.

Day 6
I am running out of time, but this is no thing to scare me. If I don’t have time to shoot on location, I can refer to catalogues. One of the advantages here is ability to work with the models not yet in the market.

Do the etching.

Rid the image of matt (with solid glare) and slightly modify the angle. I make the car face more frontally by deforming the side line. Have it all tinted black.

Add color reflections to fit the car into the warm brown orange colored background.

What a beauty!

To my regret I could only find one acceptable resolution image of Porshe Cayenne Turbo S and it was a front view. Moreover, the surface, on which the cars appear on the website, is more slanted. That means I’ll have to correct the view angle again. Visually it’s done easily by slightly extending the hood. I do not perturb the car’s very face.

Made a little squatty, it still looks fine.

And just look at the reflections!

It is almost done—I only need to breathe life into it. But that’s another story.

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