Commissioned for the second year in a row by Bearideas to create the campaign for the World Endurance Championship (WEC) 2021 – 2022; this year they called me to conceptualize some stunning visuals around electricity, technology and speed. One major challenge of this year’s campaign was the fact that the FIA visuals for the new cars still in production. Another challenge was the time constraint; less than 3 days per visual, speed being was quintessential.
3 races were designated, Sebring International Raceway, Fuji Speedway and One “generic” race. Each of them presenting a different challenge, I had to differentiate them visually by employing unique elements & colors; it wasn’t enough to “slap” a flag somewhere and be done with it. The atmosphere the visual exuded was important. A great challenge.
- Cinema 4D
- Octane Render
- After Effects
- Substance Painter
The art direction of the first visuals were angled towards the original idea: Video Games. The original brief from the agency talked a lot about “Tron” which to be fair, is a famous art style when it comes to neon-y looks; but I offered different perspectives towards the video game genre, games such as Wipeout for the geometry & Outrun for the colors.
Sebring International Raceway
Sebring International Raceway is located in Florida USA. The client gave us an estimated time frame for the race mentioning Spring. This was my first inspiration. I wanted to bring out all of the colors of a Floridian sunset with the colors of the American flag on the title. With the colors done, I needed to extrapolate 1 or 2 elements of the racetrack itself; thankfully, the starting block of Sebring has 2 giant arches spanning across a very long straight line. I knew I needed to bring them in. Now, I used some over-technical geometry to make the scene a tad more futuristic and positioned the cars in a way to show the different classes (GT, LMP). To bring out more “real” into the scene, I’ve opted to use a clear sky and increase the roughness of the road by adding a very neat displacement map that’ll show even when fast blurred.
The generic race visual had overcome a lot of changes during the creation process. Between the colors, cars, sky and elements, the original and the presented version isn’t comparable. The client wanted to “open” the visual to bring in more “real” into it. The first process was to remove the roof and create a sky that helps the scene. This is why I chose this sky, a gradient that created a focus towards the cars. During the creation process of this visual, the 3D model for the new Aston Martin went out on sale (amazing job the guys at Hum3D), so I sent a message to the client telling them I can use the good car model (but not the livery because it is not out yet.) The FIA also wanted to change the colors and bring more green for obvious reasons. So we ditched the yellow for a electric green that marries well the green of the Aston Martin.
Fuji Speedway was the reason why the client wanted more realism. At first, the client wanted most of the cliché of a Japanese race, but I offered a different perspective. First, the positioning of the cars and camera. By browsing the racetrack in Google Maps and Forza 7, I found the end of a turn; the Advant Turn. From there, I created the turn placed the car and romanticize the background. Originally, we can see Mount Fuji and the mountains, but very afar; if I respected the scale, we would have an empty background; so I scaled up Mount Fuji and added a hill that cuts just over the roof of the car to leave space for the sunset. Client wanted a lot of white and red but it would’ve been too futuristic, so I opened a lot of Japanese painting and art and analysed the colors and this is where I started to create a color palette that pays “homage” to Japanese Arts and communicate the fact that it is a long race.
Federation Internationale de l’Automobile – FIA
Creative Director – Christophe Maciel
Project Manager – Marion Duval