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From Herv Proteau:
MISSION: ViewmasterCGI produces high-quality automotive photography through use of Computer-Generated Imagery Technology (CGI). Being founded in 2005 by Michael Schott and Daniel Hartz, the company unifies more than 20 years of experience in automotive photography, as well as 10 years of expertise in 3D and 12 years in all fields of postproduction. The work of ViewmasterCGI aims for a clear-cut demand: using latest technologies to create images that are no longer distinguishable from real photography. With the aid of CGI-Technology, the digital artist is able to generate the product shot synthetically on high-end computer workstations. Digital HDR-photography delivers the necessary lighting information to be able to place the product in the desired environment. The team at ViewmasterCGI has developed the CGI-imaging process together right from the beginning and acquired an optimal workflow to realize its projects. From shooting over the rendering-process up to the final retouching, the individual experts bundle their competences. Mobile render-workstations enable the creation of photo-realistic pre-renders during the shooting on location. ViewmasterCGI offers the complete image creation from shooting to postproduction as well as pure 3D-Rendering and/or postproduction. SERVICE: The actual CGI image is being generated in three stages: the shot of the motif's backplate, the rendering-process and the finetuning in postproduction. During these three stages, the professionals of ViewmasterCGI work hand in hand always taking into consideration the photographic eye to obtain a completely realistic result. At the same time, the complete CAD 3D-data-management, postproduction-process and preparation of ready for press-data takes place in-house. No matter if remote landscape or unique architectural setting the photographer shoots the location in which the car is going to be shown. Thereby he records the car invisibly, so to speak. By means of CGI it is possible to show the car in places where a real car could've been placed only with enormous effort. Above all, there's no waiting for the production of a prototype. In order to capture the exact lighting information to be able to calculate the car, high dynamic range(HDR)-photography comes into operation. It allows for photographs containing up to 26 aperture stops, and thus provides the necessary lighting- and reflection-information of the whole setting. That's what makes it possible to place 3D-objects in a real environment with perfect matching light. Using the car's digital construction data, Michael Schott and his team create a 2D-image based on the previously chosen perspective. In doing this, the digital artist simulates all the intricate interactions of light and shadow of the scanned environment on the car. This results in the calculation of the image, the actual rendering. In postproduction, the electronically created image runs through the finetuning-process, resulting in the final motif. Creative and technical consultation are self-evident components of digital imaging. Through the use of mobile render-workstations, ViewmasterCGI allows for the creation of photo-realistic pre-renderings on location. Customer and photographer are able to work out the image together during the shooting. They obtain a reliable impression of the composition by the minute and are able to change it immediately which allows to generate optimal results. Using the workstations, the generation of finalized images is possible too, if needed.