Jan Steinhilber on lighting something that’s not there

Photo by Jan Steinhilber for Porsche and Kemper Kommunikation.

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Jan Steinhilber recently shot a campaign for Porsche’s Black Edition series, the 911 and Boxster, for art directors Zoran Vasic and Julia Fuhl at Kemper Kommunication in Frankfurt, Germany. Interestingly, all of the concrete elements of the images (the cars and backgrounds) were done in CGI, while the arguably ephemeral one—the light—was photographed. I’ll let Jan explain…

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“We had set up different lights in a black studio and captured them as HDRI spheres. In 3D, these shots are used as so called ‘image-based lights’ afterwards. They create light and shadow on the 3D model of the car, as well as realistic reflections on the car’s paint.

What my job was, apart from finding the perfect angles for the car, was to sit with a 3D operator and move, turn, and shift those virtual lights to bring out the shapes of the car nicely, just like you would do with real lights in the studio. So basically, the thoughts and ideas you have about what the car should look like in the image are the same as if you were shooting it. But the tools you are using are different.

Of course, it is somehow abstract, since you cannot see it for real. So you need even better imagination and also some experience in how light works on shapes and surfaces.”

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Here’s a look at some more of Jan’s Black Edition images:

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Photo by Jan Steinhilber for Porsche and Kemper Kommunikation.

Photo by Jan Steinhilber for Porsche and Kemper Kommunikation.

Photo by Jan Steinhilber for Porsche and Kemper Kommunikation.

Photo by Jan Steinhilber for Porsche and Kemper Kommunikation.

Photo by Jan Steinhilber for Porsche and Kemper Kommunikation.

Photo by Jan Steinhilber for Porsche and Kemper Kommunikation.

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One Comment

  1. Posted 02/17/2011 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    It’s nice to know that computers can’t do everything and clients realize it. Beautiful light Mr. Steinhilber.


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