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Case Studies
Good CGI isn't possible without photography... and a number of more traditional photographers are starting to utilize CGI more and more as a tool to expand creative freedom and open up new markets. Here are collected some favorite examples that help paint a picture of the current state of how these creative industries are moving together.


HDRI & PHOTOGRAMMETRY

  • Over the years, Paul Debevec has led the way on graphics research including high dynamic range imagery (HDRI) and photogrammetry.
  • Greg Downing has a lot of examples of gigapixel imagery, digital sets, photogrammetry and HDRI.
  • Autodesk's Project Photofly provides a way for users to generate 3D models entirely from photographs for free using cloud computing.
  • The ICT Graphics Lab page at USC on their Parthenon film.
  • EPOP offers a number of 360° panoramic solutions for virtual tours, HDRI, etc.
  • 3D models constructed entirely from photographs? Two videos show the results: Hall and Gallery

  • MODELING FROM PHOTOGRAPHS

  • Viki Yeo’s tutorial on the making of the “Young Girl” image.

  • ARCHITECTURAL RENDERING

  • Archiform 3D is one of the leading companies in the business of architectural visualization.
  • Alex Roman’s The Third and the Seventh site contains still images and links to his short films, including the Exeter film. There’s also a good interview with him from Motionographer that can be found here. APhotoEditor had some recent commentary on his work.

  • "STOCK" IN CGI

  • PK3D.com offers stock models and HDRI panos, as well as full creative services.
  • TurboSquid is one of the biggest and most-respected stock model companies, offering over 250,000 models for purchase.

  • CGI IN FASHION PHOTOGRAPHY

  • Stanislav Petera takes you behind the scenes of his work on the Dolce Vita “Superdiva” project. He often partners with Tomáš Müller, a commercial artist.

  • CGI IN FOOD PHOTOGRAPHY

  • Branit VFX creates a commercial spot for McDonald's using still photographs of a hamburger and fries, plus computer-generated Dr Pepper, environment and camera move.

  • CGI IN AUTOMOTIVE PHOTOGRAPHY & PRODUCT IMAGERY

  • Nigel Harniman is an automotive photographer who uses a lot of CGI in his work. He’s also one of the guys behind Air CGI. There’s a good article that describes some of his process for a recent campaign that can be found here.
  • Del Padre Digital and Trinetram do a lot of work in CGI product imagery.
  • A quick article on car photography without using actual cars.

  • CGI IN FINE ART PHOTOGRAPHY

  • Markku Lahdesmaki uses a fair amount of CGI combined with more traditional photographic methods to create fine art "photography." You can see this particularly well-represented in his Robots series.

  • VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENTS

  • A good video from Stargate Studios showing virtual environments being used for film and television.

    MATTE PAINTING

  • Dylan Cole has created digital matte paintings for a variety of film projects including Lord of the Rings, Superman Returns, The Kite Runner and Memoirs of a Geisha.

  • THE KITCHEN SINK

  • Work we did on Superman Returns in 2006 to allow Marlon Brando to reprise his role as Jor-El: Making-of Marlon Brando as Jor-El. Used photogrammetry, modeling from photographs, photographic texture remapping, photographic foreground and background plates, etc.
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