This past July I had the opportunity to create the background images for GMC Vehicle exterior 360’s on GMC.com. The process upon which a photographer collaborates with a production house, the agency and his team of scouts and location managers on the ground is paramount to the success of such a large project. We had 4 days to shoot and secure assets for 13 different GMC Vehicles, so it was off to Los Angeles and locations ranging from The Disney Center for the Performing Arts, to Lower Grand St, to Private Residences with luscious Lemon Orchards and Horse Stables all to achieve zero sleep and creative bliss.
The assets needed to create the background for the CG vehicle to live in read like a science project rather than a shot list. (See the Lincoln MKZ shoot I captured this time last year) We had to secure the closure of multiple locations in the Los Angeles area for random hours throughout a 4 day stretch, and literally document every square foot of the assigned area. With the team from the agency and CG production house, we measured distances from camera, lens tilt, shift, height, and all corresponding keyframes of the 360 degree animation seen on the site. We based all of the photography off of a bed frame in compositions center. This acted as the area where the vehicle would live. We captured 36 separate frames encompassing the 360 degree spin around the vehicle. using a Canon 5D MK3 on a tripod. Each frame was marked, measured and exposed at 3 bracket captures. These 36 frames are called a flight path around the vehicle, which in the case of all GMC vehicles on the site were measured and predetermined heights and distances. This allowed our team to choose the right space on our location for each vehicle to live, drop the bedframe and reflective garden globes into place and then create a chalk line circle with our 36 keyframes as reference points for the tripod placement. (See image below of my assistant Jesse’s gaffe taped pants) A second MK3 was housed in a Seitz Roundshot Robot which captured complete 360 degree Domes of our various locations in order to provide the production studio with the adequate assets for the reflections in the vehicles sheet metal and lighting direction. Upon completion of each locations shots (which after great practice we were able to accomplish a complete 36 frame 360 in under 15 minutes) The team at Mackevision stitched together the retouched frames into complete spins that the user can navigate on the site.
It was a great experience, and the vehicle 360’s site incredible! shout outs to Mackevision USA and the many friends I have there, I could’nt have pulled it off without you, team!