the future is electric
For Lexus their first electric concept reveal was a big deal. Because of their lead in Hybrids and Hydrogen power trains they lacked a clear vision in electric all whilst their rivals had already laid out the roadmaps and even announced multiple cars and SUVs. They asked us in the middle of the pandemic to create a series of assets that would allow to virtually introduce the LF-Z to the auto press and auto enthusiasts. Key to that was a full CG car as all travel was banned.
Connecting Man and Machine
At the core of their concept was a full drive by wire control system that was tuned to human input and driving performance enjoyment. To demonstrate this we wanted to develop a distinct visual narrative that connected the neuro electricity of nerves to the drive by wire 'nerve system' of the LF-Z and also provide some clues to the engineering principals deployed within the concept vehicle.
Creating a UI of the near future.
Part of the learning curve on this project was learning that we were not only responsible for animating the screens and UI to create a seamless narrative within our launch film but also required to design the concept UI. I had to do this myself and due to timelines this had to be done within a week and a half. I based the design language between a previous concept car that was supposed to be launched in 2030 and the present Lexus UI while also being able to be read within the fast moving launch film.
Branding for the concept AI assistant - this was all built to animate and feature within the film but it appears that this design was a little nicer than the now released production AI interface so we we asked to downplay it within our film.
Virtual production FTW
We used our in house production studio Tiltshift to create and manage the massive amount of 3D files and worked directly with our Japanese clients (as opposed to the usual US based marketing clients) and engineering team to build out a complete assets library working alongside Anton Watts and a bunch of talent VFX artists.
We started working on this project in deep 2020 aka Covid times so all the production was remote and virtual so having established and strong relationships with our VFX leads an animators allowed to maximise the budget and extract massive value and quality in equal measures.
It also allowed us to use the 3D files in other forms and we made this AR application to supplement the loss of the full autoshow experience that the client had originally asked for. That case study is here.
Explaining the technology
As part of most large concept launches and especially when we dealing with introductions of new technology we were also tasked with explaining those technology platforms. This is just a sample of the the four videos we produced that were used in the larger marketing campaign, our launch film intentionally had longer sequences created to cover for these technology films - squeezing as much as we could from one production budget.