We spoke to our artistic director to find out how the LS CAR was conceived. In this article, he takes us through the working process behind a project.
What was at stake in this project?
Artistic Director : We were coming up against problems of confidentiality when demonstrating to prospective customers and in our communications. There is certain customer data that we can't disclose. So we decided to design a vehicle that would enable us to showcase our skills and the technologies we master and communicate freely.
The LS CAR: showcasing LS GOUP's expertise
What is a vehicle in the image of LS GROUP?
A vehicle in the image of LS GROUP is a modern vehicle. We work in a sector that represents the technologies of tomorrow. The on-board technology (electric, intelligent, autonomous and connected vehicles) had to be integrated into the LS CAR. We wanted interaction with the most common elements of the vehicle to create a truly immersive virtual experience.
By giving users the chance to see the engine and batteries, we are illustrating the technologies of the moment. The interior has been designed to make the vehicle appear functional, with a streamlined HMI entrance, touch screens, etc.
In order to better reflect LS GROUP's identity, certain elements have been specifically worked into the design of the vehicle: the environments with pyramid shapes, the pink to make the link with the Studio vertical.
What technologies does LS GROUP showcase?
One of our main challenges in creating content is to have a technical showcase and to popularise the different technologies mastered by LS. In one demo we can present and explain our skills: pre-calculated, real-time, webGL, AR, VR, etc.
- WebGL: to create interactive and visually captivating experiences integrated into a website. This technology makes it possible to present products or services in an immersive 3D way, offering a unique user experience
- Pre-calculated images: the visual quality and aesthetics of products or solutions are optimised. It's ideal for exploring, understanding and interacting with a live product.
- Real-time: to offer the public a constantly evolving experience, with real-time updates.
- Configurator: for campaigns involving customisable products. It allows customers to create their own version of the product, increasing engagement and conversions.
LS CAR: from idea to artistic integration
LS CAR has been designed so that our customers and future customers can project themselves into future experiences and explore the different technical proposals that LS can offer them.
The LS CAR is not just a vehicle, it is a virtual showcase of LS GROUP expertise. It illustrates our know-how.
You can get just as good a rendering on a motorbike or a truck.
We called on Technicon Design to provide us with a basis for our work. Their teams worked on the exterior styling of the vehicle, making two proposals: a Sport version and a Standard version.
We worked on 2 ambiances: sport and luxury. To achieve this, we worked specifically on materials such as wood, leather and carbon to define our interior harmonies.
Creating photorealistic renderings of vehicles
At what stage of a project are you involved?
I'm involved from the very first interaction with the customer, and understanding their needs is a crucial aspect of my responsibilities. I help to define the technical solution at the needs gathering stage and I'm a driving force behind the artistic direction.
My skills in data processing mean that I can lend a hand to the teams in this area. I work with our data manager to define the model, the optimisations and the number of polygons required. Together, we determine the level of tessellation, the quality and the desired optimisations depending on the target medium, web or tablet for example.
How is 3D data processed at LS GROUP?
Our data manager processes the data received from customers, or creates it if necessary. We then tesselate* and optimise the model according to the desired level of quality. Once the model is finished, we share the files with the graphic designers. They will import the data into the 3Ds Max software and carry out the necessary modelling tasks. The second stage involves modelling the soft parts. Once the model is complete, we create UVs, i.e. we work on the 3D model so that it is correctly textured. Once the UV has been created, we apply the materials, lighting and work on the environment. The final stage is to highlight the product. It's at this stage that the graphic designers become virtual photographers. They iterate to produce beautiful visuals based on the 3D model received.
The project challenge
The challenge was to create a vehicle that resembled that of a car manufacturer. The vehicle had to be sufficiently complete and accomplished to give the impression of being a production vehicle and not just a concept car. The model had to be detailed enough to show off the computer graphics work we do at LS. With a simplified concept car model * where there is very little detail, it's harder to get a credible rendering in terms of realism.
What software did you use?
The LS CAR was designed using several software packages, starting with Technicon Design, which helped us with the modelling. Then we used Alias and ICEM Surf, which are surface-based software packages dedicated to product and automotive design.
by Technicon Design, who did the modelling on Alias and ICEM Surf, which are surface-based software packages dedicated to product and vehicle design.
We used this data to improve and add detail in both Alias and 3ds Studio Max. LS CAR includes elements of polygonal and surface modelling. PiXYZ was used to bridge the gap between the two. The pre-calculated interior and exterior renderings of the vehicle were produced using 3ds Max and a 3D rendering engine, F storm.
The technical video is being produced on 3DS Max, F Storm. We are planning a web-GL version with the integration of a site dedicated to the configuration of the LS CAR.