Meet the Blackbird, a rig that transforms into any car

Talk nonsense in here.
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Cpt.Issues
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Meet the Blackbird, a rig that transforms into any car

Postby Cpt.Issues » Wed Sep 07, 2016 3:00 pm

The blackbird is a basically motion capture for cars, the shape and size of the chassis and wheels can be changed along with suspension charachteristics and engine performance to mimic cars that are too expensive/rare for film makers to use or to save production costs for car adverts (i.e. reshoots with different models). Cameras and LIDAR on the car capture the surrounding environment which is then used to generate the reflections and shadows later for 'photoreal CG cars'.

So I thought I'd share this as I think it's kinda clever/intersting:

Top Gear version with mandatory adverts http://www.topgear.com/car-news/top-gea ... ms-any-car

The makers own show reel/explanation with no adverts http://www.themill.com/portfolio/3002/t ... bird%C2%AE
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CrispyRowe
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Re: Meet the Blackbird, a rig that transforms into any car

Postby CrispyRowe » Wed Sep 07, 2016 4:30 pm

Hate to be "that guy", but this cropped up a few months ago on Reddit. I, like you, saw it and thought it was a really cool idea, along with the vast majority of the initial commenters. Then all the VFX guys started commenting and were in agreement that it's essentially something that's been invented for a market that doesn't exist. Can't remember all the specifics, but a rough summary is that It's so cheap and simple these days to create objects, such as cars, completely in CGI that it's unlikely anyone, or at least many, would ever spend out on this. In the situations where a physical reference is required, they'll just use an actual car and reskin.

There were definitely more subtleties to the argument than I'm articulating but there was a definite consensus that this is a cool tech project, but will almost certainly not take off.
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Cpt.Issues
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Re: Meet the Blackbird, a rig that transforms into any car

Postby Cpt.Issues » Thu Sep 08, 2016 11:35 am

I think it's very clever but then in addition to your point above I was talking with Angus last night and he pointed out that for all the films he has worked on at least the car manufacturers have always given them cars for free to put in the film and also you can't use the blackbird in a scene where you need to crash the vehicles. He said for example the last film he worked on Lamborghini gave them 4 cars to use which all got smashed up during filming.

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