Volkswagen AG - New Beetle Cabrio Product Video




In 2003 VUCX produced a product video for the new VW Beetle Cabriolet. The new Beetle should combine the emotional content of the classic Beetle with modern Automotive techniques. The shooting on location in Portugal took place in September 2002 under the strictest secrecy. The studio shooting took place in Vienna and the Post-Production was executed at VUCX in Cologne. Some parts of the material were also used for a Music Video, initiated by the Volkswagen Sound Foundation.

Concept: VUCX CEO and Director Erçin Filizli was aware of the historical heritage. He wanted to create a film that would make the viewer transfer his emotional memories of the classic Beetle to the new Beetle.

Shooting: The film was shot on 35mm, which caused some limitations in the direct appraisal of the material and therefore a constant element of uncertainty.

To put the new Beetle Cabrio in the colour "Mellow yellow" in the limelight in front of the white background, Christoph Vitt from Miama was tasked with the shooting. Due to several reasons the team decided not to work with a Bluebox. The main reason was to do justice to the changing light conditions and to avoid uncontrollable reflections. Another reason was to preserve the depth effect of the white room.

Before the shooting started, drafts of the amorphous screens were modelized in XSI and were rendered photo-realistically. By means of a detailed shotlist of the motion-control-shooting and the exported records, scenes were used in XSI for animation and tracking of the virtual vehicle. Virtual lighting, shadows and reflections on the floor and the car were recreated photo-realistically with the help of XSI and Combustion.

Post-Production: During Post-Production in Cologne the continuous look of studio and outdoor shooting was of great importance. Volkswagen had provided VUCX with a virtual model of the new Beetle, which was then remodeled in XSI  to a cabriolet. This model was used to project exact reflections and shadows of the screens and it's content onto the surface of the vehicle. It was also helpful to conceal smaller body damages of the prototype and to change minor details of the production vehicle.

Masks to detach the vehicle from the background and multi-pass renderings from the 3D department were imported in After Effects. Elements like light, shadows and reflections were compounded in After Effects and Combustion. Combustion offers great tools for painting and cloning which were necessary to eliminate imperfections in the paint or film grain. In After Effects the easy to use Masking and Rotoscoping tools were a great help.

The screens which are located behind the vehicle are exactly adjusted as per the camera movement, and can also be seen through the windhsield. All reflections in the glass, in the rear mirror and the painting were recreated in painstaking detail.