Customer Success Story :: ArtefactoryLab, France
21 November 2011


Interview with Olivier Campagne,
CG Artist





Download PDF (English) version of the interview


"The beauty of this setup was that it was really fast to render in V-Ray!"


5:46 am from ArtefactoryLab.





Can you tell me a little background on ArtefactoryLab

ArtefactoryLab, previously named Artefactory, is a studio based in Paris, specializing in architectural imagery. For over a decade, we’ve been creating images and animations for international architectural studios such as Ateliers Jean Nouvel, Herzog et De Meuron, The Renzo Piano Building Workshop, OMA, and Frank Gehry.


Do you have an architectural background?

Yes, I graduated from architecture school in Nantes, France, and I’ve been working in 3D imagery ever since.





The film 5:46am is a very captivating piece, what inspired the concept?

The concept of the film began as a simple idea – What would Paris look like if it were 1 meter underwater?  But it’s meant as more of an abstract vision of a reflective surface.  For instance, it could have been chromium or mercury.  Rather than an accurate simulation, the main purpose of the film was to explore an aesthetic and poetic view of the architecture of Paris.

The emptiness of the scenes are inspired by Nicolas Moulin’s Vider Paris (Empty Paris), and the end of the film, where the water resembles a mirrored surface, is influenced by Michel Corajoud’s urban intervention in Bordeaux - Le Miroir d’eau (Water Mirror).


How many people were involved in the project?

The film is actually a personal artwork done with the help Vivien Balzi, an independent film editor we’ve been collaborating with on the Wally Hermès Yacht (WHY) animation, and Brice Tillet who composed the music for the piece.

When was the footage filmed?

The filming was shot in July 2010 in the very early morning.  The title of the film, 5:46am, actually corresponds to the time of the earliest sunrise in Paris for 2010.  Because we filmed so early in the morning, only a few runners and cars needed to be removed from the original footage.  All the shots were filmed on a tripod, and the final camera movements were later added in 3D.





How were the scenes constructed?

Most of the elements in the shot were created as low poly 3D models, and the items directly interacting with the water were created with more detail.  This ensured an accurate reflection on the CG water surface.  Some set extensions needed to be made to provide enough coverage in the water’s refraction.

Did you use any special shaders for the water material?

The water received a VRaySSS material, and the wind gusts were controlled by displacement maps and masks.

Did you use any special techniques to light and render the scene?

The set up was pretty simple and straightforward.  I applied a VRayLightMtl to all of the models and adjusted the environment map until it produced the look I was aiming for.  The beauty of this setup was that it was really fast to render in VRay!





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