In summary…

3D Visualisation – stills and animation
Retouching and compositing
2D graphics and video post

Vantage Graphics is a studio in Royal Leamington Spa with over twenty five years experience delivering 3D visualisation and CG imagery to corporate, publishing and agency clients – on brief, on budget, on time. We create images that help you communicate, visualise, illustrate, and inform. Our clients value a high standard of work and service.

Want to talk about the possibilities? We’re happy to chat! Simply email us, use the contact page, or call us on 01926 614211 as you prefer. Let’s talk and see how we can help.

Our focus

Our work is focused on 3D CGI visualisation and digital compositing, but is supported with high level skills in digital retouching, 2D graphics, and video post production. We’re happy to serve clients in a wide range of areas, but many live in the B2B sector. Our work is often product or technology oriented, information centric, and calls for realism, precision, and attention to detail. We are always happy to research and investigate to refine concepts and clarify ideas.

Our approach

We’re friendly and easy to work with. Ultimately we’re here to try and make your job easier. We take direction graciously. We understand that things sometimes change at the last minute. We smile, we’re friendly and we drink good coffee. That always helps.

We’re professional. We turn up when promised, offer only what we can deliver, deliver what we agree, and generally perform like you’d hope when someone uses the term ‘professional’.

We value integrity and honesty. Let’s say something went wrong on a job (hey, it’s the real world : ). What would we do? There’d be nothing sneaky or underhand. We’d fess up and fix it – pronto.

3D visualisation – stills and animation

What is 3D CGI visualisation?

3D visualisation, 3D rendering, CG, or CGI (Computer Generated Imagery)… it’s confusing, but these all basically mean the same thing. That is: creating images by building digital models, applying materials, building and lighting scenes, and rendering the assembly to generate the final image. You might think of it as ‘synthetic photography’. Of course you can also add movement and output multiple images to generate an animation. As you might expect, that’s a very brief summary of a fairly involved process. You can learn more in the ‘3D CGI process’ section below.

What are the benefits?

If you think of 3D CGI as ‘synthetic photography’, why not just take a photograph? Well CGI can deliver so much more. You can ‘photograph’ products that don’t exist. You can ‘photograph’ where photography would be impossible, or impossibly expensive. You can show your product in any environment, lighting, state or action. You can explore unlimited materials and product variations. You can animate products and show their function. You can dismantle, assemble, hide and reveal. You can picture your imagination. You can make the impossible image possible.

Product and concept visualisation

Imagery, either stills or animation, of your product. Perhaps it isn’t manufactured yet. Perhaps photography or videography simply isn’t possible,  or would be prohibitively expensive. Maybe you want a ‘perfect’ visual with no photographic flaws, or an impossible fly-around…
Perhaps you need an ‘artists concept’ of a proposed idea or future product? We can work with you to explore, refine and visualise that too.

Photographic and video composites

Do you need to see your product or concept ‘in-situ’, either still or animated? A photographic or video composite is what you need. We can composite your 3D product renders against real world photography or videography, matching materials, lighting, perspective and camera set up, to make it look like it was really there. We can source photographic or video backgrounds for you, work with imagery you supply, or even shoot / commission work specifically if needed.

Ghosted, exploded and cut-away imagery

The solution when you need to show the inside as well as the outside. Ghosting offers a semi-transparent outside that enables you to see the inside. Exploded views show your product with parts disassembled and separated, and cut-aways provide a hard edged removal of the outside surfaces to reveal the inner workings – and all without having to destroy your product : ) And, of course all of these techniques can be animated in various ways for a dramatic reveal.

Process visualisation and infographics

Sometimes you need to visualise the process not the product. Or communicate the idea, or illustrate the options. 3D CG can be a handy tool for visualising that too. Dynamic animation can be a powerful way to take your prospects and customers on a journey through your world – however it’s constructed. We’ll work with you to define the key elements to be communicated and to develop the best way to illustrate your process.

Presentation and motion graphics

Subtle or dramatic, 3D motion graphics are a great way to catch the viewers eye and get their attention. Make the static dynamic, the slow fast, the small big. Transport your viewers to a new world. Surround them with motion and colour. Speed them forward in time. Show them the invisible. Or just ask for something amazing to look at. When you need to catch the attention 3D can offer opportunity only limited by your imagination.

3D CGI process diagram

Our 3D CGI Process

Your brief

Understanding your requirement is the critical first step. We’ll listen carefully, discuss the options within your timescale and budget, and guide you through the key decisions.

Research

There may be things we need to know that we don’t. Now is the time to find out.

Layout and storyboard development

An agreed plan for the images to be created, so we both know what we’re aiming for.

Geometry modelling

Building the 3D model, or models, which will form the foundation of the image. They may be built from scratch, or be based on models you supply. Secondary models may be sourced or modified from stock.

Textures and materials

Transforming the model from ‘digital clay’ to a visual reality depends on the development of high quality textures and surface materials. Textures might be procedurally generated, or hand crafted in Photoshop, and are typically mapped to the geometry using a ‘UV co-ordinate’ system.

Rigging, animation and simulation

If your model needs animating it will require a rig – a structure or skeleton that forms the internal framework for the visible geometry, and enables the animator to move the components in the same way they work in reality. This is also the stage where simulations are created for particle, fluid and pyro effects if required.

Scene assembly and lighting

Just as in conventional photography, setting the scene and lighting is critical to the success of the finished image. Happily 3D offers an almost unlimited range of lights, cameras and associated settings.

Rendering

Applying computer power to raytrace the light values through the models, materials, lighting, animation and camera we’ve built – generating the rendered image from all our work so far.

Compositing and post production

3D renders are the ‘raw material’ for the compositor. At this stage the rendered images are given layer, color and other adjustments, and seamlessly combined with background imagery if required, to build the final highest quality output.

Delivery

Exporting files and animation in the formats and specifications to meet your brief.

Your questions answered

I wish we could answer that question simply and directly, but we can’t. A simple photo retouch might take just an hour or two. A basic 3D still image project might take a couple of days. A complex visualisation involving detailed model building and animation could take multiple weeks.

To give you a time and cost on your specific project please call or email. Once we have an outline of your requirement we’ll be able to give you a reasonable indication – typically within 24 hrs. There’s no cost or obligation to do that. We’re helpful, friendly, and we won’t be hassling you with endless follow up calls or emails.

One thing we would ask:

If you have a project deadline, please call us early. While we are quite willing to look at jobs under a tight schedule, that situation nearly always makes the job more expensive than it needs to be.

The more information you can supply the better. Sketches, text, photos, technical drawings, physical models, colour and material specifications, moodboards, syleframes… are all useful and welcome. On the other hand, if the nature of the job requires us to investigate, we are happy to do so. We have plenty of experience gathering publicly available info on any particular topic.

Having access to CAD data — or an appropriate subset of it, is ideal, as this will give us a 100% accurate base to work from, as well as being generally more cost effective. However, we understand that this isn’t always possible due to security and intellectual property considerations. (We are of course open to Non Disclosure Agreements.)

There are alternatives: We can model based on whatever information you can make available, and complete the model with our own estimations for less critical areas. We can also work from physical product examples, or scale models; or visit to gather in-situ reference photography and measurements.

See: Firestreak and Skyflash and Żubr concept as two examples of modelling work with no CAD and very limited information.

We can work with most common 3D interchange file formats – both NURBS and polygon based, such as: STEP, SAT, OBJ, FBX, STL and ABC (Alembic) amongst others. We can also handle 2D drawings in vector / spline formats such as AI, EPS, PDF and DWG.

NURBS / spline based data is preferred as this gives us the most flexibility in conversion to the polygon based models required for visualisation software.

Want to talk about the possibilities? We’re happy to chat! Simply email us, use the contact page, or call us on 01926 614211 as you prefer. Let’s talk and see how we can help.