Limitless! A set designer’s CGI experience

When Houseof approached us to create CGI of their products we were delighted.

COVID-19 restrictions meant a photoshoot with a traditional set build wasn’t possible, but Houseof still had an imminent release of a new range of colourful designer lighting to promote.

The use of simple geometry to create beautiful CGI imagery of their products and the lifestyle scenes they design around them is something we have wanted to be involved in since we met. It’s always exciting to take a company through their first experience using CGI.

The ambitious Houseof a new lighting and homeware store only creates products that we want to fill our own homes with, stating:

Great lighting is about so much more than just illuminating a room. it should elevate a space, even during daylight hours.

Read the full Houseof story here

Houseof had used London-based designer Elle P.J. on their previous sets and we were excited to see what she had in store for the new products.

Working in collaboration with Elle P.J we set to work to bring her concept ideas to life in the 3D CGI space.

This was a first for Elle P.J, so we thought it would be fun to talk to her more about her CGI experience, here’s what she had to say:

1. After working with a CGI company for the first time on the Houseof project, what surprised you the most about the process?

The process was so detailed and exact.

Each element that was built was totally to scale, and totally in 3D, even if you didn’t actually see the whole set-piece.

For example, the backdrops were curved at the bottom, you would only see this if you looked to the side but the whole shape was inserted into the frame as it would be in real life,  which I wasn’t expecting.

2. How do you compare working within a virtual studio and a real-world studio?

In the real world studio, there is a lot riding on the days of the shoot. In this case, it would be seeing if the set pieces work together in the studio – all the separate elements coming together on the day. No real room for change or error!

But what was incredible with the virtual studio was that we could try compositions out,
and try different shaped set pieces,
and try different colours, all over the screen.

It was amazing to sample different ideas before settling on the best.

3. With the Covid-19 situation, can you see CGI becoming a key aspect of being able to produce your ideas and creations?

I think that there will be no taking away from the creative energy that is present on a real-life set, I think that the industry is quite old school and like it how it is.

However, the ease at which ideas can be made into reality with CGI feels exciting, immediate and super modern. Considering how quickly content is needed these days, I can definitely see it being more in the forefront.

4. CGI has lots of benefits on paper, with reduced overheads key to decision-makers. As someone tasked with developing ideas into reality, what benefits did you find?

As mentioned before, the concept of being able to try different colours, textures, positions was incredible.

Normally just moving one piece of the set could take 10 minutes, changing the lighting takes ages etc. So just being able to point and change something – then change it back was liberating and actually really satisfying.

Knowing that I had exercised my ideas to the full and deduced what looked right.

5. If you were starting a new CGI project, would you approach it differently having experienced the capabilities and the processes involved in creating a virtual project?

Yes, I would actually create something a lot more adventurous and creative.

On this project, I was literally translating a set idea that was meant for a studio into CGI.

Next time, knowing the limitless outcomes, I would go a bit more wild!

CGI Image of a Houseof Set Design with lighting products for its product launch
CGI Image of a Houseof Set Design with lighting products for its product launch

Love Houseof you can purchase directly from their website or via H&M Home

Want to know more about Elle P.J check out her Instagram pages. Love her style shop at Goods In

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