Autonomy, MGX Studios in disguise to drive F1 virtual ad | Infrastructure | News | Rapid TV News
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To advertise the launch of the Istanbul Financial Center (IFC), Istanbul film production company Autonomy has partnered with Formula 1 on a commercial featuring virtual production by MGX Studios and powered by the disguise Extended Reality (xR) workflow.
Credit MGX Film 3
Holding 1.4 million square metres of office space, a shopping mall, conference and exhibition centre and a five-star hotel, the IFC is a founding partner of the Formula 1 Rolex Turkish Grand Prix 2021. The metaphor of the ad was of the IFC as a Formula 1 race car “driving forward the world of finance” provided a high-energy scenario for a commercial promoting its imminent opening. The commercial features extreme close-ups of a Formula 1 race car cockpit, complete with revving sound design, as the vehicle speeds through Istanbul and glimpses of the IFC are reflected on the driver’s helmet visor.

With both car and driver seen in extreme close-ups, Autonomy was eager to shoot the commercial using virtual production. The production company approached Turkey’s first virtual production facility, MGX Studios, to simulate the Formula 1 vehicle and capture the beauty and modernity of the IFC site.

“Together with the Autonomy team we wanted to create a production that looked great quickly, using all the amazing possibilities provided by virtual production technology and disguise. The xR features provided by disguise and the innovation and creativity enabled by disguise and virtual production were key to delivering a great project,” revealed MGX Studios virtual production operations coordinator Mete Mümtaz.

“The main goal was to achieve perfect reflections and background lighting – basically, that's why Autonomy decided to shoot the commercial in our studio instead of on a greenscreen stage. It was much easier and quicker to create exactly what they wanted using virtual production. The whole LED setup, consisting of LED side panels, a back wall and ceiling, allowed us to capture immersive reflections with every single shot.

The commercial marked MGX Studios’ first advertising project with hybrid technologies, including static images, video and Unreal Engine scenes. In order to achieve this, MGX Studios did intensive experimentation in pre-production. The virtual production shoot was supported by Unilumin Upad III LED walls, three Brompton Tessera SX40 LED processors, a Mo-Sys camera tracking system, Unreal Engine, and three disguise vx 2s and one vx 1.

“While managing the content, the freedom and comfort of using static images, video and RenderStream, if we wished, gave us the confidence to overcome any issues we encountered,” added Mümtaz. “The xR capabilities provided by disguise and the extensive capabilities of our studio allowed us to simultaneously manipulate light, content, reflections and motion. Being able to project the images we wanted onto an F1 car with reflective surfaces in an organic way and being able to drive that F1 car virtually through the magnificent streets of Istanbul was a great experience for us and the client brands.”