Harley-Davidson

Digital Feet Case Study

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Project Description

H-D has required us to clear numerous production hurdles in order build a CG pipeline for a "major American manufacturer". Below is an overview of some of solutions I've helped to develop over the course of 6 years. From 2014 to 2020 I put a significant amount of effort into developing workflows, the CG pipeline, hundreds of software tools and scripts, asset management tools, standardized material libraries, render workflows, cloud rendering, and researching new tools and technologies capable of meeting the needs of Harley-Davidson.

Roles & Responsibilities

Technology & Innovation Lead

Research & Development

Pipeline & Software Development

Location/Environment Capture

Asset Management

Material Library Creation

3D Artist

Compositing

Digital Fleet

While at Clutch we were able to build a fleet of over 50 CG vehicles. Every year we were responsible for delivering renders, at a high resolution, in every paint and pin combination as well as special configurations for global markets. Often, delivering these renders would mean producing a photo-real render of a bike that wouldn't physically exist for months. This required close collaboration with styling, engineering, and marketing teams deliver images faithful to the eventual real vehicle.

Component Renderings

At Clutch we were able to build and maintain a fleet of over 50 CG vehicles. Every year we were responsible for delivering renders, at a high resolution, in every paint and pin combination as well as special configurations for global markets. Often, delivering these renders would mean producing a a photo-real render of a bike that wouldn't physically exist for months. This required close collaboration with styling, engineering, and marketing teams deliver images faithful to the eventual real vehicle. Having full access to a vehicle's CAD and moving every component along allowed us to peal away a bike to reveal the inner workings of the vehicle. This allowed us to talk about and demonstrate the functionality and systems of a vehicle not just swapping parts and changing paints.

Photo-Realism

At Clutch we were able to build and maintain a fleet of over 50 CG vehicles. Every year we were responsible for delivering renders, at a high resolution, in every paint and pin combination as well as special configurations for global markets. Often, delivering these renders would mean producing a a photo-real render of a bike that wouldn't physically exist for months. This required close collaboration with styling, engineering, and marketing teams deliver images faithful to the eventual real vehicle. To remain as efficient as possible and allow better feedback while doing look dev we began to migrate our fleet to new 3D software packages and render software. A major focus of mine in this migration process was to produce materials that were physically accurate and behaved well under any lighting condition. Part of what allowed us test performance under various lighting conditions was to build a look dev scene and pipeline that included a wide range of lighting scenarios and surfaces to test our materials against.

Interactive Web - 360

The 360's were one of our most consumer facing projects and were consistently one of H-D's most visited sections on the website for many years. Our Photo-real rendering combined with our knowledge of location capture gave Harley-Davidson the ability to set the tone for each vehicle while giving the consumer a true sense of its components, paints, and wheels. The user could control 30 different angles to view the vehicle from walking around the bike to getting on the and looking down at the infotainment system / gauge clusters. These 360's were produced for every vehicle every year up until 2019.

Motion & Animation

We maintained the digital fleet down to every internal component. When presented with the opportunity to tell a story of the customization the new Milwaukee-Eight engine we were able to easily swap components while avoiding the lengthy process of revisiting CAD and processing new assets.

Milwaukee Eight 9.12.16
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Video Integration & VFX

A benefit of maintaining complete digital fleet is the expense and difficulty in acquiring a physical bike for a shoot or building an elaborate digital set may not be required. Any configuration of the fleet could be rendered and composited into a still or video backplate.