Todd Ruthven, AD, JWT Detroit, on automobile advertising

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CGI has definitely found its place in advertising but has not and WILL NOT replace actual photography. I believe that nothing can replace the spontaneity and “happy accidents” that can occur while actually shooting something.

[…] When you make something too perfect you run the risk of making it look fake. Using CGI requires the creative person to actually create flaws in the image. Therefore making it look believable.

via Greg Ceo Blog.

There Are 8 Comments On This Article.

  1. True words, I think it works well in the automobile industry as the CAD design data is used to develop the CGI images of the car making it more cost effective. It will never replace a true creative photographer, but I do feel the role of the photographer might change. I think photographers as well taking photos, might also become managers of the image making process, liasing with CGI teams to develop the image into what it is meant to be. I guess only time will tell.


  2. … or maybe not. People in the so called developed world are more and more interested in fakes than bothering with the reality.

  3. I think he’s way off.
    Aren’t photographed cars in ads already too processed?
    And we are already immune to fakery and overly perfect/retouched stuff in media. From plumped boobs and stretched faces to auto-tuned pop songs to CGI in every hollywood blockbuster… what makes auto pictures so special that people will reject it for being fake?

    I think people with the discriminating taste may not be charmed by it but they they’re a drop in the bucker anyway.

  4. Especially selecting and buying a car is a PURE emotional decision .. What differs men from the boys ?- it’s just the price of their toys

    1.) look at ‘vintage’ car ads (‘good old’ photography) … thereafter look on cgi car ads … and now, tell me which ones are the more emotional ones

    2.) doing cars in studios isn’t really a very challenging and creative thingo … not a very photographic process, imho

    3.) funny enough, you often you can see the same cgi-car-‘photograph’ running in numerous ads. In one ad the car-image is merged in a desert scene, the other ad shows it in snow and ice, etc, etc …
    Just like using a royalty free $ 5.- microstock pic as a base

    4.) most amusing: 4-wheelers running on desert roads, jumping around in mud and/or sand dunes … splashing mud and sand ..

    BUT the car is bright and shiny – right out of the (cgi-)showroom – not even the wheel’s surface shows a single pixel of dirt.
    Wow, THAT realistic …
    Mint condition … good runner … needs minor
    I guess every viewer must feel encouraged to immediately pick up the phone and call

    Who are all the ‘creatives’ involved in such a campaign ? Have they ever driven a car off road ? Do they own a driver license at all ? Do they think the people and buyers out there are all that stupid? .. not able to see ?

    You don’t believe ? Just check out some of the megabuck-campaigns of e.g. Landrover.
    Ok, there must be a reason why this British gem is now owned by Tata Motors, an Indian company.
    Or is the former British Empire just striking back ??? :-)

    5.) I especially love the combo of cgi and HDRI. You got both worst and overdone things of the photographic world in one lil pic :-)

    Ok, stopping talking nuts and jumping back in the driver’s seat of a ’35 Talbot Lago. Drive back in time when cars where designed as art objects.
    Just like to imagine how this ‘Art Deco’ car would look in cgi, maybe enhanced with some HDRI ? :-)
    Noooo, don’t worry …

    Have fun, boys …. hammer down, shifting gears and let’s spin the wheels …

    Cheers from Austria,

  5. I view cars as having personalities, and much like cats, they choose their owners. CGI does seem soulless in final rendering at times. Largely agreeing with Reinfried, though I would like to see him continue his post (after the phone call). ;)

    • Hi Gordon,

      there’s just one sentence that’s incomplete:
      “Mint condition … good runner … needs minor …” *phone ring

      Can’t complete it – I forgot what I liked to say :-)

      Just to make clear that I hadn’t a date with Mr. Bud Weiser and/or Mr. Jack Daniels
      (at least not at the time I typed in the post *hehe)

      Cheers from Austria,