2017 Lexus LC 500 Drives “Into the Light” – Making Pistons Dance on a Mountainside

By Steve & Tamami Laser

Projection mapping is a technical term that’s easy to understand. Picture yourself (pun intended) on the “Haunted Mansion” ride at Disneyland. Those taking busts in the graveyard scene that sing “Grim Grinning Ghosts” have been doing their thing since 1969 thanks to projection mapping.

LexLCmtn6The technology has evolved considerably since then, with artists now able to project multiple images onto huge objects – like a mountainside. Lexus turned to leading motion designer Edgar Davey and a team from projection mapping specialists QED Productions, led by Paul Whigfield, for ground-breaking projection mapping techniques in a new film.

In the same spirit of Lexus creative innovation that delivered the Origami-inspired IS sports sedan replica and the fully functioning ice wheels crafted for the NX crossover, the new LC 500 is celebrated in a film that pushes the boundaries of cinematographic techniques. The aim is to give viewers an immersive visual and aural introduction to the LC, before they actually experience the car in the metal.

Watch “Into the Light” in this video that showcases the new Lexus LC 500 as it accelerates on a twisting mountain road. As it passes, its engine note “shatters the rock face” to reveal a battery of pounding pistons and spinning gears. In another scene a face in the mountainside turns to watch the car speed by. (video: Lexus)

“It’s not usual to get a brief like this,” said Davey. “It was so ‘out-there’ that we were breaking new ground really. Projection mapping is quite a restrictive medium. You have your geometry, you have your camera angles, you have your light strength. It only works when everything is set correctly, otherwise the visual illusion will break.”

In this second video, Lexus takes us behind the scenes for “The making of Into the Light.” (video: Lexus)

“These are the brightest single phase power projectors in the world at the moment,” said Whigfield. “It would be easy to try to fake something like this but to do it for real is such an incredible challenge. We had to film this in only a matter of days in the middle of nowhere. We had to stitch multiple projectors together to create a canvas. Sometimes it was two, three, or even four for some of the bigger shots.”

LexLCmtn3The film was shot in a remote area of Spain’s Sierra Nevada mountain range. Davey produced a set of visuals that takes the viewer under the skin of the LC 500, evoking elements of its 467-bhp V8 engine and 10-speed transmission. He had to be sure each could be faithfully rendered when projected against the jagged mountainside – the film’s natural backdrop and the canvas for Davey’s artistry – requiring precise positioning of each camera and projector.

LexLCmtn5The filming required a team of 20 working long hours in the remote location. As well as the evocative projections, the film also focuses on some of the design and engineering features that define the new coupe, such its dynamic design, carbon fiber roof and retracting rear spoiler. Inside the car, craftsmanship detailing such as the stitching of the suede-effect Alcantara trim and the sculpted surface of the magnesium gear shift paddles, is contrasted with the high-tech look of the 3D instrumentation that greets the driver when the engine-start button is pressed.

LexLCmtn2Summing up the production, Davey said, “Nothing of this scale has been done before. And it was a challenge to even mentally think about it. But in the results, it happened like magic. Everyone did their part and it all came together. It worked.”

Lexus says the LC 500 is due to go on sale early next year. For more information visit Lexus UK

News source, photos and videos courtesy Lexus UK

Story © 2016 CarNichiWa.com