Signia Digital develops over 30 images and videos for Kuhn
Kuhn is a world leader in the agricultural machinery industry. It has factories in three continents and distribution centers and importers in more than 100 countries. The company has a broad portfolio of equipment, operating strongly in the spraying, planting, animal feed, and fertilizer distribution markets.
In 2019 they began the process of updating the websites of all its units around the world. Since taking pictures of the various agricultural machines to upload on their pages is a more time-consuming, labor-intensive, and costly process, Kuhn’s Brazilian unit saw Signia Digital as a great partner to face this challenge. Signia’s solution: produce over 30 images and videos of Kuhn’s machines using CGI.
But before choosing Signia as their supplier, Kuhn’s headquarters in France had to approve the initiative. To do that Kuhn Brazil sent the french headquarters photorealistic images Signia had produced for another client, and according to Sergio Silva, the images were so realistic that the headquarters didn’t realize it was done using CGI (and not traditional photography) until the end of the project.
This proves the power of CGI (Computer-Generated Imagery) produced by Signia. In this project case, we share a little of the process, which also included video production.
In all Signia Digital developed about 35 images that basically comprised the entire line of Kuhn products manufactured in Brazil. They were delivered in high resolution, which means they can be used not only on the websites but on printed materials, banners, billboards, social media, etc.
To produce the material, Signia’s team maintained frequent contact with Kuhn’s marketing manager and their engineering team. This contact was fundamental to the high-quality and final result since each piece of machinery had its own particularities.
Diego Röpke, one of Signia’s 3D artists, was responsible for producing the images and one of the videos. He says that during the creation process some of Kuhn’s machines were still undergoing some modifications and upgrades by engineers.
Something worth mentioning is that if the images were produced using traditional photography, the project would have to be stopped until the machines were 100% finished. Since Signia produces CGI images, the fact that Kuhn’s engineers were still making changes to some of the machinery at the same time that Signia was producing the materials, this did not prevent the work moving ahead.
That’s because one of the advantages of CGI is precisely the fact that your product doesn’t have to be 100% finished in order for marketing assets – such as images, videos, virtual reality – to be created.
Still, on the development of materials, Marcus Vinícius, Signia’s art and project director, says that the technical aspects of each machinery were divided within different departments within Kuhn. To work around this, one of Signia’s engineers was sent to the company to gather all of the technical files. Then, these files were brought to Signia so that the professionals could start production. This whole process was done by signing a confidentiality agreement between the companies.
As to the creative process itself, Marcus details that preview images were first developed along with photo references that Kuhn took and sent to Signia.
For this project, two videos were also produced. In order for Signia’s 3D artists to understand exactly how the machines worked, Kuhn sent videos showing the equipment in operation in a real environment. The company guided us on the benefits they would like to highlight.
“They provided us with the exact features they wanted to highlight. We were able to take advantage of a technical part that we had received to generate images”, says Diego, who adds: “we took the artistic side of camera ride and together with the technical part we made the videos to present a machine with high performance and large size”.
The videos also feature the machine’s overall operation including scenes showing the internal parts of the equipment.
Marcus points out that the videos sent by Kuhn, showing how the machine behaves in different situations, were essential for producing the material true to reality. “We had a very clear direction about where we should be,” he says.
The main challenge, according to Diego, was the high complexity of the images, because to portray the devices realistically Signia had to truly understand the specific technical details of the machinery (such as arm positioning and screw color, for example).
To overcome these challenges, Diego comments that the availability of Kuhn’s engineering team was critical. “When we create 3D videos and images, we need to know exactly the color, position, scale of the model, and many other details. Whenever we have direct contact with the product’s engineers, which is what happened in this project, we can remain 100% true to reality.”
Specifically, regarding the challenges of the video, Marcus recalls that one difficulty faced was in the representation of hay being ground by the machine. In some scenes of the video, particles were used, but in others, Signia had to find another solution.
In Marcus’ words: “we used different techniques to be able to meet the deadline while also keeping the highest visual quality available.”
In all, the images took nine months to complete due to the high complexity and the need to accurately understand the details of each machine. Of the two videos, one took 20 days, and the other about 10.
This was the first project Signia digital produced for Kuhn, and others are currently in the works, so stay tuned!