The Inception Car, Peugeot’s star vehicle, presented at CES 2023 in Las Vegas

Work January 18, 2023

Presented at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the Peugeot inception car made a big impact by reinventing living space with the I-Cockpit in a new generation 100% electric vehicle.

Surrounded by a huge glass window covering the roof and windscreen, Peugeot offers its passengers a rethought driving experience. Futuristic in every way, this technological jewel required a hefty amount of graphic and technical research. Our artists from The Mill Paris were called in for their CG expertise and worked hand in hand with the designers from Stellantis. Much more than an advertisement, this film is a manifesto that introduces the path that Peugeot wants to follow.

“The inCeption Car is a special vehicle which reinvent the interior space by maximising the possibilities offered by electrification. With its I-Cockpit and autonomous driving mode, the driving experience is completely changed. This film was a first in my career because the vehicle presented was at the concept stage, meaning that the manufacturer was developing it and using our CG expertise to show it off in a cinematic way.
We went to meet the Stellantis team in Velizy, to gather crucial information on textures and on the graphic charter to be respected.
Although we are used to car charters and making vehicles from scratch, this time it was more challenging because the vehicle was changing as the concept car progressed. The designers defined the vehicle's entire charter and graphic universe in parallel with the CG work done at The Mill Paris. In addition to the technical components of the car, it was crucial to get to grips with the textures and the way they reflected the light. The lighting method was very important for the brand, which wanted a low-angled backlight and not a zenithal lighting (from above) as we are used to do in automotive ads. For the environment, there was a lot of artistic research to find the right universe. Peugeot wanted a pure environment in order to concentrate the viewer's attention on the vehicle lines. We had to be very careful about the camera axes so that the details, colours, reflections and other features were presented at their best light. We made several 3D previews with Maya to facilitate discussions with the client and of course adapt our renderings and staging according to their feedback.
It was a very complete and challenging project from a technical point of view. I had the opportunity to work on all parts of the project from the concept to the finalization of the images, requiring me to use my full range of skills: VFX/CG supervision, Shading, Lighting and Art Direction. ”
Mickaël Girod, VFX Supervisor
“Through this film, Peugeot wants to convey the spirit of innovation that drives them and show that they are ready for a new era of 100% electric sustainable mobility. This vehicle is a feat of design and technology (especially full autonomous driving), and we had to highlight all its features in a 50-second film.
We were involved from the beginning of the project to support the brand, its manufacturer, the agency and the production. We went to the manufacturer campus to meet their team and also to understand how the car worked.
Between the start of production and its completion, the vehicle evolved with new features and technical components, which we of course had to copy from on our 3D model of the car. We worked with a small, flexible team that followed the project from the beginning to the end, allowing us to regularly release updates to our plans and 3D models as the manufacturer provided us with new information. As the goal was to present the car at the Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas, this advert could be seen as an exhibition or demonstration film. As a result, Peugeot wanted a clean set to highlight the concept car. The final choice was a light blue sky, a white dirt floor with a few mountains to add relief and to show the size of the vehicle.
This new collaboration between Peugeot and The Mill Paris allowed me to work on a concept car model rather than a traditional vehicle ad. As a VFX producer, managing the relationship with the client was quite different as we were conversing with the agency, the director, the production but also and above all with the car manufacturer who was our major source of information. It was a rewarding experience working with a team of skilled and willing artists to complete this challenging production.”
Sébastien Noyon, VFX Producer

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Credits

Agency
Proximity (TBWA):
Production
Diplomats:
Director
Gerardo del Hierro (Collectif les Manson):
Post production
The Mill Paris:
Executive Producer: Fabrice Damolini
VFX Producer: Sébastien Noyon
VFX & CG Supervisor: Mickael Girod
Supervision Shoot: Alban Lelièvre
Grading: Mathieu Caplane
Concept Art/ Environment: Nathan Lucas, Fabien Barrau
Modeling/Shading: Alex Corcoy
Matte Painting: Benjamin Bardou
Rigging: Marine Sisnaki
Previz/Animation: Guillaume Poueymarie, Ferdinand Boutard, Alban Lelièvre, Alex Sauthier
FX: Thomas Arsene
Lighting: Adrien Borzakian, Lucas Bachelet, Yohan Grau, François-Xavier Gonnet
Motion: Alexandre Tarquini
Compositing: Laurent Launes, Randy Gudin, Arthur Sayanoff
Flame: Stéphane Pivron