Commercial photographer Geoff Ang was approached by one of the top CGI companies in Singapore “CUM Creative” to create an entire series of images for Razer’s newest line of gaming headphones.
It was an exciting brief with very clear instructions from the creatives on the type of weapons and poses needed. His job was to realize those actions and poses and make it work with the CGI elements that will happen later in post.
He created a lighting style that looks cinematic and works well against a dark background, and also created custom rigs with small flashes on them to motivate the light that would eventually come from the CGI elements, as he needed that intimacy of the light to react on them for that realism! The studio itself was a fairly tight space but as it was an etched out shoot, the background did not matter too much and he was able to make it work.
- x2 Profoto D2
- x2 Profoto B1X
- x2 Profoto A1
- Black/White Boards
- 5" Profoto Octa Softbox
- x2 Profoto Softbox 3x3
The whole setup was lit with Profoto lights. He had two B1X on left in a clamshell for a soft edge light, one D2 with a 5 Octa on the right for edge light and one D2 on a standard reflector bounced into a low ceiling to act as a large softbox for hair light. Additionally to those lights, he also used two A1s with coloured gels on various contraptions to help motivate the light coming from the weapons. Lastly, he added a couple of positive and negative bounce boards used to create contrast and fill.
When Ang first received the brief and visuals, he started to plan his lighting and create the mock weapons. He needed light sources that were versatile enough to allow him to position them in a way that portrayed the glow of the weapons realistically. This was imperative in order to give the CGI artist enough information to work on the final image.
According to Ang said, "The Profoto A1 was crucial in allowing me to place them in the hands of the talents. It’s small size, the quality of light from it's small form factor and it's ability to work seamlessly with the bigger Profoto heads just made it so effortless for me!". As Ang works entirely in the Profoto eco-system, he was able to work from the smallest heads (A1) to the biggest flash heads (Pro10 with Proheads) seamlessly and with the same quality of light and temperature which made his work as a photographer that much easier.
All the lights were used on the freeze mode and fast recycle to ensure sharpness with all the fast motion the talents had to do and the high burst rate Ang shot with. He shot a variety of images with different models and poses and depending on where the character's facing, lights were dimmed and powered up to be main or fill sources. The images were also done on a neutral grey background to allow for easy etching and also to allow for some light bounce back to the talents.
All in all, Ang was able to use the tight space to his advantage, using the surrounding ceiling and walls as soft bounce to wrap around the talents in a more intimate way. He mentions that it was only possible due to the sutdio only having white or grey walls, therefore not needing to worry about any colour cast. With negative fill positioning, he was able to create a fantastic base image for the CGI artist to take it further.
Creative Agency and CGI: CUM Creative
Creative Director: Tan Wen Hao
Photographer: Geoff Ang
Images used with permission of Geoff Ang