Late 2017, I had the honor of aiding Peloton in a successful product unveiling at CES 2018. I provided Peloton with high-resolution product renderings using KeyShot before the treadmill was ready to ship. The project came together during a very busy time of year and on short notice, but was a success for everyone involved. Here’s how it went down.
Peloton provided me with a CAD (digital 3D) model of the treadmill and exercise accessories as well as reference photos from the photographer. I would use KeyShot to build the scene and create the final renderings. The first task was to set up a KeyShot file that matched the studio lighting in the reference photos.
Matching studio lighting can be tricky because a photographer can adjust the lights between each shot. I had to draw upon my own photography experience to reverse-engineer each light, its placement, size, brightness and color to make the lighting match. And if that wasn’t enough, it varied shot-to-shot, which meant I needed to adjust the setup for each image.
Since the talent would be composited into the renderings to produce the final images, I needed to hand off a file to make the retouchers’ job as easy as possible. I chose to create 16-bit layered PSDs (Photoshop Document) with the crucial lighting and shadow passes and separate backgrounds for maximum flexibility.
It turns out this approach worked quite well and allowed the retouchers to work quickly to complete the images.
The retouchers took my layered PSD files and combined them with the photos of the talent to create final images. This process is called compositing. It’s often done to create images that can’t be created with a single photo or exposure. The final composites were created by a couple of artists at Urban Studio NYC. They were flexible, easy to communicate with and did a nice job on the final images.
The unveiling of the Peloton Tread at CES 2018 in Las Vegas made quite a splash. It was exciting seeing the product covered on various news sites such as Men’s Health, Forbes, USA Today, Wall Street Journal and many more. The handful of images I helped create were used to build buzz and excitement by showing exactly what the Peloton Tread would look like.
One of the benefits of using renderings for final product shots is that photo-realistic images of the product can be created long before the final product has shipped or even before prototypes are complete. In this case, the renderings enabled Peloton to have a successful product launch prior to the product being ready to ship.
I’m both thankful for and proud of the outcome of this project.
Photography & 3D Models: Peloton
Retouching & Compositing: Urban Studio NYC
Light, Materials & Rendering: Will Gibbons Design
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