Visualizing Place-based Screen Marketplaces
October 4, 2012

Visualizing Place-based Screen Marketplaces

SAN FRANCISCO, MOSCOW and BERLIN —The principals of the next-generation creative studio Transparent House (TH) have collaborated with RMG Networks (RMG), a leading travel media company, on a unique project that takes brand messages to new heights, thanks to the use of CGI and photography.

RMG operates and powers digital media networks within the air travel industry. Across more than 2,000 aircraft and 120,000 place-based screens, the company reaches more than 35 million monthly viewers. The company also provides technology and professional services for global companies looking to enter the digital signage market, and works with leading global advertising agencies and top U.S. advertisers in industries that include consumer goods, auto, finance and technology.

For this project, the company's executives commissioned TH to produce a brand film presenting a high-tech virtual world that would allow RMG's business partners to visualize how custom messaging appears across the company's key networks. Envisioned as sales tool that RMG would be able to customize, the project faced many constraints, including time, as well as potentially costly production involving filming in an airplane and an airport lounge.

"We wanted something that would allow us to really customize our sales presentation, and really give people a sense of what these exciting environments are all about," said Chuck Strottman, RMG's VP of marketing.

"Our goal is making 3D the spectacular core of a brand's marketing campaigns, and this project was a very exciting opportunity for us to show RMG and its partners a lot of these capabilities in a very short amount of time," said TH Principal and Co-founder Denis Krylov.

The standard TH project workflow involves storyboarding, creating animatics, and handling final rendering. Using its main CG tools—Autodesk’s 3ds Max and Adobe’s Photoshop and After Effects--artists in TH's San Francisco studio created quick mockups for the storyboard, then began modeling full industrial environments in 3ds Max. As part of its hyper-real style, TH also uses live-action photographic elements within its projects to heighten realism. 

For this project, TH arranged a one-day greenscreen photo shoot within its affiliated, full-service video and photo studio, Transparent. Using the Canon 5D Mark III, TH's principals photographed male and female models in business attire and in various poses and lighting setups. These images were then artfully placed and composited into the CG environments of the animatics and the final content.

"We are especially proud of finding creative solutions for special projects like this," added TH principal and strategist Krista Mollion. "For example, our senior motion designer came up with the logo animation for RMG Networks which has gotten a lot of great feedback from our clients. It was his own artistic interpretation, and we feel it adds a lot of value to the presentation."

"We had never really considered computer graphics before as a solution, but working with Transparent House was great, and this video is now among the most valuable marketing pieces we have," concluded Strottman. "It's versatile, the quality is excellent, and it does an amazing job showcasing our media assets."

The finished RMG Networks brand film can now be seen at