louis vuitton - postcards from the future

Louis Vuitton commissioned Es Devlin to create a window display for their 12 global flagship stores. Being LV, this was no simple window display.

For their previous collection, they had used work by Cinema 4D megastar Beeple (Mike Winklemann) printed onto garments. For this project, Mike was called in to design fantasy sci-fi versions of Hong Kong, London, Paris, LA, Beijing, that would loop behind a mannequin dressed in Louis Vuitton garms.

There were 12 city scenes, and because the time of day in the real world outside the window had to reflect the time of day in the sci-fi CG city, each city had a morning, dusk/dawn and night version, which the display would cycle to reflect the actual time of day.

In front of this stood a bust (or dressed mannequin) with UV-mapped projections of the three model's faces, X-Particles transitions, world maps of their birthplaces, and a reflection of the backdrop behind. It was ambitious.



Initially my role in all this was to retopologise the mannequin bust in 3D with a nice UV map so that I could run particle simulations in X-Particles up and down the surface of the model, network lines and creeping vines covering and uncovering the model's face. I also used map data from Open Street maps in 8K resolution to reflect the birthplaces of the models whose faces were being remapped onto the mannequin. We had a chrome-look mannequin, made by sticking a Baking camera in Octane in place of the scene camera, and saving in 32-bit linear EXR - a moving HDRi probe - which produced a high-res animated UV texture that would perfectly fit, and slide over, the real-life mannequin. It was a weird and wonderful project.




The biggest contribution I made to the project wasn't just UV mapped animations, however. Beeple's scenes were 6000 frames each. 12 city scenes at 6000 frames, around 3000 pixels high, and with 3 iterations of each for morning, dusk and night. That meant rendering around 90 minutes of high-res, fully looping Beeple content within 6 weeks. I think that's around the time I started getting heart palpitations. With the help of Remote Desktop Connection, a new 4xRTX 2080ti beast render station built by Sebastian Michalski, plus the use of 2 11x1080ti monster workstations Sebastian also built (thanks Stefan!) - we managed to render a staggering 21,000 frames of 3k Octane video for the backdrops. I didn't sleep much for 6 weeks - unless I had my laptop running TeamViewer and RDC open at all times. I learnt a TON about optimising Octane for big deliveries, and even more about how to figure out Mike Winklemann's C4D project files...



Louis Vuitton - Postcards From The Future

Creative Direction: Nicolas Ghesquière and Es Devlin
Window design: es devlin
Window design associate: machiko weston
LED Video Design: Mike “Beeple” Winkelmann

Projection Video Design: Luke Halls Studio
Associate Video Designer: Charli Davis
3D Generalists: Ed Brown, Jon Botros

Video integration & programming: Julien Colet @ IMAGE VIDEO SERVICES


© Edmund Brown 2019

© Edmund Brown 2019