Michelin 3D Film for the 24 Hours of Le Mans Centenary

A film blending 3D imagery and archival footage, created using Unreal Engine 5

“MICHELIN’S INNOVATIONS THROUGHOUT THE HISTORY OF THE 24 HOURS OF LE MANS” Michelin aimed to narrate, in an immersive manner, the 100 years of tire innovations through the history of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. These innovations, which were introduced, tested, or validated in racing, later revolutionized the world of mobility for all. Beyond its innovations, the key takeaway for the audience was meant to be the “why” behind Michelin’s endeavors.”

Image issue du film 3D réalisée pour Michelin. Elle illustre un pneu michelin qui prend la parole lors des 24h du Mans.

The Objectives of this 3D Film and Archive Footage for Michelin

Over the years, Michelin has fully capitalized on the 24 Hours of Le Mans to enhance its reputation and showcase its ability to manufacture long-lasting and high-performing tires. After all, an object that endures over time is inherently a durable object.

Competition serves as a powerful catalyst for innovations, particularly the 24 Hours of Le Mans, with its extreme conditions (open road, uneven surfaces, temperature variations, weather changes, night driving, and more).

Over more than 100 years of history, Michelin has accumulated an unparalleled number of trophies across all competitions.

However, today the nature of the race has changed, and beyond mere victories, Michelin’s goal is to continue improving tire performance while also addressing urgent environmental concerns.

Due to its extreme testing conditions, through unique and incredibly demanding tire challenges, competition enables Michelin to innovate and experiment at a rapid pace. Subsequently, the company learns and shares its knowledge with its entire teams to introduce new solutions to the market, fostering more sustainable and accessible mobility for all.

This entire message is conveyed through the created video.

Image issue du film 3D réalisée pour Michelin. Elle illustre des anciennes voitures de course qui portent les pneus michelin lors des 24h du Mans.

The Challenges of Producing this 3D Film

  • A significant time constraint – just a month and a half to accomplish everything!
  • A substantial amount of archival footage to locate and curate.
  • Striking the right mix between the pace of the race and the rhythm of the past, achieving the perfect balance between documentary and action (editing between archival and CGI images), and finding the right balance in sound design.
  • Discovering the appropriate settings to replicate the long-exposure effect of headlight beams in Unreal Engine.
Image issue du film 3D réalisée pour Michelin. Elle illustre un pneu usé de michelin lors des 24h du Mans.
Image réalisée en 3D sous Unreal Engine pour Michelin lors des 24h du mans par SoWhen?
Image issue du film 3D réalisée pour Michelin. Elle illustre un pneu michelin qui contient des images des anciennes courses des 24h du Mans.

Our Mission for Creating this Film Combining 3D and Archive Footage

From concept to film delivery

Our team began by seeking a distinctive and original approach that would immerse the audience in Michelin’s history during the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

We needed to narrate the past while establishing a connection with the present.

The film needed to remain modern, while sharing archival footage from the early races to those of recent years.

The tire becomes the protagonist of this film. It speaks and explains its history, changes, and destiny.

We are right at the heart of the action, alongside Michelin.

After recreating parts of the race tracks, the winning car from last year, and Michelin’s Vision concept tires in 3D under Unreal Engine, our team was able to efficiently create this film through direct iterations within the animated real-time scene.

Indeed, our director Olivier Sadock, in collaboration with the Michelin teams, was able to visualize the desired final image by live-directing scenes in the virtual environment, bypassing intermediate rendering steps. The 3D images are thus the raw outputs from Unreal Engine 5; in virtual production,Virtual studio we call this the ‘final pixel.’

This is the magic of shooting in a real-time environment.

Discover the interview with our director, Olivier Sadock



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