Futurist TWA Flight Center reborn in Happy Finish CGI

TWA terminal exterior

High-end London retouch and CGI collective Happy Finish has recreated the TWA Flight Center in News York in CGI so it can be used as a unique, freely accessible and photorealistic shoot location. The collaboration with award winning photographer Benedict Redgrove saw Saarinen’s futurist thin-shell structure digitally rebuilt as a photorealistic environment in all the glory of its 1960s heyday.

TWA terminal interior

The iconic terminal, part of JKF International Airport, has been out of use with public access denied since 2001 and development has profoundly altered the original clear-cut design and open spaces. Matt Painter, CGI artist at Happy Finish, was able to offer long-term client Redgrove the stylish environment in which to shoot his models using locations and angles that are obscured or no longer exist in the terminal building as it stands today.

Originally, the terminal, numbered Terminal 5 at JFK, housed spacious halls and open spaces under its sweeping curved roof, which produced an exceptional sentiment of exhilaration to its top class air travel clientele. Through development in and around the terminal, notably the ‘modernisation’ of its 1960’s red and white interior, and the construction of a rail link to the rest of JFK airport, Saarinen’s style and structure has only partially been preserved.

Extensive CGI reconstruction of the iconic landmark now allows new possibilities for photographers and other creatives to use the space without restriction or compromise on photo realistic quality whilst preserving the pristine design, and stylish atmosphere that would have otherwise been lost for future generations.

Images and more information on Happy Finish’s collaboration with Benedict Redgrove is published in the July edition of Creative Review Magazine, and are available on the Happy Finish website.

Who is Happy Finish?

happyfinish logoHappy Finish is a world leader in high-end creative retouching & CGI, that works on international brand campaigns, magazine editorial and with some of the world's leading photographers & art directors.

Happy Finish is different, it is a collective of award-winning retouchers & 3d artists who embrace creativity and show what's possible from beauty and fashion to automotive, still life and illustration.

The client chooses the retoucher or 3d artist with the right creative skills and experience for their project, and work directly with them, one-on-one, from start to finish.


Guest's picture

The blog entry is very basic and seems more like a small promotional article about Happy Finish, the retouching agency. However digging a bit deeper raises some interesting questions. Will there be less of a demand for set building, model makers, and especially photographers and photo retouchers whose strength is Photoshop? I think not.

Some people, mainly those working for CGI retouching firms, believe that CGI is the future of advertising. I believe just like photo retouching and illustration, CGI is just another tool to bring you to your end result--it can cut costs and the limitless control. I do admire the art and I commend those that do it well. I just hope that people do not begin thinking they can slack in the conceptual department and make up for it with a image that will wow the audience whether it is a photographer teaming up with a CGI artist or commisioned by an agency for a campaign.

Maybe I am wrong though, from reading some articles, a photographer named Carl Lyttle claims that "Those photographers who aren’t moving into 3D won’t be around in three or four years.” I would disagree, but then it's scary to read how Saddington & Baynes is/was attempting to render a human face after their rendered pig, which they considered a success, because it could be reposed and animated, although it took an estimated three weeks to complete.

Good blog post, which begins to scratch the surface of CGI in advertising and the photos are pleasing as well.

Guest's picture

This article is very intruiging. I am currently performing research for an upcoming dissertation paper entitled: 'An investigation into the use of CGI in advertising'. You sound like you have read various other articles surrounding the subject, and I would be extremely grateful if you could point me in the right direction.
I am particularly interested in the use of CGI in TV commercials, and will touch on where the line is drawn between enhancing and misleading.

Any help would be greatly appreciated

Sanje's picture
24 pencils

CGI is not just another tool. It is the end point of photography's evolution from a medium that was dependent on reality to one, independent of it. It calls for fundamentally different, far broader and difficult skills than taking a picture. For example, this image required that Benedict had a strong understanding of architecture. Not very many photographers would know how to read a CAD drawing. Think of CGI as a 3d dimensional drawing.. If you cannot draw in 2d, you wont get very far in 3d.
There will always be a need for photographers who are good at directing and photographing people but that's old hat. It's Benedict Arnold who's a pioneer.
But its a bit sad that film has already been doing that for a long time ( integrating photography, CGI and 2d compositing ) .. Print is just waking up

Sanje's picture
24 pencils

I am not sure if you wrote to me, but I havent read very many articles on the subject. These are my thoughts based on using CGI, photography and Photoshop. I think you will find what you are looking for on a site called http://motionographer.com/ which has some absolutely breathtaking work on it. Its too bad you want to dwell on the topic from a negative point of view.

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