If I told you that someone just upload a picture of James Hunt winning the 1976 Formula 1 Grand Prix at Fuji, you would assume it’s an old analogical picture right ? What if I told you someone was crazy enough to rebuild the scene from scratch using the best of what the modern technologies can offer ? Let me introduce you Unique & Limited. Text: Thomas Z. Picture: Unique & Limited
Why I wanted to introduce Unique & Limited ?
I’ve been following them on social media for quite a while and I think it is the time for me to share the work these guys are doing. Their goal ? ” Re-energize inspiring stories by using modern technology” and it’s definitely a success! The quality and the precision of their work is just mind blowing. But how do they achieve this ? In a few words, they are combining CGI and actual photography in order to recreate historic moments, but don’t worry we will get back to this later.
Who are Unique & Limited ?
In order to understand who they are, where their inspirations come from and why they choose automobile history we decide to ask them some questions:
Automobili Eleganza: In a few words, how would you describe Unique & Limited?
Unique & Limited: Small team of artists who recreates moments from the past using modern technology. The devil is in the details and we spend many hours recreating the past exactly how it was. We’ve focused our work on automotive history, however with this technology anything is possible which is showcased by our aviation collection (Battle of Britain for example)
A-E: How did Unique & Limited started?
U & L: My colleagues Jan and Petr had the idea to Silver Arrows about 5 years ago and it started as a pure passion project with no commercial thought behind it. It took them 2 years to complete since it was a side project they did next to their advertisement work. Only after the feedback from people was so positive, they thought about turning it into a full time job. That’s when I joined and since then we seem to work quite well together 🙂
A-E: Why did you chose Automobile history?
U & L: Jan is a total Petrolhead and cars were always a sort of passion of theirs. Petr did many 3D jobs for their automotive clients like Skoda so he knows how the models work and what needs to be done to achieve a great output.
A-E: Any fact you would like to share about yourselves or Unique & Limited?
U & L: Although it might appear different from the outside, we’re still the small team working together like we started roughly 3 years ago. At the end of the day, we’re still just artists trying to live from our creative work, however we feel like the extra effort is worth it which is why we’re still doing it.
How it’s done ?
As they stated earlier, “The devil is in the details”. Therefore countless number of hours are spend by the team on each artwork, it is done following 4 steps and take about 3 to 6 months to be made by the team. To illustrate the process of making their artwork we will use the making of ‘A Swede Swerves Through Sicilians’ as an example which illustrates Ulf Norinder driving his Ferrari 250 GTO at the Targa Florio that took place the 26th of April 1964. The 4 steps are the following:
1.Research and Concept
First of all, the idea. The team have to found an historical event they would like to recreate. Then, to assure accuracy, they need to make research to make their concept as close as it actually happened.
2.Computer Generated Imagery (CGI)
In order to rebuild the cars in the conditions set by the concept, CGI is used. It allows the artists to represent the car the way they wanted to be. It also permits to have an astonishing level of details.
The people present in the artwork, or even some objects, are not recreated in CGI but actually captured in a photo shoot to increase authenticity.
Now that the team have all the elements they need, they will bring every element together, as shown in the following video:
As we were very curious by this process, we ask them additional questions:
A-E: How long is it necessary to make each artwork?
U & L: Depends on how many people and cars and what kind of background is involved. For example, if we also have to recreate the environment, it takes much longer. If we need to create only 1 car, it is usually faster than if we have to do multiple. Roughly it takes us between 3-6 months.
A-E: What is the hardest/challenging artwork you ever made?
U & L: The McLaren M23 with James Hunt was definitely the most detailed model we ever built. Also the environment (Japan) was rebuilt quite accurate with data from the NASA servers. They provide information for everyone and it was really useful to build the location exactly the way it is (Mount Fuji in the right place etc)
A-E: Any hint about future works?
U & L: We’re planning on doing the Hillclimb and maybe the Jaguar D-Type but no dates set in stone yet. We just launched Senna and it’s a big project for us so we’re very happy about our continuous cooperation with McLaren.
And the passion in all of this?
A-E: Would you describe yourselves as car enthusiasts?
U & L: Jan absolutely, Petr and I just tag along for the ride 🙂 But you definitely have to find joy in what you’re doing, otherwise you would go crazy.
A-E: Automobili Elegnaza catchphrase is “Living the Automobile Way”, what does it means for you?
U & L: We launched a new brand not too long ago called Automobilist and it was clear it had to be something, people can relate to. At the end of the day, everyone who drives or just likes cars is an Automobilist. Therefore our work is done by Automobilists for Automobilists. Driven by You.
A-E: Where will your next exhibition take place? Where can our reader discover your work?
U & L:We just came back from Retromobile Paris. Our next confirmed show will most likely be the Goodwood Revival, however we do have partners who help us being present on other sites such as the Le Mans 24hours or Le Mans Classic.
At the end it’s always come to passion and we can clearly see that Unique & Limited’s team is full of it. The attention to the detail, the choice of different real-life historical events and the amount of work they spend on every artwork is just astonishing and truly honorable. If you want to follow them and get update with their new work please fell free to check the following links:
Official Website: https://unique-limited.com/