Luxury mobile phones are most often super-glam on the outside, and filled with outdated crap tech on the inside, but Swiss watchmaker Tag Heuer has a new class of high-end, Andriod mobile phone and it’s sure to squeeze your eyes right out of their sockets. We take a look at the new Tag Heuer “Racer” phone, the visuals that are sending waves through the design world and talk with Vincent Parot, CG Artist at I-Réel, about the process of creating the film.

The Tag Heuer Racer

The Tag Heuer “Racer” is a sleek titanium/carbon-fiber wrapped phone inspired by the design of GT and Formula 1 race cars. Its shock resistant rubber chassis blends with the carbon fiber bits to make it one chunky, yet very elegant looking mobile phone. With thestyling, branding and ‘exotic’ materials placing it firmly in the ultra high-end mobile market you can expect the price to be up there as well. The phone will launch in July with prices starting at US $3680 (2800€). A new class indeed. You can sign up at the Tag Heuer Racer site for more information.

The visuals

We also had the opportunity to talk with Vincent Parot, CG Artist at I-Réel creative design agency, who was part of the team creating the visuals. I-Réel, located in Paris, France, has quite a roster of high-end clients including Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Chanel and many others. I-Réel creates everything from 3D graphics to corporate training material. The have a long past with Tag Heuer, creating film, graphics and website media that help to visually define the brand. The video below was created a team of eight people, with Vincent leading the effort in modeling, animation, rendering and compositing.

Hi Vincent, what do you do? What is your passion?
I am above all a modeler and lighter in 3ds Max. What I like most is to give life to 3D objects, always learning new techniques to bring even more realism to my renders to create the illusion.

What is the background on the phone?
We have not worked on the creation of the physical phone, but only on the film. We actually rework the model in quads. I then do the shaders, rendering and part of the compositing.

Can you go into more detail? What is your design process like and what tools do you use?
First, we receive files “factory” that are cleaned and recovered in Alias or Rhino to create all the bevels. From Rhino the part is brought into 3ds Max where I modeled 90% of the hull in quads for all parts that require beautiful reflections. This is because the Rhino mesh does not necessarily accept much light. Everything is brought into Max for the animation, texturing and lighting with the rendering done in Vray. Then we do the compositing with various passes and additional motion graphics.

What are the challenges?
What’s complicated is achieving balance between our desires in terms of creativity (world, motion graphics, animations etc.) and the desires and requirements of the customer. The Rhino/Max workflow is also quite laborious. It’s for this reason that I remesh a lot of parts in quads using 3ds Max.

Do you create physical prototypes?
In terms of prototypes, no, everything is digital. We sometimes have access the actual parts but it is very rare.


Josh is founder and editor at, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.