Digital production studio creates all-CG spot for new Nike shoes with ‘Fuse’ technology
Vitamin has produced a spot for Nike Direct that introduces a new series of high-tech running shoes through a dazzling display of footwork. The fully computer-animated spot shows the birth of a sleek track shoe in a burst of neon light. A pair of shoes then takes off running, pivoting, and juking their way through a stylized environment, swathed in blazing light trails while undergoing a series of transformations into other shoe models.
The new shoes are made with Nike’s “Fuse” process, whereby the upper layers are bonded rather than stitched or glued together for a lighter-weight, more comfortable fit and faster performance. The spot ends with the tagline, “Run Unleashed.”
“The point of the spot is to show that the Fuse technology which Nike builds into shoes for elite athletes is also available in their shoes for everyday running and cross training,” explains Vitamin creative director Danny DelPurgatorio. “It’s all about light and energy.”
For the spot, Vitamin’s animation team created three photoreal CG shoes from prototypes provided by Nike. They scripted the animation for the running sequence after conducting a study of professional athletes. “We initially put the shoes on an animated character in order to get the performance right, and later we hid the character,” DelPurgatorio says. “Because things look different when the character is removed, we made some adjustments so that they worked as a set of stand-alone shoes.”
Vitamin staff performed all storyboarding, modeling, lighting, animation, editing, compositing, and sound design. Autodesk’s Maya was used for the modeling, animation, texturing, and lighting. For rendering, the studio used Mental Images’ Mental Ray, along with the Deadline render manager from Prime Focus. For the compositing work, the team used Adobe After Effects, while FilmLight’s Baselight was used for coloring-correction. The group also used Propellerhead’s M-Audio Reason 5 and Avid’s ProTools for the audio work.
Watch the Video Here!
“The biggest challenge (of course) was the schedule. From start to finish, concept to completion, we had five weeks,” recounts DelPurgatorio. “Our tasks included concept, design, 3D shoe modeling/texturing, character animation, editorial, compositing, and sound design/music.”
Images based on the spot will be incorporated into print ads and digital campaigns for the new shoes. “It was fun to be involved early on in the development of the campaign, and to have the opportunity to create something that would be used across multiple platforms,” DelPurgatorio notes.
Agency: Nike Direct Marshall Bex, Creative Director; Kim Singleterry, Producer.
Production: Vitamin, Chicago. Danny DelPurgatorio, Creative Director; Linas Jodwalis, Art Director/3D Lead; Matt Beharry, Art Director/Compositor, Rob Foster, Art Director/Compositor; Tony Legato, Storyboard Artist; Evaldas Cesnavicius, 3D Modeler; Igor Choromanski, 3D Character Animator; Todd Beyer, Music & Sound Design; Larissa Shames, Senior Producer; Nina Yoo, Associate Producer.