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Hinge Digital Unleashes CG for Nike LunarGlide+ 2 Spot

Utilizing advanced animation and camera projection techniques, Hinge Digital brings realism and energy to footwear, lighting effects and cityscapes in the newest Nike LunarGlide+ 2 campaign entitled "Dynamic Support Run Unleashed."

Press Release from Hinge Digital

PORTLAND, Ore. - Sept. 27, 2010 - Utilizing advanced animation and camera projection techniques, Hinge Digital brings realism and energy to footwear, lighting effects and cityscapes in the newest Nike LunarGlide+ 2 campaign entitled "Dynamic Support Run Unleashed."

Currently airing on Nike Online and in Nike resale stores across the globe, the 30 second spot features eight runners donning LunarGlide+ 2 shoes complete with Nike's Dynamic Support technology. As each CG shoe hits the ground, rays of light uniquely expel from the soles, representing each runner's distinct stride pattern.

"Our goal with this project was to tell the story of Dynamic Support technology in a visually compelling way," says the spot's director Marshall Bex. " I decided to use CG lighting effects to portray each individual runner's unique stride, creating a striking and lively representation of what the LunarGlide+2 offers a runner's gait. The visual effects provided by the Hinge Digital team certainly brought this vision to life and naturally depict the energy of the Nike Running campaign."

Collaborating with Bex, and Producer Noah Stanik, from conception to project launch, Hinge Digital participated in all aspects of creative and technical development for "Dynamic Support Run Unleashed," including previsualization, digital asset creation, on-site filming and animation. "We were able to implement many high-end CG practices for this project," notes Alex Tysowsky, co-founder and animation director of Hinge Digital. "Our advanced level of key frame animation combined with complex camera projection techniques allowed this spot to come together in a very attractive and realistic way."

To digitally emulate the perfected textures and colors of the LunarGlide+ 2, the Hinge Digital team utilized product reference and texture swatches to build a highly realistic 3D replica in Autodesk Maya. The CG shoes were then rigged in order to maintain realism in tight camera close-ups. Additional research and development of the eight different stride animations was necessary for physical and visual accuracy, and to illustrate the inherent performance properties of the shoe, while demonstrating the capabilities of the Dynamic Support technology.

To create the shot's cityscape background, the Hinge Digital team employed camera projection techniques to build digital representations of environments utilizing live-action background plates designed and filmed by Bex. The use of the digital adaptation allowed more control and free movement of the camera around the scene.

"This project certainly highlights our 'hands-on' and versatile approach to visual effects and production," explains Michael Kuehn, co-founder and visual effects supervisor of Hinge Digital. "Our ability to work in-house with Marshall Bex and Noah Stanik allowed us to flawlessly integrate our CG techniques into their overall production pipeline. This created a completely fluid workflow and allowed Hinge Digital to serve not only as an artistic resource, but as an extension of the technical team as well."

About Hinge DigitalBased in Portland, Ore., Hinge Digital provides superior pre-and post-production visual effects for the commercial, broadcast and interactive markets. Founded by industry veterans Roland Gauthier, Michael Kuehn and Alex Tysowsky, the company offers over four decades of prestigious photo-real CG and high-quality animation experience from renowned studios including Walt Disney Feature Animation, Sony Pictures Imageworks and LAIKA Entertainment.

Since 2009, Hinge Digital has completed commercial and interactive campaigns for clients and advertising agencies including Nike, hhgregg, Microsoft Bing, Target, AQKA/SF, Zimmerman Advertising and Razorfish Inc.

Recognized as a full-service studio pioneering new 3D content creation and character animation techniques, Hinge Digital also specializes in the development of film and television properties based on original content from graphic novel and creature-feature genres.For more information, please visit www.hingedigital.com.

Nike LunarGlide+ 2 "Dynamic Support" Production Credits:Client: Nike RunningProduction Company: Nike Brand Design MediaProducer: Noah StanikDirector: Marshall Bex

Visual Effects and Animation: Hinge DigitalAnimation Producer: Roland GauthierAnimation Director: Alex TysowskyVisual Effects Supervisor: Michael Kuehn

Software Used for Visual Effects and Animation:Adobe After Effects for compositingAdobe Photoshop for matte paintingAutodesk Maya for modeling, look development, animation, rigging and lightingmental images mental ray for renderingSquidNet for render management

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