Creative Director Steve Tozzi recently channeled his admiration for Nike’s lauded custom NIKEiD service into a dazzling concept spot. The spot is a surreal, swirling kaleidoscope of color and motion, transporting viewers to a vivid alternate universe in which runners are amalgams of colors and shapes and ever-changing Nikes zip through the skies around streams of vines.
“This piece came about from using the product itself,” Tozzi explains. “I was and still am amazed that you can customize shoes to such a degree on NIKEiD. When we started to animate, I felt it would be a wonderful piece to show creatives at Nike to introduce ourselves and our work.”
Tozzi’s experiment actually emerged from a conversation he had with a gemologist, who, in explaining the basics of grading, color and cut in gems, sparked an interest on the CD’s part in the process people use to select colors for home renovations, paint jobs, or, in the case of NikeiD, shoes.
The spot tested Poetica’s technical boundaries. The story arc demanded a smooth transition from an extreme close-up to a wider view while carefully revealing each visual element as the camera zoomed out to reveal the word “NIKEiD.” “It became a challenge of ‘where haven’t we looked yet?’ and then place the elements there,” Head of CG John Clausing recalls. “We didn’t want to sacrifice the depth in the frame. All of this is going on while we integrate the animated vine with the rest of our elements.”
Poetica fused a sprawling array of software for the project, most notably with rendering, tapping Arnold, Mental Ray and Diffusion Shaders, maximizing the strengths of each to create various elements. “It is nice to be able to tailor the production process to play to those strengths and not have to try to bend a software to accommodate a look it isn’t meant to achieve,” noted Clausing. He also used ICE, Exocortex Slipstream, Nuke, After Effects and Flame on the project.