Search form

INK Explores High-Tech Simulations with RADO

Award-winning studio brings RADO’s print imagery to life across three high-quality shorts.

LONDON -- Award-winning production studio INK has released three stunning shorts that showcase RADO’s latest watch collection. Each stylish CG animation is designed to showcase various elements of the new watch line. Hyperchrome Match Point reveals the watch raising from a bed of nails, True Diamonds sees the watch emerge from a blanket of feathers, and Hyperchrome Ceramic Touch Dual Timer demonstrates the watch’s multiple time zone functionality via an airport-esque flipboard.

Luxury Swiss brand RADO has been crafting high-end watches since 1917. When London-based creative studio INK and agency FP Creative were asked to bring the RADO 2015 photographic campaign to life via CG animation, a high-standard was required. 

“Our brief presented an interesting challenge, translating a photographic print campaign into a successful 3D animation, and all within a fairly quick time frame,” explained creative director David Macey. 

INK interpreted this brief by creating animations that presented a closer look at the watches’ finer details, but also featured moving backdrops that further illustrated the materials and functions unique to each model. For the Hyperchrome Match Point, for instance, the watch emerges from a bed of nails in order to showcase its scratch-resistant facade. This animation required complex simulation to create the rolling and falling movement of the nails.

“There’s no right or wrong way to approach a simulation like this,” explains Macey. “Movement is very subjective, and simulations rarely look precisely physically correct on the first pass. At INK we refine and tweak simulations by hand, adding a keyframe over the top to animate individual elements, such as the final nail that rolls over the watch face.”

The True Diamonds animation required a very different kind of simulation. Instead of creating the physical impression of hard-body nails, the INK team needed to simulate the lightweight nature of feathers. 

“Getting the material of the feathers just right was a challenge,” said Macey. “Feathers are not just white, they have a subtle variety of tones, and if you make them look too dark they start to look heavy. We used a wide range of reference to create the right look and tone. To create the light, floating movement of the feathers, we followed the same process, but had to work with different data in the simulation stage. Again, it was the careful combination of simulation and hand-crafted animation that brought this animation to life. 

“The simulation provides the physical base,” Macey concluded. “But, as with any project at INK, the final animation still requires a high level of artistry, an intense attention to detail, and the willingness to spend the necessary time to get the job done.”

Source: INK

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.