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Watch Miami Design District's ‘Beyond Belief’ Campaign

Innovative animation captures cultural engineer Craig Robin's vision of the MDD as a ‘laboratory for creativity’ with hand-drawn illustrations modeled after iconic neighborhood landmarks; a female avatar takes the viewers on a journey from the district’s past to its future.

Craig Robins, the cultural engineer who transformed a 16-acre Miami mixed-use neighborhood dedicated to innovative fashion, design, art, architecture, and dining into a “laboratory for creativity,” along with the Miami Design District (MDD), just debuted an innovative animation campaign entitled “Beyond Belief.”

Working with London and NYC-based design studio Made Thought and Argentine animators 2Veinte, the MDD's new campaign brings the neighborhood's visual style to life. In addition, it captures the evolution of the neighborhood over a century - starting with the iconic Moore Building built in 1921 as a furniture showroom - and further evokes Robin's futuristic vision of the MDD another 100 years later.

The story begins on a pineapple farm - symbolizing what the neighborhood used to be a century ago - whereby a female avatar serves as a conduit to experience a world of creativity and inspiration. The hand-drawn illustrations model the district’s iconic landmarks, including Buckminster Fuller’s Fly’s Eye Dome and several of the MDD’s iconic public art projects. The film represents luxury woven into a landscape of cultural energy and tropical greenery.

The main inspiration for the female avatar/character is Julia DeForest Tuttle, an American businesswoman dubbed “Mother of Miami” who owned the property which is now Miami. She is the only woman to have founded what would become a major American city.

Buenos Aires, Argentina-based animation studio 2Veint worked closely with Made Thought to lock in the film's style, look and feel, and subsequent still assets created in the form of hero shots. In addition, the studio, specializing in cel animation, used various software to help capture the desired mood.

The team primarily used Photoshop for art and illustration, with the cel animation team using Toon Boom Harmony. After Effects was used by the composition team, with the 3D team using Blender. The storyboard identified camera angles and movement to create a boardmatic used to determine and lock shot lengths. Then the team created an animatic of rough animation.

The project features unique moments where the avatar intersects with the environment - for example, the scene with the floating scarf. For this, the team worked with a model to better gauge the timing and mimicking of human movement. Next, the animatic went through several review and update rounds with the agency and client team. Once approved, the team moved on to in-betweens, tie downs, and clean up. At this stage, the creative team ensured every character was on model and everything flowed correctly before coloring each frame.

Watch Beyond Belief and feel the vibe: 

Source: Miami Design District

Debbie Diamond Sarto's picture

Debbie Diamond Sarto is news editor at Animation World Network.