‘Blackout’ was created by footwear brand Asics to analyse the effect environment has on the mentality of runners. Participants would run a distance with audio-visual stimuli and then run the same distance again with no stimuli, each run was assessed on time and experience. The event took place in June this year at London’s Printworks with a roster of elite runners and Olympians taking part.
Lewis Kyle White is a Creative Director at Pixels & Noise and the lead animator for Asics Blackout. He has a background in directing music videos and creating interactive content for live events.
Working alongside production company Unit 9 Lewis would be creating several pieces of motion graphics content to feature at the event. With a short space of time to create five complex animations, Lewis needed a software workflow that could keep up.
“I naturally turned to Notch to solve our first major issue: time.”
Lewis Kyle White, Pixels & Noise
Working closely with Director Sean Pruen and Art Director Frazer Howie, Lewis spent four days turning creative concepts into fully rendered animations. ‘Notch enabled us to turn around complex 3D animation so quickly. I turned to Notch for its Speed initially, but also because I could integrate all the 3d animation needs of the project in one place. If I had gone down a more traditional 3D Pipeline, I would have been using multiple applications, plus 2D and 3D plugins to achieve the same look’.
Working from complex 3D models supplied by Asics, Lewis generated detailed point clouds with particle systems. Motion capture data supplied by Asics was integrated through Notch and used to animate rigged characters into running loops. With Notch, it was possible to integrate all these workflows into one place. Lewis would prepare his assets in C4D, then import into Notch where they would be textured and rendered in real-time.
On event day, guests entered the venue guided by light walls created using a combination of haze and high-powered spotlights. In the product room, loops of Lewis’s animations were projected onto hanging meshes creating a holographic look. Guests were then scanned for, and removed of all distractions using two giant ‘X-ray’ screens playing animation loops of Lewis’s Mocap data characters being scanned.
Lewis explains that Director Sean was initially hesitant about using Notch for this type of production: ‘I don’t think they would have used Notch for a job like this normally, however, I knew that the look they wanted could be achieved in Notch and that the software would save us time’. With the animations delivered on-time and to brief, both the client and the production company were happy with the finished renders – another personal best for Lewis’s track-record.
“All this time saved by building procedurally with nodes and working in real-time – not having to wait for long renders, it all adds up to make us able to react to the clients in a more flexible and fluid way.”