When your shoe locks down to the ground like a magnet and the cloth is fastening around your foot like a chinese fingertrap - you're problably in for an american football game with a pair of Nike Vapor Untouchable II. And we are in for a wild VFX ride combining live action footage with rendered footwear, closeup weave and exploding particles.
The most fun thing at the beginning of nearly every project we're working on is to let go of any restrictions and brainstorm the *bleep* out of our heads to come up with a concept, layout and mood frames. Some of the ideas we've developed didn't make it into the final film: The Vapor Untouchable II incorporates a lightweigt stabilizing spine structure which we intended to present as an abstract sculpture. Explorations with aesthetics of stealth airplanes as a background element were done as well as featuring the ferrofluids even more prominently.
FerroFluids - one of our main effects we used in the film - were created in Houdini and brought over to Cinema4d using Alembic caches.
Even though they might look like "just a few spikes thrown on" the FerroFluids went through quite a process in terms of technical setup as well as artistic direction. They are fully controllable and do exactly what we want them to do. Plus there's no intersections and they come with contact blends between the spikes. Smooth as a baby's bottom.
The second big setup we had to create was the microscopic extreme closeup of Nike's FlyWeave. It works just like a chinese fingertrap. As soon as you put drag on the cloth it tightens up, holding your finger (or foot) in place. In order to show this effect we recreated the structure down to individual threads of the weave, all in animateable fashion.
Cinema4D's Hair system was used to create the basic weaving setup. After applying manual blendshapes to fix some intersections the whole thing stretches and tightens up using PoseMorphs.
A big thumbs up to Nike and cheerio to our team working really really hard on site and also remotely from all over the world!
This is one of the first projects where we implemented a truly international workflow. Doing all of our project management and asset handling online we had people from as far as Australia contributing to the project. With a client located in Oregon it's safe to say that the production of Nike Vapor Untouchable II really spanned the globe. It's been a great experience for us and it won't be the last time we open up and go international for sure.
Nike Inc.
Animation Studio:
VFX Director / Editing:
Christian Tyroller
VFX Supervisor / TD / CD:
Manuel Casasola Merkle
Julian Fischer
Art Direction:
Ronny Schmidt
Santi Zoraidez
3D Artists:
Leo Akinbiyi
Joey Camacho
Matthias „Tisi“ Lein
Moritz Schwind
Matthias Zabiegly
VFX Artists:
Ben Watts
Fuat Yüksel
Modeling & Sculpting:
Lars Korb
Manuel Voss
Sylvia „Sylvi“ Rössler
Sound Design:
Michael Fakesch
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