Animation team London Essex

Nike Air Max

Animation team London Essex

Overview

We worked with Studio Private as part of their animation team for the launch of the Vapour Max on Air Max day. We produced a looping film to showcase the evolution of the Nike Air Max from its inception in 1987 through to modern day. The piece was projected onto the Pompidou, France, the original inspiration for the Nike Air Max design. We animated three of the seven animations representing 1987, 1991 and 1997. Inspiration for each design came from the advertising of that particular era, directly referencing icon design imagery from Nike’s archive.

Animation team London Essex

Process

Each of the shoes were filmed on a green screen, rotating on a lazy susan. The shoes themselves came from a collector who had them meticulously preserved, which meant they were in perfect condition for filming. Behind the filmed plates we animated the backgrounds to fit with the design of the shoe and aesthetic of its era. For 1987 we took direct reference from the Pompidou building, the original inspiration for the triple bubble design of the Airmax’s unique Air cushion. We reference graphics of the time using a lot of neon, gradients and colour, topping it off with a VHS distortion effect to bring the viewer back to the 80s era. The Air Max 180 from 1991 had a rabbit within Nike’s Advertising campaign, as well as some very brutalist typography and print design. The 1997 Air Max was inspired by the Japanese bullet train, using sweeping lines to represent speed and aerodynamics and used this as the inspiration for the animation. The key was to make the shoe look as if it was moving fast and not just the background. To do this we ramped up the speed of the rotation animation to super fast speeds and added motion blur to the front and rear of the shoe, whilst the line design in the background swept past really fast. This created the illusion of speed.

Animation team London Essex

Delivery

The animation was projected across the Pompidou in Paris, at a 12K resolution. It played out throughout the night looping until the launch of the Vapour Max the next evolution in the Air Max from Nike. The campaign was a huge success and massive collaborative effort from lots of incredible creatives.

Animation team London Essex

Thank You

 

Client: Nike
Agency: Studio Private
Art Direction: Paul James Dalton
Animation: Ultra Studio/Studio Private
Output: Large scale projection

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