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Nando Costa and Friends Embrace the Elements for Nike

Nando Costa recently finished three super-clean :20 animations for Nike. Each sports balanced yet dynamic compositions and beautifully fluid movement—two of Nando’s trademarks. I’m super excited to see Nando making work again. He’s one of the reasons I’m interested in this field in the first place.

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Watch “Snow” | “Wind” | “Rain

Nando was nice enough to share a bit about the process behind this project in an email interview I conducted.

1. How did this project come about? You’re freelancing these days, right? How did you get this opportunity?
Since I’ve moved to Portland, I had the chance to meet some of people at Nike and they were kind enough to forward me a couple of projects. Even-though I’m freelancing, I still like to work in the same vain as I did back at Nakd, tackling larger projects and working with other people on it. This is one of those that I couldn’t have done without a team.

2. Did you work with an agency or with Nike directly? Was there a pretty well-defined concept/script that you were given, or did you have freedom to put your own spin on things?
I worked directly with Nike through Ramiro Torres, one of their Design Directors. The main brief was to create three 20 second animations, one for each nature element. Another one of Nike’s internal design teams had already established a look for the store identity over winter, which was mainly a duo-tone color palette and the use of silhouettes when people were portrayed. Beyond that there were no other restrictions so my starting point was relatively loose.

3. How long did it take you to make these spots? Who worked on them?
From the moment I received the brief until the day we had to deliver the final files we had exactly 3 weeks. It was a really tight deadline for a small team, which didn’t allow for much experimentation. Even though our schedule was quite tight and we would have liked to have had more time to explore it further, we’re happy with the outcome and thankfully so was the client.

Renato Ferro was one of the main 3D people at Nakd when Linn and I had started it. He was the second person to be hired and helped us deliver the first batch of Fine Living IDs and the AMC Monsterfest project. I’ve always enjoyed working with him, so I have been involving him in some of my freelance projects since last December. On this project, Renato’s brother, Ricardo Ferro, and another one of their friends, Victor Hugo, also helped us out but modeling most of the objects and animating some of the elements.

4. What software did you use? Did you have to shoot live action or were you supplied with footage?
We modeled and animated all the elements in 3DSMax and then composited and animated the 2D elements in After Effects; just standard tools. I used Trapcode’s Particular for the particles, like the snow, but that’s not a surprise to people these days. For the runners we had initially utilized motion capture data but the runner’s movements weren’t appropriate for Nike. The client then provided some reference footage and we re-created all of the runners in one day of work in Max.

5. Anything else you want to say?
I’ve been sort of in and out of the motion graphics field for the last 2 years but I’m excited to have started animating once again. I currently have about 8 other videos in production, both for clients and personal work, so I’ll share those with you once they’re ready. Thanks for the interest in this project!

Posted on 13 November 2006 |

12 thoughts on “Nando Costa and Friends Embrace the Elements for Nike

  1. i love nando’s work (especially “rain”). just wish he would put his skills to good instead of evil…

  2. Hey! Great post! Finding out how the gears that make these motions turn makes this industry what it is today: alive and kicking!

    one more little thing that would be fun to know:
    render times (more or less) and basic system specs: for instance: 3.4 dual core, 2 gigs, 128mg ati graphics. bleh!

    thanks for a great post once aagin!

  3. Hey. Thanks Justin for the massive post! I’m glad everyone enjoyed the animations…

    Answers:
    To MFAC – I actually have not played Okami neither have seen screenshots of if but I heard it was a good game… Is it?

    To Dyllan – Render time was not bad at all. These were all silhouettes of objects. Since we rendered dozens of elements separately to later composite in AE, I can’t tell you the exact time of the render. What took a while was the cloth simulation on the runners and the trees on the WIND piece.

    We don’t necessarily have an insane setup. We didn’t have a render farm for this job, but we’re working on setting one up. We used 3 pc’s. Core Duo and Pentium 3.2 with 2Gb of ram. The mac I used for compositing is a Dual 2.7 G5 with 4GB of ram.

  4. Does Ramiro work in nike.. I thought he was with mtv?
    That is probably why they are doing great work!!!
    Nice piece Nando

  5. nice work. I probably liked “rain” best. I like how short and sweet they are. While I was waiting for them to load I stared at the still of the first frame wondering how you’d move it, and it was always something unexpected. cool.

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