Follow up on Simon Robson for Adidas


Following our post of the new Adidas spot from Simon Robson (Nexus Productions), Simon was nice enough to shoot over a bit more about the piece, including some story board frames and a link to a quicktime version of the spot.

A few notes on the making from Simon:

We only had 4 weeks in production which was really tight as you can imagine.
My storyboarding and pre-production time was extremely tight too, only about
8 days prior to production. What this meant was that when the crew arrived
there was still a lot of design to be done. Cass and Mario pitched in really
well on design duties. We three worked together for the first week coming up
with what the two teams, ‘Predator’ and ‘F50’ could look like. Mario took
inspiration for the Predator sections (The red and black ones) from Vasarely
and general constructivism. Cass approached F50 (Green) with more of an
organic, flowing key line type of feel. After a week we had our design
directions which we pulled across all the animation. Most of the 3D was done
in 3DS Max by the awesome Jerome Haupert. Other 3D elements such as grass,
trees, and ‘jumping sound blocks’ were done in Maya paint effects by Sean
Yue and myself. 2D animation like Dillon’s comet and Sean’s ‘hands’, plus
all compositing was done in After Effects. The bird in the park scene was
drawn and animated by Antoine Baurruel on every second frame, then
composited in After effects and filled with the Paint Bucket effect to give
it the luminescent quality it has.

The team worked incredibly hard, with work over flowing into very late
nights and week-ends. And the result is a 60 second spot that myself and the
client are extremely happy with. It’s a testament to the power of great team

Check out these storyboard frames:
Arrow through defense
Bird and player
Bird to man
Football is heroes
Original football precision idea
Quake sequence

Simon also sent along a list of the crew, who did an amazing job:
Agency: 180 Amsterdam; creatives: Stu & Ed, production: Cat
Production Company: Nexus Productions
Director: Simon Robson
Lead animation / art direction: Cassiano Prado & Mario Sader
Lead 3D: Jerome Haupert
3D support: Jonny Plummer
Animation: Shaun Yue, Dillon White,
2D animation: Antoine Baurruel, Kwok Fung Lam
Technical Direction: Ben Cowell, Darren Price
Production: Isobel Conroy, Julia Parfitt
Studio management: Theano Kazagli
Sound design & composition: A-Bomb

Thanks to Simon for passing all of this on to us!



Nice spot! but the storyboards look ugly though.
How did the boards get the job?


Nice to have you guys back in December. How was the time travel? :D


Dude, they’re storyboards, not styleframes.


these boards are great. it’s nice to see that you can plan and sell work with ideas instead of the usual photoshop madness.


Usually ad agency creatives come up with the IDEAS.( at least in America)They have designers/directors than execute those ideas. In this case, perhaps the ad creatives had no ideas, and so they had Simon do all the work, in which case simple sketches on napkins would suffice.


the spot is alright.

the design is not good.
but they managed to get some nice animators to make it a good spot.
bravo to who ever animated it, thats what keeps the viewer ingaged if anything.

Simon Robson

Firstly the drawings i included are not the pitch boards, they are sketches for the storyboard that was created once the pitch was one. I certainly am not the best pencil renderer in the business, but the sketches were to give the idea of action and movement, not style. We larer worked up MANY style stills during production for the client to see and approve. To say the agency comes up with the IDEAS is over simplistic for animation production. The agency will have an initial idea of message and style, but it is up to the director to elaborate upon this initial concept and come up with ideas the compliment and embelish the initial concept. Believe me, a director without ideas is an unemployed director…Finally on this spot, myself, Mario and Cass all worked on the design and animation together with the rest of the team. There was a great deal of blurring between animation and design duties. In my view, the best motion graphics artists come from graphic design backgrounds. They are the people i like best to work with as graphic design is where i come from too.


i’m gonna have to call out mr. black sheep. the design is awesome; it just looks rather dissimilar to what you’re used to seeing.

Seth Lowery

This spot is great. I was instantly able to refer to another one of my favorites “What Barry Says” as by the same team and director. Brilliant.


I dig the spot. thanks for sharing the background, it’s cool to see how others work.


design is awesome, the idea is brilliant, animation is flawless. Best spot of 2006 bar none.
the black sheep is safely in the fold with the other sheep

Simon Robson

I like your post black-sheep…
You’re right, everyone has the right to express their own opinion. If you think the design sucks than say it sucks! I always try and approach design as a response to a brief, a solution to a problem. This won’t always be to everyone’s taste, but hopefully it’s the correct way of getting the message across…


while everyone is entitled to their opinions, i think black sheep there could’ve used a bit of tact and elaborated on why he thought it sucked. it doesn’t hurt to give a fleshed out critique. everybody wins.

while i enjoy the technical achievement of the spot, i’ll have to say the “style” itself feels very rehashed. the graphic puns are great, but hey, it’s an ad for an established company. i don’t find the colours particularly well streamlined, and i think the editing could have been slightly tighter.

otherwise, nice stuff. it’s always good to read the process of a spot, rather than just taking it as-is.


its very pretty…but as a soccer fanatic and a mograph designer, there’s something missing there. Am not sure what…..just doesnt really capture that nail-biting excitement of soccer…..but its really pretty..hmmmmmmmmm

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