For the Cannes Gold Lion-awarded design studio the creative process is all about the synergy that occurs between imaginative concepts and the tools that are used to implement them.
ManvsMachine’s technical director, Simon Holmedal and creative director Mike Alderson discuss the ethos upon which ManvsMachine is founded, and how a fusion of technology and creativity allows the studio to flourish – all with a little help from Cinema 4D.
“Technology and ideas just go hand in hand,” begins ManvsMachine managing director Tim Swift. “We ended up selecting the name because it sums up our approach – individuals coming up with unique concepts, and then driving them forwards using the latest technology.”
One recent example of this philosophy in action is the recent Air Max Day campaign for Nike, which features CG versions of the footwear being morphed, pulled apart, and explored in the kind of detail only attainable via the digital realm.
In order to create the complex visuals on show, ManvsMachine turned to Cinema 4D, thanks to its balanced offering of power and simplicity. “It’s just a really well-designed tool for what we do,” explains Matthias Winckelmann, head of 3D at ManvsMachine. “The initial burst of ease of use is great, and then as you explore there are the more in-depth functions too – it can do the design work, but can also scale to the heavier VFX content.”
In order to accurately replicate the trainers for the Nike commercial, ManvsMachine turned to 3D scanning technology. “We use it for almost every Nike project, because it’s really important that the shoe looks exactly like the real shoe,” explains Winckelmann. “The Nike design team has spent a lot time designing the product, so we want to rebuild it in a 100 per cent accurate way: there’s details in every joint, seam and component of the shoe that we need to represent correctly. You can achieve that by modelling, but 3D scanning produces a one-to-one replication in a much shorter time frame.”
In order to morph the shoe for the commercial, ManvsMachine turned to Cinema 4D’s surface and mesh deformers. “To do that, we would build a low poly representation of the 3D scan, and then bend and morph that. The surface and mesh deformers in Cinema 4D are really useful, as they help us to work with assets like that which have a really high high poly count. However, when it comes to deforming shoes, in many cases we use different tools for every deformation – sometimes that’s the surface deformer, sometimes the mesh deformer, sometimes a PoseMorph combined with sculpting, and so on.”
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Watch this video to find out how Cinema 4D helped Man vs Machine to create several highly acclaimed spots for Nike:
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