Pepe Jeans. This is not a shoe (director’s cut)

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The Premise
The project starts as the spectacular Spanish design studio Offbeat (Madrid, Spain) lands another contract to produce a Pepe Jeans video spot. After already producing some really outstanding work for the brand in the past they’ve decided to mix things up a bit and approach the new project from an entirely different perspective. Given that the studio really excels in the more traditional motion graphic type work they really wanted to thread the needle and push fully into the CG (Computer Generated Imagery) domain.  Because of that they needed an outside consultant that would completely take over the actual development phase – and this is where I fit in.
The Objective
To help with creating an edgy, visually appealing set of images and animations that will work with the existing brand language and style.  Bright spaces with natural lighting are the main keywords. From a technical standpoint, the images and the animation had to be rendered locally and within a fairly short amount of time.
My Engagement

→ Realizing the creative direction laid out by Offbeat
→ Providing creative input
→ Handling of the CG pipeline (Modeling, Texturing, Lighting and Rendering)

The Offbeat team provided exemplary briefs and storyboards which outlined the creative direction but the actual realization was open to interpretation and feedback. While the sets and storylines for each clip were already well thought out a lot of the detail work was done by doing extensive back-and-forths between Offbeat and me. Offbeat also provided the shoe models and the basic scene files for the animation.

The project it self was split into two parts – The animation and the still images.

Animation – Due to the time crunch we faced it was my responsibility to ensure the CG process was as smooth as possible and that it will enable us to deliver great looking imagery. To that end the most difficult scenes (interior shots) got tackled first. By doing that we were able to define the overall look of the project on the most time consuming scenes which made it easier to carry the style to the other, less complicated scenes. Finalizing the look inside the renderer itself was important for the project as the Offbeat team was not as experienced in the more traditional VFX pipeline so the final deliverables consisted of already tone mapped 16 bit PNG images which were later edited together in-house at Offbeat.

The rendering process presented a significant challenge as we wanted to render the animation locally. Due to being limited to rendering on only one workstation and one render node I spent extra time optimizing the scenes in order to minimize the rendering time.

Still Images – The sets for these images had to be modeled from scratch as the Offbeat team provided only the storyboards this time around. As noted before, the storyboards were exemplary and the detail work was again a result of a creative mash-up of ideas between the two studios.

From an artistic point of view, Offbeat wanted to challenge the viewers with creating some suspense in the otherwise static images – The glass at the edge of the box, the wooden stairs with a curved base and the shoe on a scale. Due to the “aggressive” posture of the key elements in the images I wanted to keep the lighting simpler, less directional yet still feel natural and in abundance. The materials are rugged and slightly worn which adds a bit of an additional realism and visual interest to the images.

Even though these images were meant for both web and print usage the render times were not a factor at all and were easy to manage.
Development Shots
Agency: Utopicum
Script: Utopicum, Offbeat Estudio
Direction and production: Offbeat Estudio

Producer: Pablo Crespo

Shoes model and textures: Jaime G. Galipienso
Set model and animation: Carmelo Barberá
Lighting, set textures and render: Nejc Kilar
Edition: Checa C.S., Pablo Crespo
Color grading: Checa C.S.
Storyboard: Checa C.S.
Music and sound design: Aimar Moler

Agency: Utopicum
Concept: Utopicum
Direction and production: Offbeat Estudio
Producer: Pablo Crespo

Shoes photographs: Checa C.S., Pablo Crespo
Shoes model and texture: Jaime G. Galipienso
Set model & textures, lighting and render: Nejc Kilar
Color grading and post-production: Checa C.S.
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