Marcus Grimm – Wild
Follow the light.
A new world awaits.
Wild is the debut single from the instrumental artist Marcus Grimm.
Recorded in the suggestive Teatro delle Voci in Treviso and mastered at the Abbey Road studios in London.
The video, a journey into a dreamy world fully created in CGI, is directed and animated by Gasta, awarded London-based visual artist.
Done in C4D, Arnold, After Effects.
Premiered on Our Culture Mag.
3d models from Sketchfab
Dive in – An illustrated tale
A 100 days animated gif project
It started as a small project, just to try a set up in After Effects.
But it grew and probably outgrown out of my best expectations.
Great things came thanks to this project!
Here are my Gastaloops, a 100 daily project, one looping animated gif every day.
Browsing on internet I found a few people that are keeping themselves busy with personal projects on a daily basis. Every day they’re able to post something online.
Looking at them I always thought I couldn’t make it: too busy with my daily job in the studio, too busy at home with my family.
But I tried.
I just had to work against the clock
In order to fuel the creativity, I wanted to limit myself. Limits always work great with my mindset: playing between boundaries makes me feel more comfortable and relaxes me.
I started setting the palette. Just three colours. I picked a red, an off white and a black. But in order to choose the actual colours I took codes easy to remember, day after day.
So the white is R255 B255 G230, the red is R255 B100 G100 and the black is black, simply enough.
Every gif had to be optimised for Dribbble, so the resolution had to be 800×600.
In order to keep the size down, I chose to use just 50 frames and to have it looping.
Having set all these technical limits, I also wanted to be free to create whatever I wanted. Ultimately, I know I had to create one gif everyday in about 1 hour, so I wanted to set up one last rule that would have allowed me not to be stuck, by any means, failing my project.
The last rule is not to have any rule about the tools used or the style created.
Every gif could be done in a 3d program, in After Effects, Photoshop, hand drawn, shot, Houdini, Real Flow, particles or fluid simulations, whatever.
A tool is just a tool and it shouldn’t matter what you use when you create something.
Also, sometimes is even more interesting creating an animation stepping out from our comfort zone. And this is what I did in a lot of the gifs.
Creating these gifs it’s been an amazing journey. I can remember clearly where I was and what I did that day of my life just looking at every one of those.
Every day I was posting them online on few social networks: dribbble, imgur, facebook and twitter.
After few weeks, the Gastaloops started to get more and more attention.
In total, now, the Gastaloops have been viewed more than a million times just on imgur. And I managed to get interviews and features on some amazing magazines and websites.
Here is a list:
Feature on Fubiz
Interview on Timeout + Block Shot page on Dribbble
Interview on GIF Magazine
Feature on CreativeBoom
Feature on We and the color
Editor’s pick on Mu.zli (17/02/2017)
Feature on Freepik
Feature on InspirationGrid
Interview on Gif Porn with 150K views.
Featured artist on Giphy
Interview and exclusive feature on Wired Italia
Published on Repubblica, one of the major newspapers in Italy!
After 100 Gastaloops, I put them together creating a music promo for the song Out, by IISO. We have been featured on Wired.
Proudly, Vimeo Staff Pick (20th Feb 2017)!
Winner of FILE GIF 2017: Multiplicity, São Paulo, Brazil.
Winner of Creativepool Annual 2017, Animation / Individual category.
Third place at The Gifers festival in Turin, November 2016.
Part of a documentary about GIFs, created by Konstrastfilm for German / French channel Arte. You can watch it online!
Have been exhibited at the International GIF Festival “Y a des GIFs qui se perdent!” in Saint-Etienne (France), on October 2016.
- Official selection Supertoon, Šibenik, Croatia.
- Official selection POP SEFF, Szczecin European Film Festival, Poland.
- Official selection Caostica 15, Bilbao, Spain.
- Official selection Art all Night, Trenton, NJ, USA.
- Official selection 60 seconds or less Video Festival.
- Official selection FILE São Paulo 2017: Bubbling Universes, Brazil.
Well, if you managed to look at all of these, good fortune will come to you! YOU’RE AMAZING!
5 seconds looping animation for Greyscale Gorilla 5 seconds projects contest, April 2018. Theme: “Playground“.
After a long winter, the spring is finally here. So, we went to the playground and, well, we weren’t the only ones. A swarm of endless sliding and swinging and screaming kids, all around us!
The only thing we’ve been left to do was to join them. So here we are!
Done in Cinema4d + Arnold with the precious help of alcinoo.
Music: Gingerlys – Playgrounds live at WFMU (Creative Common 0)
Waymo 360 Experience
With Google Creative Lab, I had the chance to work on this incredible 360 video for Waymo.
Working with the creative leads, I helped them envision the look of the graphic overlays, translating not just in a simple and effective way how the Waymo technologies work, but also trying to be as much accurate as possible.
I also created the logo animation and a wide range of assets, used for press and internal use.
Google NSynth Super
NSynth Super it’s an open source experimental instrument made by Google Creative Lab which gives musicians the ability to make music using completely new sounds generated by the Magenta’s NSynth algorithm from 4 different source sounds.
Working with the Google Creative Lab team, I’ve been responsible of envisioning and delivering some animations for the website and videos. Trying to be as much as precise as possible, I coded some animations in After Effects starting from the real data coming from the AI algorithm.
Working just with shapes and baking expressions, I managed to export my 30 seconds animation into an SVG format, which file size is as little as 500kb. This it’s then been embedded in the official NSynth Super website.
Google Pixel 2 @ Selfridges Flipside
Your Luxury Portrait is a visual installation created by Google Creative Lab, showcasing the low light capabilities of the Google Pixel 2. With mirrors and lenses that mimic the Google Pixel 2 camera, Your Luxury Portrait invites the audience to create a personal representation of their own luxury.
Working with the Google Creative Lab team, I’ve been responsible of envisioning and delivering the animation for the window display at Selfridges, on Oxford Street.
Using some pictures shot on Pixel 2, I played extensively with expressions in order to build an organic animation that would link to the actual installation.
Google Draw to art
Draw to art is another incredible installation made by Google Creative Lab.
Using machine learning, you can draw a simple sketch to search through thousands of artworks and see what comes up.
On this project I used Houdini to visualise the actual distribution of the 122000 features in the 3d space.
Using a simple setup, I imported the coordinates (generated in python) and applied the relevant artwork texture to each plane.
I then used After Effects to explain how the program works.
Mitsubishi PHEV Numbers
Hyper-real CG for a world made of numbers
The Studio were please to have worked with RSA director Brett Foraker on his recent commercial for the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV ‘The numbers never looked this good’ for ad agency ‘Golley Slater Cardiff’.
The 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV campaign was inspired by the creative approach for the original launch in 2014. The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV was the world’s first 4WD Plug-in Hybrid SUV. It produced a remarkable 148mpg, becoming the UK’s number one selling hybrid vehicle.
Not only does the new 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV have even more impressive numbers at its heart, it has also undergone a complete redesign with stunning exterior styling and a premium interior finish.
The new ad, directed by ex-Channel 4 creative director Brett Foraker, turns numeracy into artistry. Each scene features a palette of numbers subtlety woven into the landscape, ensuring that every repeat viewing reveals a previously unspotted detail. Like the new 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, the campaign is a mix of hard numbers and wonderfully soft touches.
When the Studio@Smoke&Mirrors were first approached and shown the initial storyboards the team were really excited about the possibilities and worked out various post route options that could be used to achieve numbers within the environment.
After a series of R&D tests and further pre-production with Foraker and the Agency, a final route was agreed. Further style frames were then created prior to the shoot as well as full CG pre-visualisation of the car, rigs and studio environment to work out as much pre-camera data before the shoot days.
On set shoot supervision was provided by the Studio using a combination of 2D and 3D artists alongside the Studio’s creative director. The usual reference and data was collected on set and processed back to the studio so the artists could commence work immediately.
Laser cut number tarmac had to be produced for the set which the CG team provided exact data for. Proxy tree trunks were built out of ply on a huge rig to mimic light play on the car as well as a rigs for the tunnel, again to provide natural light play on the body of the car. This provided indispensable lighting reference for the CG team to replicate later in post.
On set editing was a prerequisite due to the tight schedule, this allowed agency and the director insight into the potential shots and edits allowing the CG team to start prepping scenes almost immediately.
Post production had to be run incredibly smoothly as practically every shot required 3D tracking, match move of the car, roto, clean up and beauty work.
Most of the shots look wise had been signed off prior to the shoot.
The Studio provided high res style frames for most of the environments which allowed sympathetic lighting to be created on the shoot days.
Creatively there was a lot of detailing being processed back and forth, from how the final number clouds should be formed, to what numbers should appear on top of the tall grass through to wether the paving stones should be number 8’s or 1’s. If you were to freeze on each shot and explore it you would find a whole new level of numbers hiding in there that the team has created.
Studio Creative director Dan Andrew spent a lot of time liaising with the agency and director so that this level of numeric detail was achieved. This was the world that Brett and the agency wanted to create on all levels hence the line ‘Numbers never looked this good’.
Challenges for the CG and comp department’s were to create this world from numbers that almost looked believable but where the viewer would instantly see the numerical messages formed within it.
This would inspire the viewer to look for more whilst enjoying the journey through this surreal magical numerical landscape, importantly taking in the beauty of the new model ‘Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV as it passes through each scene.
I personally created the previz, workign the exact moves of the rig, with its constraints. I also worked on two of the shots (shot 1 and 4), while managing the whole team.
We extensively used Cinema 4D and Vray with its hair module to create the grass and the wheat. This proved to be the perfect choice: with full GI, flicker free, every frame was rendering in about 45-55 minutes, compared to the over 2 hours with the standard engine.
The Nuke and matte painting team led by senior VFX artist Guillaume Weiss and CD Dan Andrew composited 9 shots in-conjunction with Smoke & Mirrors flame department. The process worked seamlessly across all departments allowing shared timelines to be reviewed daily either through Flame or Nuke Studio, with dailies being available 24/7 for the director or agency.
Another challenge the comp team encountered was to ensure the directors vision was met in terms of the time of day for each shot. The idea was to have the journey of the car progressing through the entire spot from early morning through to late night.
This meant a certain amount of time was spent rotoscoping individual parts of the car to subtlety change the lighting from the studio set-up to meet the changing environments created in CG.
The car was lit as sympathetically as possible on the shoot days guided by the style frames, however further post was always going to be needed to achieve the final look. Some reflections in the car had to cleaned up by the beauty team to allow CG reflections to be reapplied to ensure continuity within the shots.
Extensive matte painting had to be created for the skies with clouds forming numbers changing from morning till night. Cloud R&D and final skies were created by the The Studio’s matte painting team led by Charlie Lougheed and Christian Tailor.
- Agency: Golley Slater Cardiff
- Producer: Amanda Lowit
- Creative Director: Paul Williams/David Abbott
- Production Company: RSA Films
- Director: Brett Foraker
- Producer: Ben Porter
- Creative Director: Dan Andrew
- 2D Operations: Elliott Bellwood, Guillaume Weiss, Rory Whittle, Charlie Lougheed
- 3D Operations: Nicola Gastaldi, Nicola Destefanis, Antonio Filippin
- Producer: Lydia Evitt, Krystle Timm
- Colourist: Mark Horrobin
- Audio: SNK Music
- Sound Design: SNK Studios
Leftfield / Head and Shoulders
Chicken in the basket
The Studio had the pleasure of working with Riff Raff director Casey and Ewan on the latest Leftfield music video “Head & Shoulders”.
The video consisted in an evolving journey of a monster that grows not only in size but also in its look, from hand drawn to stop frame to 3d animation.
The Studio was asked to work on the 3d section of the video. The main references were low res, highly saturated, overall wrong and glitchy videos from early 90’s 3d video games and movies.
The team started creating an animatic, invaluable for timings both for the 3d artists and the director.
Along with it, Jason Williamson, singer of Sleaford Mods, has been shot lip-syncing the song using three cameras, in order to create an unwrapped texture for his 3d face model.
As soon as we got the style frames for the monster, we modelled, sculpted and textured it. Then we rigged it, added dynamics for the dreadlocks and created a setup in order to easily control the glitches.
We then modelled the environments, trying to add another layer of graphic evolution, starting from the stomach and the city quite low res, to the eclipse and the sky scenes more complex and more realistic (if you’re brave enough to believe in a flying monster eating powerplants in the sky).
The eclipse and the sky shots were the most challenging and fun to work on for us: we projected the backgrounds in nuke and, on top of that, made use of 2d relighting tools to enhance the light effects.
In every shot we used loads of c4d xpresso scripts, pyroclusters, x-particles for the dandruff storm (!!!)
Over all the team had a little over 15 days to complete the project.
The promo is airing now.
- Previz: Davide Frusteri, Christian Tailor
- 3d lead: Nicola Gastaldi
- 3d artists: Silvia Casali, Nicola Destefanis, Nicola Gastaldi, Christian Tailor
- Monster Rig: Nicola Destefanis
- Jason Head: Nicola Gastaldi
- Lead compositor: Guillaume Weiss
- Compositors: Nicola Destefanis, Nicola Gastaldi, Christian Tailor
- Studio Creative Director: Dan Andrew
Summer Comes, Summer Goes
When holidays are way too fast
Personal project, trying to go insane with tons of keyframes.
Just C4D, Vray, no Sketch & Toon, no After Effects, no plugins.
Universal Everything – Screens of the Future
Prototypes for Universal Everything
Part of an ongoing series of visionary prototypes, based on the emerging technologies of flexible displays, shape-shifting materials and context-aware functionality. These films highlight humanity’s increasingly integrated relationship with technology, serving as product demos of our near future.
Screens of the Future is part of an ongoing display research project, curated by Universal Everything.
- Creative Directors: Matt Pyke, Mike Hughes
- Senior Producer: Greg Povey
- Animation: Nicola Gastaldi
Changing the investment game.
For years the investment world has been dominated by fund managers charging huge sums of money based on their belief that they can consistently play the markets and win. In reality, the data shows they can’t. Source provides an innovative new model that’s driven by data, not ego. It’s a game-changing business, in need of a game-changing identity.
On this project I’ve animated the amazing illustrations done by Mother Design London for a full length video and the 4 animated gifs.
You can see the full project on Mother Design website.
Out Of The Loop – 100 days project
Starting from June 2017, Out Of The Loop is another 100 gifs in 100 days project, in collaboration with Nicola Destefanis.
Every single gif is filled with some 80’s nostalgia, colorful childhood memories which borders fade between movies, videogames, toys, tv commercials and tv series, tactile sensations or just distant echoes of a (not so) distant past.
But exactly as our brain works, we quickly found out that what remains in our brains, what struck our imagination is something unique and peculiar, not directly connected with what actually happened, what we actually experienced.
I quickly realised that some of the gifs I was doing could become a funny movies quiz. Well, it’s now here! You can play the 30 Movies Gifs Quiz! Have fun!
We chose to set some strict rules to guide us in the creative process too. The gifs had to have some qualities:
- 2 seconds long, 120bpm
- popping out from the borders
In 2017 I bumped in Phantom by a great artist named Jason Gaffner. I thought his song could have been perfect for my showreel, so I sent him an email asking if I could use it. He was so kind to grant me the usage of the song. We started our collaboration with just a random email and now the whole Out of the Loop series is the official music video of his song Feel Something.
A new addition to the project is that we share every day the loop on instagram, so you can enjoy the animations in their full resolution and also with a bespoke soundtrack everyday!
Featured on Behance / Motion.
Featured on Ello.
Featured on Creativepool.
I’ve been asked few times why I wanted to do another 100 days project. Or actually why I even did the gastaloops in the first place.
I believe that the process of doing one animation every day for 100 days will make me and us better, it will improve my design skills, it will tests me scheduling my days, it will force me to solve problems and being effective with my technical choices.
For years I’ve started and deleted my drawings, songs, animations, writings. And always the reason was that they weren’t good enough.
But with a 100 days project like this or my previous one, maybe each animation is not brilliant or perfect. But overall, after 100 days, it will be at least interesting.
We are not aiming to subvert the design world or to create something unique. We genuinely want to improve through a daily effort and progress.
Hope you’re going to follow us in our colorful journey!
Virgin Future Visions
Working at JamFilms, I’ve been approached by Virgin to create a set of looping animations that would support the six interviews on six different themes. The broad brief and the nature of each topic ignited my creativity with out of the box ideas.
After my Gastaloops series, I wanted to push the concept even further.
Araceli Camargo is a cognitive neuroscientist, with a specialisation on perception. Her vision is about how the workspace could and will affect human relationships and lives.
- Advances in artificial intelligence could result in a cultural renaissance, provided the right education support is provided to enable the transition.
- Despite increases in remote working we will not see the death of the workplace, instead it will be redesigned to help businesses address their most important issues in person.
- Cognitive flexibility will become a highly regarded skill and holds the key to problem solving.
Here Cindy Gallop shares with us her insights on the future of the advertising industry and the reality of the new world order.
There is no future that happens without deliberate human intervention. The future of work is the future that you, I and all the rest of us make happen. This means it’s important to state that my vision for the future of work is not an objective observational “I think this is what it will be like”.
Hyper connect digital networks will completely change our work eco-systems and bolster the ‘Anywhere Economy’.
Dr James Bellini is a respected TV broadcaster, futures analyst, writer and speaker. He predicts augmented and virtual realities are going to radically change life in the next 20 years.
But are the changes all positive, and what does this mean for the world of work?
We are at the precipice of a digital revolution that will change every aspect of our lives, with a global computer fabric changing the way we interact, work and live.
Meet our expert, Peter Smith. Peter is the CEO and co-founder of Blockchain, a financial technology and data company. He is also a regular contributor and speaker on new pioneering technology in the fin-tech space.
Tracey is an award-winning futurist and works with clients such as Google and Diageo. She speaks and writes regularly on the future of artificial intelligence (AI), gender, work and culture.
In a world in which everything can be tracked, monitored, analysed and scrutinised it may be incumbent on public services – and private enterprises – to invest in the crime prediction game. It may be that the only way to fight crime, so much of which will be automated by then – will be to forecast it, and an industry will spring up that is about tracking behaviours, pattern recognition and anomaly spotting that suggests crime before it has occurred – cybercrime ‘pre-crime’.
Ben Hammersley is a British internet technologist, journalist, author, broadcaster and futurist. He is a frequent contributor to many publications including Wired Magazine and BBC.
Quite simply, you cannot prepare for 20 years’ time. You can only prepare for tomorrow – by constantly and actively questioning everything you do today. So that’s what you have to do: maintain a mental, physical, and legal nimbleness that allows – or even forces – you to be reassessing and course correcting, on a day to day basis. Those 20 years will pass, and you will be well placed. But you’ll also be well placed for the 20 years after that as well.
Using the iconic Virgin red, I wanted to create a figurative and essential design, simple but effective, that would summarise a vast and complex concept into a tiny, but infinite, 15 seconds long animation.
Reading the essays about the Future Visions, I found one common trait: all the futurologists believe (or want to believe?) that, even if the technology will thrive and grow exponentially in our lives, the human will be always, and probably more, centred.
Because of this, I modelled and rigged a simple character, one female and one male, that I could animate and be the hero of each of the six videos.
I’ve also created a basic sound design that would hopefully enhance the whole animation.
Each of the six animations supported a different podcast with the interview, the Instagram (both official Virgin and Richard Branson accounts) and Twitter feeds and some high res frames have been used for a print campaign as well.
Finish Line #shoessofresh
An endless twisting loop in a tiny gif
After my GastaLoops series, Innocean Worldwide commissioned me one infinite loop for the new Finish Line campaign, #ShoesSoFresh.
Among few artists, like RADIO and Brandon Moats, the client gave me total freedom to create a loop in my own style, trying to catch the edginess and freshness of the brand.
I’ve come up with a mesmerising loop that constantly revolves around the logo.
I delivered the animation in different resolutions in order to suit the various social networks (Instagram, Twitter, Dribbble, Facebook, Youtube).
- Agency: Innocean Worldwide
- ACD: Jose Eslinger
- Concept and animation: Gasta
Celebrating IBM patents with looping GIFs
IBMblr is a highly creative and visual driven tumblr that celebrates IBM achievements in an unconventional, eye catching and surprising way.
With these 6 animated GIFs, IBM celebrates some of their patents.
- Art direction and copy: Ogilvy NY
- Project: IBM
Moto Z Mods
The Candy Canes Factory
A GSG 5s project
Done for Greyscale Gorilla 5 Seconds project, theme “Candy Cane”.
During my 3 days off of work for Christmas I spent some nice time with my family and I also managed to do a nice little personal project.
As usual, all done in C4D and Vray, no compositing at all, another isometric 5 seconds long perfect loop. I wanted to play with a lot of details to force the viewer to watch it multiple times.
I believe every little job needs an awful lot of time spent working with keyframes and their curves.
I’m proud to say that this little video won the Greyscale Gorilla 5s project!
It was just about a unanimous decision from our judges! Congratulations to Nicola Gastaldi for an awesome animation. The candy cane factory had so much going on and all the elements worked really well together!
A special thanks to our amazing sponsor, Field Notes who are sending Nicola a colors subscription for his creative submission!
- Production: Smoke & Mirrors
- 2D: Christian Tailor, Nicola Destefanis
- 3D: Nicola Gastaldi
- Compositing: Dan Andrew, Guillaume Weiss, Tim Davies
- Post Producer: Sophie Harrison
- Grade: Tim Davies
Holby City title sequence
We worked on all aspects from concept development to final delivery.
This included pitching the idea to the Holby City team.
We presented an array of moodboards and concept frames to demonstrate the concept and give an early preview of the look we developed.
We also presented a full length CG animatic timed to the audio track to illustrate the journey and the possibilities with the live action narrative.
We then organised and directed a live action shoot on location to capture abstract Holby City textures, as well as the live action vignettes that would support the edit.
Extensive RnD on the CG skeleton in Cinema 4D allowed us to achieve bones texture and material properties with the glassy and heavily refracted look we were after.
All CG and live action plates were composited in Nuke, creating the final look and colour palette.
The live action vignettes were treated as a combination of CG refractions within the skeleton and of distorted projections in Nuke on its surface.
We built all light effects happening on and within the skeleton in Nuke, also creating the ethereal backgrounds for each shot using camera data from the 3D scene and Nuke’s particle systems.
We made use of Nuke’s relighting capabilities to bring out the best of the skeleton’s details, using this method also to create additional layers of pulsating light effects on it’s surface.
Finishing touches included the final logo reveal, optical effects and additional atmos elements.
All these were composited and synced with the audio track, building up the intensity and the pace of edit, culminating with the Holby City logo reveal.
Smoke&Mirrors audio department then remixed the original audio track, adding extra sound effects to sync with our master picture.
- Cinema 4d + Vray: Nicola Gastaldi
- Nuke compositor: Guillaume Weiss