Google Earth Timelapse

27 million satellite images from the past 37 years, 2 million hours of rendering done inside Google’s carbon neutral data centers, the new Google Earth Timelapse features time as the 4th dimension to explore our planet.

Done entirely at Creative Lab London, I was responsible of setting the correct pipeline between Google Earth Studio, enabled with experimental features and After Effects.
I then animated 3d cameras in Google Earth Studio, rendering on multiple machines, 4k imagery that has been then used for the first time in January at Davos 2020 on the main led screen, which used a 2:1 ratio and a 4k resolution.
I also delivered assets for other screens in Davos, one huge video that was looping between the three main ones and more clips used by scientists.

The project received a huge media coverage and it’s still going strong on Youtube and magazines.

WebXR Experiments

A collection of experiences made with WebXR, which brings together AR and VR on the web to make them more convenient and widely accessible.
We’re featuring some of our own projects here and encourage everyone to grow the collection and push the boundaries of what’s possible with WebXR.

I worked on some of the 3d transitions, intro and endframe, where I created a 3d Pixel 5 phone with some 3d light effects.
I also did some beauty work on the footage, to replace a sky.

Look to Speak

Look to Speak is an Android app from ‘Experiments with Google‘ which enables people who have language and motor impairments to use their eyes to select pre-written phrases and have them spoken aloud. Keyword Post.

I made the tutorial (in app and youtube), some gifs for the media comms pack and some clean ups on the main film.

Sodar

A website to help Chrome users understand social distancing, by using WebXR to visualise 2m in the space around them.
I helped the team develop the visual language used in the experiment and created the social assets.

A Fair Code

Creating a way to drive awareness and understanding of the News Media Bargaining Code, and how it will negatively affect user experience on Google and YouTube in Australia.

5 Euro Challenge Fly Bye Bye

A quick and fun test for the Aria App, for the 5Euro Challenge a project for Woa Creative Company during the 2020 Covid-19 quarantine.

Starling Bank at Sibos

10 animations, starting from Starling Bank logo, with a strong narrative in each of them.
5 pattern animations using the Starling elements, constantly moving.

Do you like puppies?

Character explorations and extreme cuteness

Biore UV

Looping animations done in collaboration with GIF Magazine.

Cinema4d + Redshift

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.

Credits.

Showreel

Dive in – An illustrated tale

Dive in
breath in, splash
past the reef
swimming quickly
hide and seek
muddled rooster
gnashing teeth
cautious fishes
eyes in blue
bubbling wishes
peek-a-boo.

awards.

Gastaloops

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.

concept.

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

limits.

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.

freedom.

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.

achievements.

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!

music promo.

After 100 Gastaloops, I put them together creating a music promo for the song Out, by IISO. We have been featured on Wired.

awards.

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.

film festivals.

Well, if you managed to look at all of these, good fortune will come to you! YOU’RE AMAZING!

GSG5s: Playgrounds

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.
Fully looping!

Music: Gingerlys – Playgrounds live at WFMU (Creative Common 0)

awards.

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

overview.

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.

shooting.

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.

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’.

creating 3d.

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.

compositing.

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.

Credits.

  • Agency: Golley Slater Cardiff
  • Producer: Amanda Lowit
  • Creative Director: Paul Williams/David Abbott
  • Production Company: RSA Films
  • Director: Brett Foraker
  • Producer: Ben Porter
  • VFX/Post
  • 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.

Awards.

Credits.

  • 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.

Credits.

  • Sound Design: Alessandro Morella

Awards.

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.
universaleverything.com/projects/screens-of-the-future

Screens of the Future is part of an ongoing display research project, curated by Universal Everything.
screensofthefuture.com

Credits.

  • Creative Directors: Matt Pyke, Mike Hughes
  • Senior Producer: Greg Povey
  • Animation: Nicola Gastaldi

Source

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.

Credits.

Awards.