Enzo’s Monday Motion #96: Light & Shadow

Light is the primary source for use to see. But without shadows our brain can’t see the full picture. This edition is dedicated to the perfect symbiose between the two opposites.

Conductors of light

Gatorade is all about fueling athletes. How more literate can you go than portraying your target audience by purely your product! UNIT9 took upon the challenge of creating the spot where every special effect was captured on camera. The concept is as simple as it is complex in production: light and capture rain in mid air thus creating a frame by frame animation.

Even though the end product is free of CGI, the project clearly isn’t. The big special effects budget was spend in pre production. Motion captured actors delivered the input for the main character. The full script and camera movements were than tweaked in 3D. The biggest hurdle was the translation of the animation into water. They custom build a rain rig which could ‘print’ a single line every two milli seconds. Think of the classic matrix printer, only super fast, in 3D, with water… The flood of computer data was stored in a controller unit and triggered by the camera (flash).

A perfect example where technique and creativity deliver a unique end product. Props to director Cole Paviour, the dedicated team of UNIT9, Machine Shop, Arri Rental and Mark Roberts Motion Control.

Iconic Curves

Nothing is more recognisable as the outline of a Porsche 911. Better said, the 911 is easily 91.1% of the brand. The internal design department is, next to the whole car fleet, also responsible for a large diversity of products. An example is the latest phone for Huawei. Here they continue their skills in distinctive lining and curvatures. The concept of the spot is based upon these design characteristics.

Even though the concept and execution is nicely done, it instantly reveals the weakness of the studio. You would almost think the spot is all about the 911, instead of the Huawei Mate 9 (another reference..?) I do have to give credit to the transition to the phone. The feature speed is smartly used to introduce the high quality camera. Concept by Master Pictures Inc. and directed by Dongho Lee.

Light Refractions

Water is a popular conductor of light which returns in the next example. Brendan Wells and his brother are experienced kayaker who paddled many times down the rapids on the White Salmon in Washington State. Seeking a new challenge they paddled down the waterfalls in pitch black night with their LED covered gear as the only light source.

The playful reflections of the light in water do tier job. I wonder if the edit needs the daylight shots. The action speaks for it self and it takes away a bit of the magic. I assume the two brothers where heavily inspired by the Philips Ambilight campaign Afterglow. Clearly a concept steal, but with a fraction of the budget they managed to give a nice sequel to the previous campaign.


Beetroot production created the title animation for the Greek design and illustration awards show ΕΒΓΕ. Based upon the abstract logo design the created an artistic animation which plays around with light and shadows. Here we see the impact of the two in it’s purest form. You don’t need a complex scene to deliver an interesting effect.

Optical Illusion

Coloured light and lenses are a playful combination. Combining them makes it possible to block certain content (or specific colours). This principle is the concept of Blonde Redhead’s music video directed by Virgilio Villoresi. In his surreal world he surprises (or better said scares) the viewer with spooky images.

On camera effects are a popular these days. Big brands often take a massive (and money consuming) detour to deliver the end result. This isn’t always the case. With a limited budget you need to be creative and that’s exaclt what Villoresi did. A brilliant concept which I have never seen before. Nice job by the director and production agency Moviechrome.

Last Week

Sometimes directors and motion designers need to tell a story in 5 seconds. TV networks are many times the clients for these mini spots a.k.a. idents.


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Enzo Greco

Enzo is motion director van Born05 en schrijver van het blog Enzo's Monday Motion. Vimeo

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