Zoic Studios teamed with BODEGA to demonstrate how Under Armour has helped prepare U.S. Speedskating athletes as they head into the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. The film, produced direct-to-client, brings to life the silhouette of a methodical speedskater crystallizing into icy form as the competitor rounds the oval. As velocity heightens, the ice shatters, revealing a human form in Under Armour’s new speed skin design.
Zoic worked closely with Emmy-winning co-directors Megan Oepen and Haley Geffen, contributing all up-front look development and technical expertise in pre-production, ensuring that all visual effects could be successfully implemented for the final piece. Prior to the shoot, the Zoic team, led by VFX Supervisor Julien Brami, took a 3D scan of Olympic Gold medalist and film model Joey Cheek inside the Under Armour skin. This ensured a fast implementation of the skater model into the Zoic pipeline and a smooth transition into its use for the subsequent match-move and creation of the “ice man” silhouette. Once the match-move was in place, the formation of the ice man was rendered with a combination of both Houdini and Maya, and lit in V-Ray. MoGraph was both designed and animated in After Effects. Each shot was composited in Nuke, with a final Flame finish.
Under Armour’s innovation team set out to deliver a new Olympic speed skin that maximizes comfort, mobility and speed. Fabrics and concepts were tested for hundreds of hours, creating an asymmetrical skin design that matched the sports-specific movement of always turning left. This build matches the athletes’ natural, ergonomic movement on the ice while keeping comfort and mobility at the forefront.
Notes Geffen, “Under Armour has an incredible brand and they are smartly looking to reach consumers in new ways. After hearing about Meg’s concept, I was all in and eager to meld our minds and see what we could come up with together.”