Animating heroes for Southampton FC's kit launch

04 August 2017

Animating heroes for Southampton FC's kit launch

We’re excited to share our two-part, comic-book style animation for the launch of Southampton FC’s 2017-2018 home kit.

In keeping with the 80’s inspired home shirt design, the animation transforms Southampton players Manolo Gabbiadini, Ryan Bertrand, Fraser Forster and Maya Yoshida into retro, comic book superheros. The players use their superpowers to rescue stolen kit designs from villain and former manager, Ronald Koeman (haha), culminating in the big kit-reveal, and call-to-action to pre-order.

Animating heroes for Southampton FC's kit launch

A new rendering technique

In order to achieve the comic-book style we wanted in the time we had, a new rendering technique that borrows the principles of many sculpting programmes, and allows you to preview materials on a model, needed to be developed in Maya.

Animating heroes for Southampton FC's kit launch

Using a series of illustrated circles, which depicted the various render passes we wanted (such as rim light, outline, shadow and painted texture), we could associate the points on the surface of our characters to a 2D image. Rather than having to paint over each shot individually, this technique allowed us to output several layers from Arnold with a hand-drawn style, and combine them to create the final look.

Animating heroes for Southampton FC's kit launch

“We really wanted to borrow as much as possible from superhero comics in terms of both style and composition in order to do something a bit different with 3D animation, and hopefully evoke the fun energy of Saturday-morning cartoons.” Dane Winn, Director

Animating heroes for Southampton FC's kit launch

Animating heroes for Southampton FC's kit launch

The tongue-in-cheek campaign sits under the headline #MadeForHeroes, and has been published on Southampton FC’s YouTube channel here. The animation has already received a whopping 3 million views on Facebook, which is a win in our book.

Animating heroes for Southampton FC's kit launch

Animating heroes for Southampton FC's kit launch

Animating heroes for Southampton FC's kit launch