CT5 'Show Open'


Creativity Top 5 is a webcast that covers the five most interesting things happening in the advertising industry each week. Not only do they spotlight amazing commercials and campaigns, but they also touch on innovative, forward-thinking ideas and techniques that make a splash on the advertising landscape. The intro I created for Creativity Top 5 pays homage to the artists in the trenches who create the work featured on the show.


I can't believe it, but it's real. Along with my amazing team, I won a D&AD Wood Pencil for "Film Advertising Craft." The more I think about it, this project probably deserves it more than anything I've ever worked on in my life. This project is about craft and the effort my team put forth was relentless.

Behind the scenes Video

The previous iteration of the CT5 intro that this project replaced was created years ago and it’s age was obvious. I wanted to create something timeless that wouldn’t age, so I took a more documentary approach to our execution. Starting by surveying the creative world, looking for new art forms, I discovered some interesting crafts and technologies that have sprung up in recent years, such as iPad Light Painting, Knit Bombing, and 3D Printing. From there, these new art forms were paired with various animation techniques to build a rich story showcasing over a dozen techniques.

About the numbers

#1: Light Painting

Traditionally, light painting is a simple process using long exposure to capture the path of a moving light. This evolved version of light painting, sometimes referred to as iPad light painting, uses a complex process of “scanning” 3D animation, then live rendering frames by pushing an iPad past an open lens. The process literally paints a dimensional form into the air that you can physically move a camera around. It feels a bit like a hologram when you see the captured image on screen.

Andrew Prousalis, technical director, developed a kit that transfers 3D animation into “frame scan” videos. Each of these videos represents a single frame of the 3D animation. These videos were then played on a laptop mounted to a motorized slider in order to ensure a clean register from frame to frame. There is some great visual example of this in the CT5 Behind the Scenes edit (above).

#2: Knit Bombing

I was lucky that the lead animator on the project happened to be a talented knitter. In fact, the morning after we discussed the possibility of using knit bombing as an art form, Ryan walked in with a little knit sculpture of a classic Warner Brothers bomb, complete with a burning fuze. With that capability, we were able to develop the type form with multiple layers of string over a wire frame, giving us complex and beautiful animation.

#3: Creative Technology

I teamed with creative technologists to build a team of small robots capable of building the number 3, each with a different capability needed to place a certain section of the number. In keeping with the idea of combining various creative disciplines, the robots were built from 3d printed parts, that in turn would build the number 3, from 3d printed parts as well.

#4: Claymation

This number was a particularly tedious execution. Claymation is not a rare art form, but you generally do not see organic tendrils consuming an off balance object and taking the form of a clean, defined letterform. And why not add a layer of hundreds of tiny sequin pieces to really challenge patience? At the more complex moments in the move, sculpting and shooting each frame would take 4 hours. Once again, Ryan executed the shot beautifully, luckily nailing it in one take. This is a great example of how pre vis can truly aid the creative outcome.

#5: 3d Printing

For the number 5, a 3D artist created a fluid simulation of the 5 filing with liquid. We then printed physical models for each frame of the 3d animation using a 3d printer, and photographed them in secession to create practical animation. BUT, we hit a snag. After 2 months of constant printing, calculating in plenty of printer errors associated with printing randomly generated complex fluid forms, we had only printed 40 of the 120+ frames that we had planned. It was looking to be impossible, and we had to adapt.

This is where the story gets good. Andrew was able to extract the G-Code information, the information that guides the path of the 3d printer head. That data was then transfered back into the Cinema4D environment. From there we were able to accurately re-create 3d printed models virtually. With a solid composite, we ended up with an element that sits perfectly into the practically shot stage. What a save!