The build-up to a new season is always exciting if you’re a football fan. And seeing your club’s new kit for the first time is a big part of the buzz.
For clubs, the annual kit reveal has become a major event in itself. Get it right and you’ll bring your fans – and finance team – to fever pitch. But miss the target and you’ll be trending for all the wrong reasons.
With matchday revenues obliterated by the pandemic, shirt sales have become an even more crucial source of income. So the need for bold, attention-grabbing kit launches has never been more important.
We collaborated with The Midnight Club on Chelsea’s 2020/21 shirt launch, home away from home↗. And it worked so well that we teamed up again for Arsenal’s away-kit reveal.
Off-white and streaked with red, the adidas-designed shirt is inspired by the famous marble halls of Highbury – Arsenal’s famous former home. Our brief was to channel this sense of grandiosity to create a surreal, dreamlike video that would resonate with the Gunners’ discerning fanbase.
After digesting the client’s creative references, we set to work exploring and developing ideas. This involved gathering truckloads of material about marble – from walls and floors to busts and statues – as getting the detail right was so fundamental to the piece.
The majority of the piece was animated in Maya and rendered in RedShift We then applied our specialist process for 3d animation and VFX, as our client felt that 3D animation this was the best way to achieve the mesmeric quality they’d envisioned.
The long camera shots helped elevate the film’s dreamy, surreal vibe. And it made things more exciting visually for the viewer – which is always our main aim.
With only eight weeks to work with, time was always our biggest hurdle. But thanks to our powerful in-house render farm, we were able to render and comp in days rather than weeks – giving us plenty of room to iterate and finesse.
And a challenge we particularly relished: creating a Michelangelo-inspired marble statue of Arsenal legend David Seaman – complete with his iconic moustache and ponytail.
Using a basic 3d statue, we sculpted and posed Dave in ZBrush, built the gloves in Maya and posed on the hands. And we faithfully recreated Seaman’s magnificent mane and tash with XGen, an instancing tool inside Maya.
Despite a kit design leak, the response to the reveal video was fantastic and sometimes hilarious. This translated into coverage in the sports press – a selection of which you can read here:
Midnight Club / Adidas
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