Builder’s Club is known for its mind-bending 3D animations but this latest project goes one level up the eye-boggling scale. Hypnotic and satisfying to watch, the short film – made to promote a new speaker from Google’s Chinese rival Baidu – brings to life the product’s qualities with hyperreal sheen.
The London studio, led by film director Jonas Hegi and motion designer Julien Simshauser, was approached by Baidu to make a series of short animations to launch its AI smart speaker Raven H. The result splits into four, emulating the speakers qualities: connectivity, signal waves, AI and colours. Waves shows ripples and undulations through liquid and solid materials, while Connectivity shows seemingly solid objects in marble, wood and metal which morph and mould together before showing layers of the speaker itself assembling. Artificial intelligence features a botanical scene appearing from thin air, with tropical leaves, mushrooms and grass spreading across a floor; and finally Colours features sheets and amorphous blobs of block colour gradually covering various surfaces.
“The overarching theme is ‘domestic materiality’,” explains Julien. “We created [animated] materials associated with industrial products and home environments… then distorted and transformed them in a magical way, made them come alive. We also added imperfections such as scratches and wrinkles to make things feel more real, while still going crazy.” Visual references were drawn from modern art, product design, architecture, film and fashion; for example Connectivity was inspired in part by Jeff Koons, and Waves took aesthetic cues from chemical reactions. AI drew from “a crazy plant video art piece by Cyprien Gaillard where plants are moving in slow motion like living beings,” says Julien. “When we combined this with drone led lights – it made the perfect fusion of real and artificial intelligence for us.”
To connect the four disparate visuals in one hero film, Builder’s Club created a consistent light quality throughout. “For this we wanted to move away from the usual soft light used heavily in 3D motion graphics, and mainstream-friendly pastel colours. Instead we went for monochromatic materials combined with a few punchy accent colours.” This is accompanied by music by Simon Pyke, giving the whole film an otherworldly feel.
- OK-RM and Daniel Shea collaborate on a new work of fiction exploring natural resources
- Cépé's illustrations capture the colours of southern France
- Joe Melhuish turns fidget spinners, avocados and anvils into animated outfits for any millennial
- Gourau and Phong stretches reality by combing photography with new technologies
- Graphic designer Benoît Brun’s comics-inspired typography leaps off the page
- Antonis Theodoridis chases the sunlight of Athens in his series Ways of Escape
- Get ready for 230 new emojis to confuse your mum with
- Netflix rolls out brand new ident for all its original material
- David Rothenberg discusses his unique portraits of the passengers of planes
- Photographer Nick Turpin captures cars bathed in the lights of Piccadilly Circus
- Byun Young Geun likens illustration to “looking into a mirror”
- Naranjo-Etxeberria designs an identity aiming to cause impact at first glance