Where else can you see Salah ride to victory at Epsom, or Jurgen Klopp KO Anthony Joshua? This great idea came to us from the guys at Catena Media and Coral to highlight some of the biggest upcoming sporting events at the time. The animation was all meant to get across the crucial point: in sport, anything can happen! No matter the odds, there’s always a chance for the unexpected to occur. In this instance, that took the form of a series of cross-disciplinary bouts between different (at the time) unbeaten sporting greats, the eponymous ‘Unbeatables’.
The process for this animation was to create some really high quality, layered illustrations in Photoshop and then take those in to After Effects. Once there, we animate using basic position and rotation keyframing, alongside the puppet tool. The last step was to add that beautiful post-processing on top, which we went about in a pretty unique way. We would project the scenes onto 16×9 planes in Cinema 4D and then render that out in Octane, allowing us to make full use of the settings on Octane’s virtual cameras. This gave us those really lovely blooms and lens flares, the sort of things you’d expect to see if you filmed with a real camera.
The key with this style is subtlety, each shot starts out moving quickly, and then rapidly decelerates to focus on a single moment. Since you’re working from still images there is a limited range of motion for the characters, and a limited camera angle too. After Effects’s 2.5D allows for some amount of parallax movement, but rotate too far and it’ll be clear that everything is constructed from 2D planes. Hit that right balance though, and everything comes together just right! We love using this technique, not least because it lets us set Roger Wade loose to do his thing. He captured the likenesses of these sporting icons perfectly.