Columbia Boot Animation

Posted in Animation on December 11th, 2008 by sketchbookinc

My second project with Columbia involves creating a 3d animation of the Bugaboot – Columbia’s premier winter boot. I can’t speak about the specifics of the animation nor the boot due to NDA, but I can speak some of the complexity of this 3d boot’s creation.

Columbia gave us a sample boot as reference, and we modeled everything from scratch, including an insanely complex tread. Wild. Wish the animation was a little more complex, as the detail in this shoe will never be seen at the resolution we rendered at. I’ll have to do some rendering on my own of some close-ups. This boot looks absolutely real.

I don’t have it in front of me but the boot geometry alone was hundreds of thousands of polygons, and that’s before any type of smoothing. The tread alone was around 50k polys. Sadly, Vray had a bug with bump and displacement maps when using UV coordinates, so I am glad the boot is fairly small in the frame of the animation. Vray 1.1 for c4d is now out, and we will have the ability to really improve on this. Not to mention 64 bit rendering, which will handle the millions of polygon’s without blinking. I will post images as soon as I this boot hits market.

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Nike ID @ Niketown NYC

Posted in 3D on December 11th, 2008 by sketchbookinc


I worked on the Nike ID space within Niketown New York with my friend Luis Rueda a while back. Luis has a background in architecture, and he often sketches out his retail spaces on the fly. His weapon of choice is a large, rolling, mechanical dry-erase board which prints the board’s contents onto a piece of paper. Pretty nifty.

This rendering is one of several that were done for the space. All rendered in c4d’s AR. This would have been a great VRay project.

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Aperion Speaker Animation

Posted in Animation, Flash, Web on December 10th, 2008 by sketchbookinc

bravus_microsite1I was contacted by David Stewart regarding an animation for a new speaker from Aperion Audio. I’d never heard of the company, but from the looks of it they make some great home speakers and they are right in my backyard to boot!

The focus of the animation is a new kick-ass subwoofer called the Bravus. The animation was to be kept simple, and would be scripted into flash for an online microsite. Check it out. It’s a fairly simple animation, and was actually my first in Vray. Very impressed with this new render engine.

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Columbia Sportswear Illustrations

Posted in Illustration on December 8th, 2008 by sketchbookinc

My studio mate Jason Laramie was recently hired to create about a dozen illustrations which will be used to show off Columbia’s fabric and footwear technologies. Omni-Tech is Columbia’s flagship fabric technology, which would compare to Gore Tex or Nike’s Storm Fit. All the other technologies would probably not be as recognizable to the general consumer.

Jason, in his first meeting with Columbia, realized that many of the illustrations could benefit greatly from 3d, and he mentioned my name as a possible partner on the project, and they agreed it would be a good idea to utilize me in the process.

Jason and I then sat down and brainstormed a bit regarding what we needed to do, and it was clear that the vast majority of the work should be done in 3d, with some post photoshop work as a final touch.

Jason’s first job was to provide Columbia with some rough sketches of each illustration, and we agreed it would be good to get a comp in front of them of what a more final illustration would look like in style. We decided that the Omni-Tech illustration was the most important of the bunch, so we did some research on what Gore-Tex, Nike and all the other companies with similar technologies were doing for technology illustrations. Most were pretty similar.

Big Giant created a series of hangtag illustrations for Nike several years back which were very nice yet they were a vastly different style from what Columbia was wanting.

Final images look great. Will post once things become public.


Aperion System Builder

Posted in 3D on December 7th, 2008 by sketchbookinc

system_builderMy third project with Aperion, and my second with David Stewart consisted of a “Build Your Own System” project. This was an online application found on the Aperion website which allows people to drag and drop speakers into a pre-defined room, or the users can select from pre-configured systems. 

Aperion provided me with dimensions for 3 room sizes: large, medium, and small. David provided the direction as to what to place the rooms. This was another Vray project which posed many challenged. As you can see above, there is a large shag rug in the scene. I used Cinema’s hair plugin to create the rug, and we consistently ran into problems in rendering the simple scene, as the rug had too many polygons. It was quite the process getting this all rendered believe it or not. 

the second test was in how to “build” the rooms with flash. David’s direction was to animate all the elements into the room. This can be done pretty easily as long as you keep the footage one long animated image sequence right out of cinema. But David was wanting to get each furniture element as a separate file so that he could do the animation in flash, which was much more time consuming on the 3d side. 

Aperion’s budget and our schedule ended up being the defining answer as to which way to proceed. No animation at all.

Next challenge was rendering all the speakers within the 3 rooms. There are dozens of speakers, and you can pretty much put any of the speakers into any of the positions in the room. Front, front center, side, rear, ceiling, wall, etc. Becomes a little mind boggling. We ended up keyframing it out in cinema. So if there were 8 positions, each speakers would get rendered in each of the 8 positions. We had to make sure to place the pivot point of all speakers at the bottom rear of each speaker to make this as automated as possible. We also rendered an ambient occlusion pass and an alpha pass for each frame.

Last was to composite it all together in AE, which posed some issues. Vray’s physical camera tag does not match the default c4d camera, so when we rendered the AO pass, the camera angle was ever so slightly off. Very annoying. Overall it turned out pretty well.

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Under Armour Animation

Posted in Animation on December 2nd, 2008 by sketchbookinc

ua_stillI was hired by Under Armour a few months ago to create a simple animation showing off their new footwear fixturing program. The UA footwear fixtures are a system of interchanging parts, and allows for a great deal of flexibility for the retailer.

This project was extremely quick turn. We built all of the assets from scratch, animated and rendered everything all within 1 week. Even were able to use RealFlow in one section.

All in all, it’s not the sexiest animation – but for a weeks worth of work I can’t complain.

See the Animation


Linfield Identity

Posted in Design on November 28th, 2008 by sketchbookinc

linfield_mailerI was hired by The Creative Company to redefine the branding for Linfield College in McMinnville. Creative Company at the time had no creative lead, so I basically directed myself regarding creative approach. CC provided me some historical background, photos, and a lot of research which was gathered through focus groups and surveys which were conducted with current students, potential students, as well as faculty.

linfield_poster2linfield_mailer_22The overriding goal of this project was to create a vibrant, contemporary and energetic face for the college. Linfield has a lot of history, and the collateral which the college produced in the past had been very conservative/dry. They were looking to attract more students, and this new Identity hit the mark. Results from the project can be found at the Creative Company’s website. They also won several awards for the Linfield work.

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Nike Concept Store – Round 1

Posted in 3D on November 20th, 2008 by sketchbookinc

A while back Nike hired me to work with Ziba Design to render out some concepts for a new store concept. My contact at Nike was Paul Loux and my contact at Ziba was Jonathon Irick. The renderings turned out ok despite not having VRay at the time.nike_concept_store_01nike_concept_store_02

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ZCom Identity

Posted in Design, Illustration on November 20th, 2008 by sketchbookinc

zcom_photoDuring my stint as senior AD at ZCom, I re-designed the corporate identity while the company was going through some major changes. On my first day as an employee, the company was purchased by Emerald Solutions, a giant interactive company which was on track to going public. So It was almost like starting a new job with 2 separate companies in the same day.

Emerald was a technology company. An engineering company really. ZCom was a small, creative-driven web design firm. This created a number of problems, however the biggest for ZCom was the loss of our identity. As part of the acquisition, ZCom changed names to Emerald Interactive. This new name plus the fact that the .com bubble had begun to burst resulted in our work suddenly disappearing. It wasn’t even clear how to position ourselves any longer.

So we decided to re-brand the company and to change our name back to ZCom, while still remaining under the Emerald umbrella.

As part of the discovery phase on this project we identified several key visuals which were important to our brand. Some of these included our Portland location, our studio space, architecture, industrial design, some key words, and a somewhat edgy, non-corporate look and feel.

zcom_styleboards1Chris Miller our CD researched dozens of sites which we liked for one reason or another, and after discussing potential directions I produced 4 styleboards which we presented to the ZCom owners Dennis Hahn (now owner at ID branding) and Sharon Peterson.

The decision was made to work from the board on the right, and while I started on the print collateral Elmer Bancud, one of the other AD’s worked on the website design. Chris made sure we both stayed on course and both the print collateral and the site turned out really really nice in the end.zcom_card

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Nike Sun Book

Posted in Design on November 17th, 2008 by sketchbookinc

Here’s a project I worked on in my first stint in Nike Brand Design.sun2
Style wise, this marketing book was pretty wide open and the product focus was to be a new line of sun/surf apparel which Nike had not tapped into yet.
As you can see the overall style is warm and pulls lots of inspiration from the vibrant colors of Miami Beach. I used an illustrative look which I felt helped convey the sandy warm feeling and flowing, wavy organic graphics atop to give everything movement.

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Nike Global Factory Store

Posted in 3D on November 16th, 2008 by sketchbookinc

nike_factory_01This store is massive from a real world and 3d perspective. When working on 3d stores, it’s always a challenge to render a store out with as much product as this has, let alone work on it. The polygon count is enormous. This being the case, I planned to render this store using Vray, which was not available for Cinema 4d at the time. Vray is arguable the best render engine for architectural renderings.
nike_factory_02I hired a 3ds max contractor and we began converting a massive amount of files from c4d to max. This process took quite a while.

As with most retail projects, my role is to model, light and texture scenes, position cameras, as well as providing initial merchandising. Visual merchandisers are often hard to find on a project until the project is almost finished, so typically once I am given rough direction as to which categories go where, I usually will toss together all the merchandising, and then run this past the VM’s. It’s just faster this way – especially on a store this size. Occasionally a VM is available at the beginning of a project, and some are very specific while other are quite vague. Totally depends in who I work with.

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LP TechShield Illustrations for Pop Art

Posted in Illustration on November 10th, 2008 by sketchbookinc

Here is one of many 3d renderings I created for Pop Art which were used by LP Corp. The idea here was to show a warm attic in the dead of winter due to the roll-on TechShield Product. I also created some 3d animations of the installation and use of this product. This was rendered with VRay.lp_winter_close_09

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Nike TreadLock Glove Animation

Posted in Animation on October 29th, 2008 by sketchbookinc

Nike Gridlock Animation from sketchbookinc on Vimeo.

Nike asked us to create an animation showing the features and benefits of some new football gloves. The gloves have channels that are built into the palm, similar to the tread on a tire.

As with all of the animations we create for Nike, we are typically given a written script of the wording that will be shown in the animation, and then we create storyboards and attempt to create a story behind the animation. We rendered this in VRay and E. Scott Morris provided the voice over.

See the Animation


Nike Baseball Lanyard

Posted in Design on October 26th, 2008 by sketchbookinc

nike_lanyard_1I designed this fold up, double sided “brochure” while working in the Team Sports Equipment department at Nike. The entire thing folds to the size of a name tag, and fits into a lanyard pouch which is used by the Nike sales force at tradeshows. Tim Clark art directed me on this project, and Bob Brinemeyer (have no idea how to spell his last name) created the illustrations.nike_lanyard_2nike_lanyard_3


3d me

Posted in Uncategorized on October 20th, 2008 by sketchbookinc

joeI got scanned last year at Siggraph. Creepy. This is a 3d file. I’ve thought of rebuilding the mesh to make it more useful. But really what’s great is how accurate this is. freaking amazing. Wish I had one of these scanners before modeling some of these shoes we’ve been doing lately!

Nike Basketball Packaging

Posted in Design on October 17th, 2008 by sketchbookinc

Some packaging I designed while working at Nike in the team sports equipment department.nike_bballs

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Nike Carrygear Poster

Posted in Design on October 15th, 2008 by sketchbookinc

nike_carrygearHere’s a poster I worked on while while freelancing at Nike. Dane Johnson was the lead designer from Nike, and he asked me to create the photo montage on the right side.


Nike Global Retail Guidelines

Posted in 3D on October 15th, 2008 by sketchbookinc

nike_global_store_01Originally started while I was freelancing in Brand Design, this is the longest projects I have worked on for Nike. While I was onsite in Brand, I worked with Luis Rueda to develop some initial global fixtures. Luis would provide rough sketches, I would model them up, and then we would sit together and refine them.

I eventually left Nike to go out on my own, and Luis hired me to work on the second portion of this project which included building out several store environments. I was still fairly new to 3d at this point, and there was an enormous amount of rendering work that needed to be done for the project. I was renting new macs from Mac Force at about $500 per week, and setting them up in my house in order to render the scenes out. My methods were pretty crude, and my technical abilities limited – so renderings that should have taken a couple hours to render were taking upwards of 30 hours each! And as a new Nike vendor money wouldn’t be coming any time soon.

After a while the project was complete, however the global retail guidelines book was not printed.

nike_global_store_00Some time later I inherited this project again. At this point all the work we had previously done was basically scrapped. We ended up building and rendering every Nike fixture and attachment to scale for use in the book. Greg Stobbs was the designer at Nike.

nike_global_store_02Pam Hroza worked with me on the merchandising of this global store and she was very detailed in what she wanted. Not much to do from my side.

As with most Nike projects, timelines are always tight and I end up working crazy hours. So these renderings were done with C4d’s native render engine. No GI. Never had the time for fancier renderings. Even with simplified renderings, many of the shots in this 4000sf store would not render. Out of memory errors were common and often meant final images had to be composited from multiple render passes.

This time the project was indeed finalized for good and a book with many of my renderings was printed and sent to all the Nike regions and departments that have anything to do with retail.

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Nike T90 Confidence Glove

Posted in 3D, Animation on October 13th, 2008 by sketchbookinc

We worked on a glove animation for Nike a while back. The actual animation is not very interesting as it’s just a simple presentation of the gloves features and benefits. I won’t bother posting. However here are some stills of the glove. This was rigged in Cinema 4d, and rendered with C4d’s basic render engine. The images turned out pretty nice, and Nike decided to use some of the stills for printed collateral, instead of shooting with traditional photography.omni_glove1omni_glove2


Walker Macy Invitation for Olive

Posted in Design on October 6th, 2008 by sketchbookinc

Eric Goldstein (former ACD at ZCom), asked me to design out a 20th anniversary mailer/brochure + save the date card for Walker Macy, a landscape architecture company here in Portland. Eric provided me with a bunch of photos of WM’s past work, some direction on the basic size on content for the piece, and told me to do my thing. walkermacy_11

walkermacy_2Above are some options I came up with. The feedback on these were that they were a little too complex and busy, and at the same time they did not show off WM’s great project photos at a high enough level. The photos should be the star. So I toned things down, and the result is shown below.walkermacy_31