Creativity Top 5


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 we created for Creativity Top 5 pays homage to the artists in the trenches who create the work featured on the show.

We started by surveying the creative world, looking for new art forms. We discovered some interesting crafts and technologies that have sprung up in recent years, such as light painting, knit bombing, and 3D printing. From there, we paired these new art forms with various animation styles to build a rich story showcasing over a dozen techniques.

Light Painting

Traditionally, light painting is a simple process using long exposures 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, our 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. We then played these videos on a laptop mounted to a motorized slider in order to ensure a clean register from frame to frame. There are some great visual example of this in the CT5 Behind the Scenes edit.

Yarn Bombing

We were lucky that our lead animator happens to be a talented crocheter. In fact, the morning after we discussed the possibility of using yarn bombing as an art form, Ryan walked in with a little crochet sculpture of a classic Warner Brothers bomb, complete with a burning fuse. 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.

Creative Technology

We teamed with creative technologists to build an army 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, we decided to build the robots from 3D-printed parts, that in turn build the number 3 from 3D-printed parts as well.


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 shape 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 previs can truly aid the creative outcome.

3D Printing

For the number 5, we created a fluid simulation of the 5 filling with liquid. We then printed physical models for each frame of the 3D animation using a 3d printer, and photographed them in seccession to create practical animation. BUT, we hit a snag. After two months, we had only printed 40 of the 120+ frames due to countless machine errors generated by the complex fluid forms. 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 (this is the information that guides the path of the 3D printer head) and transfer that path 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!