Liquid approached us late 2016 to produce all the digital content for their project ‘Southport Flower Show’ The entire project was art directed by the team at Liquid, creating everything in CG allowed their team to craft each image into the ‘Curious Garden’ they required. It also allowed us to hit several bases at once, providing assets for print, web and animation, something traditional photography wouldn't have allowed for. All final assets we're fully rigged and animated, available for multi platform delivery.
Concept & Direction: Liquid
Metronet commissioned several videos on the subject of high speed data transfer, they provide a service in the Northwest of England which can reach up to 10gbps over wireless. Their technology uses existing buildings to fire the signal from county to county. We shot over several weeks using aerial and ground stabilising equipment to help show the journey of high speed broadband.
Music: Simon Pyke
Number two in a series of EP's of futurist soundtrack music. Available at https://simonpyke.bandcamp.com/album/slow-glow-two
We've worked with Simon & Freefarm on several occasions, this time its out biggest challenge when he approached us to make the short film for the track Let Be. A brief story of a mechanical being looking for life in a new world.
We've included Simon's original cut and the Directors cut with original colour treatment.
Who can resist a Halloween project? We discovered the excellent book by Paper Dandy (www.paperdandy.co.uk) depicting horror scenes carefully crafted in paper. We immediately purchased several copies, all ready for filming. Our idea was to capture a moment in time as the camera slowly moved about the paper scene. The shoot was challenging due to heat and the scale of the paper images, a couple of hours shooting quickly turned into 3 days.
The post production equally gained length as more and more ideas came about once the footage was viewed. We added subtle parts of CG to add more atmosphere and a heavy colour grade. Mocha was used in every shot to track the text and to create alpha mattes to control the volumetric lighting within After Effects. This part of the project would not have happened with out Mocha, it enabled us to work quickly, loosely and craft the look we where going for.
The last shot included one complete modelled 3D character paused in flight as he attempts to slay the paper wolf. Details of the model being built can be scene here http://sparklevfx.com/studio-news/2016/8/14/organic-modelling
Take some time to have a look at the book by Paper Dandy, it inspired this project and has reconnected us with making things to film.
Kashflow by Iris Software. Kashflow is a series of 26 explainer videos we've produced, covering all the scenarios where the Kashflow software would benifit its users. The online accounts system can be accessed anywhere around the world.
DIRECTION & TYPE DESIGN: Smiling Wolf
Type Motion is a programme showcasing the best examples of moving typography in art and popular culture from 1897 to the present day. Held at FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology) from 13 November 2014 to 8 February 2015, the programme combines an immersive exhibition with a series of film screenings, panel discussions and workshops. It is the first time the exhibition will be held in the UK, after a successful stint at ZKM Centre for Art and Media Karlsruhe.
Studio Neighbours Smiling Wolf (www.smilingwolf.co.uk) approached to make the type move for their upcoming part in the Exhibition at FACT. Full interview with Smiling Wolf at Grafik https://www.grafik.net/category/case-study/facial-movement
Edition 4 – 30 Seconds of Sound Visualised.
Audio Produced by – Simon Pyke (freefarm.co.uk)
30 Seconds of Sound Visualised is an Audio project created by Simon Pyke. Simon is a sound designer at www.freefarm.co.uk, an acoustically treated studio in Brighton, UK and can happily support every stage of production from sketch to final master.
We joined in during Edition 4 with good company such as @jasondrewNQD @mostyle_tv @chrisfreisenvisuals @peterclarkdesigns @moromotto
It was a great project to be involved with, big thanks to Simon for letting us be involved.
DESIGN & DIRECTION: Smiling Wolf. www.smilingwolf.co.uk
Commissioned by Smiling Wolf, shot all across the UK. Telecom giant Anritsu required a promotional video to describe the impact of their data all across the UK, showing how its effects seamlessly effect the UK without disruption.
DESIGN & DIRECTION : Smiling Wolf
CG DESIGN & ANIMATION : Sparkle
This short sting is the first in a series of four in collaboration with Smiling Wolf. Black Lodge is an experimental brewery tap, designed by Smiling Wolf and located in Liverpool’s creative hub- The Baltic Triangle, serving experimental brews alongside charcuterie and cheese boards in its Kitchen Street home.
Smiling Wolf created the brand assets which included typeface design, logo, icons and livery. The brief set by Smiling Wolf was then to capture the essence of a storm brewing within the Baltic Triangle, to which we then created a moving, breathing representation. Elements of which were also used to create the wallpaper for the interior.
For Further information: Brewing Up a Storm
Part of a larger project, documenting the North Wales coastline.
Directed by Simon Rhodes/Smiling Wolf.
Produced by Sparkle*
Type Design by Smiling Wolf
Shot on Blackmagic 4K.
Commissioned by Smiling Wolf (smilingwolf.co.uk) to give a brief tour of one of Liverpool’s finest venues Camp & Furnace.
Studio Reel 2016. Brief Glimpse into projects across the early part of 2016
Commissioned by Liverpool Vison & Focus Innovation we mapped the entire of Liverpool to be used in an iPad app for inward investment into Liverpool. The app was premiered at Mipcom in Cannes.
After winning the pitch for BBC Bitesize, Splinter approached us to help create 30+ of the 3 minute animations for the BBC Bitesize series. We opted to keep the 2D animation all within in Cinema 4D, After Effects is commonly used for character animation, we felt its system is not robust or built to handle rigged systems. Cinema 4D provided a simple method, as all shaders remained flat, render times where exceptional fast, keeping the stylised feel of 2D.
Liverpool Biennial 2016 Approached us to create a forward thinking approach to their advertising campaign for 2016. All the icons and type were designed by designer Sara De Bont
http://www.saradebondt.com , we then went about building a digital tool kit in adobe After Effects, animating all icons, upper and lower case, then scripting templates within After Effects allowing the Biennial staff to create bespoke outputs to in any format. The DTK was built in such a way which allowed one master template to be animated which then trickled down to multiple outputs from 4k to web banners in all common frames per second. Room was left within the scripts to adjust colours and timings within all the animations. Once complete the Biennial can now send out multiple campaigns without any further input from external animators.
The Digital Tool Kit often makes up a large part of our work flow, putting maximum effort in during the early stages which then allows simple multiple outputs for our clients, giving the uninterrupted, self continued advertising campaigns.
Home World was commissioned by The Digital Fiction Factory. Sparkle designed the look and feel for the prototype of the project, including a full suite of character animations and environments. The look and feel is the basis for the new CBBC Homeworld site
Sparkle* was commissioned by Lime Pictures to produce the promo & game assets for the up coming online platform game & children’s TV show “Dizzy High”. 1000’s of in game assets where produced over a 6 month period and finally cut together to produced the game promo. All content remains the property of Lime Pictures
Ferral Films commissioned Sparkle to handle of all production and post production for the project ‘Up at the o2’.
Health & Safety video at the Magna Production Facility Speke Liverpool. Magna produce car parts for Jaguar & BMW, shipping the components world wide
Kerry Foods foods approached earlier this year with a mammoth brief, to digitally re-create their brands for large scale advertising campaigns. Over 30 lines we're modelled and set up in digital studios for rendering at any output size. In addition to the modelling and creating entire digitally rendered adverts, we took detailed aerial photos of their head office in Manchester for internal promotion and livery.
This case study takes a look back through the assets commissioned by Bolland & Lowe (www.bollandlowe.co.uk) for their branding and print campaigns for the Everyman & Playhouse theatres in Liverpool. The original 2D branding was modelled into neon tubes, these images look back at all the tests and example renders which contributed into producing the final piece.
This project covers all the assets commissioned by Bolland & Lowe for the Albert Dock 2013/14 print campaigns. The project goes back through 12 months of assets including videos and stills from the original 3 way pitch. All asetts designed and produced by Sparkle*
Global DJ Nicole Moudaber has been a regular client of ours for several years, with a new world tour about to begin she returned to Sparkle to create Digital Tool Kit of live visuals that could be projected and remixed in clubs from London to L.A. We created over 100 small animations using her existing branding as guidelines, creating huge colour pallets of every animation to be remixed by a VJ. Nicole Moudaber
Fellow Baltic Triangle comrades Smiling Wolf asked us to produce some CG elements for the art work of the upcomg album by The Loved Ones. Read the full story over at
Smiling Wolf >>> http://www.smilingwolf.co.uk/project/loved-ones/
Vinyl Album available from real record shops and digital download here
CG – Sparkle
Art Direction & Sleeve Design – Smiling Wolf
Sparkle* was approached by Hurricane films/National Museums Liverpool in early 2010 to discuss this mammoth project of compiling “The Beatles in Liverpool” story for the new Liverpool Museum, an exhibition with a ten year life span. Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and the Lennon and Harrison estates have given it the go ahead to use our content to decribe the Beatles story.
Sparkle* was commissioned to produced all 2D and 3D animated content for the exhibition as well as recreate missing footage using photographs. The technique of the 3D project was used to take photographs and bring hem to life as never seen before.
The final moving images are displayed in 360 degree screen wrapped around a pod in the heart of the new museum.
Carcass came to us wih a very specific idea in mind, lose the limbs and make us decay! The project involed 163 shots each of which needed some kind of paint aspect. We took still frames from each of the shots and begin the longest process of matte painting. We new once this was done Mocha Pro would be the true hero. Mocha allowed us to track each shot really quick then take the data to After Effects where we used it to animate all the layered photoshop files. Needless to say it didn’t let us down.. Time was against us making the video, in just under 2 weeks we managed to shoot the band on greem screen, key, track and get it comped. Its not perfect by a long shot but without the use of Mocha Pro, we wouldn’t have been able to get it done at all. The video has now into millions of views on youtube and was a great success to launching their new album after 13 years out of the scene. Big thanks to Ken Owen who was present throughout the shoot providing his acting skills and ideas.
An Entire Fairground world created and animated in 3D. All Elements where built as if made from Cardboard, not just 3D models textured as cardboard but actually constructed from cardboard. This project was part of a larger project creating an intro movie to a video game.
The weight of the models relied greatly on high quality normal maps, providing a quick modelling solution and a lightweight load to send to the render farm for the animated frames.
PH Creative (http://www.ph-creative.com) approached with quite a unique project, to create a set of animations that they can control in house for use in print and screen without any C4D training. The project was a great challenge as we had to return to basics to create a Digital Tool Kit that they could use by simply changing numerical values, no key frames involved. We decided to use X – Particles ( http://3.x-particles.com) as the engine to drive all the dynamic animations, which could then be triggered by sound or simple numeric key values. The result was a Digital Tool Kit with the possibility of producing 200+ animated and endless renders for print to be used as part of PH’s branding, we set up a separate After Effects Digital Tool Kit to enable colour and depth changes after C4D had been commuted to a render, saving time and create further alternate outputs.
Alongside Liverpool based Flash Developers “Flamin Deluxe” Sparkle* were commissioned by Lime Pictures to produce the look and feel of a demo video for the Digital Fiction Factory’s release of “Dizzy High”, a PC platform game taken from the book of the same name by Frank Cotteral Boyce.
All of the images here were early prototypes of the game which has gone on to develop further into a 2.5D platform game.
Meet Eric.. he’s the Environment robot for the Magna plants al across the UK. Designed in house, rigged and animated to acompany Erics mum and dad, Ralf & Kim. Eric is the latest in our role out of heath and safety animations for Magna, who produce car parts for Jaguar and BMW. For quick and efficient turnaround, we employed simple methods of photo projection hooked up with some vray rendering.
Product renders for Liverpool based Ditto (https://www.dittomusic.com). Ditto chose to produce digital assets rather than traditional photography, giving them a broader choice and scope for any future advertising, print or animated whilst keeping budgets way under the cost of traditional photography.
A day in the life of the Baltic Triangle.
Commissioned for the Baltic Area Showcase in Liverpool by www.reallynow.co.uk
Commisoned by Tokyo Digital (http://tokyodigital.co.uk) for the iPad app for Shire. A series of character animations for in app actions.
The Making of Liverpool. This short animated film was commissioned and directed by the Singh Twins, entirely animated from their paintings of the same name. The final animation is just over 12 minutes long All art work and direction The Singh Twins
Reebok Europe asked Sparkle* to pitch ideas for a new online fitness programme they where looking to launch. Once the pitch was complete Sparkle* where commissioned to produce to produce all viral content and all training content for the programme.
This involved producing 3 viral adverts (TV adverts for southern hemisphere) and all training content; 375 short training clips. Footage for the viral was shot in the South of England and Sydney Australia. Sparkle* produced and managed the 18 strong crew which it provided form the UK, spending 3 weeks in Sydney filming the remaining content.
The final viral product was a collection of every day people in an environment where they were exercising doing every days task. We visually demonstrated all the excersises using tracked 3D and graphical elements to their bodies.
“Sparkle excelled our expectations with the viral, we’ve truly shown how exercise is working in every day life in a visual medium. Their work and Professional shooting in Australia was a credit to themselves “
We’ve been working with Ralf for over 2 years, from his early 2D conceptions into a real life working robot. His daily job is to promote health and safety around the Magna car prodcution plants across the world, Ralf takes the fall instead of the people!…. but as a special treat, we thought we’d send him out on adventure… which kind of backfired for him. We opted on the style of the piece pretty early in, choosing to use Cinema 4D’d cel shader for Ralf, placing him in the shiny world of VRAY whilst picking him out with the cel shader.
This small animation gives planty of nods to our favourite films and directors throughout. Completed over three weeks, althought a short and simple performance… the render managment was huge!! Each scene on average containing a minium of 10 layers of 3D renders and buffers.
We’ve been working pretty hard this summer but unfortunately most of our projects have come with some pretty heavy NDA’s. So we decided to pop out and shoot some quick footage and have a little fun putting together the ‘Summer Playground’ We’ve used models form varying projects that we’re allowed to use and let them wonder free around the city.
DESIGN & DIRECTION : Smiling Wolf
Short Sting for Liverpool Guild of Students commisoned by Smiling Wolf. To be used on varying devices and media
Commissioned by Magna Sybex to produce a short promo for the plant in Banbury Oxfordshire. Extensive Mocha work was used to clean up the video and keep an aesthetic across the video, removing items which at the point of filming would have disrupted the plant production.
BBC’s Design for Life Winner Ilsa Parry commissioned Sparkle* to visualise her “Can Cook” kiosks.
With an exceptionally short turnaround time, Ilsa asked us to describe her fantastic new design and bring it to life for her client to take to market. It was a wonderful opportunity to work with Ilsa and we look forward to future projects together.
Health & Safety campaign for Magna UK. Magna are a global automotive supplier, designing, developing and manufacturing automotive parts to companies such as Jaguar.
We’ve all been big Carcass fans for many years, so when Carcass approached us to shoot the new teaser trailer for the first album in over 10 years… we were ready to go!! The video was shot entirely on green screen against a collection of blistering riffs from the new up and coming album Surgical Steel, released 13th September 2013. The artwork to the new album created a back drop for the band who are seen releasing lightening fast riffs from the album. This video is part of a selection of videos being released during the run up to the album release.
Commissioned by Smiling Wolf to document the evening with Jimi Goodwin (former Doves) at Summer Camp in Camp and Furness Liverpool
Series of poster made for Liverpool's Threshold Festival on the 'Jet Punk'
In 2008 Sparkle* was commissioned by Sydney Theatre Company to create the animation for the award winning stage show “Minutes of a Separation”. A 12 man team from Sparkle* UK travelled to Australia to work on the production for 3 weeks. The show starred Cate Blanchett & Joseph Fiennes and played for one night only in Geneva, Switzerland, for the IWC Schaffhausen Gala.
“The Crossing” took guests on an unforgettable trip back in time to the early days of IWC in Schaffhausen. For it is now almost a century-and-a-half since a young American engineer and watchmaker by the name of Florentine Ariosto Jones dreamt of fusing traditional Swiss watch making with American industrial expertise. In spring 1868, he set off on a journey that ended in Schaffhausen and made that dream come true. The stylish new timepieces presented by IWC in Geneva are very much a part of this story. For this particular anniversary, IWC has taken six milestone models from its long history and brought them back up to date in the new Vintage collection. Host and IWC CEO Georges Kern and presenter Tanja Bülter opened the curtain on the evening’s glittering events with a fascinating film about the new historic models from IWC.
Before walking the red carpet and being admitted to the Geneva Arena, guests had to present an invitation in the form of F.A. Jones’ original passport. When they entered, the sight that confronted them was little short of breathtaking. An enormous harbour scene in the style of 1868, complete with wagons, coaches and crates, as well as a swarm of sailors in contemporary dress had been set up: just the kind of thing Jones may have experienced when he boarded ship in Boston. The big difference here, however, was the fact that the passengers who embarked on the SV Scafusia were not subjected to weeks of being tossed to and fro by the Atlantic waves but treated to outstanding cuisine and a fabulous state-of-the-art multimedia show.
The highlight of the evening was a 15-minute multimedia theatre production, “Minutes of Separation”, produced exclusively for the event by the Sydney Theatre Company. Cate Blanchett’s contribution to the piece, which had been filmed in advance, was projected onto a screen at the centre of the spectacular live performance. The production centres on the relationship between IWC founders, F.A. Jones (played by Joseph Fiennes) and his pregnant wife (played by Cate Blanchett). The story revolves around the emotional rollercoaster that was the dangerous journey, over land and sea to an uncertain future, as well as the dramatic arrival in Schaffhausen. In the stirring finale, the award-winning Australian physical theatre group “Legs on the Wall” put on one of the sensuous aerial acrobatic performances for which they are renowned.
The magnificent gala evening was rounded off fittingly by the First Lady of Canadian rock ‘n’ roll and seven-time Grammy Award-winner Alanis Morissette, who put on a fabulous performance for IWC’s guests with an exclusive preview of some of the songs from her latest album.
For this project we jumped back int he hot seat with Liverpool based developers Flamin Delux (www.flamindelux.com) & innovation producers Focus Innovation. Dance Corner is a social multiplayer game game developed using Unity for iPads and iPhones. Dance Corner integrates with all social platforms and can be played live across the world, building your dance team,defend its corner and conquer new ground to push your Dance team across the city. The game now has plans to produce a browser version. This game has been developed from the ground up by Sparkle*, Falmin Delux and Focus Innovation.