(Hollywood, California--September 19, 2008) S4 Studios LLC has designed and animated “Gear Up” for Universal HD, a maniacally-energized 45-second HD animation and live action spot promoting the 2008 AST Dew Tour, the largest tour in action sports, now in its fourth kinetic coast-to-coast summer/fall tour.
The spot was produced and directed by S4 partner Geoffrey Kater and designed/envisioned by S4 Creative Director Thomas Helmintoller.
According to Helmintoller, despite the spot’s free-form appearance, the graphic approach was highly structured. “Chad Mallam, the ‘Preditor’ at NBC Universal, supplied us with an already completed temp edit of original footage, consisting mostly of skateboarding and bmx action. We had designed the 2007 Dew Tour promotions, but our client, NBC Universal Emerging Networks, asked us to create the polar opposite of last year’s work, which had way more of a street grunge style. Instead, we went with a clean, colorful and sharp hyperactive graphic look that made heavy use of 1980s-style animated geometric patterns—stripes, circles, checkerboards of colored lights, cutout effects—along with a lot of different filters and lighting effects.”
Mainly using After Effects 7.0 for assembly, design and animation, Kater, along with junior compositor Sarah Keturah utilized the Wacom Cintiq tablet to rotoscope a total of 58 shots from the live action footage. “We placed everything in a series of different perspectives that would lend themselves to those shots; the treatment of each image affected the design of the one that followed it. The idea was to create a completely immersive graphic experience for the Dew Tour’s younger demographic.”
About AST Dew Tour:
The AST Dew Tour debuted in Summer 2005 as the first-ever Action Sports Tour. It is made up of five major events, including skateboarding, BMX and freestyle motocross. With over $2.5 million in prize money, the AST Dew Tour is broadcast on NBC, MTV and USA Network, as well as in over 100 countries. The next Dew Tour stop will be Orlando, FL from October 16-19, with each event also featuring live concerts and a huge festival with video gaming, BMX and Skate interactive courses, giveaways and autographs.
About S4 Studios:
S4 Studios LLC, partnered by Geoffrey Kater and Larry Le Francis, is a creative design and production studio specializing in entertainment branding, original content, 3D animation, visual effects and live action production for television, feature films, commercials, trailers and home video. Since its founding in 1999, the studio has built a client roster that includes NBC Universal, Cartoon Network, Flyer One Entertainment, 20th Century-Fox, Paramount Studios and more.