As if borne of a dream, Poetica’s beautifully monochromatic spec film for Trek Bicycles bares the distinct look and feel of a surreal mindscape. The piece, conceptualized by Poetica Creative Director Steve Tozzi and brought to life with the help of CG Director, Lead Animator John Clausing and Senior Flame Artist Aaron Vasquez, is an expressive 3D ode to the rider’s unique connection to the Trek brand.
The film revolves around a cyclist traveling through a menagerie of hyper-stylized landscapes, each populated with phantasmagorical cranes, flowers, and more, made up of bicycle parts. However, it also functions as a case study on the capabilities of Softimage, and Arnold, a powerful new 3D CG-rendering program. Poetica rendered some 200-plus passes of CG to bring the stunning images to life with a quick turnaround. Additionally, programs such as Exocortex, Slipstream, and ICE were employed to give the VFX a singularly natural and organic look.
“We wanted this film to be a something of a vision, but to also turn it into something that moves and lives,” said Tozzi. “We used the bicycle as a toolkit to build other things while relying on the refined look of the elements and this real sense of light throughout. It’s really pushing the limits of 3D design.”
The film was developed as an identity piece for the venerable bicycle company, originally founded in 1976. Poetica took the piece as an opportunity to deliver a unique vision of an already well-known worldwide brand using the most cutting-edge CG software and platforms available. Rising to the challenge, Poetica utilized the Trek project as a way to showcase their 3D capabilities and award-winning VFX talent.