Rogers Brands Action-Driven Sports Package for Fox Sports Net MLB and Spike TV MMA
Motion graphics production company Roger recently created two heart-pounding sports packages for Fox Sports Net's Major League Baseball (MLB) and Spike TV's MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) Uncensored Live. These latest projects show the versatility and range of Roger's conceptual and design skills, a striking difference from the kid-friendly animation for which the studio is best known.
The MLB open follows the path of a baseball as it leaves the pitcher's arm to the batter. Zooming chalk lines and iconic, animated baseball players shrouded in shadows lend a sense of excitement and mystery as game footage of the next match-up is interspersed throughout the promo.
Set to a pulsing Skrillex dub-step track, the "MMA Uncensored Live" montage showcases several variations of the heavy and monolithic "MMA Uncensored Live" logo animating on. The details of the fight cage's chain link fence, bright flashing lights and smoky effects bring the intensity of the sport right to the viewers.
"The process was seamless from beginning to end," says Jason Scott, Fox Sports Net Creative Director. "Roger pitched really strong ideas being fully aware of the usability factor for the MLB season and multiple regions. The creative was never compromised to accommodate that factor. They always brought solutions to the process."
"Roger was the perfect partner," remarks Ian Kahn, Spike TV Director of Production & Project Management, Advertising & Design. "Terry and team took all the input we supplied and came back with a great-looking package that's robust, flexible and provides a really strong identity for the show. They always come back with a slick and unique vision, and couldn't be an easier or more fun team to work with. They're an amazing shop and I can't wait to partner with them on something else again in the near future."
For the Fox Sports Net MLB package, one of the main objectives was to create a toolkit that would be dynamic, but also flexible enough to work for every baseball region in the country. With this in mind, Roger crafted a design that would scream baseball without favoring any team or region. This allowed a "generic" team to be utilized instead of dealing with the identity of the players themselves.
"By using 3D-animated baseball players, we were able to capture more of the sport's fast-paced action because we weren't restricted to sourcing pre-existing game footage," explains Terry Lee, Roger Owner/Creative Director. "We created cool-looking angles and used bullet-time, slow-motion action. Particle effects also added depth and emphasized the animation."
Spike TV's MMA package involved a different tack, highlighting the technical aspects of MMA fighting while still embracing the "raw" attitude of the fans. Much time and attention was spent on modeling minute details, dialing in the texturing and lighting, and adding smoky atmospheric effects to enhance the drama.
"The world of MMA fighting has this stigma of being aggressive and visually grungy," says Lee. "However, it is a legitimate sport with the training and technique involved rivaling the most demanding physical activities. We wanted a design that was bold and classy. Our goal was to bring atmosphere and depth to this package and use elements that also help ground it in the MMA world."
The challenge on both projects was to create toolkits that were easily managed by an in-house team and versionable in an edit bay. Roger molded its creative to maximize the use of whatever system used its graphics. The MMA package needed to be especially flexible since the elements are integrated during live broadcast. In the case of MLB, Roger took advantage of the Avid's capabilities in tracking type into a plate of footage to elevate the animation of the package.
"Creative collaboration with the client is our ultimate goal," concludes Lee. "We work best in settings where we can easily have a dialogue, ensuring that everyone is on board every step of the way. This was our approach with MMA since three entities -- us, Spike and Original Media - were involved, which ultimately made the collaboration better for everyone. Jason Scott from FSN is a great creative and understands the process from both sides. It was one of the biggest packages we ever delivered, but also one of the smoothest."
View the work here.