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Nice Shoes Makes Things Frigid for Under Armour

Rainy, snowy weather is here, and you’d better be ready if you’re stepping out to face the elements. Nice Shoes comes prepared for the conditions in a new spot for Under Armour shot and edited by Producers Rip Lambert and Dave Hudson, respectively. The studio, led by Creative Director Aron Baxter and Colorist Lenny Mastrandrea, deftly captures the vagaries of menacing nature during the freezing season in promoting Under Armour’s line of cold-weather gear available at Dick’s Sporting Goods.

The spot opens with a school bus pulling up to a snowy stadium and a determined high-school football team solemnly filing out, uniforms in hand. A hard-barking narrator punctuates the visuals with motivational outbursts: “Tonight, we take respect!” The pulsating montage that follows weaves through the amped-up rituals of the pregame locker room and the swaggering, almost ferocious swaying of several teams collectively flexing on-field, ready to explode, oblivious to the rain and snow dumping over them.

Under Armour and Lambert challenged Nice Shoes to take scenes shot on an 80-degree day and transform them into menacing snapshots of winter fury. “Everyone did a great job setting us up, blowing fake snow over the live-action scene and creating small drifts for effect,” stated Baxter. “Then we took over in compositing and CG, creating a full-blast winter landscape in the background and foreground, adding or blocking snow as necessary, all against an edgy color palette true to Under Armour’s brand. We added to the tension of athletes in the midst of intense preparation by creating the breath streaming from them with a mixture of live action elements and created particle systems.”

The hero shot is a dramatic composited close-up of beading water shot at 120 frames and a CG liquid water drop (at 500 frames a second), portraying the droplet landing and then trickling down, completely repelled by Under Armour’s Charged Cotton material. “We mocked this shot up two or three times, then referenced live shots and similar shots from our liquid CG simulation arsenal to create the final,” added Baxter.

Producers and Nice Shoes have collaborated on the Under Armour account for years. “I was thrilled to team up with them once again,” noted Mastrandrea. “We didn’t have a ton of time to work on this – just a few days – and both Producers and Under Armour wanted the spot to really shine. That’s where our years working together and our familiarity with the brand ethos came together to turn out an awesome spot.”

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Client: Under Armour

Spot Title:


Air Date: 10/24/11-12/30/11

Production Company: Producers

Director: Rip Lambert

Producers: Ross Jones, Karen Phillips

Editor: David Hudson

Sound Design: Tim St. Clair

Mix: Robert Bragg

Motion Graphics: Chris Abolt

Visual Effects: Nice Shoes

Creative Director: Aron Baxter

CG Artists: Jim Collins, Boaz Livny

VFX Artists: Jason Farber, Vin Roma

Producer: Jen Cadic

Color Grading: Nice Shoes

Colorist: Lenny Mastrandrea

About Nice Shoes

NYC-based Nice Shoes is a full service, artist-driven design, animation, visual effects and color grading studio specializing in high-end commercials, web content, film, TV and music videos. Since its inception in 1996, the studio has prided itself on consistently reinvesting in its talent, technical backbone, and client experience to set the standard of excellence both creatively and technically. Key company principals include: CEO/Partner Dominic Pandolfino, Colorists/Partners Chris Ryan and Lez Rudge, VFX Artist/Partner Rich Schreck, MD Kristen Martini, CDs Brian Bowman and Aron Baxter, CIO Bob Keske, Senior Producer Pat Portela, and Brand Director Justin Pandolfino.

More info: TRUST 646 452 3388 (NY) 310 451 5153 (LA)