Stardust Los Angeles was tapped by 180 LA to give its latest brand campaign for adidas Basketball a retro urban, illustrative twist. Directed by Stardust's Jake Banks, the two spots star Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose and Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard and take a stylized approach that highlights their unique personalities while touting the players' sneaks - the adiZero Rose and The Beast. Stardust handled all animation, including traditional cel animation overlaid on top of live-action footage, and edited and finished the campaign, which broke January and February in China, France and Spain.
"Our team had a blast working with 180 LA on this campaign," said Banks, who directed both spots. "The agency is right next door to us, so the back-and-forth reviews process was literally that -- we had lots of fantastic face time and creative brainstorming sessions. This adidas campaign also harkens back to what Stardust is best known for - illustration, street-style vfx and a fun, loose style."
"Fast World - Rose" highlights Rose's taciturn, yet intense personality juxtaposed against his superhuman speed and agility, in which bravado isn't necessary for him to get his message across on the court. "Fast World - Dwight" on the other hand, zeros in on Howard's loud outsized personality, which he tones down to quiet concentration on the court. The spot also touts his prolific social media presence - 1,821,233 Twitter followers and counting! Both spots play with water color textures, graphical splashes of color, funky retro-style flourishes, '2 ½-D' animation (3D mimicking the cel animation technique), and integration of live-action snippets within the line-drawn animated world.
The production process entailed 180 LA handing off live-action NBA game footage to Stardust, along with audio clips of conversations with Rose and Howard. Stardust edited everything together in-house to build the story. Under Banks' direction, Stardust treated virtually every frame, hand-tracing and rotoscoping the material, building '2 ½-D' environments, then placing cel animation into the environments. Stardust used Adobe After Effects for compositing, Apple Final Cut Pro for editing, Autodesk Maya for 3D modeling and animation and handled clean-up in Autodesk Flame.