US-based VFX and motion-design agency Version2 created the opening titles for the Association of Independent Commercial Producers show held at New York’s MoMA in June.

For the second year running, US VFX/motion-design agency, Version2 has created the animated opening titles, event installations, and DVD show packaging for the 2007 Association of Independent Commercial Producers (AICP) show held June 5 at New York’s MoMA.

“Having done the sponsors’ titles last year, we wanted to produce something truly unique and memorable. It was a great chance to showcase the diversity of talent at V2, as well as to do something a little outside the normal arena in which we primarily work.

"With a super wide 3:1 aspect, the project actually has more in common with feature titles,” says Version 2’s creative director Kieran Walsh.

The concept for the project was to create a surreal, dream-like world with bizarre juxtapositions of collaged imagery. “We were inspired by vintage photographs that we collected at flea markets, as well as many quirky found objects. The combination of contemporary 3D sculptural elements with deconstructed vintage pieces gave us an intriguing blend of aesthetics,” explains Walsh.

“We created a library of elements with an in-house greenscreen prop shoot using a HD cam. Most objects were simply shot on a turntable. Others were shot utilizing a puppeteer-like technique using monofilament, or shot as stop-motion digital stills.”

Art director and designer Federico Saenz-Recio says: “We all had a lot of fun bouncing ideas, and came up with a lot of great content including a project specific font. Our group is fascinated by surrealism and the work of Dali, so we had a tremendous amount of working knowledge on the subject.

"Growing up in South America, and travelling extensively has given me many artistic influences, but we really wanted to help create something that would resonate with the American culture. Victorianism was an amazing and popular time in US history, so we felt it was a natural choice.

“Being a dream-like space, nothing in the piece really makes sense. Working predominately in commercials, always telling linear stories, we had to fight that urge. The team’s consensus was to be as far from reality as possible,” he adds.

The environments were primarily digital matte paintings, created in Photoshop and then imported into Autodesk Inferno. The team broke them out into multi-plane layers to create more 3D settings.

The 3D was created in both Cinema 4D and Maya, and combined with numerous 2D After Effects elements. To create depth on the foreground objects, everything was projected in Inferno onto 3D geometry.

“This is a quite a flexible technique that creates the illusion of parallax and dimension on 2D,” says Walsh.

Reminiscent of the work of surreal artists Salvador Dali and Rene Magritte, V2’ titles for the AICP show see seemingly random images incongruously juxtaposed in nature and space. Swirling smoke, delicate lettering, and deft artistry create a bizarre, yet elegant animation.


Project: AICP show
Client: AICP
Studio: Version2
Software: Adobe Photoshop, Adobe After Effects, Autodesk Inferno, Autodesk Maya, Maxon Cinema 4D