SyFlex in Starz TV rebrand

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Clips courtesy of UVPHACTORY


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Client: PMcD Design
Production Company: UVPHACTORY
Principals/Co-Founders: Scott Sindorf, Damijan Saccio
Creative Director: Alexandre Moors
Senior Producer: Brian Welsh
Senior Designer/3D Animator/Compositor: Jake Slutsky, Ryan Bradley
Designer/3D Animator/Compositor: Bashir Hamid Designer/Compositor: Colin Hess Editor: Damien Baskette Production Coordinator: Melissa Sarno Aired: May 2005


SyFlex in XSI was used by NYC based UVPHACTORY to create the rich effects for the Starz "In Black" channel IDs.


UVPHACTORY, a motion design and production company, was asked by design agency PMCD, to visually explore the inner and outer properties of the Starz logo for each of its six channels. UVPHACTORY created a distinct look for each network while complementing the overall redesign of Starz. SyFlex gave them a hand.

We asked Damijan Saccio and Scott Sindorf a few questions about this production:

Syflex: Tell us a bit about the project... What were you asked to achieve?

UVPHACTORY: Starz is a cable network which broadcasts first-run movies. It needed a sleek, fresh, savvy approach to frame and support its new logo and brand architecture. Because premium channels live in a highly competitive environment, PMCD also knew that an on-air brand had to be coherent, simple, memorable and engaging.

Carrying the design strategy inside the star, UVPHACTORY created a purely graphic environment that explores the energy forces of light and color. The result is a clean dynamic backdrop for information, as well as IDs which stand on their own. And while this kinetic star transforms the environments around it, it always returns home to animate the new logo.

Syflex: Why SyFlex?

UVPHACTORY: For the rebrand of Starz "In Black", the original thought was to create an environment consisting of cloth, hanging majestically and gracefully blowing in the wind. However the final look was not to be photo-real, but instead more of an abstraction. For 3D animation UVPHACTORY has a long history using Softimage XSI. Looking for the best possible cloth simulator available and knowing that SyFlex is now integrated into this program, it only seemed logical to use this software as a starting point.

SyFlex allowed the designers to immediately start blocking and composing the "cloth sheets." Once the initial animation is calculated, the designer can re-arrange the cloth, and because the dynamics are already calculated, iterations are extremely fast. Also because the program is so integrated into Softimage, it was easy to breakdown all the passes for compositing, which was integral to the workflow.

"We had about nine passes we had to create in order to get the look we wanted", says Scott Sindorf. "We wanted something which was representational, but also abstract and inspirational. This could be a daunting task if not for the tools that SyFlex made available." All the passes were seamless and the compositing painless because of such great integration by SyFlex into the pipeline.

One of the technical hurdles of this project was that UVPHACTORY was told later in the project that the segments with the cloth simulations had to be made loopable. "Normally, it would be quite difficult to make any dynamic simulation loopable, but thanks to SyFlex's seemless integration into XSI, we were able to plot the simulation and use the XSI's Animation Mixer to blend the simulation together on top of itself to create a perfectly loopable segment" commented Damijan Saccio. "It was great working with SyFlex because we really had a high level of control with the simulation as well, which was crucial for the specific needs of this project," he added.

In the end, SyFlex allowed UVPHACTORY to do what they do best, and that is design and production. UVPHACTORY is always encouraged by the technical advancements in the industry made by companies such as SyFlex. By freeing the artist of technical limitations, the only limit is creativity.


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