Manosanta | ID

We really enjoy continuing to explore our creative identity as a studio through small, manageable processes, and to train and polish certain aspects of our craft.

So we thought:  “How about we do a tiny ID piece about Maradona, but don't make it about fútbol?” (“Football” in the UK. “Soccer” in the US).

That was the whole premise. Just for the sake of complicating things. Which by this point seemed like a staple of our identity.

You don't know who Maradona was?
He was the god of fútbol. He brought joy to millions of people all around the globe with his skills and personality. 
The most imperfect and human god.

“​​​​​​​The Hand of God” seemed like a great theme: either you condemn it as an act of cheating, or revere it as an act of cunning, and cheating. That kind of tension is always interesting.

(Hey we got you covered.)

Diego's iconic warm up dancing to “Live is life” by Opus is always at hand, so this looked like the perfect opportunity to put it to good use. Both the music and the action.

We had a silly idea floating around for quite some time, and then suddenly made total sense:
“Cosmic knight Diego”. This idea of Maradona with some kind of interstellar armor based on his iconic Argentina player kits.

A more precise storyline was defined: “Maradona transforms into a cosmic warrior, getting ready to clash with a colossal god using just his left hand”

That opened the gates.
These are some of the references we threw into the stew.

And the first animatic was cooked.

How does a cosmic knight look? How Diego in armor would look? Is fútbol inspired armor? How would a cosmic armor inspired by the Americas would look?
And so on and on. Not even my 5 year old kid asks so many questions.

We wanted Diego to have a sentai vibe. And the armor to be shiny and elegant (for fútbol standards), but also have an imperfect, handmade spirit. 
This had to be the battle armor of a latin american imperfect god.

As for Diego's rival, none other than comedy legend and respected goalkeeper Peter Shilton, we wanted him to be shadow-of-the-colossus massive. 
A towering robot of sorts, with a Galactus tone.
In contraposition to Diego, Peter had to look cold and perfect. 

We wanted the world they would be clashing on to be vibrant and colorful, like the pictures you usually see from the Mexico 86 World Cup. 

But no fútbol was our rule. So no stadium.
Inspired by Aztec culture (since the iconic match was held at Estadio Azteca), we tried to imagine what the overall morphology would look like.
Since we wanted an otherworldly vibe too, we took inspiration from bismuth crystals, that incredible tech aliens gifted us.
Actually, not just bismuth crystals. We love minerals, crystals, and metals in general.

One idea we had is that during the close up shots of Diego`s armor gearing up, the background would behave more graphically, with its elements around the character to balance the frame.

First, let's start with some making of:

It was of utmost importance to use this animation process to better identify the things we wanted to refine in our craft, and how to tackle them.

We looked for a good balance between simple and rather complex shots, so we could have the kind of nice, fulfilling challenges you may experience at a bootcamp.

The armor pieces, the background motion, the fx, the flares, the hand-crafted glitter effect.
Walking that fine edge between loving animation and wanting to vanquish it from existence.

The visuals weren't going to be a particular technical challenge. 
It was a matter of being methodical. Keeping the designs as a constant guide, keeping the layers organized, thinking and designing before-hand, and things should keep moving at a steady pace, like a determined grandma.

So we took it as an opportunity to further explore that part of our workflow where animation and comp overlap in technical aspects.

In particular, this shot was interesting to explore.
Its nature was heavily graphic-based, but we wanted it to have an imperfect tone, like Diego`s armor.

So we designed it entirely in After Effects, and when we were set, we did a 2D cleanup pass. 

The process is meaningful to us because it keeps strengthening our way of solving problems toward a desired aesthetic.
Since we were deconstructing this story and its visual symbols, it made sense that we did that with the music too.
Keeping a strong link with the original source, but being something different that could convey the same energy as the original.
So we took the “Live is life” tempo as the backbone of our track.
I think at some point the word “Retrocosmic” was mumbled, and after awkwardly extended laughs, Facu Capece already had a killer track.

Manosanta | ID