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NIKE CNY Zodiac Avatars 🐯🐰🐲🔥

Final Frontier combined forces with Nike Shanghai Studio to create a huge and eclectic cast of digital avatars to elevate the brand's cutting-edge e-commerce experience in China. 

In this 1st part, we will share the CNY Zodiac members: the Tiger 🐯, the Rabbit 🐰 and this year, the Dragon 🐲! 

*Stay tuned for an exciting standalone project featuring the Athletars, coming soon!​​​​​​​
Starting off with the Tiger, a symbol of courage, confidence and enthusiasm! This character would have a laid back, chill attitude yet the corpulence that characterises this animal. 

The tiger, as the rest of the Athletars, would consist of a walking loop with a subtle action that expresses its personality. The half smile was a unifiying expression that gave consistency and the envisioned attitude to the whole collection.

We worked closely with the NIKE team to integrate elements from Chinese culture such as the cloud ornamental eyebrows as well as the marks on the forehead. Those stripes make reference to the Chinese word "king".
I personally love the flicking of the ear, reminisicing the wilderness in a humanized character.
Before the deep dive into 3d, we tried several options such as head shape, types of eyes and body paint. I always see these sketches as a starting point, true explorations happen in the 3d software
Tiger t-pose
The tiger had such excellent results that Nike asked Final Frontier to create the Rabbit for 2023 and then 
the Dragon for 2024. Couldn´t ask for a better adventure! 
One of the fun challenges was to create Gender Neutral Avatars. NIKE has genderless assortment, this would allow for a more cohesive set of characters. 

For the bunny, NIKE wanted to step up their game and asked for a more detailed character while keeping the essence of the tiger. We updated the pupils, added a little more detail on the clothes and gave the bunny a hairstyle. In line with the previous delivery we added cultural iconography, this time inside the ears, paws and tail as well as specific earrings.

Turntable of the bunny. Any excuse is good to share the tail :p
Working with Final Frontier is always a pleasure, crafting every step of the process with the highest standards. Before jumping into 3d animation, it was locked in a 2d animatic.
Turntables always help analyze proportions, making sure it looks right from all views. I tend to render and watch the loop a crazy amount of time to make sure I´m happy before I share.
Last but not least, we welcomed the Year of the Dragon!

Drawing inspiration from the vibrant aesthetics and dynamic spirit of Generation Z, we proudly unveil a youthful Dragon avatar for this auspicious year, evolving the design style of previous years with an upgrade in the details of props and textures.
When working on characters, I usually divide my process in two parts: the head and then the body.
The head defines the soul and style. It also affects body proportion. 

As the project evolves and the head is going in the right direction, we append it to the body and continue while focusing as well on other areas such as hands, clothes dimensions, neck area, textures, (...) having the character´s overall look & feel in mind.
Featured on the Tmall Platform from NIKE, the animation pays homage to the essence of Akira Toriyama's iconic anime style, captivating audiences with its dynamic energy and visual flair.
Hyped to share the toy versions as well, it's such a great feeling to have an in real life version of these characters. 

*note: the pictures above are from a pic online, the ones below are mine ;)
Prod. Co: Final Frontier
Design: Jaime Alvarez Sobreviela
Creative Direction: Claus Cibils
Executive Production: Eric Zheng, Gus Karam, Julieta Zajaczkowski
Animation: Detuco

NIKE CNY Zodiac Avatars 🐯🐰🐲🔥

NIKE CNY Zodiac Avatars 🐯🐰🐲🔥

Zodiac CNY Avatars for NIKE Membership