Simon Holmedal is an artist. But he’s not just an artist, he’s a really great artist! He works in 3D for ManvsMachine. You may remember their work from our previous industry spotlight on them. They are known for creating cutting edge animations for which Simon Holmedal plays a large part in.
Holmedal serves as a designer and technical director at Manvsmachine. He has a keen eye for detail and he works diligently to push the boundaries of the software he uses and the ideas he is working on.
Let’s take a look at some of the great work he’s been a part of and some of the cool experiments he’s pulled off.
For Nike’s Flyknit campaign, Simon and the team were tasked with showing all sorts of thread coming together to form a complex shoe. Holmdel worked simulation, animation, shading, and perhaps most importantly R&D. The final result is something that is both completely organic feeling and somewhat otherworldly.
The Nike spot has a very dark cinematic feel to it. This is something that Holmedal seems to be attracted to. In an interview with Motionographer Holmedal stated, “I always prefer to operate in a more cinematic/darker environment. So much fun to get inspired and create things that are in your mind and make them look semi-believable.”
You can see the same sort of dark setting in this Science Channel ident that Holmedal worked on. Again, he pushes the software to create a very realistic jellyfish type of creature. The animation is completely natural but also executed perfectly to add the level of suspense needed to tell the story in a few seconds.
Here’s another Nike spot from the portfolio of ManvsMachine and Holmedal with a different look. The signature aspects are there, with a hyper-real rendering of the shoe, and interesting camera moves around it. But this time, the shoe gets switched out for an imaginative origami monster of sorts. One that perfectly juxtaposes the beauty of the shoe, and gives you a sense of the “power” behind the shoe.
It’s clear that Simon and the team at ManvsMachine have a real fascination with organic matter. And this spot for Xbox is a perfect example. At its core, this is just a logo animation, but the beautifully animated and rendered shapes make it feel more like the life cycle of a flower. As each element blossoms out and around the shape, the viewer becomes a bit hypnotized, making the final reveal all the more effective.
Perhaps the reason Holmedal is so good at his craft are his constant attempts to better himself. Some of the most interesting pieces in his portfolio aren’t for Nike or Microsoft, they are visual experiments that he’s made for himself.
These pieces are for the sake of art and for the sake of learning, and they are a good view into the window of Holmedal’s brain. Here’s one example made with a kinetic sculpture of 3D lightbulbs. They float and dance while randomly lighting up, and it’s just a lovely thing to watch.
It’s clear that Simon Holmedal has a perspective. He has a unique set of skills that many artists would never be able to pull off, and it appears that with each new spot completed at ManvsMachine, he just gets better. For more of Homedal’s work, visit his personal website at simonholmedal.com, or visit ManvsMachine to check out more of their great work.