Studio Spotlight: ManvsMachine Boasts an Impressive Portfolio

Motion Design June 1, 2019 3 min read

We’re thrilled to be highlighting another fantastic company in the world of motion design. Today’s spotlight company has done work for the likes of Xbox, Toyota, Nokia, and Nike. Impressive list. They do super high end and polished work with a focus on beautiful 3D. We’re talking about ManvsMachine.

ManvsMachine is, in their own words, “a design and motion studio.” They are based in London and are part of the larger branding company The Landor Group. They are a twelve year old company started by co-founders Mike Alderson and Tim Swift with a dedicated team of artists and compositors. They also have an office in Los Angeles, so if you are a serious 3D artist, check out their job listings online.

ManvsMachine’s Workflow

Before we take a look at some of the amazing work ManvsMachine has produced over the years, let’s talk a little about their workflow.

It’s important to point out that ManvsMachine strives to be a “small studio that punches above their weight” in the words of co-founder Mike Alderson. They look for the very best talent with a range of backgrounds from fine art to computer science and push everyone to create exceptional work.

Their main weapon of choice is Cinema 4D. From there, they use Arnold and VRay for rendering. Houdini is employed for really complex work, and both After Effects and Nuke come into play for compositing work.

It’s safe to say that ManvsMachine serves as a prime example of how to maximize the capabilities of Cinema 4D for high-end 3D work.

Now let’s see what they can do.

Big Name Clients

ManvsMachine has done a lot of work in the past for Nike. And they’ve completed some amazing work for the famous shoe brand, but their collection of videos for Air Max Day is quite a “feet”. See what we just did.

ManvsMachine worked with Nike to create a series of videos based around famous shoe designers that tells the story of just how customizable the Nike Air Max shoes are. The playful spots are built around 3D kinetic machines that are equal minimalist industrial devices and kinetic ballet. MvsM does a spectacular job of editing to the music in such a way that the visuals and audio seem to be one piece.

Each video has its own color palette and machine attached, along with art surrounding the designer and playful music. ManvsMachine has shared an extensive case study on their site that shows not only the detail that went into the videos but all of the collateral design work that went into mobile sites, print materials, and even storefront displays to match.

One of the best parts of the case study is the development reel that highlights some of the many tests the team did of figuring out how the machines might work and the animation would flow. You can see early prototypes of some of the elements that made the final piece as well as some elements that didn’t make it into the final videos.

ManvsMachine has a long history of work with Britain’s Channel 4. So, it’s no surprise they were pegged to create the new on-air identity for the More 4 network under the Channel 4 brand.

The team came up with a logo and on-air look that had a constantly flipping and morphing More 4 logo that is quirky, bold, and full of life.

Here MvsM took a new approach to their “motion design” by creating tons of mechanical flippers and attaching them to elements in a live-action shoot for the More 4 idents. The result is something that is truly original and instantly recognizable.

When Nickelodeon launched its HD channel, it made perfect sense for them to turn to ManvsMachine to create a series of zany 3D logo idents. These idents show off MvsM’s specialty, wild experiments in the world of 3D geometry, textures, and off the wall animations.

These idents show that ManvsMachine knows how to flex their technical chops while still having a good time with it.

Time to Play

Aside from all of the great work that can be found on Manvsmachine’s site, it’s also well worth checking out their “Play” section, where they upload “the things we create while creating” as they put it so eloquently.

Here you’ll find storyboard sketches, render tests, live-action behind the scenes shots, and some really interesting experiments. It’s always great to see the final product that a studio puts out, but sometimes the work that goes into creating it is just as compelling.

ManvsMachine

In fact, that’s one of the best things about the ManvsMachine site, they put a lot of work into showing off every step of their process. It serves as a great inspiration tool and even a learning resource for work for other artists.

For more on ManvsMachine, check out their website at mvsm.com.