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Nike China Creates Tear-Jerking Animated Tribute To Basketball Icon Kobe Bryant
By Mikelle Leow, 10 Sep 2020
Video screenshot via Mathematic Studio for Nike China
Continually touched by the impact left by the late Kobe Bryant, Nike China has dedicated an animation to the basketball great seven months since the fatal helicopter accident that killed him and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, along with seven other passengers.
The bittersweet tribute, titled Dear Kobe, offers a glimpse of Bryant’s global influence as fans and basketball hopefuls are depicted to be stirred and inspired from watching him on the court. The spot was produced by advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy Shanghai, director Francois Rousselet and Paris-based animation studio Mathematic.
Quite noticeably, the film features elements of Chinese memories and tradition, such as calligraphy ink.
The team also rotoscoped line animation atop real footage, giving Bryant’s appearance and surroundings a “hand-crafted flair and fresh aesthetic” before adding shadows and details to reprise his facial expressions and iconic gameplay.
The video being an homage to the NBA legend, Mathematic Studio was cautious about how Bryant was being depicted. “When we started this project, we knew we needed to be very considerate when defining the animation style and effects,” Mathematic’s executive producer Guillaume Marien said in a statement obtained by B&T.
“The spot is a poignant reminder of the life of Kobe Bryant, and we knew it would be viewed by millions of fans around the world,” he added.
[via B&T, video and cover image via Mathematic Studio for Nike China]
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