The first project on our 'Amazing in Motion' series, ‘Steps’ is the story creating two incredibly innovative and crafted 11-foot tall, 3D printed figures brought to life by puppeteers through short documentary films, an award-winning web experience and TV.
Lexus was massive in America and Japan, but were struggling to find differentiation in Europe. Akio Toyoda asked us to find a way to make the design, craftsmanship and technology behind Lexus' innovations to be more deeply understood.
So we created 'Amazing In Motion'. A series of projects to tell Lexus' incredibly innovative design, craftsmanship and technology story – through something that wasn't a car. Steps was the first was followed by Swarm, Strobe and the Slide Hoverboard.
This project was about illustrating Lexus' incredibly innovative design, craftsmanship and technology expertise. We did that with a first-of-its-kind tablet experience that used stunning UI design, innovative uses of accelerometers with early DHTML and in-depth content films.
The design of the figures featured in ‘Steps’ began with sketches and clay models to help find the core shape and proportion. Their geometrical shells and skeletons were then modelled in 3D and animated to understand their core movements and to inform the puppeteering. As the final design became clear, weight would be key the challenge to overcome to ensure that the 5 puppeteers could move the figures with real human grace and fluidity. Only then would the figures become alive.
Solving the weight and control challenges resulted in fabricating carbon-fibre skeletons and using 3D printer technology to create the super thin, yet strong outer shells. The final step was hand-finishing every inch of the outer shells to create the polished look of the figures. In the end, the design process and innovative use of new technologies ensured that our figures were stunning to see, light enough to puppeteer and graceful enough to create Amazing In Motion.
Standing over 11 feet tall, the figures featured in ‘Steps’ were made of Carbon Fibre skeletons and 3D printed shells so they were light enough to be controlled by 5 incredibly talented puppeteers. Each of the artists that brought these figures to life had individual performances to give, while also syncing perfectly with the group for one fluid performance. The core weight and momentum of the figure was resting on the shoulders of the center puppeteer.
Even further back another puppeteer controlled the torso and made the figure bend down in perfect coordination with a puppeteer controlling the head remotely. Finally two other puppeteers controlled the arms and mechanical hands. The combination of countless rehearsals, precise choreography, shear physical strength and each puppeteers immense talent brought a life and spirit to these figures – resulting in something that was truly Amazing In Motion.
Alongside the design, craftsmanship and technology story the campaign was designed to tell, we released a TVC that showed them come to life in spectacular dance in through the city created by Mickey Tudor and Monty Verdi.