3D opener for TEDx Zurich is a showstopper

In order to promote this year's TEDx event in Zurich, organisers contacted media studio Kompost to create this eye-catching opener. "We produced the trailer, show opener and other animated assets for last year's TEDx Zürich," says art director Jan Sommer. "And since the TEDx team liked what we did they asked us to participate again this year. As they approached us this time, we really wanted to take the whole concept one step further."

At the first stages of production, the team started with a wide range of ideas of what they wanted to show in different shots. "We had a big creative brainstorming session one evening where we filled two whiteboards with anything we could think of that was typical to Switzerland and Zurich in particular, and anything that connected the two to TEDx.

We created styleframes in Cinema 4D and experimented with different textures and objects

"After we narrowed down some conceptual ideas we created styleframes in Cinema 4D and experimented with different textures and objects," Sommer continues. "We wanted to go with a more natural and hand-crafted style, similar to the hand-made traditional wood and paper crafts that are typical to Switzerland, so we choose a wood texture and our 'snow' was going to look more like paper."

Powerful 3D programmes

To bring this paper-style world to life, the Kompost team turned to the combined tools of Maya, Arnold renderer and Cinema 4D. "We used Maya for almost everything," says Sommer. "For simple particle simulations we used Cinema 4D which was really helpful since (version) R14's new alembic cache export makes it really easy to bring these simulations into Maya."

We used Maya for almost everything

A complex task, the team's biggest challenge was creating the X itself. "The last shot where we reveal the 'X' was challenging to build as the camera and placement of the objects had to line up perfectly to create it," Sommer explains. "We already had to think in the modeling stage, which shapes would later fit into this 'X' shape so each object needed to be selected and placed with great strategy and careful consideration."

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