Archive for the 'Olympics' Category

Sochi Image Sequences

Many of the high energy and acrobatic events at the Sochi Winter Olympics happened at huge speed, with twists and turns blending into one movement.  Blink and you’ll miss the fractions of seconds that separate many of the top riders.

This speed, however, has prompted the likes of the BBC and The New York Times to produce stunning composite images of some of the ski and snowboard events (click through any of the images to view larger).

Austrian Alpine Skier Marcel Hirscher clearing a gate
Marcel ski

Canadian Snowboarder Mark McMorris landing two triple corks
mcmorris jump

And this incredible sequence from American Sage Kotsenburg‘s gold medal winning run.
Kotsenburg1

Kotsenburg2

Kotsenburg3

Kotsenburg4

Kotsenburg5

Then you have Henry Stuart‘s impressive 360degree images.  Head over to his page to be able to zoom and navigate amongst them all.  A couple of my favourites are the Mens Moguls and the Ski Jumping.

mens moguls

ski jump

Some creative and fantastic photography all round.

The Science Of Snow Making

With the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics in full flow I stumbled across this rather apt video from the The New York Times.

It never really occurred to me that there might not be enough snow for all the events to take place, I mean, after all, aren’t the host nations for the Winter Olympics picked because they are cold and snowy?

Turns out that more often than you’d think snow is made by machines as an addition to what is already made by nature.  The equivalent of a 2ft depth across 500 football fields to be more exact.  Quite the addition.

Machines make snow the same way nature does, by freezing water droplets. But they do it a few feet above the ground, rather than in the much colder conditions high in the atmosphere.

Via The Kids Should See This.

The Chemical Brothers – Velodrome

With the spectacular closing ceremony behind us we’re now in that awkward post-Olympic, pre-Paralympic, sport-less void.  In an attempt to fill the inevitable lull of the past weeks’ worth of near-constant streaming and watching of sport I came across CG Studio Crystal‘s animation of The Chemical Brothers‘ official Olympic anthem, Velodrome.

The flurry of colour and neon streaks are a fantastic compliment for the electronic song, and the Tron-inspired graphics are perfectly in tune with the events that took place on the track.

The stunning velodrome, by Hopkins Architects, is definitely my favourite of the Olympic venues.

Don’t get me wrong, the Olympic Stadium and the Aquatics Centre are both stunning, but as a keen cyclist myself there is a reasonable amount of bias behind my opinion!

Unstoppable

With London 2012 only round the corner it’s a wonder I’m yet to really feature anything Olympic-related.  Anyway, it’s about time I did, so here we go.

It’s not directly about London 2012 per se, but it is an exceptionally powerful video from the Canadian Paralymics Committee simply titled Unstoppable.

Really incredible stuff, and stunning motivation for anyone who views.  Watch the making of here.

Via Nic on Twitter.

London 2012 Mascots

Given that the recent unveiling of the mascots for the 2012 Olympic Games last night has caused such an opinionated response I felt I should thrown my in two cents too.

My initial reaction last night to the duo of  Wenlock and Mandeville wasn’t very positive to be honest, but having seen and read more about them this morning I’m already coming around to them a bit more.

They are both clearly designed for our increasingly digital generation, and their semi-undefined limbs morph and allow positioning to ‘participate’ in a number of sporting events which offers fantastic flexibility from an advertising and promotion  point of view.  I’m not a huge fan of their overly metallic appearance, I much prefer the union jack render which I think looks really great. 

 

The recent Winter Olympics proved a huge hit across all social media so it stands to reason that our games will be too, hence Wenlock and Mandeville look ready prepared to be plastered across the internet, billboards, tv and any other animations you can think of.  Even merchandise has been considered for their application, which is so important as a revenue stream and support for the games.  To top it off they both already have their own Twitter pages too, follow @iamwenlock and @iammandeville.

I think all of us will come to adore these guys though, their anthropomorphic nature is really quite appealing when it comes down to it.  Remember the outrage and dislike of the 2012 logo?  I’ll admit I wasn’t a fan of that either, but now many months on I’ve come to like it, especially when it is used appropriately across a range of digital media.  It simply works, and I think this will be the case for the mascots.  I even like them a bit more since I’ve started writing this.

What I have learned this morning, that I didn’t get from the One Show last night, is some of the detail in the design.  Both are said to be “born from drops of steel from London’s Olympic Stadium” which gives a nice story and background to them (even if their metallic appearance isn’t my favourite), and the Olympic rings as bracelets on Wenlock are a great touch.  Even the yellow light in their foreheads inspired by Hackney Cabs seem like a fantastic detail recognising London, and their eyes are in fact camera lenses hinting at the coverage the games will have and allowing them to record events from a somewhat unique perspective.  Even that (initially hated) 2012 logo on them looks the part.

Full character design notes on the Iris site.

And let’s be honest, they certainly don’t look as bad as some Olympic mascots we’ve seen in the past, and no one batted an outraged eyelid toward them did they?

More images of them both here, and in an animation here.


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