A little off topic, but I am finding these very useful. A series about concept art/digital painting. Goes into some cool painting/composition theory as well as how to execute. In case anyone else out there is interested.
The example you're showing might be from a particle generator and not a bunch of clones. I'm no scientist, but since all the spheres are emitting from the center, and the splines connecting them all go back to the center, that'd be my guess. I'd set up an emitter, emit a burst of particles, then let your tracer/sweep nurb go to work. Set the focus distance of the camera to the particle emitter and play around with the front and back blur (or set up a physical camera with the physical renderer) and I suspect you might be pretty close.
I just don't understand how the object buffer works and how he managed to use that in AE.
Look for a tutorial on track mattes or alpha / luma mattes. Thats all an object buffer is. There are tons of tuts out there.
If you're going to be adding glows and such, it's helpful to pre comp the rgba/beautypass with the luma matte, and do you're track matte in there. Then put the glow on the pre comp. That way the luma matte won't also be cutting off all your cool glow-y stuff.
If it's that simple, just "make it look dope" alright, but I'm hoping that some of you bad asses out there have some kind of underlying methodology or system of thought that helps you in the process. I'm also hoping your willing to share not only that methodology, but how you execute it as well. I guess part theory and part photoshop tutorial.
Let's breathe some life back into this place.
I guess I could have clarified a bit more (seems to be a theme developing here). The thought process part is way more interesting to me than which buttons to push. Its wild to see the different ways that people think about problems, and the connections they make to solve those problems. That "Why did I think of that moment!?" is wonderful and terrible all at once. Thats what I'm after, and what I think is really valuable. If they wanted to toss in how they made it look dope, that would just be icing on the cake, not the main course.
I posted the board I did for 2 reasons. 1) to try and keep this thread alive, in the hopes that someone would see if and want to throw in their own ideas (mission accomplished) and 2) for that "connections people make to solve problems" angle. While yes, I was given a heap of poo, and I returned a slightly more molded heap of poo, I figured there might be value in seeing one person make a connection between two ideas that another might not have made. Or maybe everyone immediately thought of old boxing posters. Either way.
Ahhh, this thread isn't dead after all. Excellent.
And it's unknown whether their direction was really precise and they knew exactly what reference(s) they wanted to get out of screenprinting, or whether someone just threw that out there as the first thing to come to mind as antithetical to the whirring underlit 3d metal bullshit.
I used the term screen printing loosely. Perhaps too loosely. The technique for getting the posterized look also came down from the agency. It was very strange. They sent us a doc that basically said "Do these steps in Photoshop to make the pictures look this way, use this typeface, and use these colors". We tried to work in as many fine details as we could to bring it to life, but it didn't seem like the agency had put a lot of work into it, and the CD just wanted a bunch of versions as opposed to a couple really refined pieces.
It's low technology. It's DIY.
I think this is as far as W+K got when they came up with the look. ESPN said they wanted something different than the shiny 3d package, so they just did the opposite.
I'm not trying to come off like I'm defending a great piece of art here, I used this example just because in doing the layout (which is essentially all I did) there was a clear connection in my mind between the the look they showed and old boxing posters, and that all gelled thematically. It would be easy to follow the train of thought as it were.
You are right in that we could have dug further into the DIY dirt, perhaps the background had a paper texture, and different parts could be ripped away revealing relevant info, or we could have pushed their Photoshop how to further and added in more texture to really make it look printed. We were under the gun and I was looking to dive in before I asked "why" enough times