You could swipe a cool £2000 by submitting your artwork for Bombay Sapphire’s latest exciting brief. To offer you an extra shot of inspiration, we asked previous winners Oliviero Spinelli, Eric Tiedt, and Elena Maykhrych to share their secrets to success. 

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What about this brief inspired you to submit?

Olly: The brief asked to illustrate the process of making one of Bombay Sapphire's cocktails. I chose the Gin and Tonic, showing the cocktail being prepared as if by magic, with the bottle rotating and transforming into the glass while ingredients and tools float around.

Elena: When I ran through the brief, and read "create striking and artistic animation" I said to myself, “okay, let's try it”. Also I was in love with Bombay Sapphire's colour palette and botanicals. I wanted to experiment with new styles, and this brief was the perfect opportunity.

Eric: I saw the brief as a good opportunity to try new things in Blender, for example liquid and rigid body simulation. The shapes and designs which were provided in the asset pack (especially the wall with geo-metric shapes) instantly made me think of designing a “robotic barkeeper“. Doing this was a lot of fun and took me back to when I was a kid playing with engines and electronics. 

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How did you creatively interpret this brief? 

Olly: With "stir creativity" as the key concept within the brief, I wanted to emphasize "creativity" by simulating the feeling of a traditional art piece, so that it almost looked like it was drawn with a brush. In fact all the elements have a very heavy brush effect. Not only the 2D asset like the spoon or the botanicals but also the scenes where the action is very dynamic like the morphing of the bottle or the ice rotation inside the glass

Elena: I was imagining myself drinking the drink, and I focused on the feelings that I was feeling. I tried to find ways to express my feelings in a creative way.

Eric: I imagined an event where a robot served the drinks. I wanted it to be light, friendly and elegant.

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How did you plan and create your animation?

Olly: The first step is always to create just a small storyboard to visualize the flow of the animation and to understand the sequence of actions. All the action happens in the first three seconds, when the bottle rotates on itself and turns into the glass. I used a very interesting mixed technique: First I animated a 3D rotation inside After Effects (just to establish the speed and movement of the morphing), then used that as a reference to hand draw it frame by frame on Adobe Animate. Then I imported the frames inside Photoshop to colour them and add the brush effect. Finally I brought it all back inside After Effects to composite it with the other motion graphics elements.

Elena: I read the submission guidelines and learned that I should use the iconic Bombay Sapphire bottle in the opening frame, and the 'Stir Creativity' logo in the closing frame - this was my first step. Then I started a design that connected the bottle, the method of making the cocktail, with a nature-inspired theme. It couldn’t be too complicated, but it had to be interesting enough to catch the eye, because 6-10 seconds isn’t long.

Eric: I studied the mood pictures and the asset pack and then I looked for some images of the Bombay Sapphire Distillery in London. It has a unique architecture and all those images inspired me to work with wood and copper. I don’t preplan my work so much. Often I just have one image in my mind, for example the start and finish picture and the rest is put together in the working progress.

I started building the wall, bottle and glass as a foundation for the animation. Then I made the camera movement for the time range of 10 seconds. I placed all those elements and started playing around with apertures and doors in wall. Then I began to build those robotic arms and started moving things around and luckily it all came together quite well. The last 2-3 days I just spent playing around with the liquid simulation.

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How has having your work selected changed your career and/or artistic practice? 

Olly: This project has a special place in my heart because as much as motion design can be a creative field, it is easy to fall into a routine of very similar jobs that don't require particular creativity and don't allow as much artistic freedom.

This brief has kind of awakened me and reminded me of the pleasure of experimenting with new techniques and pushing for visual results that you have never achieved before. 

It is also probably one of the most impactful pieces within my showreel,  so I am sure it will be very useful as a freelancer to prove my worth and showcase my animation skills.

Elena: I really liked what I made and am excited to keep exploring this new style I’ve developed. Being selected definitely took my career to another level, too. I’ve been busy with lots of project offers, and I know that a good part of them were totally because of animation that I did for this brief by Bombay Sapphire.

Eric: The work reached many people and I received a lot of positive response. It was one of my first works entirely made in 3d and I was very happy with it. It really inspired me to make more 3d animations like this.

Submit your work to the Bombay Sapphire brief here, to be in with the chance of scooping £2,000!

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