Nike China's animated love letter to Kobe Bryant recalls the NBA legend's Oscar-winning short film
Black and white tale expresses the impact that the late Lakers giant had on the sport in the country
Sep 08, 2020
A new animated tribute to Kobe Bryant from Nike China pays homage to the late NBA star's Oscar-winning film "Dear Basketball."
The emotive film begins with a splotch of blank ink that morphs into an image of Bryant, and the narration echoes "Dear Basketball," but instead addresses the "letter" to Bryant himself, explaining how the star inspired a generation of players in China.
The spot was directed by Francois Rousselet of Division + The Pandemic Story for Wieden + Kennedy Shanghai. To create the animation, Mathematic VFX used ink splotches that transform into characters, props and environments, in order to reflect Chinese tradition. Designers rotoscoped line animation over footage shot in camera, tracing Bryant’s face and background environments to give the spot a hand-crafted flair, and added shadows and details that mirrored the original footage. You can see more on how it was done in the behind-the scenes film seen here.