CINEMA 4D Turns Slammers Brand drinks into Comic Heroes

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The Tennessee based Ransom Group is a company that specializes in using CINEMA 4D to create packaging and promotional materials. The Ransom Group headed by Tim Ransom realized early on that CINEMA 4D was much more flexible than CAD programs. Therefore packaging developed in CINEMA 4D was able to easily be ported to real world manufacturing operations, with the added benefit that even before going to prototype the client could see a photographically accurate rendering of their product or “Digital Mockup“.

Needed changes that might not be noticed until the product went through the expensive prototyping process, could be spotted using the animation tools that CINEMA 4D contains. A client can see how their product will look once manufactured, and can use this information to market the product to their end customers, the stores that will be stocking their products. All this before a single package is manufactured, thus saving development costs on a product they aren’t even sure that they can successfully market.



With the successful launch of those aforementioned Marvel Comics based movies, Bravo foods™ saw an exciting angle for marketing their Slammers™ flavored dairy drinks, and proceeded to secure a license from marvel to use the character likenesses in their products. Bravo foods turned to the Ransom Group to create everything from package design, to promotional literature and advertising.

The Slammers line of products are produced in two packages the first being an hourglass shaped plastic bottle, and the second an aseptic soft box. In this case, the product package shapes were pre-designed, so the challenge here was to design labels that would work on both.

The Plastic bottles use an industry wide standard shrink-wrap type label. This presents a bit of a challenge, as the shape of the bottle can tend to distort the logo and images on the label, as it is shrunk down to conform to the bottle. A major benefit of using CINEMA 4D to create Digital Mockups in this case, is that using simple cylindrical mapping , on the accurately modeled bottle, Alex Kohli (Ransom’s Production Manager and Primary Modeler) was able to accurately portray how the shrink wrapped label would wrap around the bottle, thus saving Bravo potentially thousands in label reworking. “The client is used to having to redo the art more often then not, because of the way it shrinks onto the irregular shape of the bottle, you can get the top logo being sucked into the bottle cap area or something like that. Using CINEMA 4D we were able to predict accurately where the distortion would occur and by how much so the artwork could be modified before going to film, so we wouldn’t have to re-rip film for it. We can save the client a lot of money there.”



In addition to the bottles, the client also wanted to use the same label design on shelf stable aseptic packages which are basically square in shape. Creating an identical look for two radically different packages can create its own design issues. Reworking physical comps can become very expensive. But working within CINEMA 4D along side Photoshop rearranging and testing label elements is a simple process. “ Once we get to this point we are able to quickly show our client and their licensees how well the design is going to translate to different packaging and if any major changes to the layout and artwork will have to be considered.”



From there Alex was able to provide Bravo with clean advertising graphics using CINEMA 4D’s Advanced Render module. The benefits of using CINEMA 4D renders over hiring a product Photographer goes beyond just the monetary savings. “If the client wants the bottle shot from a different angle, or the lighting changed to match that of a stock photograph of a countertop, in order to be composited together, this can be done quickly and easily, something that is not possible with traditional photography.” Working with 3d models over actual real world products ultimately provides flexibility and speed.

The Ransom Group is also producing television ads for the Marvel Comics line of Slammers. “Once we have made all these models, we now can also create 3D animations of the products for doing television commercials, where it would have been prohibitively expensive to go in and shoot the kinds of changes we would need for each market. We are presently doing one for the Saudi Arabian market.” Using CINEMA 4D changing the label to the local language in the commercial is as simple as changing out the texture and re-rendering the animation. “We can literally create all the sales materials before there is any physical product” thus speeding up the product introduction pipeline.



If the client wants to show their customers or licensees how the product is going to look in a real world retail location, working in CINEMA 4D also provides an added benefit. This can be simulated all before the packages are even manufactured. Ransom can create a sort of virtual walkthrough inserting the Digital Mockup into a scene, to show the client’s licensees exactly how a particular design is going to stand out on the shelf or in the refrigerator case.

Ransom also went on to design Bravos new website http://www.bravobrands.com . All of the product images on this site were rendered within CINEMA 4D using the Advanced Render module.



Utilizing imagery created by the Ransom Group's Digital Mockups created in Cinema 4d, Bravo has been able to launch their most successful campaign to date with the Marvel comics line of Slammers. The Slammers brand has spread through several countries, through strategic partnerships, with all advertising and packaging unified with a distinctive package design, but targeted in the local language. All this was accomplished at a significant savings in time and money over traditional ways of creating Multinational campaigns.


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Member Opinions:
By: twisted_angel_9 on 3/30/04
Love of digital art and Marvel Comics... now in a drinkable yogart... = Magic :)

By: Becco_UK on 3/31/04
Very interesting - most other comparable 3D software programs could have done the same thing. The bottle company should have maybe used MAXON's Bodypaint3D R2 to save even more time and resources.

By: wdupre on 4/13/04
Yep, Ransom Group does use the intigrated version of BodyPaint 3d in their work. thanks for your interest.

By: mabfairyqueen on 4/14/04
This is so cool and reading the Arabic was fun too. "Elchocolata" *chuckles*


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