View Full Version : Lightborne Creates Colorful Virtual World In New Spot For

09 September 2008, 01:02 AM
Cincinnati, OH – (September 15, 2008) –, the top-rated website for The Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News, recently revamped its look, and added locally relevant content and interactive features. Ad agency Gyro Worldwide, charged with introducing the new look and design to the public, partnered with Lightborne to create a visually compelling spot, which aptly captures the tagline, “Anything & Everything Philly.”

“Planet Philly” features eye-popping animation, rich textures and a palette of reds and beige, mirroring the website aesthetic. The integration of graphics and 3D animation brings “The City of Brotherly Love” to life. Philadelphia erects and unfolds before the viewer’s eyes -- evoking a sense of Philly culture and history, and serving as a metaphor for the website’s interactivity and local happenings. Animated paper-cutout silhouettes of people fill the streets adorned with famous landmarks, icons, and words reminiscent of Philadelphia.

To view “Planet Philly,” please go to

“Gyro was looking for a way to show a virtual world that would link together different activities and places of interest in Philly,” explains Ben Nicholson, Lightborne Creative Director. “Their creative team had created a strong identity for the brand with a consistent graphic style, color palette and textures, and unique tone of voice. We developed visual elements and a street grid of recognizable neighborhoods based on this design theme, which the client really responded to.”

Lightborne Designers Chris Gliebe & Trevor Grubbs built and rendered the Philly-oriented design elements using a combo of After Effects, Cinema 4D, Photoshop, Illustrator and good old-fashioned pen and paper. 3D Animator Chris Abby then applied realistic camera movements and implemented them into a 3D world.

“The challenge was creating something that felt populated within the condensed timeframe,” continues Nicholson. “We wanted the scenes to be full of activity. Everything was custom-made, from the buildings to the smallest details, and pulled together by playful transitions and finger wipes. We also had to make our street grids flow and curve in such a way to allow this virtual world to fold up into the dot in”
Comment bubbles appearing above iconic people in the spot are an allusion to the conversations and commentary that happen on the website. Adding another distinctively-Philly touch, Lightborne created an original mascot from familiar symbols such as the Liberty Bell.

“This is a technically sophisticated spot, a collision of organic paper elements and technology,” concludes Nicholson. “It shows the great skills of our animators.
Once the design was in place, Gryo was very flexible in allowing us to experiment and add our own touches. Everyone really enjoyed the process.”


Spot Title: “Planet Philly”

Ad Agency: Gyro Worldwide/Philadelphia, PA
Executive Creative Director: Steven Grasse
Creative Director: Ron Pushkar
Art Director: Alex Liebold
Account Director: Joe Conti

VFX & Postproduction Company: Lightborne/Cincinnati, OH
Creative Director: Ben Nicholson
Designers: Chris Gliebe & Trevor Grubbs
Designer/3D Animator: Chris Abby
Executive Producer: Scott Durban
Producer: Bradley Trimble

Audio Production: The Legendary Steinski

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