A close collaboration between Media.Monks Netherlands, American fashion house Coach and the estate of American pop-artist Tom Wesselmann (1931-2004). Result: an amazing 3D digital journey into the world of this artist, showcasing his bold and beautiful artworks as well as the Coach collection featuring his work. Celebrating the collab between Coach and the Tom Wesselmann estate.
The Pleasure Pursuit experience
An interactive storytelling journey through three main topics - Love, Wonder and Play - as featured in Tom Wesselmann's life and work.
Coach's objective was to engage with their Gen Z/Millennials audience, and invite them to spend more time with the brand. Therefore, Media.Monks created a mesmerising and playful interactive experience where the user can discover the new Coach collection through a 'down-the-rabbit-hole'-like journey, and experience the artist's playful perspective on life at the same time.
They also included a fun gaming element throughout the entire experience, inviting users to complete the journey with a chance to win an item from the Coach collection.
In-store, elements and visuals from the web experience were displayed on big screens in shop windows and on store floors. Stores also featured giant cut-outs of Tom Wesselman. With the web experience at the heart of the campaign.
Behind the scenes - the technology & skills used
The Media.Monks team wanted to create a camera path where users could fly through the artworks. This meant that visitors would get very close to the pieces of art.
However, the actual artworks didn’t have a high enough resolution. Therefore, the team had to get clever as to how to use them. Using PNG images would have resulted in rough pixelated edges, unless they would have made them huge. This was not an option as it would have affected performance of the site.
To ensure that the artworks maintained a high enough resolution, the paintings were projected onto 3D planes, and were then cut out using geometry. Following this, all 3D elements were placed in Unity - a 3D software program for creating games. The motion designers used this to create a camera path as seen in this journey.
Everything is then converted to WebGL, so it can be experienced on any browser. Creating one smooth and unified experience without any visual compromises.
For those of you who are now perhaps a little lost, here's a short video giving you a quick insight as to how it was done:
Behind the scenes - the creative & development process
How do we re-imagine and share Love, Play and Wonder as seen by Tom Wesselmann - without telling it in words as well?
According to the team, the most challenging aspect of The Pleasure Pursuit development process was figuring out how to populate a full screen while accommodating a fly-through camera path using fragments of original artworks.
When cutting up the artworks to create layers, they found that the ‘holes’ it created, were not working for the level of immersiveness they were trying to achieve: the falling 'down-the-rabbit-hole'-effect. To solve that they had to come up with a solution to fill the gaps while maintaining the authenticity of the original artwork.
They mapped out a storyboard of each scene in the experience. The initial ideas for the scenes were put in Unity where they could tweak the camera movement and the placement of artworks and additional graphic elements. The repetition of cut-outs and custom-made 3D and 2D scenes felt complementary to Tom Wesselmann’s style, and offered the solution.
It made sense to play with the visual tricks the artist used himself: scale, cut-outs, composition and colour.
After all, we are encapsulating the legacy of a visual artist.
The end result: an incredibly impressive 3D digital journey truly reflecting the artist's work and Coach's new collection - even more so when understanding the skills and efforts it took to create it.