Transcending Time and Space: Animating the Apple Watch Nike+

Transcending Time and Space: Animating the Apple Watch Nike+

FX Barcelona Film School student Pascal El Murr shares the story behind his latest motion graphics project and the techniques used in the process.

In the realm of creative possibilities, when technology and artistry come together, they create experiences that captivate. And that's exactly what Pascal El Murr, FX Barcelona Film School student, was aiming for when creating the animation for the Apple Watch Nike+.

This animation takes viewers on a journey that goes beyond the limits of time and space, encapsulating the essence of the watch's design and the adventurous spirit it embodies. In this article Pascal shares the story behind this animation and the techniques used in the process.


The Design Unveiled

I wanted to start the animation with intimate close-ups, unveiling the design details of the Apple Watch Nike+.

Workflow Chart

The curves, contours, and sleek lines of this timepiece are showcased, inviting viewers to appreciate how technology and style coexist in perfect harmony. This segment sets the stage for the immersive experience that is about to unfold.

Screen Animations created using Adobe After Effects 
Color Palette for Screen Animation

Liquid Element Creation: Floating through Time and Space

As the animation progresses, the entrancing liquid element emerges, gracefully swirling and floating alongside the Apple Watch Nike+. This liquid entity becomes a metaphorical representation of time and space, symbolising the limitless possibilities and boundless freedom that the watch embodies.

To Create the liquid element, I started with a simple sphere with a 20 cm radius and segments of 5 in Cinema 4D. To add the desired movement to the liquid element, I applied a random effector with noise mode, giving it a dynamic and organic feel.

Next, I added a vibrate tag to further refine the position and movement. To create the shape of the liquid element, I used the trace object to generate splines that traced the vertices of the sphere, ensuring a smooth and continuous flow. I set a limit to the trace so that the splines disappeared at a specific point in the animation.

After hiding the sphere, I added polygons around the splines to form the shape of the liquid element. Using a basic capsule, I applied a spline wrap deformer to make the capsule wrap around the tracer splines, giving it a distinct form. To create a tapered tail shape, I adjusted the size option in the spline wrap.

Now, I wanted to add droplets that followed the animation. For this, I placed small spheres with a 5 cm radius into a cloner and set the mode to object, linking the cloner to the tracer splines. To ensure the droplets stayed close to the tracer, I added a rigid body tag to the cloner and increased the "follow position" in the force tab.

To add variation, I used a random effector to affect the size of the droplets.  Once the animation was complete, I cached it to improve playback performance. To enhance the liquid effect and blend the shapes, I applied a volume builder and volume mesh to the capsule finishing it off with a smoothing deformer to give it the last touch-up.

Finally, I created a path for the liquid element by hand-drawing splines and animated the position of the sphere along the path using an align-to-spline tag.


The fluidity and grace of the liquid element evoke a sensation of weightlessness, as though time itself has become untethered. Viewers are immersed in a visual symphony of movement and elegance, as the liquid element and the Apple Watch Nike+ intertwine and dance together in perfect synchrony.

Awakening Exploration and Inspiration

The ultimate goal of this animation is to awaken a profound sensation of floating through time and space within the hearts and minds of viewers. By capturing the essence of the Apple Watch Nike+ and infusing it with a sense of boundless exploration, the animation aims to inspire individuals to venture into uncharted territories, both physically and metaphorically.

With each gripping frame, the animation fuels the viewer's imagination, sparking a desire to push the boundaries, embrace the unknown, and uncover new horizons. It ignites a sense of curiosity and adventure, urging individuals to seize every moment and make the most of their journey through life.

Final Thoughts

The animation created for the Apple Watch Nike+ is a testament to the power of design, creativity, and technology. By seamlessly blending the aesthetics of the watch with the concept of floating through time and space, the animation invites viewers to embark on a visual odyssey that transcends the ordinary. It serves as a powerful reminder that life is a constant adventure, waiting to be explored, and the Apple Watch Nike+ is a companion that empowers individuals to embrace every step of the journey.

Thank you so much to the Rookies for offering me this opportunity to share my animation! I hope you find something useful after reading this breakdown.


See more of Pascal's work on his Rookies profile here.