The Art of Hype: A Deep Dive into the Creative Process of a 3D Sports Reel Virtuoso

The Art of Hype: A Deep Dive into the Creative Process of a 3D Sports Reel Virtuoso

Messi's World Cup. Aaron Judge's home run record. The Mahomes dynasty. It's been a blockbuster sports year, and nothing captures the excitement and anticipation of a game like a hype reel. Created to stir up a home fan base before a high-stakes face-off, or just to flex on Instagram, the art of the hype reel requires a masterful mix of visuals, timing, and sound.

Andy Torres is a virtuoso of the craft and uses KitBash3D Kits to add 3D environments to his reels. Andy's worked on projects for giants across nearly every league, from stars like Leo Messi and Patrick Mahomes, to clubs like the Brooklyn Nets, USC football, and more. To learn the art of the hype reel, we sat down with Andy to discuss his process for creating ingenious and electrifying content. Read on learn more and see how Andy uses KitBash3D Kits to bring these projects to life. 

KitBash3D: Hey Andy. Thanks so much for taking the time to talk to us. Can you tell us a bit about your background?

Andy Torres: Absolutely! I first started my creative journey in 3D animation about 3 years ago. Before then, I was shooting and editing videos for sports teams. My interest and obtaining impossible shots led me to 3D animation! I remember trying to make at least 1-2 3D stills every week after I started learning back in 2020. Having left the sports scene at this time, a good amount of sports connections were still following me and seeing work they haven’t seen before. Someone at the LA Clippers saw work I made for Kansas City Chiefs Quarterback Patrick Mahomes and reached out to see if I had availability to work on their show open. That was my first sports team freelance client and, spoiler alert, the LA Clippers were my first client when I went full-time freelance too. Gotta love these full circle moments!

Your latest pieces for various sports franchises using our Kits are awesome! How did you get involved in these projects and what do you hope to do with each piece?

It always comes down to making genuine connections and creating work because you simply love to do it. As mentioned above, my first client was the LA Clippers. I published that and continued to create for fun. I caught my big break when the Chicago Bulls reached out mid-2022. Grateful for Chris Ramirez, Director of BullsTV, for that opportunity as so many teams saw our piece and started reaching out. It’s always great to connect with clients and brainstorm ideas they haven’t been able to reach before; while we are still grounded in reality with some projects, I hope to think outside the box and let our imaginations run wild.

You work with so many sports teams, were sports a big part of your life growing up? Do you still play? How does your personal experience lend itself to your work?

I come from a big soccer family so when the World Cup project dropped - they were even more proud! I used to play soccer as a kid; as far as other sports, I didn’t get into football until my college years. As for basketball, transparently, I just got into it about a year ago! I feel like it’s important to immerse yourself in each sports’ culture as they each have their own style in a way. Golf content will look and feel much different than UFC. My personal experience in the NFL world has given me insight on how fast-paced content is made and that has given me an advantage when it comes to my work. Clients usually ask what the turnaround time is for a piece of content and are always shocked (in a good way!) of the answers I tell them. That’s the biggest lesson learned in sports: Hurry up and wait!

You have such an eclectic group of sports teams/leagues you work with – many teams in the NBA, the NFL and even the World Cup. Do you have a favorite team?

I would be thrown out of Kansas City if I didn’t say the Kansas City Chiefs! Haha. Really though, for NFL, I would actually say the Kansas City Chiefs. For NBA, it’s a toss-up, but right now I have the Chicago Bulls - I even have a baby picture of me in their gear! World Cup, I would say Mexico as my ethnic background is Mexican. As far as a soccer team in general…I need to look at the Premiere League. I’ll be learning more about it soon…stay tuned!

With your work being shown in so many stadiums around the world have you been to a game and seen some of it live? If so, tell us a little bit about what that feels like. 

You know, I’ve been invited and even given a +1 ticket to some of these games! However, a lot of these projects run at the same time and when one ends, another starts. I haven’t seen any live but each client has taken video for me and, even in video, it brings so much joy. Seeing your work on the big screen, in front of thousands and thousands of fans, ending with a roaring applause feels so amazing. It’s a goal of mine this year to attend more games from different leagues.

Andy Torres - Basketball Courts

You work in Blender, Cinema4D and Octane. Describe the things that you use each one for? KitBash delivers native files for each of those software, what’s it like working with the Kits from one to another?

Everything starts and ends with Cinema4D. The way KitBash3D packages each Kit tailored to each program and even render engine of choice makes workflow so seamless. I don’t have to reconnect many assets and it just works straight out of the box; that is very important to have with fast-paced sports projects. All lookdev is done in OctaneRender and as far as Blender goes, I have freelance partners that are ready to take on any asset-build I would need (i.e stadium models, arena models, trophy models, etc). Owning a lot of KitBash3D Kits, it’s easy to browse for materials I would need for these custom 3D models. KitBash3D’s materials look flawless and I prefer to use that look across all my buildings for a cohesive look.

Andy Torres - Brooklyn Nets

How have you liked working with KitBash3D Kits? What new capabilities have you unlocked and what is your workflow like?

I’ve really enjoyed using KitBash3D’s Kits. The possibilities of creating new worlds are endless and with so many assets at my fingertips, there is no limit to what my clients and I can create. It has sped up my process tremendously as I don’t have to worry too much about adding more detail to my city builds; KB3D’s attention to detail stands out even on skyline shots. For my city builds, I always start off with scattering similar looking buildings across a plane and then using vertex maps to art direct where I want more buildings.

Andy Torres - LA Clippers

It’s clear how skilled you are at creating hype videos. How did you develop your ability to create these pieces, and how do tools like KitBash3D help you create your scenes? 

It started by really getting to know how to shoot and edit in the NFL. Here is where I learned what gets a good reaction and what doesn’t. Once I added 3D to my arsenal, I found that clients like to highlight their respective cities, or at least city elements if it’s not a city fly-through. With so much variety in my KB3D library, it makes my workday go faster, be more efficient, and allows me to be more creative since the modeling task is taken care of.

Andy Torres - Brooklyn Nets

What Kits have you used to create your favorite pieces?

I’ve used so many, but the ones that are at the top of the list are: Every City, Manhattan, City Streets, Brooklyn, Los Angeles, Storefronts, Warzone, Neo Dubai and Ancients.

Andy Torres - Dallas Mavericks

What do you see as key differences in working with a sports team on a 3D project as opposed to a traditional Hollywood movie or commercial? What advice would you give to someone looking to get into this line of work?

The biggest difference is capturing the spirit of each sports team. Each team has their history, their style, their swag. I haven’t worked on a Hollywood movie as of right now but I would also say that you have to do your homework for each project as it must resonate with their fans, higher-ups, and even players. Hollywood movies target a much broader audience. My advice to anyone looking to get into 3D work, especially in the sports world, is to do the following:

1. Don’t neglect the basics. Start off with a strong foundation of your 3D program of choice; tools such as KB3D will help you create worlds in your imagination down the line.

2. Network! Making genuine connections and take interest with fellow artists and other sports creators. As a matter of fact, I take inspiration and make connections with creatives in other industries. It’s important to have a diverse network. You never know when you may partner with someone.

3. Create for the sake of creating. I thank my former 2020 self for taking the time and interest to learn 3D and make content for fun. You can learn so much and learn new tips and tricks here and there.

Andy Torres - Phoenix Suns

The rest of this real estate is yours. Tell us about anything you want to plug or shout out! 

First and foremost, I want to thank my clients and agencies that have given me opportunities I would have never dreamed of. I took a chance on myself and left my 9-5 job 7 months ago. I’m so fortunate to be creating content with so many pro teams and agencies at this level; from World Cup promos on Paramount+ to 3D animation work showcased on the jumbotron at the Super Bowl, I wouldn’t change a thing! Thanks to my family and friends who have continued to push and support me; you all are the reason I took this bet on myself! I can’t wait to show even more work this year - big projects coming up and of course, KB3D will be a part of it. Thank you for all your tools and making my job a lot easier!

Make sure to check out Andy's website and follow him on Instagram to stay up to date on his latest projects!

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