The Edge: Morean, the Message and the Digital Medium.

March 15, 2016 5 min read

Novedge:  Tell us a little about Morean. Morean_gonzalo-portabella_left_philipp- Eckhoff_right

Morean: Morean is a 3D Animation studio based in Berlin. Our focus lies on explaining things that are hard to describe with words or still images. We create Digital Films and Virtual Reality worlds for Architects and industrial companies. We love to make complexity understandable, to recognize that special something in a concept; and we give our best to make it look astonishing.

Novedge: Passion for Digital Design and 3D animations is quite contagious these days. When did yours start showing symptoms?

Morean: We met as colleagues while working for an international Architecture firm in Berlin, Philipp Eckhoff as industrial Designer, Gonzalo Portabella as an Architect. While researching and designing a new store concept for the fashion brand Prada, we had to deal with the question of how to tell a powerful visual story to illustrate our plans. We discovered our passion for visual explanation of demanding projects, and fell in love with the idea of helping others. We realized that companies need professional partners in this pursuit. We felt pretty confident that our respective experiences and skills would be a perfect match to make this venture succeed. So one day in early 2014 we finally decided to do it and founded Morean.

Novedge: What is a recent project that you worked on?

Morean:We recently worked with French real ­estate developer Foncière des Régions and Berlin ­based Sauerbruch Hutton Architects, and produced a mixed ­media film for one of Europe’s biggest urban planning initiatives called “Reinventing Paris”. The film features an impressive Architectural approach combining seven major innovations. To convey the sophisticated highlights of the Urban Design to the competition’s jury, we combined different techniques: Shooting extensive real video sequences on the urban site, capturing key statements in personal interviews, placing green-screen footage into digitally rendered spaces and using illustrative motion graphics to add helpful information. 

Les Arches Maillot Paris from morean – digital realities on VimeoMorean -paris_building Morean -paris_facadeAnother recent work is a film for Zaha Hadid Architects they used for the Danjiang Bridge Competition in Taiwan. We provided a construction animation and helped the Architects and Engineers come away with the project commission. Novedge: Tell us about Morean's multidisciplinary team.

Morean: Our aim is to translate our clients’ vision into a well told story, and we do that by using moving digital images. To achieve that, we need a wide range of personal skills and experiences. That’s why we keep our team as diverse and multidisciplinary as possible. Today we have a core team of ten specialists representing backgrounds in Architecture, industrial Design, 3d Modelling, Programming, Directing, Illustrating and sound Design.

Novedge: What software do you use?

Morean: Our most important tools are: 3ds Maxfor 3D content creation. V-Rayfor rendering and video creation. After Effects, Nukefor post production, editing and motion graphics. Unreal 4 and Unity 5as a real time rendering environment for VR content creation. Plus, of course, many different plug­ins for these applications.

Novedge: How does the partnership between you and your clients work?

Morean: Our clients are proud of their designs and products and the amount of work and great ideas they contain – and rightly so. It’s precisely this expertise and quality that we try to convey in our films – with emotion and with a story told in impressive images. Watching our films, our clients’ clients should gain a deeper understanding of what they have commissioned or what they are about to get. In other words: they should fall in love with it. Everything begins by listening to our client and their individual needs. The more information we get at the beginning of each project, the better. We always encourage our clients to send us everything they have. This might be pictures, articles or cultural background information that help us to create the concept (­besides precise technical data, of course). Our aim is to have a substantial conversations with our client at the very beginning to prevent mistakes and misunderstandings and, at the end, to build up a very personal and trusting relationship. After a kick­off with our clients, we create concepts within our team. In this phase it is crucial for us to have freedom to make creative proposals that allow us to think outside the box. In most projects, we follow a tight schedule from the very beginning because the film is needed for a competition, a fair or a sales presentation. If that's the case, it’s even more important to come up with a good concept as fast as possible. We believe this individual consulting at the beginning of each project is what our clients expect.  At this time we carve out the central messages of a design concept. Then we think about the best way to bring the design to life. This can be done through photo ­realistic animations, life recordings, drone flights, diagrammatic animations, hand drawings or video interviews with the project’s stakeholders.

Novedge: Your list of clients is "Archistars studded"; is there a project where your contribution exceeded the client's expectations?

Morean:As a policy, we always try to exceed our clients' expectations.  Our secret lies in giving out an added value, something the client didn’t expect. This can only happen within a close and trusting relationship with the client’s team. A successful example of this approach is a project we did for the lighting company Zumtobel. The client asked us to produce a product animation of a new LED office luminaire explaining the product’s design and features in a white space setting. We suggested to build a 3D office setting around the luminaire showing the different types of possible uses in a working space context. The result is a series of both informative and emotional product films that play with real light conditions creating a comforting and highly concentrated working atmosphere. In this particular case, we combined filmed elements (people and skyline), with digitally rendered Architecture (the entire interior and furnishings).

Zumtobel Sequence luminaire – Chapter 1 Zumtobel Sequence luminaire – Chapter2 Zumtobel Sequence luminaire – Chapter3 Novedge: You are also well versed in Virtual Reality. Do you think VR will be a standard requirement in the Architecture industry?

Morean: We don’t know that yet. We are fascinated by these new immersive technologies and our first projects for clients appear promising. They allow the viewer to really “dive into” spaces and buildings. They help Architects and their clients to deeply understand a spatial Design and enable them to change it before the actual construction begins. Development in this field is still in the early stages, however. We are convinced that VR will play a significant role in depicting and reviewing Architectural Design in the very near future. 

Novedge: What would you say to someone who would like to work in this field?

Morean: To put it simple: Focus on the Message not on the Media.


Great work and great advice. To find out more about Morean check out their website. To find the best design tools to get your message across, visit Novedge.


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Barbara D'Aloisio
Barbara D'Aloisio

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