Tokyo based motion graphics studio, Onesal, is one of the most inventive and experimental CG studios around! The collective of animators, along with founder Nahuel Salcedo, create some of the most hyperrealistic animation work I’ve ever seen, and they are certainly a huge inspiration of mine.
How did I find them?
Interestingly, I found their work along with the Spanish studio Six N Five back in 2018, but I really became a huge fan of Onesal’s work around the start of 2020. It was when I saw their ‘Visual ASMR’ short video project earlier this year, I became obsessed with their work (more on that later!)
Onesal Studio are one of the big innovators in 3D motion, their graphics create otherworldly sensory simulations that are just hard to scroll past. Over the past few months, I’ve been more and more interested in the motion side of 3D design and my Behance liked page has never been more full of animation work. It’s safe to say that Onesal are a huge part of that page haha!
So, who are they?
Founder, Nahuel Salcedo, started his design journey at the Universidad Nacional de La Plata in Buenos Aries where he studied a bachelor’s degree in Communication and Media Studies. He moved onto doing a Masters Degree in Media Design at the Keio Univeristy in Tokyo, the same city as where he currently resides. Nahuel mentioned in an interview with Inside The Rift,
“Getting into graphic design wasn’t really something I planned on doing. Instead it was something that just happened. I was interested in film and studying media at school, but being a computer geek I started doing some After Effects tutorials at home, trying to build a small portfolio making some mock animations.” — Interview with ‘Inside the Rift’
He got his first design job in a small production studio in Buenos Aires and then transferred into his first Motion Designer role in a studio called ‘2Ventie’ in 2008, where he stayed there for 2 years. Since then up until 2014, he worked as a freelance artist in Tokyo, where he gained a huge amount of his motion design skillset. Move on to 2014, and Onesal studio was founded, and ever since then, he has built the company into an international collective made up of artists from around the world.
Onesal made a name for itself with its incredible motion design ‘Combining the Latin passion with the naturalistic art influence of Japan’ (from their website). They’ve worked with some of the biggest studios and brands from around the world, with the likes of BBC, Apple, Dell, Sony, Nike, Rimowa, and UniQlo just to name a few. With a client list like this, it’s hard to say they don’t know what they are doing! The studio has also been widely acclaimed by some of the biggest creative festivals in the world, such as Cannes Lions, Adfest, Siggraph, and RedDot. Yeah, they are pretty good!
As I mentioned before, I fell in love with Onesal’s work from their Visual ASMR video, so let's start with that one! This project was a self-initiated series of short films that were an ‘Exploration of Tactile Textures in Nature’. Each of the shorts is inspired by elements of nature, architecture, and photography.
The project was as much about Audio as it was about visual, so there was a big emphasis on sound design. The name, Visual ASMR stands for Visual Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. “ASMR is the subjective experience of euphoria characterized by a combination of positive feelings and a distinct static-like tingling sensation on the skin”.
Onesal wanted you to ‘feel’ the plants ‘growing, colliding and evolving’ with each other, and used crisp and defined sound effects to convey this feeling. Onesal wanted the audience to feel like the video was real, and that the viewers were living in the world they created.
The attention to detail in the project was absolutely incredible, and it’s consistent between all 4 short videos. The colours are vibrant, the animation is so smooth and the sound design just fits it all together. It’s something you can watch over and over and still see little details you’ve missed!
Personal Studio Project
Production and Art Direction: Onesal
Design and CG: Onesal
Another personal favourite project of mine was the Citizen Attesa advert. Working with Director Tajima Tao (an incredible filmmaker from Japan) and NIon, the project celebrated the brand new Attesa watch from Citizen. The video was more of a short film than an advertisement, it almost looks like a real film trailer. Once again, not only are the visuals great, but the sound design is absolutely awesome too.
Production and Art Direction: Onesal
Design and CG: Onesal
“CITIZEN has two universes: one is inside a clock that was created by humans, a micro-universe with perfect beauty. The other is the real universe, a symbol of human challenge, and innovation.
The story that connects these two worlds together is proof that CITIZEN technology is looking into the universe. — Onesal
From the still frames, you can see the attention to detail put into the designs. The bubbling planet at the start. The ship's reflections on the astronaut's helmet. The close-ups of the watch. Everything is immaculate.
Hanami 2050 — Digital Flower Installation
Onesal created a series of animated loops under the concept ‘Future Flowers’. The project was unveiled at the 3 day long Hanahmi 2050 exhibition in Fukuoka, Japan; alongside the floral artist Nicolai Bergmann. This is one of the most inventive projects I’ve seen, and it’s become a regular reference point in my own university work!
Client: Nicolai Bergmann
Executive Production: Archie Works
Product: Digital Installation Design and Animation
Concept, CG: Onesal
The works were created under the concept of “future flowers,” and explore creations from deep within the designers’ imaginations. Abstract, complex, and brightly coloured flower buds that burst into bloom with a satisfying crack and sizzle! The flowers and plants all look like they were grown in a mix of a botanical garden and an extraterrestrial forest. They all look so full of life and wonder, something that Onesal are fantastic at doing!
Onesal is a huge inspiration for me at the moment, and I’m sure they will continue to be for a long, long time! They really are a credit to the motion design world, and their projects are just amazing to look through. With only a small amount of employees, the work they produce shows just how talented they all are (I’ve heard they have a great internship program too, would love to be a part of that!!). They have been creating some epic work while the worlds been on COVID lockdown, and I really can’t see them slowing down anytime soon!
They are a studio I’d love to work for, even in a freelance setting. Maybe one day I’ll get the opportunity, and I can show them how much they’ve inspired me in my 3D journey. For now, I’ll stick to continuing my experiments with motion design (just got X-Particles, so I can’t wait to play with that more!) and I’ll be keeping a very close eye on the studios work!
Here are their social links, I highly recommend you check them out!
Onesal - Motion graphics and Art Direction Studio
Onesal is a boutique art direction and design studio in Tokyo that specializes in animation and motion graphics. With…
I hope you enjoyed reading this article about Onesal, if you want to check out my own work have a look at my Instagram!