By Thomas Bradley

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In this series we will look deeper into a work that was especially admired in our community: Nike X Kobe, created by Shane Griffin. The Irish born designer teamed up with Nike to create brand imagery for the 5x NBA champion’s latest shoe release. Shane was kind enough to answer our questions about his creative process and about the reception his work has received on Behance. 

What was your inspiration for this project?
Creating self illuminating glass isn’t as easy as you’d think. I needed to make the objects feel like they were illuminating the sneakers, while keeping the transparency intact. So I referenced some of my older work with glass objects, and tried to push it to a new level.

Can you describe your process in creating this project?
The physicality of the objects was crucial, so I started by referencing a mood board of different glass & transparent materials. After I had the composition locked down, I experimented with several glass shaders: from a more frosted look, to a clean, refractive look mixed with some dispersion. After creating a couple of different looks, I liked certain areas of some, and some of others, so I began to composite them together in Photoshop. I worked closely with Photographer Sun Lee when it got to the final stages; We shared light set-ups and flare elements to add the extra love at the end!

Did you expect it to be as popular as it’s been on The Behance Network?
I honestly wasn’t sure if it was going to be received well or not. I even sent on an email to everyone involved in the project asking if they were happy with the outcome, and if there was anything else I could do. Looking back, I really love them.

Did you go through many versions and iterations before coming up with these final pieces?
Yes, I think I went through about 8 iterations of the shark jaw before getting the final look and feel locked down. That included several different reflection / refraction / matte and lighting layers that I rendered out on each version.

Do you feel that this project is “done”, or is there anything you’d like to improve on or change in the future?
Looking at it now, I think it’s done. It’s very easy to keep chipping away at work like this, because there’s always more you can add. Learning to know when to walk away is important. I’m getting to that stage in another project right now!

Did anything interesting happen as a result of the success of this project (fans contacting you, job opportunities, blogs picking it up, etc)?
Yes! Both SneakerNews and Complex published an interviews with me on my relationship with Nike and my contribution to the Sneaker community, which was very cool.

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Read more here:: Behind the Project: Nike X Kobe