The name ChainZoku stands for “Chain” as in blockchain technology, and “Zoku” which means “Tribe”, “Gang” or “Family” in japanese. Thus, ChainZoku is a collection of NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain. ChainZoku is a multimedia experience in its own right because in addition to the sale of NFTs, 6 months of narrative and historical content has been planned to immerse viewers. All 3D avatars are customisable by users, and new skins appear according to the manga.
For the release of the ChainZoku project and the NFTs attached to it, our Parisian and Indian artists created 5 impressive teasers. The Mill Paris has created 3 of the teasers, including the 2 shown here, and The Mill Bangalore has created two more teasers that will be released soon.
The goal was to highlight each character within a universe that resembles him. For all the teasers, our artists were inspired by the style of traditional 2D manga, with satin colours and multiple textures. The characters were also cleaned, rigged and animated in 3D. More than just creating the environment, our artists actively contributed to the artistic direction of the project. In this story, two clans oppose each other: the BosoZoku and the OniZoku, who have been fighting each other for ages.
OniZoku is the clan of the Earth and tradition. By embracing ancient shamanic methods, they have, over time, developed psychic abilities, with a wide range of special physical traits. They cherish spirituality and tend to prefer nature to anything else. For the creation of the OniZoku clan teaser, our artists created a clean, dreamlike environment. From the divine light to the sacred tree to the wall inscriptions, our artists collaborated hand in hand with the brand’s creative team to find an artistic direction that marked the spirituality of the clan.
The BosoZoku are a group of tech-savvy youth who dream of building the society of the future. Digital souls always plugged into the net, you’ll find them in noisy arcades and crowded shops. To mark the personality of this plan, our artists have recreated a Tokyo alley by playing on the details of the decor and the lighting. To bring more realism, they worked on the depth of the image by adding elements in the foreground like the motorbike and in the background like the can dispenser or the train.
“Together with Nathan, we took care of the project's art direction. We had three very distinct environments to imagine and create to highlight each character. The art direction of a project can be a complex step, but with Nathan, we had a common culture and our ideas made sense together. The ChainZoku team listened to our proposals, mainly the creative director Florent Hochard. Passionate about manga, we imagined three very distinct environments, one for each clan and the last for the confrontation between the BosoZoku and the OniZoku. This project was exciting because we took charge of the entire creation process, from the artistic direction to setting up the sets on Photoshop and then Nuke, including all the stages of lighting, texturing and 2D/3D animation of the characters. ”