Case Study: Nadeshot
This Fall 2018, VBI teamed up with Nadeshot, a pioneer of the modern-day gaming and esports scene. Twitch streamer, YouTube content creator, Founder of 100 Thieves, former OpTic Gaming captain, former professional Call of Duty gamer… The list goes on.
A legend like Nadeshot deserved a design worthy of his reputation and prestige. Our team of pro graphic designers were up to the challenge, and dished out one of our biggest, boldest presentations yet. Needless to say, Nadeshot was pretty pleased with the results. FeelsGoodMan.
But that’s just the start. In this case study, we’ll take you behind the scenes of the design process. A look under the hood, to witness the creative magic and innovation each of our artists poured into the final product. Scroll down to get started.
Nadeshot hit us up looking for the full, custom animated works, including:
- Animated Stream/Video Intro
- Logo Animation
- Animated Overlays
- Animated Screens
- Animated Alerts
The end result needed to be explosive and energetic - a dynamic, flowing design that reinforced his stream's competitive gaming, First-Person-Shooter vibe. We also knew that the motion design needed to incorporate elements of the 100 Thieves brand, Nadeshot's elite esports organization. And it all had to be compatible with Twitch and Streamlabs. Our team got to work.
We knew we wanted to use a fiery animated theme, but not just any fire. It needed to be something molten, smoldering... like the bubbling core of an active volcano which could erupt at any time and unleash devastation. It seemed only fitting for a gamer capable of pulling insane multi-kills and 360-no-scopes at a second's notice.
To contrast that bright, high-energy theme, we incorporated darker undertones inspired by a scorched-earth wasteland.
A charred, ash-covered landscape, quaking and tremoring under intense pressure. Smoke emerging from cracks and pits, as if escaping from a dragon's den. Burning embers blown on a dry breeze.
And just like that, our principal animated themes were nailed down. Now the fun began. As you'll see below, we set about incorporating them into each of Nadeshot's individual stream elements. Read on to see how.
Next stop, logos. In this case, 100 Thieves and Nadeshot himself already had finished logos. Both were bright, aggressive designs featuring active typefaces and an imposing red-white color scheme. Instead, Nadeshot turned to our team to breath life and spark into the designs. He wanted animated logos that would turn heads on Twitch broadcasts, YouTube videos, and more. We were more than up to the task.
For Nadeshot's logo, we incorporated glowing, pulsating visual effects, to accentuate the bold typeface and give the impression that the design was almost breathing. In addition, a 'spotlight' effect adds more variation, as an arcing beam of light moves across the design. And if you look close, you'll notice the unique 'tracing' effect that moves along the borders of the letters.
Next, we worked with two variations of the 100 Thieves logo, a circular logomark and a logotype. To match their fierce, rugged typeface, we switched over to a quicker, more aggressive motion design. Streams of fire seems to blow across the logo's 'claw marks', while radiating heat creates a pulsating red aura around the design.
Nadeshot's Twitch panel design we kept simple yet clean and powerful. Panels would include: Social Media, Stream Schedule, PC Specs, Donation Info, and Channel Rules, in addition to 100 Thieves and Sponsor Shoutouts.
For design inspiration, we incorporated many of the design themes used in his screens. This meant subtle, dark backgrounds contrasted by bright, neon logos and text that popped to the forefront. We also added a slight background 'glow', with colors adjustable to each panel. For example, while the glow on stream info panels was red (to match his branding), the Twitch Prime panel featured bright purple hues, dark blue for Discord, aqua for Rocket Mortgages, etc. The team also adjusted panel size to match emphasis, with the 100 Thieves panel featuring a larger 'square' shape relative to the standard, smaller rectangular panels.
Like most top streamers, Nadeshot prefers to keep his channel profile clean and flowing, with as little text as possible. To help with this, we designed the panels to appear more like clickable 'buttons', so that viewers are naturally drawn to interact with them. The end goal was to drive click-through to his external links, where he and his sponsors would host additional information.
Animated Twitch Alerts
Moving on to Alerts, and boy did these turn out spicy. From the get-go, we knew animated Streamlabs alerts were a priority for Nadeshot. Speed and 'snappiness' were the names of the game. He wanted the overall animation to be brief, quick, punchy. This meant we needed an explosive, impactful IN-animation to compensate for the brief duration of the Twitch alert.
As for the design itself, we knew we wanted to incorporate the 'grenade' theme that had become so iconic of the Nadeshot brand (harkening back to his professional Halo days). After some deliberation and brainstorming, we settled upon the idea of a bullet glancing or 'pinging' off the side of a grenade, releasing sparks and shrapnel.
To round out the design (quite literally), our team decided to incorporate circular, orbital elements featured in the 100 Thieves emblem. A slow looping arc around the grenade seemed to work nicely in concept, and the final animation looked even better than expected.
From here, we switched our focus to colors. We wanted to create a few different color variations, to quickly and clearly indicate the different alert types, from Donations to Subscribers to Bits. A bright, neon color scheme would best convey that punchy, impactful look Nadeshot was looking for. After some testing, we settled on a color palette of lime greens, burnt oranges, and light blues. Poggers.
Keeping it rolling, let's take a look at Nadeshot's new animated Webcam and stream overlays. From a design standpoint, we wanted to keep things simple and minimalist here. As a competitive gamer, Nadeshot's streams are very gameplay-oriented, so we wanted to make sure the final designs and animations were subtle enough to not distract from the on-screen action. The overlays also needed to be all-purpose, so that Nadeshot could use them across a variety of games, from Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 to Fortnite and more. Here too, we would incorporate that fiery, 'grunge'-inspired animated theme we had decided on in the early design stages.
We started with the Webcam Frame. Something clean and minimalist would work best here - nothing too flashy or obtrusive. After testing a few options, we decided on a thin border frame, while still maintaining a modern, high-tech look. For animation, we used a pulsating, fiery effect - with colors alternating between bright red and midnight black. And at the foot of the frame, we dropped in our animated 100 Thieves logo to reinforce Nadeshot's esports brand.
To round things out, we whipped up a few additional branded overlays for Nadeshot. These animated designs included his personal logo, in addition to the two 100 Thieves logo variations. Again, we designed these to be small and out-of-the-way - subtle reminders of his stream branding that could be easily swapped in-and-out and re-positioned.
Twitch Emotes and Sub Badges
Next we handed the reigns to our team of pro emote and badge designers. Here was a chance to get a bit more personal with our designs - to interject some of the color and personality that has made Nadeshot such as star.
First things first, Twitch loyalty badges. Nadeshot made it clear, he wanted his sub badges to have 'color and consistency'. Nothing overly-complex; a simple yet iconic design that clearly indicated sub tier and rank. It only made sense to go with the grenade - a symbol that's become synonymous with the Nadeshot brand. For colors, we went with a rainbow theme, where each tier was represented by a particular neon color - with the top-tier badge featuring the full rainbow. To help the colors pop, we overlaid the grenades over a black background, surrounded by a slight border to add a bit of extra punch. And boy do these babies stand out in chat.
Our team got a bit more playful with the emotes, to showcase the lighter, comical side of Nadeshot's streaming personality. Among the collection, long-time viewers will notice a number of 'hidden easter egg' designs, reflecting some of Nadeshot's best gaming moments, memories, and reactions. A few of our favorites include:
- Grandpa Nade: For an icon often referred to as the 'grandpa' of the esports world, it only made sense to create a matching emote. Reading glasses, backwards cap and all. How do you do, fellow kids?
- HBR Tombstone: Fans of Nadeshot are unlikely to let him live down the infamous 'HBR' incident, in which he used an obsolete gun on the Call of Duty main-stage - becoming one of the most-talked-about mistakes in COD esports history. As such, we created an RIP emote with the infamous HBR laid lovingly in front of the tomb.
- Nade Pepe: Nadeshot was keen on creating his own variation of the hit 'Pepe' emote. A bit tougher to implement in pixel form, this one took all of our creative juices. But we were so pleased with the end result we made four different variations.
Animated Intro and Stream Screen
Next, our team of stream designers got to work on Nadeshot's Twitch intro, transition, and offline screens. Here again, we wanted the center of attention to be Nadeshot's branding - that meant keeping the background subtle so that logos and text popped to the forefront. A dark, muted backdrop worked well, and we added a few visual elements inspired by 100 Thieves' recent merch line. The forefront would feature the dual Nadeshot-100 Thieves logos and social media information, in addition to Razer and Rocket Mortages sponsor emblems. To make the logos and text stand out, our team incorporated a neon, glowing style. Meanwhile, our animators set about creating subtle variations between the various screens, as you'll see below.
An animated intro was one of this project's key focuses. We didn't want anything too flash or bombastic, but it had to visually announce his presence - a welcome worthy of a streaming legend. After deliberating a few options, a countdown timer seemed the perfect solution. To further build anticipation and energy, we ramped up the animated background effects and used a brighter color tone.
For the transition screens (Be Right Back, Searching For Game, etc) and Ending / Offline screens, we modified the text and logo layouts a bit. For the screens' text, we chose a typeface / font reminiscent of Nadeshot's own logo branding. Notably, we also featured a noticeably darker color scheme for his Stream Ending/ Offline screens, to ramp down energy as the stream comes to a close.
As a surprise gift to Nadeshot, we also threw in a snazzy animated stream transition / stinger.