Daniel Radley-Bennett

Digital Artist

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Baku 2015 European Games - Azerbaijan

For seven months I lived and worked in Baku, Azerbaijan producing CG models and animations for the creative and technical teams of the Baku 2015 European Games - Opening Ceremony.


Throughout pre-production, my CG animations were used by multiple departments to determine, among other things, timings, camera angles / shots, layout and design.


Below are some of the highlights of this work.


All work was created in CAD, 3ds Max, Photoshop and After Effects.


Director:  Dimitris Papaioannou

Origins was the title for the conclusion of the ceremony. It utilized a traditional Azerbaijani love story to represent the elemental foundations of Azerbaijan.



To the right is a side-by-side comparison of the mountain rise section Origins. The left side shows the final broadcast footage while the right plays the 3D previs.



The CG work i supplied for the mountain effect began when I first started work, 7 months before the ceremony. Each mountain platform was individually sculpted by an expert physical model maker, then those models were 3D scanned and imported into my software program. Alongside the Director, I refined the design of each piece until each was a sculpture ready to be remade at the final 1:1 scale.



As the mountain was being created in the real world, I refined the animation of the rise and fall. This allowed the ops team of the physical mountain to create a program that would automate the movement safely.




The Europa sequence was created to acknowledge the Myth of Europe's origin. The sequence showed Zeus, disguised as a bull, carrying away the maiden Europa. As they fly across the main stage, a laser pattern is formed below them, creating Europe in lines of light.


Bull Movement by Tim Blazdell

Laser Animation by Jaanus Vaan



The lighting of the Cauldron represented the love of the two protagonists, the resolution of the Origins segment and announced the beginning of the European Games.


The 3D models and animations that i created informed and reacted to the progress of creative and technical departments - a sample of my work  can be seen to the right.




The grass growing sequence was one of the core images of the founding of Azerbaijan used in the opening ceremony and keyed into elements from their traditional culture.


This effect in 3ds required a timed black and white animated texture driving the growth rate of a hair and fur modifier.



Libra and Miniatures