Viva le Velo: Celebrating the world’s greatest bikes through the ages

As 2017 has welcomed the 114th edition of the world’s most eminent bike race – the Tour de France – in celebration Parallax launches Viva le Velo – creatively capturing the world’s greatest bikes through the ages. "From their record-breaking riders to the precision engineering used in their construction, behind every beautiful bike is a fascinating backstory, waiting to be told."

Viva le Velo began when the agency's Head of Design – and bike enthusiast – Louis Saville decided to do some doodling.

“The Tour de Yorkshire was coming up and I just started playing around with ideas in my spare time, drawing bikes for fun. A few weeks later we had one of our Hack Days, so I used the time to develop the idea further.

The first bike I drew was the Cinelli Laser, which isn’t actually featured in the final project. It took a lot of iterations to get the style just right. Once I was happy with the way it was looking, I moved on to illustrating the finer details, which was actually the part that took the longest.

Figuring out techniques to do the spokes and wheels was also pretty challenging, as well as the chains, which I ended making a custom paint brush preset for.”

Louis worked alongside our Front-End Developer Harry Parton to figure out the UI interactions, animations and how it would all come to life on screen.

“The bulk of my work for this project focussed around animating the bikes as you swipe along the timeline. Doing progress based animation was pretty interesting. It’s a heavy image site and it was quite a challenge animating lots of detailed SVGs, while also maintaining a smooth performance and quick load time. I’m really happy with how it came out.”

Parallax has now partnered with G.F Smith to expand Viva le Velo from pixels to print. They will be hosting an exhibition at The Commute – a coffee house and cycle workshop in Ilkley very soon. Stay tuned to the website for more details.


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