The work of an Animation Studio, in a 45 second film.
_Concept, Animation & Production
Internal projects are an important part of life at Mighty Giant. It’s a chance for us to try out new techniques, and push ourselves in new directions. We are designers, therefore our work is defined by a brief. Sometimes there is value in creating our own brief directed at challenges that we want to overcome.
In this instance Jordan, our lead designer, set about creating a narrative and a theme that would give us the chance to try out some 3D animation with a 2D finish. It’s a popular style, but one that we wanted to explore further.
The very first instance of some projects involve a storyboard that is more mechanical and technical. As you can see from these frames, we wanted to establish the flow of the story, then we focussed on the detail and style further on.
Once we’ve worked out the mechanics, the narrative, the structure, and of course the storyboard, we need to consider the look. We love a mood board, and this is the part of design where we look outwards to find inspiration. It could be photography, art, other animation, film. Anything visual that helps the conversation is good here. Part of this process involves getting a palette, a rulebook of the colours we can and can’t use. Not every project has to have this, but generally when we do this we have a more coherent end product.
The next stage is to take the mood we’ve established, the colour, the feel, and begin the design process. There are many parts to this. In this film the hero character of course is crucial, but equally the worlds in which the story is told. This involved illustration working alongside 3D modelling, as well as background design. Each of our designers and artists had a part to play here.
The rest is just down to animation! Kidding. Still a few stages of testing, animatics (rough renders) and refining to go. We share work for feedback along the way, and have to test sections out. This example below was towards the end of the project where we were timing out the dive into the pool.
Of course no film is finished without the sound. Our regular collaborator Ideosound often joins the project at the animatic stage to build the sound effects and, often, the music too. This means our final animation works alongside an important element of the project.