Hand-drawn animation, fluid, evolving.

The intention of this project was to take the client’s existing logo – an iconic pin-up style illustration of a woman – and to create a world around her. Working from this one element we had to extrapolate the essence of the logo, creating a usable character, and design a wider environment around her.

Our process
We knew from the outset the style of animation we wanted; fluid, fast and organic, with extreme camera moves and a lot of distortion. We explored several techniques for execution, but after prototyping some options we settled on what we originally suspected, that this was going to be a hand-drawn animated piece. We were extremely happy about this.

cr_blog_image04Hand-drawn animation is a favorite amongst animators because it harks back to the origins of our art and industry. The downside, however, is that it’s incredibly labor intensive. Fortunately with only one character to animate and a relatively short spot it made the decision viable.

Once we decided the route, it was down to our animator to develop the concept from storyboards to a properly fleshed out piece. With multiple revisions, the video was honed down into a really strong piece of motion, conveying everything we had initially wanted to show. From this framework we hung the other elements, such as the 3D assets, 2D effects, and environments.

Because of the constantly moving camera we didn’t have backgrounds in a traditional sense. Instead we digitally built the environments around the hand-drawn animation, using our style frames as reference. Our illustrator was on deck to draw any additional assets when required. The final push was to bring all the elements together seamlessly.

What’s cool about the project?
In the motion graphics industry 2D hand-drawn animation represents a growing trend. People are reconnecting with this form of animation because it represents an alternative to the very precise and prescriptive style of digital 3D animation. On a more emotional level, it resonates with the audience because it does not hide the craft of animation. For promotional content, simplicity and honesty often align better with a client’s brand value as well. We really enjoyed this creating this piece and we look forward to working on many more projects similar to Cloudride in the future!