Ciclope Title Sequence

November 2013

Framestore was given a free reign to design the main title sequence and awards graphics for this year’s Ciclope Festival, where we also gave a talk on Gravity and collected two awards ourselves for Best VFX and Best Title Sequence . For the title sequence we decided to do something a bit different: traditional animation. One of its designers, Zack Lydon (who also illustrated The Creature Department) talks us thought the process:

“We were given the freedom to come up with a story, and tell it in any way that we pleased” says Zach. “We opted to make a piece that was traditionally animated – an art form that our team is very enthusiastic about.”

“We began with a very detailed boardamatic, which proved to be a wonderful tool. Referencing these storyboards, we began with animating our characters in Flash and TV Paint. The rough texture was brushed on separately in Photoshop. We knew that we wanted to composite the project in Nuke, so we exported our animated characters as isolated elements. This gave our compositor the freedom to grade elements independently, and add shadows and highlights as he saw fit.”

An extremely tight schedule meant the team put in lots of work in their spare time. “One of the biggest challenges was finding time to do laundry! Our smelly clothes were a uniform of sorts, one that I took pride in” says Zack. “There is something special about working on an open project, on our own time, among very close friends. The project becomes personal, and you lose a piece of your mind. You feel comfortable enough to start getting silly, and to try anything. You feel liberated to make mistakes, and that is when you finally start to feel like an artist.”

“All of the backgrounds were hand drawn, and then projected onto 3D geometry. All of our skies and clouds were projected onto a sphere to give us depth and subtle parallax. This union of hand drawn assets and robust compositing software is becoming more and more common, perhaps one of the first of its kind for Framestore.”

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