The simplier the visual style gets, the more you have to think it through and make choices beforehand."
Vellu Valla from Also Starring approached Piñata with three scripts for our client: Three power scenarios for the year 2023 - three alternative futures. Green earth, Blue globe and grey World - three different global scenarios for electricity production and use.
"The hardest task was to convert this highly conceptual and technical content into a concrete and appealing visuals and animations. The storylines were quite abstract already, with loads of things morphing and transforming to another.", compositor and designer Henri sums up the start of the project.
It was decided to make the storyboards for each film as a single page skecth instead of a traditional scene based storyboard. The aim was to include all the action but not make it too detailed from the beginning and not think too much about composition of pictures beforehand. Henri continues: "First we wanted to think how to visualize the story as a whole. How to make things and concept easy to understand from a single picture without a text or voiceover and also how that same picture could be transformed as smoothly as possible to a new scene."
When the overall visual direction and style of the film was agreed on, Mikko Vormala drew a storyboard based on the new visual concept following the style of moodboards. At the same time Brett King started to make the illustrations to be used in the animation.
Each film had a limited palette of 4 colors which made it a bit of a challenge to get the illustrations seamlessly flow from one scene to another with as few cuts as possible. That is one reason why the aim from the very beginning was to make the illustrations so that all the elements in one picture could be used in some form in the following picture.
The animation was mostly done in 2d with After Effects to keep the scenes and elements simple. "One could think that making a animation in a style as simple as this would be very straightforward. Maybe it is at some point, but the simplier the visual style gets, the more you have to think it through and make choices beforehand.", says Henri.
Production Company: Also Starring
Director: Vellu Valla
Piñata artists: Henri Tani, Mikko Vormala, Brett King, Jani Toikka