Animation Sequence: Design, Animation, Compositing (After Effects)
Loved by millions worldwide, Nathan Jurevicius’s beloved and iconic cult character is brought to life by Passion Pictures Australia and partner Halo Pictures. I was lucky enough to land the job of compositor and effects designer for this animated mixture of 3D and toon animation, created to function as an introduction to the Scarygirl game. As of 2012, this game has reached millions of online plays and won numerous awards.
Working freelance to Halo Pictures, I was asked to give the cartoon elements and environments a feeling of depth and atmosphere, bringing the Scarygirl characters to life. To do justice to Nathan Jurevicius’s characters required some complicated shading techniques and many layers of precomps – standard toon-shading plugins were not an option due to the look required. Transitioning seamlessly between the maya camera and the sections that were built entirely in AE 2.5D space, we embark on a wild ride through Scarygirl’s world.
Taking toon renders from the talented animators at Halo, and cameras and 3D renders from Maya, I proceeded to place toon cards in 3D space and started filling the gaps, creating creating skies, transitions, atmospheric effects, particles, water effects, extending scenery, adding post-lighting effects, and more – at all times treating this cult classic with the reverence it deserves. Some scenery elements that you may think are toon renders are actually layers illustrated entirely within AE and integrated with camera – for example, the rocks and water when we dive below the surface of the river.
- Production Company:
- Passion Pictures Australia
- Scary Girl:
- Nathan Jurevicius
- Chris Hague
- Toon animation:
- Halo Pictures
- Scott Geersen
- Additional Compositing (City Sequence):
- Demis Lyle-Wilson
- Sophie Byrne
- Line Producer:
- Lisa Hague
- Luke Jurevicius
View the Game Trailer on Vimeo.
Also make sure you check out the Scary Girl website, and the original Scary Girl graphic novel. I was lucky enough to receive a signed copy of this hardbound beauty, as well as a personlised sketch from Nathan himself.
2009 CREATE Awards: Winner, Digital Media category
AFI Award Nomination for Screen Content Innovation
MTV Germany best video games awards nomination 2009. Probably too late to vote!
E4 Games Awards 2009Runner Up
FWA Site of the Day
Merit Award in the 2009 HOW Interactive Competition
Bronze award in the 2009 London International Awards
Finalist in the Games category of the 2010 SXSW Web Awards
IGN’s Indie Pick of the Week
Communication Arts Interactive Annual 16 Winner: Entertainment award
Winner of the 2010 FITC Awards in the game category
Cover Feature of May 2009 Stash DVD Magazine
Adobe Developer Connection
The Melbourne Age and Sydney Morning Herald.
Kotaku once, and twice.
One of the top games in1Up’s list of the best 101 free games of 2010.
IndieGames.com andGamaSutra Game Pick.
If you’d like to know more about the shading techniques used to give the 2D toon characters the illusion of 3D depth without (and achieving more controllable results than) plugins, please leave a comment.
Developed with the Assistance of the Film Victoria’s Digital Media Fund.