Indie film time again!


Our sister company Fanimatics has been making a ton of pre-vis for some rather huge clients these days. We’ve also been lucky to help some new friends in Cambodia develop the look of a new live action short. We typically don’t get too involved in our client’s kickstarter campaigns, but this one is a little different.  Under the Tamarind Tree is a tragic story of two lovers separated during the time of the Khmer Rouge regime. It’s a very intense script that made us take notice and want to get involved.

Take the time to check out the project’s Kickstarter Campaign. They are on a mission to tell a powerful story.


004-01 rough layout keys

Rough keys for the bug’s entry into the air shaft. The roughs for c004-02 (the cam follow along the air shaft) show the bug starting cam left and pushing to the right, so having the bug hover momentarily before flying into cam right here makes for a nice transition between cuts 01 and 02.

005-01 keys & 007-01 rough

Scene 005 was originally a single hold frame showing the Hacker as he receives the data stream from the bug.

In order to maintain camera consistency we flipped the angle and widened out so that we can move the camera a little. We’ve also added a slight head movement to break the static hold, and the rest of the action can be picked up by the holographic windows in the foreground.

For the match cut (007-01) where the feed ends, we’re suggesting that we add some simple hand actions to keep it from being static and to separate it from 005 a little.

002-02 & 007-02 roughs

rough animation for cut 002-02, which ties up scene 002. The focus of the action is the movements of the right arm, which manipulates some sort of tracking holographic input (possibly flying the bug, or aiming it’s cutting laser for 004-01).

Cut 007-02 was originally matched to cut 002-01, but on further consideration 002-01 is set pretty far out for the action in 007-02. We think matching to 002-02 instead will allow us to show the same action from a better angle. We can change up the base frame easily enough to avoid making it a complete match.

006-09 rough keys

rough key positions for cut 09 of scene 006. This is where the bullets first begin to impact the ESPer’s shield, shaking him out of his stupor and into shock and terror. This is a pretty fast cut and will push out quickly.

002-01 Keys test

Keys, tweens and roughs for Cut 002-01. Only a little cleanup left on this one.

“Grouped actions” are little sets of partial frames that can be intercut in multiple ways to create longer sequences. It’s important not to over-use them in rapid succesion in order to avoid echo action, but when properly composed they’re indispensable.

Matching 006-06, 09 and 15 + Bullet FX

Match cuts are those where the angle of the shot are close enough such that we can get the most use out of multiple resources.

Cut 06 (of Scene 006) is the one in which the Patient first wakes up, groggy and disoriented. These three keys are cleaner than usual for Layout but represent a good example of final line and design. The Patient’s eyes roll without focus, his mouth shifts without words, but he’s becoming more lucid.

Cut 015 is the close-up screaming, where we see the Patient go full nutty, gems glowing and veins pumping. We’ve rotated it off the perpendicular and set up an angle that reinforces the previous shots and works as a counterpoint angle to that of the Soldier in the next cut (the headscraper). We can also incorporate rapid camera push into the Patient’s face to highlight his movement forward

Cut 09 is the first in which we see the bullet deflection effect. Similar to cut 15, except that we’re pushing out rather than in. The beginning expression of the Patient is similar to that of cut 06, but it rapidly escalates as the bullets keep coming.

The three attached clips showcase three bullet deflection effects which all wrap the flight around the ESPer but do it in slightly different ways. Let us know which one of these works best and we can refine the effect further.

JSDS – opening animation

Long ago this was our suggestion for the opening for that Nintendo DS game that was released in the states by Ubisoft and developed by our good friends at Plato… anyway here was the layout animatic for one of those tiny Nintendo screens:


Modell “Baseball” animatic

Rough animatic concept for the Modell spot. Bit more frames than usual, but we got rolling on the action and couldn’t be stopped.


Sample frames with a single spot color and heavy shadows. Heavy shadows can help action read at a distance even when line clarity drops, and the spot color allows us to direct the eyes effectively.

This serves as a rough example of where the spot colors would apply to the character design as a whole. The bat which cracks is white, but the bat he picks up in the Modell’s store is Modell red.


Fox’s “Wolf Guy : Saber”

No VO, no real detail, no real sound design, just some of the quick ideas of half a day of animatic work to show some of the flow/motage ideas we’ve had to bring this spot to life…


Here are a few extra shots we left out in the edit, part of the lead up before the firing squad:

Nike : Meteor Animatic v5

Most of the fully animated scenes. A few were left out as they are currently being worked on and we didn’t want to disturb the animator’s flow. Most of these cuts have the previous costume, all of the cuts are being re-drawn as you read this…