Aladdin Titles – Behind the scenes

Aladdin Titles - Behind the scenes

Disney is developing a follow-up of the live-action feature Aladdin, according to an article published two weeks ago in Variety, and we couldn’t be more excited about it. Based on the 1992 animated classic, the remake was a huge hit the past year, grossing more than a billion dollars in the box office.

With Aladdin 2 officially on the way and Disney + out in the UK since yesterday, we thought It could be fun to know a bit more about “the making” of the titles. Here in Fugitive, we were lucky enough to design and produce all the graphics. Do you want to know more? Keep reading! (Geek alert!).

  • Main Titles

In the following pictures, you can see the beginning of the title’s development. We receive a brief and we normally design or choose different fonts that would work with the topic, genre, etc. 

In the original feature, some of the main titles become sand and disintegrate, in this case, we had to create the sand and the title separately (with Cinema 4D) and then compose them together in After Effects. (The reflections of light on the texture change from the morning to the night time).

The wispy smoke coming out of some letters was a combination of X-Particles + Turbulence FD in Cinema 4D. We created up to 10 different versions modifying speed and cooling time. The animation was produced in Turbulence and then X Particles “would follow” that movement: so, the speed in the emitter in X Particles was set as “0” and in Turbulence settings – Simulation, we changed the Particles Velocity Scale to 100%.

  • The End

Both text and particles (the sand) depend closely on the monkey and the magic carpet, because they fly through, making it disappear. After a few tests, we had to change the lights around it, since the Visual Effects were not finished and they added way more fireworks than at the beginning (making the background brighter than originally).

  • End Titles – The Dance

The challenges in this part were making the Titles readable enough (since they were ochre-like colour) and not to disturb the action (which, if you remember, is a funny and fast-paced dance).

In the beginning, we played with the frame of the dance, changing size and position. But then It was discarded.

 
  • End Credits (Roller)

In a film like this one, it was obvious that the amount of VFX was exceptionally heavy = A LOT of people involved in them. That’s great, BUT everyone wants the roller as short as possible… Making it fast is not the best solution since that would cause the text to strobe, so some of our “magic tricks” involved:

  • Group VFX separated by a dot
  • 2 columns for credits
  • Reduce spacing

In the photos on the right, you can see some of the evolution: from trying multiple columns for the big groups and one column for the rest of the roles, to double-column for everyone and big groups separated by dots.

 

 

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How to create a "Fluffy cloud"

How to create a "Fluffly Cloud"

It is true that in London we are not short of clouds, quite the opposite, but sometimes this is not enough! Last year we had to create a fluffy cloud for a project, keep reading to know more.

The cloud had to be integrated into real footage and needed to be visibly dense. Also, our fluffy cloud had to move, sort of chasing some characters. For this project, we tested our skills in the streets of London.

In terms of software, we created the cloud with Turbulence FD, in Cinema 4D. Afterward, we 3D tracked some footage, also in Cinema 4D, we then created a null and attached the cloud to it. The “final look” was composited in After Effects.

Firstly, I would like to recommend the following tutorial on how to make a cloud with Cinema 4D and Turbulence FD. However, it depends on your personal project you would want to change the settings. In the end, I will share the specific settings for our final result.

To “stop” the movement of the smoke and create a contained flow of the particles, you have to animate the timing. It was tricky to find the right balance, so the animation wouldn’t stop drastically, as you can see in the following tests:

Another complication found was related to the movement once we’ve tracked the cloud to the environment, because you need to find the right balance between: The speed of the animation inside the container + the animation of the movement in any environment.

In the video on the right, you can see that the particles were moving faster, creating a non-realistic feeling of the cloud.

There are plenty of tutorials on how to motion track in Cinema 4D (follow this link), so we will skip that part. In this case, I’ll highlight the importance of positioning the lights accordingly to your footage (sun direction, if you have characters, cars or any other objects creating shadows, etc).

Check the following screenshots of the original file, to check the settings that we used for the tracking and for the container:

In the video on top, you can see the “final result” of the test we created.

What do you think? Did you find it useful? Do you know any other tricks? Feel free to comment below!

Inspiring animation workshop by Katie Menzies

Inspiring animation workshop by Katie Menzies

There is something special when you walk into a room full of creatives. Even more so, if these are all talented women. And last night was exactly like that, a perfect occasion to celebrate and support women in the industry.

I’ve been following Cabeza Patata (whose literal translation would be Potato-Head) for over a year. Katie and Abel are the “real heads” behind it. I love their quirky animations with a unique style, and my highlight is the great job they do with their character’s clothes: they are smoothly linked to the body movements, yet the texture and patterns are carefully worked in detail.

Last night Katie Menzies gave a talk, organized by “She Drew That”, about her work and what are her “ingredients in life” to be part of it: politics, fashion, and characters. She also shared what she considers are the most important considerations when you work as an illustrator, animator or designer.

Firstly, be selective. Not only who you’re working with, but how you work during a project will influence your mood and your take in it. You can “say no” if you feel a project is not suitable for your principles and/or the way you work.

Personally, It took me a whole year while I was studying my Masters to learn to say “no”, so I fully sympathize: you always think you will be missing the opportunity of your life. However, It is true that we are not always in the position of rejecting a job (after all, we’ve got bills to pay). Anyway, the goal should be that: being selective.

Claim space. Don’t be afraid of trying different mediums to express your creativity. For example, paintings on the walls or creating a huge head that many people tried. They also created a campaign for Google, without any humans in it, “put the characters in different situations”, she added.

                         

This is something I relate a lot to. I absolutely love trying different techniques, from Plasticine to ink inside a water tank. For example, recently we were pitching for a job that allowed me to explore a new technique I had never tried before: graphite. When time allows it, I always try a more analogical approach instead of jumping straight to the computer. Sometimes, It will add realism to your pieces.

The third consideration she said was “always being conscious” of what you are working on. This is something that might seem obvious but is not that easy. A very interesting example Katie talked about was related to one of their projects, for Spotify, where they had to create different characters portraying some emotions that you have while listening to music. These should be gender-neutral, without any ethnic group. However, they realized that the “angry” character seemed male for everyone, no matter the colour of the clothes, background, etc. So, they had to compromise and make it look frustrated instead.

Katie Menzies, from Cabeza Patata, during her talk

Finally, sharing and championing others. In this case, I totally agree with Katie and I think my experiences are full of support from people and to every colleague I have ever been able to bring to the table. I also agree with the feeling she described of intruding in a “private club” when you work in some studios where they feel you don’t belong there.

And this is how I am going to finish this article: first, championing and thanking everyone who organized this wonderful event and contributes to the promotion and motivation of all women in the industry. Second, sharing my genuine admiration for Katie Menzies and her talent and hard work.

 

(*) The views and opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Fugitive. Any content provided by our authors are of their opinion and are not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, individual or anyone or anything.

Angela Gigica

ANGELA GIGICA

MOTION GRAPHICS DESIGNER

Angela Gigica is an independent motion graphic designer, art director and illustrator based in the UK. Originally from Romania, where she completed her education in decorative arts and design, she spent the past decade living and working in London. Here she collaborates with various global brands, agencies and broadcasters (including Google Play, Sony, The Natural History Museum, McAfee, WaterAid, The Guardian).

Her work is varied and her extensive experience allows her to take on a project from concept stage through to developing style-boards to storyboarding & illustrating the visual journey and right through to implementation phases and delivery.

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