After successfully crafting one of the most rewarding design journeys, we are happy to share all the tips and tricks that we have picked up along the way.
Working closely with .shop domain company, we had a challenge to create a unique, mixed media visual aesthetic that would fit the brand’s philosophy.
So grab your favorite mug and get ready to take a sip of inspiration!
The stylistic choices were influenced by the existing visual aesthetic of .shop’s brand which consists of bright, contrasting colors, dotted patterns, and the use of realistic footage.
Right before starting the storyboarding phase and making the first brushstrokes, we knew that this project needed a unique approach. The biggest challenge consisted of balancing creative exploration with the guidelines of the brand while simultaneously maintaining the voice and the spirit of Yans.
Our team came up with the idea of mixing modern, fresh images and footage with illustrated details. Thus, we kept that concept in mind while passing through each stage of the production process.
Below you can find some sketches from the storyboard which have gone through some changes before turning into the final illustrations.
In one of the earliest versions of character design, the protagonists had blue skin tones. However, given that they looked too abstract and alien-like for the client, we opted for a more natural palette. Consequently, the shapes and the overall structure of the characters can be categorized as more realistic than stylized.
Additionally, all the characters have unique personalities that highlight their individuality. For instance, Mike is a hard-working, middle-aged man who owns an old, European style coffee shop and likes to stay up to date with the latest art trends that he excessively browses on his days off. Truth to be told, despite being a coffee shop owner, Mike secretly prefers a good, old, hot tea over any type of coffee.
In contrast, Cassie’s character represents the younger generation. Being an aspiring artist in her 20s, Cassie has a special talent and interest in pottery that she considers selling online. Her signature style consists of patterns, abstract shapes and a collection of yellow jackets.
Apart from brainstorming within the guidelines of the brief, our team believes in finding creative solutions and taking a dose of inspiration from uncommon sources in order to achieve unique visualization of a given project.
Modern pottery was one of our biggest influences in the process of conceptualizing the environmental design elements. In particular, the design of the following vases became a huge part of the project, as their simplified and geometric structure complemented the fresh and modern aesthetic of the project.
Being one of the essential props related to the main character, the vase first appears in the opening scenes of the video, where we see it placed on a pedestal. In the earliest stages of brainstorming, we had an idea to recreate a decorative, 3D pedestal similar to the attached references. However, after the overall direction of the project was guided towards a simplified, minimalistic design, we decided to eliminate all the unnecessary visual information and have the vase as the dominant object of the composition.
In the process of designing the background elements, we took a great insight into the characters’ backstory to make sure the environmental design enhanced the narration of the story. Thus, when setting up the rooms of the characters, the props were selected carefully and with huge consideration of each character’s personality. For instance, taking a Look into Casie’s room, one can find a number of sticky notes placed around her desc, a stack of stationery items, decorative vases, and a collection of trendy yellow jackets. The overall color palette of the room consists of bright, vibrant colors that highlight Casie’s youthful and creative nature.
Working with real footage required massive research to collect all the necessary resources that would allow us to recreate the picture we had in our minds onto the screen. In contrast to working solely with illustration where the only limitation is one’s imagination and creative force, a mixed media project raises new challenges requiring external sources.
In the following frames, one can find the use of photographs both for the exteriors and the interiors of the scene,
edited screenshots of existing websites for the frames showing UI,
and 3D models for the computers.
One of the challenges we faced in the animation stage was the heaviness of the files as we had to work with various textures, effects, and footage.
Although the animation was mostly made with After Effects, several frames were animated traditionally.
Below you can find our favorite animated frames.
As formerly mentioned, one of the major takeaways of working on a mixed media project is the importance of going beyond regular sources of inspiration and looking where you least expected it. Given that a mixed footage animation needs visual resources taken from external sources, it requires one’s openness and flexibility to find creative solutions that are the best fit.
Now that you have gathered all the tips and tricks of making a mixed style project, don’t hesitate to spread the knowledge and add some inbetweens of inspiration into your creative framework
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Agency: Beverly Read – Need To Know
Animation production: Yans Media
Style: 2.5D motion graphics, Mixed
Vertical(s) High Tech
Creative Direction: Tigran Movsisyan
Illustrations: Anet Hovhannisyan, Gani Hakobian
Motion Graphics: Hakob Gepenyan, Smbat Harutyunyan, Gevorg Vardanyan,
Traditional Animation: Gani Hakobian