Black Cloud Entertainment asked us to bring the expansive sci-fi world of 'The Medium' to life as an animated teaser - How could we refuse?

The brief was to deliver a tense, character-driven section of story from a script and some early character designs.

Our goal was to push the visual envelope using a combination of 3D and 2D techniques with beautiful hand-drawn animation.
Story & Script
We worked with the client to 'punch up' the script - Adding elements like the falling pillar, Sasha's plan to hide inside a bulbous plant, and the village child that gives her a reason to face her adversary head-on.
Character Concepts & Sheets
The characters of Sasha and Tau were supplied as rendered, comic-book designs.

We developed them into a style more suitable for hand-drawn animation, reminiscent of western superhero cartoons with a distinct anime undercurrent.
We stylised Sasha's anatomy, brought more asymmetrically to her outfit, and simplified detail areas.
Realising an 'afro' hairstyle in an authentic yet stylised way was a priority. Animating this hairstyle would be a large undertaking, but it was crucial to get it right.
The antagonist Tau got even more of a glow-up. As a planet-crushing ex-assassin, we wanted his design to read as huge and intimidating.
His rifle asked to be massive, scary, and not-even-a-little subtle. Pushing the idea to its breaking point, we then pulled back until it felt just right.
'Character Sheets' for Sasha and Tau, with angles and expressions for animation consistency.
Storyboards & Animatic
With the characters approved, we storyboarded an 'animatic' for the angles, pacing, and editing of the final trailer.
Background Art
We wanted to combine the flexibility of 3D backgrounds with the look and feel of hand-painted ones.
We created a virtual 3D set, setting up cameras and painting over the results.
Layout, Animation & Compositing
Time for the hard yards!
In Layout, we set up complex camera moves using basic (and let's face it - hilarious) stand-ins for our characters.
The scenes truly come alive in Animation, as we teased out the action by painstakingly drawing and redrawing hundreds of frames to give the illusion of life.
In Clean Up, we redrew every frame with crisp lines, then filled them with colour in the Ink & Paint phase.
Finally, Compositing. Dynamic lights, effects like snow and lightning, and colour grading made the sequences sing.
Music, Voice Acting and Audio Effects
We composed music to fit the bombastic action, aiming for a blockbuster feel with polyrhythm drumming for flavour.
The client already had character voiceover, so we mixed them with bespoke sci-fi sound design for our final result!
Director: Jeremy Nixon
Animation: Daniel Cuervo
Character Design: Frans Schendelaar
Music: Vanessa Forero
Voice Talent:
Barbara Daye
Sidney Daye
Franklin Ojeda Smith
Storyboards, Compositing, Character Design: Jeremy Nixon
Story & Script: Andre Daye
Clean Up / Ink & Paint: Maria Juliana Rueda Arenas
Background Design: Nevena Nikolcheva
Sound design: Jordan Ivey
Additional Animation, Clean Up, Ink & Paint: Shashank Mani, Jeremy Nixon

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