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Studio News

Press Release: Jumbla debuts original cinematic sequence “Valley of the Kith”, built with Element 3D

Apr 6, 2017

Valley of the Kith is a new four minute cinematic sequence by Melbourne and London-based animation studio Jumbla, built almost entirely using the Element 3D plugin on Adobe After Effects.

The intriguing, high-adrenaline video-game-style piece extends the capabilities of animation by pushing the boundaries of Element 3D, while capitalising on the available resources of After Effects and other Adobe products.

With the bulk of the work completed by one designer working across just ten weeks, Valley of the Kith is a demonstration of quality design, balanced with efficiency and innovation. This is just a fraction of the human output required to execute such a project using traditional methods.

Three additional designers assisted with asset modeling for two weeks each. Instead of creating all the assets in external applications, the team only needed to build the ships elsewhere, using 3D Studio. From there, all the primary work was done with Adobe After Effects and Element 3D, with characters created using Adobe Fuse and animated using Mixamo.

Jumbla’s Creative Director, Cal Woolcock, says this art project was designed to show gaming and entertainment companies the finely detailed design-driven work the studio can produce, using innovative methods to tell stories. It emotively captures a scenario relevant to many video games, further intensified by dramatic sound design and score.

“Traditionally, to complete a work like this, you would need to pass the assets from one specialist to another through a long pipeline. It’s slow, laborious and expensive. Renders often have to happen over a long period of time, and you can’t see the finished product as you go,” he says. “Using the techniques we applied to Valley of the Kith, we’ve eliminated the pipeline.”

“Renders in After Effects can be seen instantaneously. That means we can work on things collaboratively and concurrently. There’s no rigid workflow, fewer hands on deck are needed, there’s less backtracking and problems can be solved on the spot.”

Jumbla specialises in motion graphics and animation, which Woolcock says is an advantage when collaborating with entertainment companies.

“We do a lot of motion graphics, so After Effects and Element 3D are a big part of our arsenal. On top of that, we’re always working with clients who need adaptability. We’re always treating all our jobs as ‘works in progress’, so we can show client the stage we’re at, or add-and-amend as we go. I think we can bring this style to entertainment and gaming animation for clients who aren’t suited to the traditional methods or the associated costs.”

Woolcook says given the project was primarily the work of just one set of hands, such a cinematic sequence could be feasibly executed in even less time. “Breaking away from the constraints of the pipeline method effectively means there’s potential to dramatically compress project timelines,” he says.

At present, he insists there’s a gap in the market for high-calibre 3D animation, produced in non-traditional ways.

“It’s unfortunate that many clients perceive 3D to be a big, scary world that might be inaccessible to them. Using Element 3D within After Effects opens a lot of doors. We hope this piece demonstrates that following this lower-cost path doesn’t mean you’re compromising on quality or viewer experience.”

Jumbla recently applied the techniques to cinematic sequences for the Microsoft video game Forza Motorsport, turning around 12 highly-polished videos in 3 months. It also produced four cinematics for the real-time strategy game Grey Goo. These went on to collect various international accolades, including a W3 Award, a Muse Award and a Horizon Interactive Award.

While Jumbla has been experimenting with pushing the boundaries of this animation method, the technology in this domain has by no means plateaued.

“It’s exciting to think about how extensively we’ve managed to apply this technique as it stands, but it’s even more exciting to think that this is all only in its infancy,” says Woolcock. “Given how powerful Element 3D is, surprisingly few people are using it. There’s a lot more room for it to grow, and we see it playing a bigger role in video games, entertainment and motion graphics in the future.”

“Jumbla is absolutely holding out to see where this goes in the coming years, and we’ll be ready to bring that to clients as it develops.”


About Jumbla

Jumbla is a design-driven animation and motion graphics studio. Story and design is at the heart of everything we do. Our animation and motion graphics artists create visually stunning pieces for a broad range of applications, including TV commercials, promotional web videos, internal communications, event graphics, video game cinematics, logo animations, music videos and broadcast graphics.

Our interconnected studios in the UK and Australia collaborate with clients all over the world in the film, TV, video game, video production, events, marketing and advertising industries.

Our recent projects include Valley of the Kith, an innovative video game cinematic, and Clique, an opening sequence for a drama on the BBC. Our collaborative project with Axis Animation and Amazon, Lost in Oz, has recently won three Emmy Awards!

Get in touch with us to start a project today.

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Media Contacts

Steven Bradshaw, Head of Production

Emma Goldstone, Marketing Coordinator

Laura Breaden, Executive Producer - UK

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