“It’s not often that we get a brief that demands frame-by-frame animation. It’s a lengthy process, but also a very rewarding one, because you achieve results you simply wouldn’t be able to get with any other process.”
Vitor Cervi, Creative Director, Jumbla UK
When Bossa Studios approached us about working with them again to create a two-minute trailer for their multiplayer sandbox-style video game, Worlds Adrift: The Marauders, we jumped at the chance to bring the infamous Three Libertines to life.
When animating, we wanted to imitate the cartoon-like style of the game itself. The animation was influenced by traditional hand-drawn techniques, which allowed us to really highlight the intimidating personalities of Klot, Violet, and Maggot - three characters that, judging from the bartender’s missing arm, you certainly wouldn’t want to tangle with.
Details like the characters taking enormous swigs of wine, pointing a gun right at the viewer, wearing spiked armour or a magnifying glass over an eye, and even baring their shark-like teeth made it clear that these villains are seriously bad news.
One of the main goals of the trailer was to make those watching it feel as immersed in the world of the game as the players themselves do. It’s easy to lose track of time when playing a community-based game that allows you to freely roam through the world, controlling the storyline yourself.
We wanted to emphasise this atmosphere of action, exploration, and even approaching danger that exists in this universe - one that is so different from our own. Opening the trailer with a shot of the Boggy Clam flying through a pastel cloudy sky lets viewers know they’re no longer in a familiar place.
Once the eerie narration starts, viewers stop observing this world, and instead become a part of it. The narrator lets us in on an ominous secret - the three Libertines, “a faction of lawless lowlifes” have returned. And, as a result, so have the Marauders.
Then, these infamous Libertines burst through the door of the bar.
We always love accepting the challenge of frame-by-frame animation.
We started in Flash, where we could easily sketch out the main frames. Then, we added the additional frames, animated the lines, threw in some colours in Photoshop, and finally created layers in After Effects.
Because Bossa Studios also works within the creative field, they were incredibly receptive to our ideas. Plus, they knew exactly what they wanted, and provided us with a detailed shot list. This meant that communication was simple, and that very few adjustments had to be made once we finished our initial work.
If you look closely, you can spot references to and inspiration from several famous action films, including Kill Bill, Spiderman, The Purge, and even The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Will you join the Three Libertines? Or, will you accept the challenge given to you by the bartender to turn and fight?
The choice is yours.