Valley of the Kith is a four minute cinematic sequence built almost entirely using the Element 3D plugin on Adobe After Effects. The work is a passion project of Jumbla’s founding creative director, Cal Woolcock, who wanted to explore the capabilities of this powerful but underutilised method. It’s hoped gaming and entertainment companies will come to see it’s a great avenue for achieving high-quality cinematic work, produced with great efficiency.
The intriguing, high-adrenaline video-game-style art piece was created in just ten weeks. Cal himself did the vast majority of the work, having been assisted by three designers who each contributed less than two weeks creating models. This is just a fraction of the human output required to execute such a project using traditional methods. In fact, Jumbla would be able to produce this even faster for a client, by deploying extra sets of hands-on-deck concurrently.
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.
Cal says creating work in this way will benefit many clients who aren’t suited to the traditional methods or the associated costs.
“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.”
In fact, Jumbla would be able to produce this even faster for a client - if needed - by deploying extra team members: designers who are now able to work concurrently and with greater flexibility.
More than just an exercise in technique, Valley of the Kith emotively captures a visually rich scenario relevant to many video games, further intensified by dramatic sound design and score.