IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PROCESS
Here at First Fight, our methods for taking a project from start to finish are tried and true and revolve around a few core concepts: Concept, Develop, Design and Execute. This is the approach that we take for every assignment we take on, whether it be illustration, animation, VFX or editing. In this example we were approached by a local agency to make one 30 second spot and two instructional videos for the release of a new app for the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department. Check out how we implemented our plan of Concept, Develop, Design and Execute to solve our client’s problem.
We start with an idea. It can can come straight from the client’s brief or begin by simply listening to their needs and formulating a way to fulfill their requirements. It usually starts with a bit of both; collaborating early on as partners in the form of a kick-off meeting or a simple drink at the bar.
Once the concept has presented itself and is agreed upon, we move straight into development. In animation, we call this pre-visualization. Where all ideas are thrown on the table in order to find best solution. The key ingredients here are elbow grease, #2 pencils and lots of planning.
Simple rough sketches are the way to go. First coming up with a rough layout, composition or storyboard. From there we further refine the story we are trying to tell with more detail. In animation every shot is storyboarded and framed. In illustration, every composition is sketched and considered until we find the winner. Drawings are evaluated and values are checked and signed off on; all in order to ensure that our final results are exciting, readable and able to tell the story that needs to be told.
Now the real fun begins. We have our structure and are now looking for our style. Inspiration can be found all around us and is often found in the everyday, past or present. We take our inspiration and use it to craft a unique look and feel for every project we do. Like the early planning stage, we find our style through exploration, iteration and collaboration with our new partners. Here we are starting to craft finished art. We concentrate on line weight, color palettes, form and shape language. Style frames are made to show how the finished product will look. Only when we have settled on a look and feel that we all love do we move onto the next stage.
Now that every path has been considered, we can find our way home. Fair warning: at this point you may not hear from us for a few days, since we will be holed-up in the studio, bent over our desks cranking out the final results. Here is where there are no questions and it’s all about craft. We render. We paint. We animate key frames. It’s a smooth path from here on out as everything has been fully developed. Now it’s a matter of putting our heads down and getting it done on time. Let’s celebrate.