Project Storm Animated Title Sequence

Overview

Using 3D animation software and cinematic techniques, the designer envisioned and created a series of “sets” that were then animated and rendered to produce an opening title sequence. This animated title sequence aimed to build upon the brand and universe established in the previous Star Wars movies while adding a more cinematic visual to the opening title.

Challenges

The major challenge of this project was designing all the different sets of the animation. With the goal to make them all feel cohesive, it took a lot of planning and detail work to get a consistent feel. Another major challenge was the size and length of the animation. The main solution to this was the detailed animatic that I used to time and iterate on the animations.

Tools Used

  • Maxon Cinema 4D
  • Octane Render Engine
  • Adobe Premiere Pro
  • Adobe After Effects

What I Did

  • 3D Scene Building
  • Animation
  • Dynamic Simulations
  • Texturing
  • Lighting
  • Rendering
  • Compositing
  • Editing

Where It Started

I love title design.
They push the boundaries of what’s possible in film and television. They show us different points of view or styles that the final media couldn’t. For my school capstone project, I wanted to make a title sequence for a Star Wars movie, but that gave me a problem.
I think that its one of the most recognizable opening to any movie series but it’s not really a title sequence. That was the challenge, what would a Star Wars title sequence look like if it was done in a more cinematic style?

The Process

Inspiration

Starting with a mood board I collected images and things that inspired me. There were two main things that I used for inspiration. The first being Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the second being the opening title sequence from HBO’s TV series Westworld.

Story Boards

Storyboards are early sketched stills of the project. They allowed me to look at how the different visuals would interact and be able to show other people what was going on in my head. These were the base of the project, they were essentially an outline going forward in the project.

Building The World

The biggest challenge for the project was creating these elaborate scenes that had to feel cohesive and represent the Star Wars universe. The five different sets all have drastically different visuals while borrowing elements or themes from each other. This was the most time-consuming step of the process as there was a lot of iterations and problem solving to get things to work and look just right.

Animation

Using keyframes to control X, Y, Z positions, rotation and scale over time the animations were created and timed, based off of the pre-selected music pieces. All animations were built by hand, adjusting the timing curves to tweak them to desired looks and timing.

Texturing

The texturing was done in the Octane node texture builder. This allowed significant control over all aspects of the textures. A variety of different techniques and tools were used such as dirt maps, black body emission textures, displacement maps, and alpha channel patterns.

Compositing

Once all the scenes were rendered out of Cinema 4D, they were color corrected, using a combination of curves exposure and Magic Bullet Looks. Some general VFX such as the helmet holograms were also added in this step to complete production. Everything was combined with Adobe Premiere Pro. Final sound effects, music levels, and transitions were added for the final export.

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