March 19, 2021

Jump leap into The Abyss

Jump was approached by international broadcaster Viasat World to help them realise a 30 second promo concept they had for the series ‘The Abyss – Rise and Fall of the Nazis’ on their Viasat History channel.

Viasat World creatives Keith Livingstone and Anna Sabti had developed a script together with a storyboard and a moodboard featuring very high contrast illustrations (think Sin City and Shepard Fairey) to use as the visual style for the 3D we were to make.

Keith Livingstone – Viasat World Creative:

“We came to Jump with a tricky brief that, although simple in concept, actually required a great level of detail both technically and aesthetically to create the powerful visual impact we were looking for. Alongside a tricky brief was also a very tricky two week deadline. But having known Jump for many (many!) years I knew they would be able to rise to the challenge and their enthusiasm for the project was evident from our first meeting. Harry and Mark clearly understood the brief and were able to quickly flesh out the sequence, bringing their own vision to the animation whilst maintaining clear lines of communication throughout the project – crucial for such a tight turnaround.

We’re really pleased with the end result and look forward to future collaborations … hopefully with a longer deadline next time!’”

We initially used the storyboard images to rough out an animatic in After Effects. This was to get a sense of the pace within 30 seconds as we had to allow for a 5 second endslate. Then we began building each scene in C4D. Initially we focussed on the camera movement and the high contrast lighting to create some elegant forms of light and shade to create the impression of falling. Then we focussed on the texturing and slow motion animation of the 3D character.

Harry Handyside – Jump Art Director:

“As it was such a beautifully simple concept and visual style, it really came down to painting with light. What parts of the 3D are revealed and what is hidden in shadow to communicate and focus the point of each scene.”

Mark Fairless – Jump Senior Animator:

“We found it tricky to source a model from that specific period, so we obtained a generic male figure and completely re-dressed him. C4D’s fantastic sculpting tools were used to add more weight and creases to his clothing. Our character was then placed into a void of volumetric fog which was great for adding the ominous atmosphere.

Once rendered we comped him in After Effects where we added more atmosphere and particles. To achieve best results we also rendered a mix of Depth of field in 3D, as well as in AFX. It certainly took longer to render in 3D but the results are worth it.”

The sequence was built and delivered in two weeks.

The Abyss – Rise and Fall of the Nazis’ starts on Viasat History channel on Monday 5th April.