Are you interested in mighty heroes, dangerous beasts, and a powerful treasure? If so, you may want to embark on a journey with the Gate Seekers – four children who are sent on an impossible quest.
In this article, we'll guide you behind the scenes on this epic adventure, and we’ll show you how this animated project was produced.
In the Gate Seekers, four unlikely heroes must journey across dangerous terrain to unlock a series of supernatural gateway. In this story, our heroes journey across mythological kingdoms, which draw inspiration from Feudal Japan, Ancient India, Medieval Europe and the Legends of Greece and Rome.
You’ll also realise that our characters are just as colourful as their world. We have Kei, a skilled swordsman who can form weapons out of light. Narielle, a young bandit with an enchanted slingshot. Rohan, an exiled noble with enhanced senses, which include, super strength and super speed. And Icarus, a fledgling warlock with a groundbreaking secret.
In order to bring the story to life, we enlisted the help of Skynamic Studios, a team of talented artists, who created beautiful backdrops, character designs, props and animation.
Initial Design and Animation
Once a script was written, gifted actors lent their voices to these characters, and an artist used their clips to create a sequence of storyboards. He presented his boards into an animatic. From there, the animatic was separated into different shot segments, placed into individual flash files, and were sent off for animation.
The Animators were split up into 2 different divisions: Character Animators and Effect Animators. Character Animators started their work by mapping out key frames – rough shots that showed each character’s general movements. From there, these animators created in-betweens, which are additional frames which make the characters’ movements look smoother.
At the same time, the background animators were hard at work at creating multiple back drops for this pilot. These background artists started out with quick sketches on perspective grids. From there, they did clean illustrations. Finally, they completed vectored and coloured designs.
Whilst all of this was playing out, the Effects Animators were working on 26 different effects.
These effects included, bushes breaking, shadow beams, fogs, swords glowing, leaves, lIght lines, smoke explosions, and the end credits. The list goes on.
3D models for props, such as Kei’s sword and Narielle’s slingshot were created to give the animators an idea of how these objects looked like when they are rotated. This way, the animators had fixed templates to place in their animation, and could trace over these objects to make them look consistent and realistic.
Once the backgrounds, character animation and effect animation was completed, we handed the pilot off to a compositor who handled the hardest part of this entire process. Our compositor took all the finished backgrounds and animation, and separated them into different layers. This was so that the team could apply depth of field, lighting effects and other various techniques to polish up this animation.
Whilst the artistic team created the visuals, the studio enlisted the aid of a sound designer and a composer to help them with the pilot’s audio. The composer followed the cues in the animatic to create a soundtrack that matched the mood and visuals, while the sound designer created the effects such as electric humming, demons roaring, branches snapping and giant explosions.
Once the sound is complete, and the visuals are finalized, these components were combined into a completed pilot.
Although producing this animated project was hard work, it was worth bringing our ideas to fruition. We came up with a polished product that we can all be proud of, and we hope that you will enjoy watching it as much as we enjoyed making it.