What makes witches and wizards truly great?
Blind teamed up with Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) London Studio to create animations for PlayStation®’s new augmented reality experience, Wonderbook: Book of Spells, the launch title for PS3™’s new Wonderbook peripheral.
We were tasked with developing and animating the visual language of the “conundrums” that appear at the end of each chapter of the game.
As the narrator – Miranda Goshawk – reads the conundrums, text from the pages emerge out of the book to illustrate her stories.
“Our friends over at SCE London Studio, Joel, Russell, Claire, and Nigal, told us that the animation should feel like ‘we’re taking a line for a walk,’ and that became the central idea that shaped our process,” explains director Matthew Encina. “We designed the pieces to feel like a stream-of-consciousness. Images never held on the screen for very long– they wove in and out to seamlessly take us from scene to scene,”
Over a 5 month period, director Matthew Encina and a dedicated team of designers, illustrators, animators and producers, created 6 unique animations using a combination of 2d, 3d, and cel-animated techniques.
The development of each conundrum started off with an open exploration of sketches, where we let our imagination run wild.
Lead illustrator, JAW Cooper states,” I found the storyboarding phase the most enjoyable part of the experience because we were so encouraged to explore and experiment with different ways of visually interpreting the conundrums; the stage of endless possibilities.”
After we were happy with the loose ideas, Cooper sketched out the sequence as a thorough storyboard.
Cooper and the design team then began the creation of the characters and elements.
Simultaneously, the animators created an animatic that mapped out the timing of key moments. With timing and elements locked, the animation team rigged and animated our characters in After Effects and Cinema 4d.
In the final stages of our process, we added connecting lines between animated elements, and added splashes of color to highlight elements in the story.
Everyone on the team helped develop a communication system using Google docs. We created tracking sheets to have a central location for the status of all the elements, shots, and artists.
“We were always working on multiple pieces of the project at the same time, so we had to pay extra attention and make sure we had clear communication with each of the different artist that were working on the same shot,” –Animator Calvin Prieto.
“On the animation team, we often worked on shots that had to blend into one another seamlessly, so communication was key. We also had a great pipeline linking design to animation, and then from animation to compositing – almost like an assembly line of sorts.” –Animator Rachel Yonda
Blind created 6 unique and exciting animations for Book of Spells. Working on this really opened our eyes to the possibilities in the future of gaming. Blind is very proud to have been a creative partner to SCE London Studio to bring Book of Spells to life. Being a part of such a monumental project, which pushes the user gaming experience through technology and expands on a story loved by millions, is nothing short of being a magical experience.