Akira

Department

Overview

This music video was Motion Miracles’ first 2D animation project done for an international high-profile client. Coleman Hughes is a recognized writer, podcaster and opinion columnist who specializes in issues related to race, public policy and applied ethics. His rapper persona, COLDXMAN talks about these issues through music. 

He had seen our 2D animation work and approached us through the creative agency This is 42. The premise of this was to create a music video with several different styles from iconic pop culture pieces such as The Matrix, Rick and Morty, Bojack Horseman, Akira and Ghost in the Shell. These segments with different art styles were handed over to be executed by different studios. We were approached to recreate a segment in the art style of the anime movie Akira.

Additional Links

Strategy

We took this project on as it really resonates with the type of content we wanted to create in the studio. The client also had a clear vision of what he wanted to represent in this. We received a reference video from This is 42 which was a compilation of shots from the movie Akira, that we later remade with Coleman as the hero character. We had 10 shots to be fully animated within a time frame of about 3 months.

With the references in hand, we started conceptualizing Coleman in the art style of Akira, created animatics and started animating each shot within the members of the internal animation team.

Studio Responsibilities

Motion Miracles took on the main animation and conception as well as the below responsibilities: 

  • Creating a well-timed animatic that corresponds with the lyrics of the song.

  • Developing an art style that mimics old-school anime but also incorporates Coleman’s aesthetics to it.

  • Keeping consistency of style throughout the animation as different parts of it were split among team members.

  • Assuring the quality of animation that the freelancers were pushing out and ensuring it was in line with our original vision.

  • Successfully delivering the completed animation to the client on time.

Challenges

With the strong bond among the members of our team, we were well versed in getting work done unanimously despite having to work remotely from home throughout the project. It really helped that we had gained extensive experience in working online from the previous couple of years.

Moreover, this was our first full-fledged human character animation project. With the time frame we had, it was quite a steep task to complete the whole animation with just the internal team members working on it.

However, we worked to the best of our abilities within our team to complete the main keyframe animations, 2D animated effects and backgrounds. Once we were done with these initial stages, we recruited two freelancers to help out with some in-between work for the character and the coloring of these frames.

Another challenge we faced was getting these freelancers onboard to our 2D animation pipeline inside of Blender. With our prior knowledge of creating tutorials and teaching the fundamentals of 2D animation, we were able to get the freelancers up to speed with our Blender pipeline.

Outcome

With this project we were able to;

  • Gather over 45K+ views on the final music video

  • Develop our 2D animation skills, especially in character animation and 2D effects animation.

  • Have more expertise in the software and be able to pass down knowledge of it to new members.

  • Working in unison with freelancers, achieving a common goal, and having fun along the way

  • Gain high praise from some professionals in the industry regarding the animation

  • Open more doors for such high-profile animated projects for the future of the team

These are some of the responses the music video has received apart from Youtube comments ;

  • "Feedback on the video is amazing so far! Well done sir" - Coleman Hughes

  • Great work !!!! 👌 - Ian Pons Jewell (Hollywood director)

  • "What a fucking vibe" Chris Williamson (Modern Wisdom Podcast)

  • "Love this one!" Micah Green (Hollywood Producer/CEO)

  • "So good. Shit that work is good. Very impressive." Jay Shapiro (Award-winning director)

  • "Holy shit! That's amazing. that's some high-profile shit! very well done. Amazing" 5 x Emmy Award-Winning Comedian/Writer

  • "Another great one!!! love the animation" JehanR (Legendary Lankan YouTuber and Co-Founder & VP of Strategy and Growth at Who Gives a Crap)

  • "Super Congrats" Tom Nash (Motivational Speaker)

  • "That was solid. I swear the Director is Trippin when He's making these ideas. Hahaha. So many styles. This is so fresh!!!" - Frace Luke Mercado (Cinematographer/ Australian Champion BBoy_

  • "This has the potential to have the same impact as through the wire did for Kanye" - David Burkett (Brisbane Chamber Of Commerce)

Behind the Scenes & Breakdowns