LU2ON – Residential Development Animation
LU2ON is a big residential development, being planned for construction next to Luton Airport. London based design agency Ignite, asked us to bring the story of the new development to life via the medium of animation.
The development includes 685 apartments, a hotel, retail & leisure space plus a conference centre.
One of Luton’s main selling points is its proximity to London. Whilst it is 35 miles from central London, which can take over an hour by car, Thameslink trains can bring commuters into King’s Cross in just 23 minutes.
Luton’s doorstep countryside and fast commute times into London became the leading theme in the 2-minute animation.
The animation, featuring lead characters Jess and James, portrays a snapshot of the day in the life of a LU2ON resident.
It’s Friday evening, James is on a flight back into Luton Airport and Jess is commuting by train from central London. For both parties, the ease and speed of their journeys home, is depicted throughout.
The conceptual artwork was created by hand in Photoshop by Roger Wade.
LU2ON is an affordable choice for first-time buyers. The look and feel of our characters were tailored towards a young professional market.
Once concept artwork was approved, character imagery was transferred into After Effects for animation. The faces were drawn at all rotational angles to create a pseudo 3D rig.
Mixed 3D & 2D approach
Most of the animation uses 3D backgrounds combined with 2D characters, rigged & composited using After Effects.
When a scene required a more ambitious and dynamic camera move, we opted for 3D rigged characters.
On the scene above, Jess’s body is created in 3D using C4D’s cell shader. Her facial rig is added in After Effects. Although the head rig is 2D it gives an illusion of being 3D.
In some sections of the film the animation was cell drawn by hand. Jess’s run cycle, above, was made using this technique.
At the end of the film, there was a requirement for the animation to transition seamlessly into a 360 degree looping-rotation of the development. This meant that the video could be used front & centre on the website homepage.
There was some serious head scratching to make sure that elements such as the plane, cars, balloon and people looped perfectly without glitch. Camera co-ordinates had to match perfectly from end of the animation to the start of the rotation.
Concept Artwork & Cell Animation – Roger Wade
Lead 3D & 2D Animation – Dave Ellis/Sendmelive
Direction & 3D – Tom Carpenter