Category Archives: Research

Helpful presentation

As I wanted to give our short film the aesthetic of Ori and the Blind Forest (2015) I went looking for some behind the scenes videos and came across this gem from the lead animator of the game.

It is a wonderful and comprehensive presentation about how the tiny team working at Moon Studios managed to make an absolutely beautiful game whilst overcoming their limitations (team size, experience etc).

A lot of the presentation is to do with game design which isn’t really relevant, but it is still fascinating to see how everything came together.


Organising the scenes



I put together this spreadsheet to make sure that the rest of the team would animate and organise their scenes and animation so there would be no unnecessary frames to render, and so everyone could communicate easily when it comes to scenes.


While researching various companies that had made cinematics for video games I suddenly remembered Blur; they had made the beautiful realistic looking cinematics for games such as The Elder Scrolls Online, Dishonoured 2, Knights of the Fallen Empire: Sacrifice, the “descending into Hell” scene from South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut and most recently provided many of the visual effects to Deadpool (2016).

Their style, though unique, always captures the essence of the original source, whether it be the fantastical landscapes of The Elder Scrolls or the the over-the-top craziness of South Park. We wanted to do as much justice to the source material as we possibly could by adopting the values of Blur and applying them to our project.

Movie References

As we wanted to add as many references as possible, we looked to some iconic movie moments that would inspire us in terms of cinematography and tone.

Apollo 13 (1995):

Apollo 13 (1995): Launch Sequence. The dramatic tilted angles showing off the massive explosion that fires the rocket into space looked spectacular, and we felt that we could pay homage to this great scene by firing Big Ben into space in a similarly compositioned way.
Service Structure falls away: The long sweeping shot of the tower as it is removed from the rocket was epic and awe-inspiring (especially considering that CGI was relatively new technology and this movie was released on the same year as Toy Story).


Maleficent (2014):

Maleficent walking through the tightly-packed crowd, only her crown is visible. I thought this could be a good reference if we planned to add the Queen as a character; we would only have to model her crown as she walks through crowds of Royal Guards.


Shrek (2001):

Lord Farquaad on his way to waterboard the Gingerbread Man. It was the two guards just casually chatting that I really liked about this scene, and we thought it would be humourous if we included two Royal Guards just loitering around and taking it easy, then springing straight back into action as soon as they see the Queen approaching


The World’s End (2013):

The World’s End Gag Reel: Martin Freeman is too short. I thought this would be really funny to emphasize how short the Queen is compared to the guards.

Very British Things

One of the features William from BillyGoat made very clear was that he wanted us to insert as many references and Easter Eggs as possible into our cinematic. These would include tiny details that wouldn’t be distracting to the audience, but interesting and witty if you look closely enough. Examples we came up with include:

  • Tea
  • Swans
  • Jaffa Cakes
  • Mr Bean
  • Stephen Fry
  • Monty Python
  • Sherlock Holmes
  • Doctor Who
  • David Attenborough
  • Fish and chips
  • Bulldogs
  • Bobbleheads
  • Wallace and Gromit
  • The Stig
  • Black Cabs
  • Red Phone Boxes
  • David Bowie
  • James Bond
  • Fawlty Towers
  • Blackadder
  • Harry Potter
  • Mary Poppins