It’s not often that you get to combine cutting edge 360 degree video with pure, childhood, nostalgia. But when Disney came to us with the brief for a DuckTales 360 episode, we couldn’t wait to get started!
In a similar way to the Time After Time 360 experience which we completed for Disney & ABC in February, we were asked to create an entirely new story from scratch, to promote the launch of the new series. As well as give some clues as to the updated character profiles that people could expect to see.
The 360 episode had to be aimed at children who wouldn’t have seen the original DuckTales series before, as well as their parents who would be keen to watch the reboot.
The narrative had to be underpinned by the three main driving forces behind the series. An epic sense of adventure around every turn. A razor-sharp script that would allow each character to show a little insight into their unique personality. And finally a sense of family & friendship that binds the main characters together throughout any challenge. Oh, and stay well clear of tired, old, adventure metaphors like mine kart chases!
The Style Challenge:
The project presented a number of challenges. Not least of which was how to make traditional, cell-animated characters fit seamlessly into 3D, 360, Computer Generated environments. We achieved this by matching the 3D cameras in 2D, and as the perspective changed we worked this into the design of our characters.
Incorporating 2D characters within 3D environments
Stylistically, the ultimate goal was to allow the viewer to pause on any frame and feel that it had been entirely hand drawn on a single sheet of paper. The Disney team (understandably!) have immense attention to detail and standards that are second to none. So we worked tirelessly with them to make sure that every element of every scene felt entirely authentic to the visual style of the series.
The Individual Elements;
|We were given access to key imagery of all the characters, as well as their bio’s. Which enabled us to build a character driven narrative around their unique personality traits and individual quirks. Led by Scrooge we took them on a quick fire, fully immersive 360 adventure.|
|We were also given illustrations of environments from the series and the key vehicles, such as Launchpad’s Sun Chaser Plane and Scrooge McDuck’s Old Jeep, which we then re-created in 3D so that they would feel entirely natural when a 360 camera flew past them.|
The Money Bin:
The one element of the story that we absolutely had to weave in was Scrooge’s money bin. It still holds a special place in the hearts of everyone who watched the original series and now it was time to introduce it to a whole new generation.
|It’s had a bit of a face-lift since the 1980’s! So seeing it in all it’s glory, in full 360, was an absolute treat for us to work on! However this time, rather than passively watching Scrooge dive in all on his own, we could actually join him! This was, by far and away, the section everyone was looking forward to most. So it seemed only fitting that this is where we should end up, at the climax of the story. The place where it all began, with a sense of humour, playfulness and a healthy dose of mischief thrown in for good measure.|
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