A 5Dimensions collab with my good homie Billy Chitkin (aka Gernge). Inspired by a beautiful train station I encountered in Hakone, Japan.
Reinterpreted slightly to bring in the mountains and valleys of Hakone. A tribute to Japan's thoughtfulness to make even the most mundane of spaces beautiful.
2D Design & Animation - Nick Parente
3D Design & Animation - Billy Chitkin
Sound Design - Nick Parente
Music - Lullaby by saib.
My initial inspiration came from the actual Tonosawa Station in Hakone, Japan. I visited this station on my trip to Japan in 2017 and was taken by how ridiculously picturesque it was.
For this piece I decided to reinterpret it with a background of the mountains and valleys of Hakone to give the scene some depth.
Early on we came up with the idea of this being a loop of two different sets of characters waiting at the station. I eventually settled on 5 character setups for each set.
I started out by sketching a bunch of ideas, then brought the sketches into Photoshop to do cleaned up outlines, then eventually fills
Using an early rough render of the station shelter from Billy (in order to keep the correct perspective), I dropped the sketches into Photoshop to do rough outlines, and then final fills. I worked in black and white because Billy hadn't had time to lookdev the train station at this point.
I initially set out to do all character animation in Photoshop, but I quickly realized that wouldn't be the most efficient route, especially for some of the more subtle animation.
Primary animation for a few characters was done in Photoshop, with the rest being done in After Effects.
Here's a few spotlights of the other characters I did in AE.
3D Workflow/Scene Comp
Billy handled the 3D portion of the piece. This included the Train, Platform, and Tunnel. With Billy's expertise we decided the best course of action was to have Billy render out (the Redshift equivalent of) object buffers for all the differently colored elements, which I would then use to color each individually-colored element using solids and set mattes in AE. (This was of course in addition to the beauty pass and a GI pass). The 2D layers were all comped in after effects.
Trees, Plants & Scenery
While I wanted to give the scene a more open, mountainous aire; I didn't want to lose too much of the lush feel of the actual Tonosawa station. So like any millennial worth his/her salt, I filled it up with plants.