Animation is the practice of sequencing images to produce the illusion of movement. The images are individually known as frames, and are usually slightly different to each other, and the more similar they are, the smoother the animation will be.
In 2D animation, images are played in sequence. In 3D animation, objects made of polygons and vertices are moved in a 3D space. The animations are commonly played at a rate of 24, 25, 30 or 60 frames per second. The more frames per second, the smoother the animation will appear.
To make a believable animation, animators will generally use real-life physics and actions as the basis for their movements. For example, when animating a gun, the animator will have to add recoil to make the shooting appear realistic.
Animation is used in many areas of the game industry, from character or environment animation to idents shown before a game or during a trailer. Idents are a company’s signature, used to identify the media products as one of theirs. In the game industry, both developers and publishers use idents, as well as software and hardware companies.
INSERT EXAMPLE GAME BOOT UP SEQUENCE
When tasked with making my own ident, I also had to make up my own company name. As I was making a visual piece of work, I decided to make my company name as visual as possible. I started with a few mindmaps, exploring possible name ideas, from lifestyle, to action, to colours. I finally settled on something sounding quite retro, as well as palpably visual: Crimson Sunset. From the get go, not only did I have the centre piece of the ident laid out, but also the colour scheme.
Next, I looked at the logo. I decided this should play to the retro nature of the ident, so I looked to some reference material for help. In particular, I looked at the typeface used on Kavinsky’s album cover, Outrun, and the logo of the movie, Drive. I felt that this suited the retro aesthetic of the ident as a whole, as well as the hot pink used as the colour. I ended up making my own logo in Adobe Illustrator, using the same colour pink, accented in a dark grey. Preliminary attempts didn’t look quite right due to the angles used, and I decided to use something more natural and flowing, just like in the reference material.
Having sorted the logo, I then looked at making a storyboard of the ident. To really drive home the retro theme, the ident starts panning around an old CRT monitor, zooming into the screen, and filling the view. The screen then boots on, showing a setting sun over the sea, with a silhouetted tree and boat to add scale. The sun freezes half over the horizon, framing the boat, and the logo fades onto screen. Fade to black.
I then made a first pass animation in Photoshop, as well as making some possible colour schemes. I finally settled on vibrant reds and dark greys, and I felt this gave the Ident character.