We were commissioned by Riot Games to create a musically-driven animation to narrate the backstory of Amumu, a character from the game, “League of Legends”. Amumu is a perpetually lonely character who embarks on an unfruitful journey to find friends.
Our intention was to contrast the sombre tone of the musical track with the funny, charming visuals of Amumu. He has a head that is far too large for his body and cloddish feet, all of which make him a bit awkward. His lonely and emotional personality gave us a lot of scope to play with when developing a storyline for this piece. The visual style is inspired by paper cut-outs, a deliberate departure from the 3D, action-packed, realistically rendered style that is typical of video games.
We initially came up with a story sequence inspired by delving further into Amumu’s character as well as selected lands from Riot’s world. We wanted the transitions between worlds to be seamless, so we first mapped out the sequence as rough drawings. These were developed into beautiful storyboards which formed the foundation of the animation. The animatic was created from these boards and we stuck closely to them for the remainder of the project. Beautiful concept frames were then created which were cut up and developed further in Photoshop, prepping PSD’s that after-effects artists could use in their comps. We spent a lot of time developing Amumu’s final look using various illustrations which depicted him in various poses and expressions that the 3D artists could make use of when modeling and animating. 3D modeling and texturing of Amumu began as soon as we had approval on his design. Since we wanted the final shots to have a fluid, dreamy effect, we spent a few days filming ink, watercolor bleeds, splatters and stains which could be combined with our illustrated elements to make them seem organic and alive. Once all the elements were composited in after-effects, the magic happened bringing to life “The Curse of the Sad Mummy”.