Riley's Story

Cutting Edge and Publicis Mojo
Ian Anderson
Zenon Kohler
Matt Dye
Jasper St Aubyn West
Louai Naouri
5+ Team Members
GMUNK 7 R.V. 7 P.T. 8.7 V.M.H. 8 J.M. 6.5 M.P. 6.5 G.R. 8.5 F.A. 8 D.B. 7 A.J. 7 Creative 7.4 GMUNK 7.5 R.V. 8 P.T. 8.6 V.M.H. 7 J.M. 7 M.P. 7.5 G.R. 7.5 F.A. 7 D.B. 7 A.J. 9 Design 7.6 GMUNK 7 R.V. 8 P.T. 8.9 V.M.H. 8 J.M. 7 M.P. 7 G.R. 8 F.A. 8 D.B. 7 A.J. 8 Craft 7.7 GMUNK 7.2 R.V. 7.7 P.T. 8.7 V.M.H. 7.7 J.M. 6.8 M.P. 7 G.R. 8 F.A. 7.7 D.B. 7 A.J. 8 Total 7.6
Publicis Mojo approached Cutting Edge to animate the confronting true story of two children who, after suffering abuse, are now on the road to recovery thanks to the help of Act For Kids.
The Concept

To reinforce the isolation and vulnerability of the children, Cutting Edge proposed a digitally-animated watercolour style featuring a monochromatic color palette. The challenge was to capture the essence of a traditional animation technique, as if every second frame had been hand painted and photographed.

Initially designed in color, the main character, Riley, was redrawn in silhouette.
An early styleframe created as an example of the minimal color palette and graphic style.
The Production

After initial character and scene designs, all silhouetted graphic animation was completed in Photoshop and After Effects. Every element in every scene was treated as a separate shape in the same way a watercolor painter might paint individual shapes allowing for unique waterbleed and overlap. Each silhouette was the start of multiple precomps layered together to create the watercolor effect.

Pencilled animation was created in Photoshop.
An early look development stage resulted in a streamlined After Effects workflow.
All character and environment assets were designed in a flat, vector style of solid graphic colors.
Every element within each scene consisted of many layers all generated from the same silhouette.
Pencil tests.
After storyboarding, a timing animatic was cut to a guide voice-over track.
Animation and Design Breakdown

Act For Kids is an Australian charity working tirelessly to prevent and treat child abuse and neglect. They help kids to overcome their experiences through long-term intensive therapy, and provide support for families at risk.

Act For Kids
Ian Anderson Director/Animator
Zenon Kohler Art Director/Compositor
Matt Dye Animator
Jasper St Aubyn West Animator
Louai Naouri Composer/Sound Designer
Samara Jones Post Producer
Flavia Riley VFX Producer
Andy Ward Publicis Mojo - Executive Creative Director
Vicki Lee Publicis Mojo - Head of TV
Jacinta Xing Publicis Mojo - Producer
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