We were tasked with producing an ident for a game developer of our own creation. I picked the name Farsighted Studios during a group discussion and at first it had no particular meaning, it was just a name, but I later decided that the name “Farsighted Studios” would mean that the games they produce are forward thinking and try to bring new and innovative ideas to the genre.
For the ident itself I had two ideas. One was inspired by the 20th Century Fox Ident, mainly for the camera movement, while the second idea is best described as something of a cross between the Dreamworks Ident and the Daft Punk logo (as shown above). I experimented with both ideas as they are quite different and I wanted to see what I could do in Maya as prior to the assignment I had never used the Camera tool in Maya, as well as some of the other tools I am now using.
(20th Century Fox Ident)
You can see some of the ideas for the two possible Idents in the image above. For the 20th Century Fox inspired ident, the idea was that initially you would see two words (one slightly in the distance), with one in focus while the far-off word is obscured by some depth of field. The camera would then pan across, from left to right, and as the obscured word (Studios) came into view the depth of field would be removed and you would be able to see Farsighted Studios and the ident would then end. This idea was fairly simple and I managed to get most of it working in Maya as seen in a test video below.
The second Ident is inspired by the Dreamworks Ident and the Daft Punk text/logo (both shown above). It would start off with a view of a starry sky/galaxy before the camera moves upwards, interrupted briefly by a brief flash of lens flare, before continuing upwards when the words Farsighted and Studios come into view. Farsighted and Studios would move closer together to form “Farsighted Studios” before the camera would begin to move upwards before there was another flash of lens flare and it would end. While I don’t have a test render video for the second ident, I do have some pre production and storyboards.
All storyboard panels are from the camera’s perspective.
Panel 1: The camera is centered, looking straight ahead at a starry sky, or a galaxy, with a few light reflecting off various surfaces. The camera then begins to move upwards (akin to the movement in the Dreamworks Ident).
The only part I might change about this are the use of the lights reflecting off surfaces. This is because they don’t actually serve any purpose in the Ident and are only there for the sake of it, and since the Ident isn’t very long anyway, I’m not sure that sort of thing is required (as there is no “pause” in the action to fill etc). I would experiment between Adobe Aftereffects and the Visor tool in Maya for the background effects. Otherwise this Ident would also take place against a dark/black background although it would server to focus on the contrast between the neon “Farsighted Studios” text.
Panel 2: As the camera continues moving up through the starry sky/galaxy its view is briefly obscured by a flash of lens flare. In all honesty there is about as much “point” to having the lens flare in as there would be to having the three lights in first “panel” but I try to use the lens flare to bookmark the Ident in the sense that “It begins – camera movement/lens flare – Farsighted Studios Text – lens flare/it ends”. I don’t want it to be obnoxious or a particularly harsh lens flare so it would require some experimentation and trial and error in getting it just right if it is included in the final Ident.
Panel 3: The camera comes to a stop as the words “Farsighted” and “Studios” come into view. At first the two words are separated and on either side of the screen but they move together to form “Farsighted Studios” before the Ident plays on and the camera continues moving. I’m not sure how the words will move together as they won’t “clash” together, or even the positioning of the words as while I have the idea above another idea would be to have the final position of the words be:
As opposed to
However this is something that would be very easy to change and wouldn’t really change the “shot” too much.
In my tests for the look of the text I have used the Phong material in Maya to give the text a neon glow and while at the moment the text objects are both different colors (pink and blue), I would imagine they would be the same color in the end although I definitely want to help emphasize the contrast between the black background and the bright neon-esque text. I had quite a bit of trouble in tweaking the various settings for Phong to get it “just right” but in the end I realised I had set the Glow Intensity to maximum which explained why I could see incredibly bright glows but only the vague outlines of the text, while obviously now you can see the glow/colour and the text.
Panel 4: The camera continues to move upwards and as Farsighted Studios moves out of view, the camera’s view is again obscured by a flash of lens flare before either fading to white or black and the Ident ends.
I hope that the finished idea for the neon-ident is pretty much the same as what is proposed in the storyboards. I’m not dead set on keeping the lens flare but if I can do it then I will, and my experiments so far seem to suggest that I should be able to get the rest of it working. I’m not settled on a typeface for the Farsighted Studios text but I want something perhaps reminiscent of the Daft Punk logo, but I quite like the look of the Bush Script ltd font although I have yet to decide. If the test for the other Ident idea was roughly six seconds I would imagine the neon ident would be about twice that length, and be divided up something like:
Panel 1/Intro 2-3 seconds
Panel 2/Lens Flare 2 seconds
Panel 3/Farsighted Studios 4-5 seconds
Panel 4/Lens Flare End 2 seconds