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Highrisers Opening Titles

2D Animation

Video editing

Motion graphics

Sound acquisition

This project conceptualises the opening title sequence for one of the six series called Highrisers. As described in the previous project, Highrisers is set on modern-day Earth in a fictional British constituency known as Albanshire. The series revolves around twelve residents of an apartment building, balancing their work, studies, friendships, interests, relationships and identities with the mysterious forces that haunt their home. Like the first video, the rendered video will be shared on the Instagram and Facebook profiles of Polyfaebl.

Inspiration for the title sequence was taken from shows like The Simpsons and Father Ted, where they opening titles draw the audience to the setting and narrow down to the main location, like Springfield to 742 Evergreen Terrace and Craggy Island to the Parochial House, respectively. This title sequence took a similar approach where the audience is led from the countryside of Albanshire, which host supernatural undertones, to the main city. Eventually, the audience is taken through a park behind a bus stop to the main setting, Moonshine Courtyard, where the twelve main characters appear before the title.  Another source of inspiration was the opening titles for Are You Afraid of the Dark?, an anthology series that introduces each episode with empty settings with ghostly or otherworldly overtones. In contrast, the show intends to host sinister undertones where something unknown subtly plagues the city. The dark blue colour palette, like in the opening titles of Are You Afraid of the Dark?, helps convey the idea of the audience getting lost in the location. This leads on until the audience is slowly drawn to the bus stop, where the main location (the highrise Moonshine Courtyard) is shown, with all the main characters standing in front as the daylight comes out to give the prospective spectator, or indeed a potential loyal fan of the show, a sense of familiarity.

The music chosen as Highrisers’ theme tune was Crimp by Hystics, which helps the convey the mysterious tone the show is driven by. This was downloaded from Epidemic Sound so the audio files would have a lossless quality suitable for manipulation. The original sound file lasts 2 minutes and 16 seconds, so for the purpose of this project, it was edited in Adobe Audition to last under a minute.  The sound effects for the cityscape were recorded on an H2n Zoom Recorder by the streets of Edinburgh, particularly the crossing between Lothian Road and Bread Street.

The buildings shown throughout the sequence were originally constructed on Illustrator for a previous project, so they were reimported into After Effects for a second use. However, the main building as shown as the end of the clip, was constructed from scratch on Illustrator. This was made in reference to an unfinished painting made prior to the project, photographed and imported into Illustrator.  This project was opportunistic to apply motion graphics with a Z angle, which had not been fully explored for other projects.   While the outcome of this was not perfect, especially with the uneven mathematics of the size of the trees and buildings in respect to each other, this animation process gave an extra dimension.  The twelve characters shown at the end were all assets on an Illustrator project file, imported from Photoshop.  The first result of the import into After Effects shows a white background behind all the characters.  Therefore, each of the Illustrator files of the characters were restyled with the Image Trace tool to cut the white background.  This proved highly effective, but the characters appeared to blend in with the foreground.  However, this was rectified with a solid background with a low opacity rating placed behind the characters and the building in front of the background.  This heightened the focus on the foreground.

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