FITC Tokyo 2015 Titles

ALT Creative, Inc.

Now in its sixth year, FITC Tokyo 2015 consists of presentations from some of the most interesting and engaging digital creators from all around the world. To commemorate FITC Tokyo’s inaugural title sequence we sought to encapsulate the city itself – distilled to graphic form. Aiming to contrast the harmonies of traditional Japanese culture against the backdrop and sensory overload of present-day Tokyo we meticulously crafted elegant typographic forms to collide with abrasive overstimulating glitch – giving way to a progressive journey where moments of extreme chaos fold into temporary tranquility.


This is a process reel put together by the master himself, Franck Deron, which I feel truly captures the complexity of this project and the sheer amount of work that went into it. Our team, having been split up across three different countries and time zones, had a unique struggle in sharing this large amount of assets, and getting the final piece to be cohesive, without being overwhelming. A large portion of the materials shown in this reel never even made it into the final cut of the titles, or they were only on screen for a few frames. 


Designer, director, and all-around badass Ash Thorp's vision for this project was to convey what the high-octane environment of modern day Tokyo would look like graphically, when clashed with the hand-crafted intricacy of traditional Japan. After sharing his creative brief, he and King Michael Rigley started pumping out an astonishing number of gorgeous styleframes, trying to capture this eccentric idea visually.


Master typographic designer and animator Nicolas Gerard beautifully constructed a modified set of characters based off of the typeface Replica. This custom character set includes dozens of unique glyphs which emanate the familiarity of kanji, yet can sometimes be mistaken as roman letters or numbers. From there, Nic and world-renowned keyframe wizard Alasdair Willson began animating all of the presenting artists' names, producing hundreds of layers of super saucy handmade goodness. This typographic animation was the visual driving force of the piece, as it informed the composition and pacing of the background glitch animation.


Based off of the designs he and Ash previously put together, Michael and I began work on animating the detail-dense and chaotic background glitch animations. Later on down the line, the immensely talented Chris Bjerre also got to join in on the fun. Michael put together a massive library of glitch textures and mattes which we would be able to reuse throughout the piece in different ways, while I began putting creating symmetries and graphic elements which would be used to supplement the larger-scale glitch animations.


As we completed a few rounds of rough animation, computational artist and master of wetness Albert Omoss stepped in to take things to the next level, as Omoss's are known to do. Albert wrote immense amounts of custom code in Processing and Houdini, creating custom particle systems, and developing truly unique visuals based off of the typographic animation of Nic and Alasdair. He put together a wonderful write-up on his website, which you can find here.


Under the banner of The Collective Podcast, we launched a small web store with four variants of limited-edition prints based off of frames from the title sequence. So if you've ever loved a title sequence and felt compelled to put it on your wall, don't miss your chance:


Client: FITC
Director: Ash Thorp
Producer: Andrew Hawryluk
Art Director: Michael Rigley
Type Designer: Nicolas Girard
Designers: Ash Thorp, Michael Rigley, Nicolas Girard
Type Animators: Nicolas Girard, Alasdair Willson
Animators: Michael Rigley, Chris Bjerre, Andrew Hawryluk 
Computational Artist: Albert Omoss
Process Editor: Franck Deron
Composer: Pilotpriest

Be sure to also check out the incredibly detailed feature on Motionographer.