Nervo: “Paper Airplane”

Paper Airplane is a collaboration between Nervo and agency start-up muh-tay-zik for communications technology company, Premiere Global Services. The animation does a wonderful job of keeping the whimsical spirit of Betsy Walton‘s illustrations. Great sound too.

A little more on how this was made, from Nando Costa:

Betsy gave us most of the assets as finished paintings with very few separate layers. Our goal was to animate the elements in such a way that they still felt hand drawn. We were trying to stay away from any stereotypical processes for simulating the illustrated feel, such as using sequences of hand-drawn lines.

The animation was done mostly in After Effects. About 90% of all elements were animated with expressions so we could get the same type of cycle on the plants / trees / water / clouds and etc, even-though there were various animators working simultaneously. We also got some really great effects very quickly without much effort.

The only 3D elements are the paper airplanes and the characters, which were built in XSI. After rendered, the elements went through some multi-layering compositing process in AE to get the same kind of rough look that the original illustrations had.

Check out some illustrations, pre-animation here and here.
Check out some stills from XSI here and here.

You can see more of Betsy’s work on her flickR and her website.


Creative Director: Nando Costa
Illustrator: Betsy Walton
Animators: Brian Merrell, Jeff Norombaba, Alphonse Swineheart, Thiago Costa, Joshua Cox
Music: Darrin Wiener