Blog


14
08/17

Our Lincoln Road

What an amazing experience!

Hundreds of local residents, mountains of cake, 30 metres of wall and around 300 different stencils.
“Our Lincoln Road” is a mural celebrating pride in the Millfield area. Over a windy week in August, we transformed a whopping stretch of rough, rendered wall, using colourful shapes and messages celebrating local life.

 

 

The project began in January. We won a bid to create a mural for Lincoln Road that reflected its richness and diversity, so we asked local people to describe their culture. We held informal workshops to discuss the sayings they learned from their parents, the songs that moved them, the games they played as kids, in order to investigate what made them feel proud and at home.


 

Again and again, people made reference to cross-cultural songs, sayings and games. When participants discussed experiences that they had in common, we could see them become immediately more animated and excited. We decided to shift the focus of the project to celebrate the things that really make local residents connect with each other. Their shared interests.

 

As the project grew, we discovered local heroes who had made an impact in the area, people who had dedicated their working lives to making a difference for others. We asked them “What unites the people of Lincoln Road?”. We photographed the heroes and drew outlines of them. We crafted their words into typographic arrangements that filled the shape of their portraits as silhouettes.


 

We developed a colourful, geometric pattern to work with the silhouettes. An initial explosion of shapes represents people moving to the area, arriving with their own distinct, bold shape, overlapping one another. The shapes burst out and flow along the piece, interrupted by the silhouettes. They hang in coloured groups around the heroes, drifting away, blending with the next set of colours, and the next. This interplay reflects the way the local heroes bring different groups together, help them to establish and make connections with other groups. The mural ends with the question, “WHAT UNITES US? As a large statement piece of typography, inviting viewers to answer the question for themselves.

 

 

We have never had so many people say how much they liked the work. A massive thank-you to everyone who stopped and encouraged us.

We love you Lincoln Road!!

1
02/17

Plant a seed. Grow a tree. Make a difference.

We had the pleasure of working with The Woodland Trust recently, creating an exciting new animation to promote tree planting in the UK.

The UK has one of the lowest tree cover rates in Europe, just 13% compared to a European average of 37%.

The Woodland Trust are  on a bold ambitious journey to plant 64 million trees by 2025

To help the WT we created an animated film, bringing to life the joy and jubilation of tree seed planting – from prepping the ground and planting the seed to the anticipation of waiting for germination and the welcomed arrival of the sapling. The animation has a crafted, natural, and textured appearance with a dramatic boldness.

We wanted to tell the story from the viewpoint of a child so that we could capture her excitement and anticipation of seed planting and growing a tree. The stages of growth mirror events in the little girl’s life and the tree grows along with her. Below are some of our initial character designs and illustration concepts as we developed the style of the animation.

sketches1 sketches2 sketches3

After reviewing the initial character design we decided that the girl should be younger so that we could show a longer passing of time. We also simplified the character for a more minimalist representation and introduced a grandfather character, which allowed us to add emotional weight to the story. We wanted to trigger nostalgia for childhood, helping viewers to relate to the characters, resulting in a more heartfelt finale as they grow older and share the joy of growing a tree. Below are the final character design sketches and refined animation style concept.

sketches6

The next stage was to develop a storyboard for our client to help visualise our ambitions for the animation and bring our script to life. This gave The Woodland Trust a chance to offer feedback and additions before we began the labour intensive animation process. The final animation is a mix of traditional frame by frame techniques and keyframe interpolation in After Effects, we also utilised the DUIK character rig plugin for full body animations. Character rigs helped us to create smoother animations and speed up the production while the frame by frame sequences added a more natural hand made feel to the video. Below is a comparison of both techniques in action (Character rigging on the left and frame by frame on the right).

sketches7

bikes

Originally we wanted to represent the passage of time via the transformation of a child’s trike/bike (as shown above). We intended to show a trike transforming into a bike with stabilisers, which would then come off and eventually be replaced by an adults road bike. This would take place over a number of years and be shown alongside the sapling growing into a tree. Unfortunately this sequence made the video a little bit too long so we ending up removing it from the final cut and replacing it with a faster transition. The longer version of the animation can be seen below:

Full length version:

2
12/16

Innovation Lab mural

Paper Rhino is based at Allia Future Business Centre Peterborough, an amazing sustainable building in the heart of the city. Yesterday, Allia launched the #InnovationLab, the UK’s best equipped innovation lab. 3D printers, laser cutters, VR, drones, green screen, the list goes on. Jason, our smallest yet most powerful Rhino designed and painted the mural that adorns the walls of the lab. We think he’s done a pretty amazing job!

InnovationLab

Below is a video timelapse of the wall painting:

2
11/16

Resilience

Check out our new short film featuring internationally renowned dancers Kate Marsh and Welly O’Brien sharing the inside story on their residency at The Green Backyard. The film explores Kate & Welly’s relationship as a duet and their response to the beguiling urban growing project we all love so much. Have a look and let us know what you think.

Many thanks to Kate Hall Platform 8 for supporting the project.

20
09/16

Woodland Trust illustration

Check out Jason’s latest illustration for The Woodland Trust’s magazine, Broadleaf!

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