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every screen

Rick and Morty

Adult Swim

When Adult Swim tapped us to sub­mit con­cepts for IDs pro­mot­ing Rick and Morty’s fifth sea­son, we leapt. The client brief was sim­ple: empha­size the main cast and sea­son 5, while avoid­ing dia­logue, nudi­ty and gore. That’s it; no styl­is­tic restraints at all. Pri­mal Screen showed the net­work a num­ber of ideas, from which they chose two very dif­fer­ent approach­es: one with a hand­made look and anoth­er boast­ing a CGI sheen.

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Rick’s Balls

For the first ID, sala­cious­ly titled, Rick’s Balls,” the heads of Rick, Morty and the rest of their fam­i­ly slam into each oth­er with gut-wrench­ing bru­tal­i­ty. Who could be respon­si­ble for this bar­bar­i­ty? Only some neb­bishy alien, mid­dle man­ag­er with grotesque desk toys.

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Full Row Media

Secret Layer

Media and Text Image

The ID’s garish, airbrushed look results from a collaboration across Primal Screen’s design and 2D animation departments. Following design exploration and storyboarding, characters and props were animated in Toon Boom using flat colors. The team broke all the different gradients into individual pieces which they rendered separately for effects animation in the compositing stage. That meant separate renders for eyes, tongue, hair and so on. Designers then imported all these individual parts into After Effects, creating a separate effects pass for each color on each element. At last, all shots were rendered in After Effects. Premiere Pro provided the final composite.

We had fun con­trast­ing the close-up hor­ror (com­bin­ing the met­al clack of the balls with bone crunch­ing human col­li­sions) against the monot­o­nous office sounds in the alien’s cubicle.

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Mt. Rickmore

The sec­ond ID, Mount Rick­more,” lingers over a shrine to some of Rick and Morty’s noto­ri­ous Sea­son 5 adven­tures. The cam­era sweeps past fierce bat­tles and unfor­giv­able cloning exper­i­ments, final­ly set­tling on the whole love­ly, atro­cious spectacle.

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Full Row Media

Eye Popping

Unlike Rick’s Balls, which relies on move­ment, Mt. Rick­more is a col­or­ful, high­ly detailed still-life. Our team built the full CG mod­els using Cin­e­ma 4D and Maya, with Red­shift prox­ies stand­ing in for high-poly objects. As ani­ma­tors con­struct­ed the sculp­ture, they used bright col­ors and light­ing to com­pose the vivid, eye-pop­ping scenes. The ele­ments were ren­dered in Cin­e­ma 4D/​Redshift and com­pos­it­ed in After Effects. Here we under­scored the mon­u­men­tal visu­als with sound that’s both epic and syn­thet­i­cal­ly detached.

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Abominable

At the request of Adult Swim, the two IDs have lit­tle in com­mon aes­thet­i­cal­ly. But togeth­er they com­mu­ni­cate a great deal about the sweep­ing range of Rick and Morty’s odd and abom­inable universe.

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