Style reference and inspiration

Overall we plan on aiming to create a flat 2D style for our short, the references linked below are all of styles that we find of influence and provide a starting point of what our style may develop into.


Feast is a great example for lighting that we may apply to our short, we’ve had discussions about how there isn’t really any sort of light source within this world, everything is just bright. Feast is a reference as throughout the duration of this short there is a strong sense of bright lighting (although it does come from a light source) that fits perfectly with the flat overall style through using flat shapes and warm colours however, the shadows are a bit too harsh for our style – we intend on having more subtle shadows incorporated within our environment.


The boy who learned to fly is our main point of reference as it incorporates all of the style aspects we aim to create – the lighting, the texturing and rendering. In terms of lighting this short is lot closer to what we want to create than that in the previous reference, Feast.The lighting in The Boy Who Learned to fly is at a continuous strength throughout the duration of the short, there isn’t an obvious or strong light source defined – which is a concept we want to emulate within our environment as I have already mentioned. The shadows within it are a lot softer and less noticeable than those in Feast which is another aspect I mentioned in the blurb above.

In terms of texturing we are aiming to have more of a pastel colour palette which The Boy Who Learned to Fly does incorporate to an extent, the colour scheme is a little more saturated/ brighter than the colour scheme we are aiming for which can be seen in the concept art below, our colour scheme is a lot duller with limited colour, everything is of the same tone and shade.

“Directors Limbert Fabian and Jake Wyatt imbued the project with the island nation’s sunny palette while managing to build a sense of conflict around Bolt’s rise to stardom. The deceptively simple flat-shaded look is anchored by elegant camera work, delightful transitions and masterful moments of character animation.”




Again Firewatch is an example of that 2D, toon style we are looking to create, this reference is mostly relevant in regards to the low poly models and the textures used. Although there are some nice shots of the forest, particularly it’s lighting which could be something we looking to create within ours, there is no real light source defined, the shadows are soft and there is a really nice colour scheme used within the shot below:



This is another great example of the flat, 2D style we are aiming for. Contre Temps has a really nice sense of colour and tone throughout it’s duration that we could take a lot from. The painterly style of the textures is another reason why it is an inspiration to what we want to create.

I really enjoy the lighting throughout this short especially in the screenshots below:although the shadows are a little too harsh for our project, the lighting may be another good example to keep in mind, especially regarding the shot of the staircase – bright lighting and textures that are more pastel than saturated colours.



Sonder was suggested to us as feedback after our initial project pitch as an example of an alternative form of rendering – through using unity – currently we are researching different renderers, including Vray and redshift. Sonder was a great example to be given to us, there is a really admirable flat, toon style to the piece – there is a good sense of atmosphere created within the forest environment.


Song of the Sea is a good reference for our colour scheme, it’s overall style is quite dull but fits perfectly with the enchanting storyline of the film. There is a similar style between the texturing/ artwork of the film and Matt’s concept art, it may provide a good source of reference when it comes to creating the textures for our project.


Eran Hilleli is an artist we came across during last semesters project and is a great reference for low poly, stylised work. Throughout this piece of work there is a great lighting style and use of colour – a reference to the use of pastel colours which may be useful later on in production.


Pearl is another good example of a piece that successfully incorporates a flat 2D shader with a stylised environment and models. Pearl is a good reference as stylistically our objects and environment with have a chunky feel to them, with defined edges – which the short above has incorporated throughout.


Flame in the flood is another source of reference due to it’s low poly design and painterly style, most of the detail has been textured into the game rather than modelled. Throughout the trailer there is a really admirable lighting style and atmospheric elements which could be something of use within the style of environment we aim to create.


The Albatross – although overall is just too realistic in style – is still a relevant piece of animation to reference, within the wide shots there is a lovely sense of atmosphere that has been created which for the audience alludes to a sense of mystery – nothing is quite what it seems and we can expect something is going to happen. This is an element that we may wish/ could explore whilst creating our short – developing a sense of mystery and atmosphere throughout the environment, after all a dense, deep forest can be quite an intimidating sight, adding a sense of atmosphere around the campsite would help to lead the audience in the direction of thinking that something isn’t quite right.


Again X-Story has that admirable 2D flat colour style that we hope to create, the painterly textures also provide a lot for the short in terms of charm and appeal. Overall there is a greta polished look to the piece although it may be a little too close in nature to 2D, whereas we would want to achieve a 2D, 3D hybrid feel to our short.


The colour scheme and texturing of The Geist by Giant Animation is what really caught my attention. The materials have alot more detail textured into them – particularly the jumper worn by the main character – this may be another aspect we could look into, the level of detail that we wish to apply through texturing. However what stood out most was the short’s use of pastel colours and soft light throughout, aspects that we are aiming to create.

We also have a pinterest board to provide us with references to the style that some of our objects will take:

The images below are some of the references from the pinterest board that best showcase the pastel colours and painterly textures we are aiming for.

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