If you haven’t known yet, in Vietnam we celebrate Tet as our new year day, which is on the first day of the first month in Lunar Calendar. It is considered the biggest and most popular festival of the year in Vietnam.
Local people take the longest holiday on Tet, and there are so many traditional activities to do like saying goodbye to Kitchen God, wrapping Chung cake with families, visiting relatives, friends and neighbors. Kids will receive lucky money on Tet.
Nowadays, young generation doesn’t know much about these traditions and their origins, so Biti’s Kid wants to do a meaningful activity. They create a board game for family to play on Tet with their kids and tell them about beautiful stories of Tet.
Red Cat Motion creates a short film to introduce Biti’s Board Game. The main theme is “racing Tet”. 4 main characters representing 4 traditions of Tet will race together and collect their items along the journey. Who gets the first 3 items and returns to their destination will become the winner.
It was such a long journey to see our imagination comes true.
There was no hesitation when our director decided to combine 2D character animation style on a 3D pop-up background. This was the first time we experimented a new art style, but the client trusted us and wanted us to do our best.
The Board Game
The board game is a race between 4 characters who are Lang Lieu, Mai An Tiem, Kitchen God and Lucky Money Girl. Each character stands for a Vietnamese specific tradition. Lang Lieu was the one who found Chung cake and became the 7th Hung King. Mai An Tiem was abandoned to an isolated island by his king. Living on the island, he found a seed which grew to watermelon. He carved his name on every watermelon and drop them on the water. On the land people found his watermelon and told the king. The king invited him back to the land. Mai An Tiem was considered to be the ancestor of growing watermelon in Viet Nam.
To win the game, each character need to collect 3 items of them. For example, Mai An Time has to collect a water melon, a boat, his tools and return to his destination before other competitors to win the game.
To play the game, each player chooses a character and drops the dice and moves their character respectively to the number shown on the dice.
Make a short film to promote the board game. The film needs to feature all the characters racing together and collect items to win the game.
Based on the board game, 4 characters will run and only one participant will win the race. We need to bring that theme to the film. To do that, we designed a map that is detailed enough to know which items need to be designed.
The characters must be fun and cute to attract our target audiences. All characters wear local traditional customs.
In Game Elements
Because our director wanted to have a fly cam view to see the magical world, we need to design enough elements to bring it alive. It is such a massive amount of works within 4 weeks.
The 3D team did such a great job to bring all the sketches alive.
Click on each thumbnail to enlarge
Only 3 days before the deadline, we sorted this out as we wanted to make every single scene as good as possible.
The storyboard is a must in every animation project.
For character animation, we chose the traditional method to make them fluid and smooth. Each character comes with a model sheet to guide the animator.
Each action was drawn roughly to get the right rhythm. When the key action is locked, animator will draw in-between frames to create smoothness. If the director is happy, all the frames will be cleaned up before painting. Traditional animation requires an enormous effort but it is fun to watch the final outcome. See this video to understand our process.
To help viewer remember the name of each character, our client requested to have a title for each of them.
2D Background for Opening
The client wanted to show the family playing the game before camera flies into the box and show the in-game world. We need to separate the 2 worlds so we decided to paint the background.
Client: Biti's KIDS
Brand Manager: Lê Tăng Gia Phú
Agency: Redder Advertising
Video Agency: Red Cat Motion
3D Production House: Freaky Motion
Director: Leo DINH
Producer: Cao Châu
Account: Trần Hồng Phúc
Storyboard Artist: Nguyễn Hoàng Vĩnh Khang
Art Directors: Kim Phụng, Ty Heo (Ngọc Trâm)
Designer: Bi Võ
Illustrator: Nhật Lynn
Concept Artists: Kim Phụng, Ty Heo, Trung Tín, Nhật Lynn, Quỳnh Như, Thành Long, Tuyền Nguyễn
Motion Leader: Minh Phạm
Animators: Nguyễn Tất Viễn, Sơn Vũ
Hand-Drawn Animation Leader: Mai Nguyen
Key Animators: Mai Nguyen, Khoa Bùi, Nguyễn Hoàng Vĩnh Khang, Lâm Tân Khoa
In-between & Clean up Artists: Khoa Bùi, Nguyễn Thanh Phương, Tuyền Nguyễn
Colour Artists: Lâm Tân Khoa, Nguyễn Thanh Phương, Tuyền Nguyễn, Nguyễn Hoàng Trụ, Ngọc Mỹ, Nhật Lynn, Quỳnh Như
3D/VFX Supervisor: Nguyễn Hoàng Anh
Technical Director: Đỗ Lê Duy
3D Motion Leader: Nguyễn Hữu Đạt
3D Motion Designer: Dương Thế Anh
3D Model/ Graphic Leader: Nguyễn Hồng Nhung
3D Texture/ Concept Artist: Nguyễn Thị Bích Lan
3D Generalists: Nguyễn Hà Phương, Nguyễn Chí Trung
Sound Designer: Luke Brown, Liam Iliffe
Voice Talent: bé Minh Tiến