June 17, 2008


Design and branding studio Shine designed and produced the end title
sequence for DreamWorks Animation's new film, KUNG FU PANDA starring
Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman and Angelina Jolie.

With an atypical approach, Michael Riley, Shine's creative director,
composed images of traditional Chinese landscapes, calligraphy and 2D
character animation set in a 3D landscape all choreographed to the
classic Carl Douglas song KUNG FU FIGHTING, remixed by Cee-Lo Green,
accompanied by Jack Black. Riley's concept included reprising the film's
main characters in original cell animations by finding them hidden in a
gigantic Chinese calligraphy character. This mix of design and creative
disciplines required a tremendous collaboration between Shine, James
Baxter Animation and the DreamWorks team of animators, production
designers and directors.

The initial brief from KUNG FU PANDA's directors John Stevenson and Mark
Osborne called for a main title sequence that would serve as a bookend
to the dream sequence that opens the film. Finding inspiration in the
way traditional Chinese scrolls roll open, Riley expanded upon this
motion to develop the direction the sequence would move across the
screen. The resulting design includes 2D cell animations of the film's
"Furious Five" main characters performing signature kung fu moves, hand-
rendered Chinese calligraphy symbols and animated lens flare effects.

As the Shine team developed the sequence pacing and composition, Jen Yuh
Nelson, head of story for KUNG FU PANDA, provided story beats to
establish each character, ensuring that the beats would express each
animal's spirit and personality.

Shine's artists enjoyed access to a wealth of additional resources in
concept art renderings for the film; many of which were graphically
modified within the scrolling background animation. "Working directly
with the filmmakers was such a pleasure for us. Many of the people
involved in making this movie have been a part of its creation for five
years. Their insight into the characters was essential. They wanted the
film to have a heart, and we tried to follow that direction. I think the
collaboration led to a more emotional and visually interesting
sequence," said Riley.

View the segment here:

Creative Director: Michael Riley
Exec Producer: Bob Swensen
Designer/Animator: Dru Nget
Animator: Dan Meehan
Animator: Zack Nederlander

[Courtesy of Dan Sarto]

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