Working to a such a tight deadline for high quality cel look animation meant that we needed to create very solid boards from the outset. Once the still blocking was complete we quickly moved onto the animatic stage where we brought to life the pace and movement of the film with detailed WIP frames.
Alongside this - and pretty much from the start of production - we created a comprehensive series of style-frames that explored both character design, line-work, colour and finish. We had a super prolific mind-set to the process, generating tons of imagery and experimenting with shape and form. Although using digital brushes throughout, it was important that we achieve a ‘painted’ look and style across all inking and colouring.

As the look was approved we began to implement the final key-frames into the animatic; joining the gaps first with first line-roughs, then filled and shaded animation. The animatic itself works as a kind of ‘history' of the piece as the initial blocking is rapidly replaced with more and more complete scenes. Finally the backgrounds are added along with those all important finishing touches that make all the difference. Moments of impact and movement are emphasised with cel drawn VFX, and a final grain and grade is applied to the complete film.
It was a far more compressed process than the usual.. but somehow fitting that a film with movement, pace and a continuous narrative in its DNA influenced the production workflow in a very similar way!