TV idents for Islamic festival are a must-see

These enchanting idents for Saudi TV celebrate the Muslim festivals of Ramadan and Eid in style. We discover how they were made.

Animator and graphic designer Priya Mistry was recently commissioned by Turquoise Branding to develop this beautiful series of idents for the festive season of Ramadan and Eid for the Saudi Television Network (STV).

"Turquoise had already developed a concept in-house; the formation of lanterns and a Saudi Arabian village-scape to help symbolise the idea of family and friends coming together at a time of fasting and spiritual reflection," Mistry comments.

Priya Mistry and Turquoise Branding developed a beautiful series of TV idents for the festive season of Ramadan and Eid

True style

"The initial, and most vital, stage of the project was developing the style frames," she continues. "The team found some great examples of festive themed idents across the web, as well as examples of paper artwork; each had their own identity specific to the festival it was portraying. More importantly we spent time researching the architecture, scenery and landscapes of Saudi Arabia as well as the season of Ramadan. This provided plenty of visual imagery to inspire me in creating the style frames.

Architecture, scenery and landscapes of Saudi Arabia provided plenty of visual imagery to inspire me

"There was a considerable amount of artistic licence on the project. I was able to use illustration to stylise the village buildings and use a range of textures to develop the look and feel of the project.

"However, the style had to stay true to the way Ramadan was celebrated in Saudi Arabia. I couldn't go wild with the colour palette, for example. We also made a conscious decision at this stage, not to include stylised versions of people, as there would be so many restrictions and rules on the way females would be portrayed."

The style of the idents had to stay true to the way Ramadan is celebrated in Saudi Arabia

Productive pipeline

After developing a couple of style frames, Mistry worked up some storyboard, while an in-house designer developed the typographic logos. After being sent to the client for approval, production began.

"I started off by creating an animatic for each of the four idents, using primitive shapes to resemble the assets; which allowed me to lock down the camera movement in C4D and pacing of each of the idents in After Effects," says Mistry. "The next stage involved modelling all of the buildings, lanterns, trees, street lamps etc in 3D, which I found an incredibly fun stage to work on.

Mistry used primitives to block out the composition, lock down camera motion in C4D and edit pacing in After Effects

"Each of these assets then needed to be UV-unwrapped in C4D to allow for texturing in Photoshop. These textures were brought back into C4D and applied as shaders (layered beneath other noise textures and effects within each shader) to each of the assets. Once this stage was compete, the textured assets were passed on to the in-house team who would be creating the menu and promo idents each with their own camera movements.

The background and coloured windows were exported as seperate layers to allow for effects control during the composition stage

"Meanwhile I started to animate the unfolding buildings and lanterns before populating the four main idents by replacing the primitive shapes from the animatic with the final modelled textured assets. Selected assets would also be replaced with the unfolding animated assets. The idents were then rendered with various render passes (depth, ambient occlusion, object ID etc) for compositing in after effects with the animated logo and fireworks etc.

Using 'Deformers' and 'Point Level' animation to animate the assets unfolding

"The depth pass, for example, was significant in allowing me to apply and animate the camera's rack focuses as well adding some atmosphere within the environments. Using 'Object ID' mattes (black and white renders of specific objects, like coloured windows, buildings, lanterns, street light bulbs etc), I was able to select and apply glows to specific objects and control their intensity and behaviours.

Ambient Occlusion, Depth, Object IDs, Motion and Colour passes are rendered as sequences for compositing in After Effects

"Once I was happy with the composite, a final grade was added to enhance the overall look and feel of each of the idents. This method of compositing and grading was then replicated across the other menu and promo idents by the team to ensure a consistent package was delivered to the client."

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