Gorgeous isometric animation celebrates a microcosm of London

Based on a Peter Ackroyd article, this short film by Persistent Peril crams the history of London's Barbican into three and a half minutes.

Nine months of work came to fruition last November when the Barbican launched an animated isometric film of its history. Briefed to compress the entire history of Europe's largest arts centre into a short, engaging film, Brighton studio Persistent Peril based its animation on the article 'A Microcosm of London' by Peter Ackroyd, and opted for a videogame aesthetic, using colour to show the passing of time.

"The film is about an area of land and its history, so a large tile that elements could build in and play out on seemed ideal," explains creative director and Persistent Peril co-owner Garth Jones.

"The storyboard and animatic stage were quite challenging in terms of establishing rules and making sure every piece placed on our isometric field served a narrative purpose," recalls director Jonny Clapham.

As Jones explains, each member of the Persistent Peril team took on different elements of the design during the project: "Collaborating and exploring a new style together was a really fun experience."

This article originally appeared in Computer Arts issue 222.

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