IX, a little girl living in a small town, is destine to bring balance to both the real world and the underworld. A story heavily influenced by the Mayan culture. In her journey IX will overcome many perils, fight against powerful witches, uncanny spirits and face all of her fears. By her side a mighty mechanical being will help her fulfill her release the spirits from their prison in the underworld.
During the development of Ix, we were hugely influenced by Mayan description of the Underworld. However we also wanted to create a new, contemporary version of this location, magnifying those aspects that make it so mysterious and interesting. Lots of research went into each design, combining shapes and colours with concepts depicted in Mayan culture and their vision of the realm beneath us. The underworld is a cold place, filled with all kinds of crystals, sharp edges and stones, skulls decorate the walls as do intricate designs. Nonetheless the underworld is far from being a dull place, its bright colors and contrast create a world that looks both dangerous but also alluring.
Animating IX’s story was an amazing but challenging experience. It require lots of preparation in the realm of visual development, as we wanted to come up with a fresh and interesting look for the whole film. However it also presented our first ever attempt at traditional 2D animation. Using tvpaint software we draw every single frame, making mistakes and learning in the process about timing, continuity and the importance of understanding your character's anatomy. The final result however is a beautiful mixture of traditional animation and modern compositing techniques, a bright color palette surrounds the detailed and magical animation of our characters.