Polyester Takes A Trip With Deadly Class
In the age of book to movie phenomenons comes a graphic novel to television show that stands out from the rest. The live action TV show, Deadly Class, is based on the graphic novels of the same name. The plot focuses on a teen named Marcus who is recruited into a private Dark Arts academy where he and his peers are trained to be assassins. In the series' first major nod back to its original form, Deadly Class creator tapped Polyester, animation and production studio, to create a piece that combines different styles and dimensions to bring Marcus’s acid trip sequence to life.
“Originally the show creator, Rick Remender came to us based on a spot we did called “Memento Mori” and it involved jumping through four to seven different styles from 3D to 2D. He wanted to do something similar for the acid trip sequence that he had in the show which was amazing because we assumed that internal, promotional spot we did was kind of not commercially applicable in any way shape or form. But it’s an excellent starting point for where we ended up on Deadly Class,” explains founder of the studio, Jeremy Dimmock, laughing. “We broke down the script into eight different styles, eight different sections, so it allowed us to put together a mood board for each of the sections. We did style frames for those sections to determine what the look was going to be. As we went forward, some sections would be 2D, 3D, and Cel Animation so each one had its own unique look and feel. We wanted to start out very happy, like the trip is going really well and then it kind of hits a dark point where it goes into Marcus’s history and then it starts getting really dark. It gets super dark because of his past and his history intertwining so, it also references what’s going to happen in in future seasons subtly. There’s definitely that climax where it goes dark.”
When the show creator originally approached the studio for the project, the show hadn’t launched yet, so the team had ample time to execute their vision. Robyn Smale, the producer on the project, revealed that there was most definitely a “hunger for creative awesomeness” throughout the layers of the project. The studio got to working on the spot well before the show started production, and continued working and making changes once filming began. There were a lot of changes we had to keep up with based on what the live-action director was doing.” The opening sequence was changed a number of times, switching out characters in the car in each cut.
“Everything started with the script breakdown. When we broke it down into eight different scenes, we researched different styles. Each scene also had its own unique color palette and it became a road map for establishing the look as we jumped into creating production art and style frames. We actually wanted to establish a consistent palette but they insisted that each scene is as separate as possible. So we made sure that we broke up the 3D so you can see the distinct styles and distinct techniques that we used,” Jeremy explained, before giving a disclaimer that he was about to get animated (pun intended). “Then we broke it down. Scene 1 was done 3D Maya and was rendered in Redshift, modeling in Zbrush, surface texture and substance design. Scenes 2 and 3 used ToonBoom Cel animation, where the rest of the scenes go on to feature 3-4D, painted textures frame by frame, Adobe Animate, Flash and Photoshop with everything finally being comped in After Effects.”
Although exclusively created for the television series, the two-minute acid trip sequence stands on it’s own. The spot transports the viewer into a world of visual pleasure, using different styles to evoke emotion and colors that elevate those abstract depictions. The episode featuring the acid trip premiered on SYFY in February, but the excitement has yet to die down, with the network’s Youtube clip having more than ten thousand views. As for Polyester, they’re excited about the future. “Fortunately, their ratings continue to get better so hopefully we’ll be talking about doing something for Season 2 soon.”