2D Animation, Motion Design

director/ animator

Eric Larson


flying duck studio lab




In this Ident, we wanted to showcase the incredible talent of motion designer, Eric Larson, and his ability to make hand-drawn 2D animation come to life on a whole other level. Surreal images and sci-fi survival mode is what this one-minute short is about. Out of this world, like Flying Duck Studio Lab and its team of amazing artists. 


During a routine check of Station No. 47, a Pilot emergency lands in the desert too far from their base of operations.


The time zone difference between us and the US production teams was one of the main difficulties that we faced, since it affected all parts of the production. Due to time differences, communication was problematic because we were working when the US team was asleep, and vice versa. This also had an impact on deadlines and timeframes.


Furthermore, the documentary was still being filmed while we were working on post-production.We also faced some challenges in regards to receiving the right cuts, as a result, we frequently had to redo work and wait for the completion of some assets. Due to these changes throughout the post-production it also affected how we created the design and added to the time constraints.


We had to wait for permission to access some documents, information, and reports because they dealt with a sensitive topic, and those materials were still being used in actual, ongoing legal cases.



Early on, we decided on team and client working hours that corresponded to each of our time zones, and in order to monitor progress, we decided to hold weekly meetings. We used a number of platforms for communication with the production companies involved, and was extremely useful to upload tests and assets and allow each party to have access to the information. 


We ensured a high level of flexibility and adaptability throughout the project, as we had to predict when we would receive new cuts to work on. This is why we built templates from scratch, allowing us to use previous cuts and documents and establishing a baseline for the animation and graphic design as well as the title sequences. This enabled us to then swap the source when new information or assets became available.


After a request from Flying Duck, Eric sat down doing writing and thumbnails (small sketches) to break down the kernel of the idea into recognizable pieces. Once he had the backbone of the story, he began to make rough sketches in Photoshop, then made cleaner illustrations, and finally added depth of field blurs to indicate where he wanted the audience to look in each shot. 

Once the design work was finished a sketch was composed of what would become the score for the project. Eric wanted the animation to rely heavily on the dramatic timing of the music, so there was a bit of back and forth to make sure that the music served the animation, and that the animation fit well with the music. An animatic, or timed-out style frames in this case, was used to help streamline this process.

After timing was set, the next step was rough animation in TVPaint, to make very rough passes at the characters and other elements to see how things could move. After the rough animation, Eric tied down the animation with clean black lines so he could see everything clearly, and put the main character “on model” so it would look consistent throughout the film. Every frame is coloured in TVPaint, which is a very time-consuming process. Finally, everything was imported into After Effects to add depth of field blur, and some processing effects to give the film a richer feeling. When the film was complete, it went to Hopper Race to take the music Eric had composed and make it sing. He added synthesisers and vocal processing to flesh out the bones of the music, then he mixed everything together to get the ultimate impact that the film has now.


TECHNIQUE: TVPaint, Photoshop, After Effects


Still awaiting the big release! The client was extremely happy with the final assets and the documentary’s opening scene. We feel that this is some of our best work, and we really enjoyed working on this project. We were pleased to help create something that supported the style and message of the documentary.

Our credits

Director and animator: Eric Larson

Executive Producer: Alixe Lobato

Producer: Josephine Amalie von Bülow 

Sound design and mix: Hopper Race