Animated Music Video Breakdown

How Deep Sky created Big Wild's "OMGarden"

Big Wild's "OMGarden'' is more than just a music video; it's an embodiment of curiosity, escapism, and the vibrancy of music. With our main character, Mopsy, we seamlessly blended the realities of the natural world with the magical realm of music. This article sheds light on the intricate journey of producing a 2D and 3D hybrid music video, from conceptualizing characters grounded in reality to world-building that strikes the right balance between the real and the ethereal.

By Courtney Courier
August 11, 2023

Animated Music Video Breakdown Part 1 | An Animated Adventure

An Animated Adventure


Every animated music video starts with a spark of inspiration. For "OMGarden," the inception lay in the artist Big Wild's lively and atmospheric soundscapes. The central narrative of Mopsy's adventure became the backbone of our story. The question was: how do we translate the auditory to the visual?

While Mopsy's immersion in this world is brief, the emotions, dance, and thrills resonate with him indefinitely. We unravel the tapestry of our creative journey in crafting this 2D/3D hybrid music video,"OMGarden". Let's venture through the hedge and tumble down the rabbit hole together.

Animated Music Video Breakdown Part 2 | World-building


It's essential for characters to resonate with the audience. Our earlier discussions established the importance of grounding characters in reality. Drawing sketches and testing animations ensured that while Mopsy and his companions were expressive and emotive, they still adhered to their true animalistic nature. We blended real-world movements with enough creative liberty to make them enchanting yet relatable.

From the outset, it was imperative for us that our characters remain rooted in realism, amplifying the overall magical realism of the narrative. Despite the enchanting setting, they had to retain their inherent animalistic traits: hopping on all fours and behaving like genuine creatures of nature. We did toy with the idea of them becoming fully anthropomorphic — dancing upright and crooning to the tunes — but in the end, we opted for authenticity. While they didn't mimic human movements, their expressions and emotions were still poignantly portrayed.

This creative path laid for the characters provided a clear blueprint for the environment. Our envisioned magical grove, while enchanting, drew its foundation from reality. It was a heightened reflection of Mopsy’s regular habitat. Every element, though familiar, was imbued with an extra touch of magic: the hues were deeper, the flowers swayed rhythmically with the tunes, and the ambient light pulsated, reflecting shifting moods on the forest's dance floor.

Animated Music Video Breakdown Part 3 | Design/Concept

Design & Concepts

The color key of the video was very important in conveying the story and the mood Mopsy feels, and therefore the viewer should feel.We began with traditional green and yellow while Mopsy was in the real world. Once he ventures into the portal and eventually the forest glade, colors becomes brighter and more vibrant. It feels different and more alive than in the opening scene.As he exits the forest party and returns to the real world, colors return to what we more commonly find in nature.

Animated Music Video Breakdown Part 3 | Design/Concept (images)

Animated Music Video Breakdown Part 4 | Storyboarding

Storyboarding: A Unique Approach For Music Videos

Storyboarding for music videos departs notably from traditional narrative pieces. In this genre, the visuals are not just storytelling tools; they're crafted to accentuate the rhythm, mood, and essence of the music. They serve to magnify the song's emotional resonance. The song is not just the backdrop but the driving force behind each visual decision.

Our process began with creating a text outline. We timed this outline with a beat counter, ensuring that the visuals would eventually sync with the song's tempo. This provided a strong basis on which we began our work on the storyboards.

The first visual draft of the storyboards was a series of rough thumbnails. These allowed us to block out each shot and refine the timing as well. Using those in our final storyboards, we infused depth, detail, and color palettes in the shots. It ensured that each frame not only told a part of the story but also harmonized with the song's vibe.

While storyboards help with the timing of shots, they are also the creative team's key for shot composition and layout. We used the 3D design and modeling software Gravity Sketch to pre-visualize the forest grove's environment. We set up a rough layout of the environment and were easily able to move the camera around and reposition characters until all shots were perfectly planned.

Even if these 3D sketches don't make the final cut, they play an indispensable role in communication within our creative team. They illustrate spatial dynamics, potential mood settings, and offer insights into the narrative's physical world. One of the biggest benefits of the Gravity Sketch experience was gaining clarity on logistics: deciding on the best camera lens, determining the spatial scale required for the environment, and ensuring our world was expansive enough to feel immersive without becoming overwhelming.

Storyboarding for music videos is as much an art as it is a science. Every frame, every scene transition, every color palette choice is a delicate dance between the song's essence and the visual tale we wish to narrate.

Animated Music Video Breakdown Part 5 | Animation

Traditional Animation with 3D Dynamics

When diving into character animation, our approach was rooted in traditional methodologies. We started with the basics, sketching out rough actions and layouts. This provided a foundational blueprint for the entire animation sequence. A major factor guiding our animation was the song's beat, ensuring that each character movement resonated harmoniously with the rhythm. Once the rough animations, or 'tiedowns', felt right in sync with the music, we embarked on the cleanup process, refining and perfecting each frame.

For the pivotal chorus, we focused on simple, looping animations, reminiscent of a mesmerizing fireplace dance. Mopsy, our central figure, had distinct dance loops, complemented by surrounding woodland creatures with their own rhythmic movements. Incorporating a 3D environment added depth, enabling diverse viewing angles and providing flexibility to interchange dance loops, making the animation dynamic and less repetitive.

Animated Music Video Breakdown Part 6 | Closing

"OMGarden" Live

Once the video was completed, Big Wild integrated it into their live, on-stage performances of "OMGarden". We at Deep Sky were lucky enough to witness it firsthand and experience the audience's genuine reactions. As creators, these moments of raw appreciation are profoundly rewarding, reaffirming our commitment to channeling our fervor into creative endeavors.

It's these reactions that fuel our passion and drive us forward to explore more opportunity to harmonize with music through complementary visual art.

Looking to find out more? Let's chat!

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