Google Crisis Response - cel animated awareness animation - Fred & Eric

Google Crisis Response

Hand painted landscapes combine with an urgent message in this short cel animated awareness animation for Google's life-saving online tool.

When disaster strikes, people turn to the internet as an invaluable source of information. Google Crisis Response is an online tool which uses technology to collate and share information during these times of emergency. Working closely with Across the Pond we created this short film to demonstrate Google's life-saving technology. Highlighting key features through an artistic interpretation of a traditional communication film.

Joining forces with illustrator and animator Richard Swarbrick, F&E created an edit which formed the base for the narrative. Richard and the team used this edit to replicate the visuals in a painterly style, frame by frame. Telling a story which forms an emotive and poetic journey to showcase Google’s Crisis Response technology.

Our Process

The first step in this project was to present style frames which would inform the style of the animation. We presented a loose, painterly style with the option to frame the action full-screen or with a border.

Google Crisis Response - Animation Style Frames

Google Crisis Response - Creating a Narrative

The visual narrative for this animation was created using an edit of footage from real-life crisis situations. Using these short clips, an edit was formed to complement the film's urgent messaging. In addition to these wide landscape shots, we also produced a studio shoot to create a live-action sequence showing the product demo.

Once all of the elements were firmly locked into one live-action edit, it was time to begin animating. Each frame of animation was hand-drawn, building up layers of movement with a completely unique illustration. In certain scenes the style allowed us to simplify settings or add in visual elements that enhanced the narrative. Critically we also needed to make sure all of the contrasting scenes tied together into one comprehensive sequence, so it was important we set a colour palette that helped create continuity throughout the entire animation.

This painstaking process took time but became a labour of love that produced stunning results which hit exactly the right tone for this vital communication film.