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Frame Ant Intro

For my new demoreel I wanted to create a special intro that represents Frame Ants identity. Creating photorealistic nature scenes is one of my core skills. But I also had the idea of adding some kind of magic twist.

Since I was a child I was very impressed by the ancient teachings of the elements and how they influenced mankind throughout history. In the classic four elements doctrine there are earth, water, air and fire but there are others such as that in China, which has 5 elements (fire, water, wood, metal, earth). Everything that exists is made up of these elements and each element is equally important to the balance of nature.

I tried to give my nature scenes a touch of this elemental spirit. But I didn’t want to only literally show elements, that seemed too simplistic to me. I also wanted to create a matching mood. I didn’t follow any particular theory, I just let it flow and this is what came out.


Frame Ant


Concept, Scene building, Lighting, Animation, Rendering, Postproduktion


Intro-1_Water (0-00-02-15)


Water is something cool and fresh but also calming. Therefore I chose a scene by the pond, just as the first rays of the sun appear. As a contrast to the liquid water, I made the logo out of solid stone with a touch of warm light on it.

Intro-2_Earth (0-00-01-17)


Although all elements are equal in elements theory, earth is probably what we can feel the most. We stand on it with our feet and almost all of our food grows on it. This scene supposed to be rich and saturated. A warm place with trees that provide shelter.

Intro-3_Crystals (0-00-01-17)


Metal is hard and cold and hidden in rock. Even though it's so rough, metal is a true treasure of nature, once we bring it out of the darkness into the sunlight. The crystals are meant to show this, they are not metallic of course. 🙂

Intro-4_Flowers (0-00-01-03)


Here I went a more abstract way. Red poppies open up to the warm sky, letting butterflies and particles dance like a flickering fire. The Logo is bright and golden like the sun (figuratively).

Intro-5_Air (0-00-01-17)


This is the only scene where I decided to add a human-made item. A piece of cloth is an easy way to show how soft and smooth air can be in a light summer breeze.

Behind the Scenes

The Process

After the process of finding ideas I usually do some very rough sketches to get the thoughts on paper.

Then I create a moodboard for some more inspirations before I jump into 3D.


The scorpion is just a little detail I wanted to use to reinforce the roughness and stability of metal. He also has a shiny and hard shell, that reminded me to metal. I found this model which was partly rigged. I adjusted the rig and animated it quickly with CMotion. As the scorpion isn’t visible in detail, this was a very useful method.


The rig for the flower animation was actually a little more complicated then it looks like. The petals are animated with morph deformers. It was the easier way to have them roll out the way I wanted. Except the morphs, the whole rig is procedural and the animation is controlled by a simple field.

Intro-4_Flowers (0-00-01-03) - noPost Intro-4_Flowers (0-00-01-03)


Here’s a comparison before and after post-production. I did some color corrections, added effects and created an overlay of particles.