Animated Cutscenes

I have been looking at several different styles of animated cutscenes to figure out what I want Jade to produce. The journey to get here has been a little unorthodox, and we have gone down a few bizare paths to get here, but we have agreed upon the following:

  • it is the intro sequence to the tutorial level of the game
  • the focus needs to be on the protagonist as a storytelling mechanic
  • we need a balance between the game and the cutscene, so it isn’t too far out.
  • and we need to introduce the city as a main part of the narration

Below are quick overviews of the Video Games/TV shows/Animations etc I have been looking at to get inspiration.

Sky Crawlers: Innocent Aces

The trailer above shows how Sky Crawlers mixes anime with fairly realistic in-game graphics. This is a fairly straightforward example, you see some anime and then you are in game. It doesn’t necessarily have any method of smooth intergration between anime and in-game.

The Walking Dead Fanmade Intro

This focuses more on the use of layers and depth of field to show the viewer a mixture of static scenes. There is limited animation, which could hinder the more close up shots of the protagonist. Also, I do like the transitions between each shot but I think that it may not really fit the intro sequence to the game, as it gives a more disjointed feel to it. I think to allow the player to easily see the transition between animation and in-game it needs to be more straight-forward and less abstract.


This uses limited animation and pretty much no character animation, within its cutscenes. It merges well will the gameplay because the animation has the exactly same aesthetics as the in-game graphics.


Infamous has static images that are composed into an animation, so its kind of like an animatic, im not sure if there is a correct term for it. It uses harsh shadows mixed with a washed out colour palette, this is a direct contract to the high realism of the in-game enviornments.

I am Legend – animated Comics, ISOLATION

This utilises a new feature that I haven’t come across in a game before; it still feature the comic book boxes and format. I guess it is a direct replication of the comic.

Other animations:

The Witcher 2 Offical animation trailer

Zinco Epilogue


Key similarities:

  • all of the above use ‘simple’ textures for in-game
  • cartoony feel

Key differences:

  • the level of detail in regards to the distance from camera
  • how they merge into gameplay
  • how they contrast with the in-game graphics

One thing that has become clear from this is that you either get a massive contrast between the in-game graphics and the ccutscenes, i.e. Infamous and Starhawk or you get a cutscene that reflects the games graphics directly i.e. Deathspank.

After relaying this info to Jade, we have decided due to the nature of the in-game graphics, we are going to have a direct contrast with washed out colours etc.


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