A powerful weapon is reborn — forged for the modern era. Can the Swordsmith keep the darkness from wielding its power?
To celebrate the rebirth of a legendary motorcycle, Iron & Air Media wanted to create an animated short film to immortalize the lore of the iconic Suzuki Katana. We helped bring their vision to life.
In addition to creating the animated short film, we worked with the Iron & Air team to design a cover + interior artwork for the 39th issue of Iron & Air Magazine: 114 pages of custom motorcycles, adventure, craft, travel, fuel-culture, and storytelling that you won’t get anywhere else, all served up in a collectible, archive-quality format.
Enter the Swordsmith went from an idea to a polished 90-second animation over the course of two months. Every detail of the film was carefully explored, discussed, and executed — from the patches on the protagonist's jacket to the frame-by-frame screeches of the motorcycle wheel against the pavement. 3D programs played a big part in the pre-visualization process; we first modeled our virtual environment using VR technology that allowed us to immerse ourselves in the world that our characters would race through, and we used 3D motorcycle animations to inform how many of the motions were later animated in 2D (ie. how the bikes banked/drifted while taking corners). Having those placeholders was a big step in executing the 2D + cel animation both accurately & efficiently.