Superheroes: Decoded

Open and Show Package

Reel edited by Shannon Hall

Warrior Poets came to us looking for an open and show package for History Channel’s two-part series, Superheroes: Decoded. The show takes an in-depth look at the world of comic books — exploring countless moments in time when heroes have been born, propagandized, and transformed.

The Transformation of Superman Comics: Post WWII
The Transformation of Wonder-Woman Comics: Pre-WWII vs. Post-WWII

We began by evaluating the Grecian-God-like persona inherent in the figures and liked how sculptures have elevated and glorified icons throughout history. Our 3D artists tackled this approach and our creativity took flight.

Original Design & Stone Sculptures by Doug Chang

As we dove deeper into the process, however, we understood that our best materials were from the comic books themselves. These tangible, relatable and imaginative collections told the human side of our heroes’ stories.

3D animation of Banned Comic book covers by Liu Chialung

Lucky for us, the Warrior Poets had a stash of classic comic book archives, and we were able to bring our ideas to life. We began to develop a universal animation language that would unite all of the comics. We adopted the 2.5D technique and rendered the flat book covers into a dimensional space.

Captain America Animation by Brian Landisman
Iron Man Animation Brian Landisman

We wanted to keep that sense of god-like scale in play, so we questioned what truly made a hero recognizable and, most importantly, iconic. We thought of the Batman symbol projected in the night sky, the “S” transforming Clark Kent, and the “X” uniting a team of Mutants. By creating these emblems in 3D and comping pieces of the comics themselves onto their surface, we could reveal the symbols in a cinematic, epic way.

3D Superman symbol by Doug Chang. 3D Animation by Kevin Sanchez.

Complete with lower thirds, chapter headings & transitions, our graphics package helped unfold and reveal each of these stories on a grand, sweeping scale.

Thanks again to our friends at Warrior Poets for the always creative and collaborative process.


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