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Trials of Mrythia

Created by

Vibhav Singh

Assisted by

Sailesh Gopalan

Rizayan looked calm, even as his heart raced, his mind a tempest. Although he had little faith in Mrythian foretellings, he had let the monks guide him out of sheer desperation. The Darkness had reached the southern coasts. Its effects could be felt all the way to the central peninsula. He didn’t have the liberty to let fickle beliefs, or the lack thereof, keep him from giving his people a chance to survive. And so he’d traveled through the darkness to which he was immune, and arrived here.


They said the ancient city blessed those with pure intentions. With stone grating against stone as the gates started to open, Rizayan hoped his intentions were as pure as he believed.

Trials of Mrythia

Creator's Note:

I've always been extremely drawn to cinematic imagery, both live-action and animation. While I've created a number of illustrations that have been influenced by this fascination, for some time now there's been this itch to put my ideas into motion - to see what comes before and after the single frames of my illustrations.

When I started this piece, all I had was a tone and atmosphere in mind, along with a certain threshold for quality. I wanted the piece to evoke a sense of scale, mystery and awe, but I also wanted it to have notes of tradition, and a tangibility that can only be achieved with highly finessed background paintings. For all things intangible, I composed a soundtrack to help convey what I couldn’t visually. 

I approached Sailesh with this ambitious goal for what was supposed to be a small little experiment, and together with his magical ability to conjure up and breathe life into characters, and the fortunate coincidence of a shared sensibility that transformed a simple animated sequence into a video game cutscene, we were able to create something that more than exceeded my initial vision.

The initial plan for this piece involved only 2D assets, but it soon became evident to us that utilising a little bit of 3D would really elevate this piece. So Blender was used for the bars of the shrine door, textured using hand painted assets, and comped back in.

The last shot, while simple, was a battle of philosophies - I wanted it to be long and lingering, Sailesh felt it was too long and lingered too much. The solution? Add a title at the end! This gave the shot a payoff, and made the entire piece feel complete.

The animation process for this experiment was pretty straightforward. We had the layouts and the basic camera motion ready, all Sailesh had to do was make the character belong.

He started all the way from character design based on a character note from Vibhav.

The inclusion or omission of detail was in accordance with the character’s size, visibility, and amount of animation. The exact timings for the shots weren’t decided until later, so each shot had a regular animation and a loop that we placed and eventually timed according to the final timing.

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