Directors Hello Savants interpret traditional Japanese watercolour techniques through the language of contemporary animation, in the wonderfully realised ‘A Shot at the Title’ sequence which explains how Onitsuka-san came to create his iconic basketball shoe. Via beautiful illustrations we discover how, upon eating his mother’s homemade octopus salad and realising the strength of each tentacle’s suction cups, inspiration struck on how to increase the grip on his footwear’s sole.
Hello Savants use a crossover approach of traditional frame-by-frame animation, real footage of watercolour ink and digital 2D and 3D elements. Animating delicate watercolour brush strokes and organic shapes for each scene, they apply transitions that are natural and fluid while always emphasising the shape of the shoe. The use of overlapping layers elegantly integrated into this painterly environment conveys a perception of depth throughout the story.