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Amumu: The Curse of the Sad Mummy

We were commissioned by Riot Games to create a musically-driven animation to narrate the backstory of Amumu Amumu, a character from the game 'League of Legends'. Amumu is a perpetually lonely character who embarks on an unfruitful journey to find friends. [1]

Our intention was to contrast the sombre tone of the musical track with the funny, charming visuals of Amumu. He has a head that is far too large for his body and cloddish feet, all of which make him a bit awkward. His lonely and emotional personality gave us a lot of scope to play with when developing a storyline for this piece. The visual style is inspired by paper cut-outs, a deliberate departure from the 3D, action-packed, realistically rendered style that is typical of video games.

We initially came up with a story sequence inspired by delving further into Amumu’s character as well as selected lands from Riot's world. We wanted the transitions between worlds to be seamless, so we first mapped out the sequence as rough drawings. These were developed into beautiful storyboards which formed the foundation of the animation. The animatic was created from these boards and we stuck closely to them for the remainder of the project. Beautiful concept frames were then created which were cut up and developed further in Photoshop, prepping PSD's that after-effects artists could use in their comps. We spent a lot of time developing Amumu's final look using various illustrations which depicted him in various poses and expressions that the 3D artists could make use of when modeling and animating. 3D modeling and texturing of Amumu began as soon as we had approval on his design. Since we wanted the final shots to have a fluid, dreamy effect, we spent a few days filming ink, watercolor bleeds, splatters and stains which could be combined with our illustrated elements to make them seem organic and alive. Once all the elements were composited in after-effects, the magic happened bringing to life 'The Curse of the Sad Mummy'.


Amumu's Theme - "Curse of the Sad Mummy"
Every child in Valoran has heard the tale before,

About the cursed mummy boy who felt his heart no more.
So sad and lorn, the helpless lad, Amumu was his name,
He ventured out to find a friend and learn about his bane.

For many years, young Amumu traveled through the lands,
Determined to make friends, if only they would understand,
But even when Amumu stood upon the ledge of home,
His hope would disappoint him, and he would remain alone.

But then the curse began to whisper in his ear,
And would confirm what was Amumu’s biggest fear,
It pledged that never shall someone become his friend,
It pledged that he shall be alone until his end.

The sorrow and despair,
Became too much to bear.

The moment when Amumu realized what he had done,
Too late it was, for him, for them, the evil curse had won.
The anger and the anguish overwhelmed his fragile soul,
And caused a wicked tantrum that he never could control.

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