​Atlanta-based design studio Primal Screen swung for the fences when Adult Swim asked for ident concepts ahead of the fifth-season premiere of its cult animated hit, Rick & Morty.

The only real ask was that the studio feature the main cast, which is primarily nervous Morty and his mad scientist grandfather Rick. Other than that, there were no stylistic restraints and that lack of boundaries allowed the studio to get wildly inventive for these two spots.

The above 2D spot, titled “Balls,” is animated in Toon Boom using flat colors. The team broke all the different gradients into individual pieces which they rendered separately for effects animation in the compositing stage. That meant separate renders for eyes, tongue, hair and so on. Designers then imported all these individual parts into After Effects, creating a separate effect pass for each color on each element. At last, all shots were rendered in After Effects. Premiere Pro provided the final composite.

The second spot, “Mount Rickmore,” below, is produced using a totally different technique. The full CG 3D models were built in Cinema 4D and Maya, with Redshift proxies standing in for high poly objects. As animators constructed the sculpture, they used bright colors and lighting to compose the eye-popping scenes. The elements, rendered in Cinema 4D/Redshift, were finally composited in After Effects.

Mount Rickmore


Client: Adult Swim

Executive Producer/Creative Director: Gill Austin

Producer: Sally Skinner

Design Studio: Primal Screen

Tags: adult swim cartoon network hot spots idents primal screen rick & morty warner media

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