Channel News Asia is an English language news channel based in Singapore that broadcasts to 29 territories across Asia and Australia.

Channel News Asia created a new eight-part television series about people who have overcome harrowing, life-threatening experiences. From crashes to natural disasters, to kidnappings and more, TO LIVE was a flagship program from the Asian news network.

Studio Rarekind was approached to create a distinctive visual animated title sequence that reflected the themes of each episode and the trauma and experience behind it.

Ryo Sanada was at the forefront of the project, working closely with Tim Grabham and local Singaporean illustrator Russell Ong. The initial idea was to create a loose story board of scenarios that reflected all the themes of the 8 episodes. Russell was tasked to create the individual assets, Tim was the lead animator, whilst Ryo was the producer and art director.


Briefs, jobs, collaborations such as this starts with the idea. The idea was to summarize the feeling, the vibe and the atmosphere of the series through the illustration and animation. The subject matter being dark, we started with that and worked with Russell to give him as much direction as possible. He therefore started with sketching out as 8-10 panels as a storyboard for us all to follow.

.As Russell produced the sketches, Ryo and Tim working alongside the Channel News Asia producers to ideate the transitions, i.e we get from one scene to the other. Is it a case of of a simple move? Could it be something more complex?

As Russell’s illustrations became closer to what was wanted the team started signing off on the assets and Tim and Ryo started to get into animation and executing the ideas. We naturally let things move from scene to scene. The plane crashing into the water and becoming a snake. These were simple, fun ideas which told the story and animated well.


Really it comes down to good preparation and very good communication. The pain points was always making sure we can transition artistically but with purpose between each theme and creative freedom the Channel News Asia producers gave us allowed us to really have fun and explore.

If you are interested in something similar, perhaps a title sequence, an animated introduction for a video or a fully animated explainer for your business. Please do set up a free consultation right here and tell us you read this case study and we’ll give you mates rates! (which is about 40% off!).