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Method Studios x Netflix's Avatar: The Last Airbender - Series Titles

Client: Netflix

Method Studios had the honor of collaborating on Netflix's recently released live action adaptation of the hit series, Avatar: The Last Airbender. The series, developed by Albert Kim, follows the adventures of a young Airbender named Aang, and his friends, as they fight to end the Fire Nation's war and bring balance to the world. Director and Executive Producer Jabbar Raisani approached Method Studios to create visually striking title cards for each episode - titles that not only nodded to the original animated series, but also lived up to the incredible visuals of the new adaptation.  

The team at Method Studios, led by Creative Director Wes Ebelhar, concepted and pitched several different directions for the title before deciding to move forward with one called "Martial Arts." "We loved the idea of abstracting the movements and "bending" forms of the characters through 3 dimensional brushstrokes," says Wes. "We also wanted to create separate animations to really highlight the differences between the elements of Air, Earth, Fire and Water -  for example, with Air, we created this swirling vortex, while Earth was very angular and rigid. The 3d brushstrokes were also a perfect way to incorporate the different elemental glyphs from the opening of the original series."

Giving life to the different elemental brushstrokes was no easy task, "We created a custom procedural setup in Houdini to generate the brushstrokes, which was vital for giving us the detail and level of control we needed.  Once we had that system built, we were able to pipe in our original previs animations and they matched the timing and layouts perfectly. The animations were then rendered with Redshift and brought into After Effects for compositing. The compositing ended up being a huge task as well." Wes adds, "It wasn't enough to just have different brush animations for each element, we wanted the whole environment to feel unique for each - the Fire title should feel like its hanging above a raging bonfire, while Water should feel submerged with caustics playing across its surface."

"Many people were involved in bringing these titles to life," Wes concludes, "and a special shout out must go to Johnny Likens, David Derwin, Max Strizich, Alejandro Robledo Mejia, Michael Decaprio and our producer Claire Dorwart. It was a really great experience working with this team and we are all very proud of the results. It was a huge honor to work on the next chapter of a series that we have so much love for." 

All episodes of Avatar: The Last Airbender are now available to watch on Netflix.

Production Company:

Avatar Studios, Netflix, Nickelodeon Productions, Rideback


Michael Goi, Roseanne Liang + Jet Wilkinson

Director + Executive Producer:

Jabbar Raisani

Created by:

Albert Kim

Title Design + Film GFX:

Method Studios   

EVP, Global Managing Director:

Jesse Kurnit

Senior Design Producer:

Claire Dorwart

Executive Creative Director:

John Likens 

Creative Director:

Wesley Ebelhar

Concept Design:

Max Stirizich

Senior FX Artist:

David Derwin

Design + Animation:

Alejandro Robledo Mejia + Danny Garcia 


Michael DeCaprio

VFX Assistant:

Jordan Mikhail