Orbit Studio presents some spooky goings-on in its fun new short Halloween Joe
Copenhagen-based animation facility Orbit Studio created this short as a Halloween greeting for the company’s friends and clients. The project was created, from conception right through to the final edit, by three team members in just five days.
As the trio discussed their ideas, the simple animation quickly turned into a short with endless possibilities. Creative director and partner of Orbit, Jacek Oczki explains: “While brainstorming, the concept grew from an animated Halloween greeting into a short film and more. We would like to make it into a short animated series or webisodes, where every episode can stand on its own but also moves the story along for this average Joe character.”
The Orbit team were heavily influenced by French comic books and simple sharp styles for the look of their film. “We went with a sharp cartoon look and a minimalistic approach – less is more,” says Oczki. To achieve this particular style, the trio used 3ds Max 2011 for modelling and animation, V-Ray 1.5 for rendering and Fusion 6.1 for compositing.
With just the three of them working on the project, the team utilised the software’s tools to speed up production. “3ds Max with its Graphite modelling tool ‘Shift’ was a great help for us to quickly push shapes around and play with the design,” Oczki says. “The models are really simple so it was necessary to use all the edges and lines effectively.”
Keeping things as simple as possible was vital on such a tight deadline, although it did, however, restrict the team’s creativity somewhat. “The biggest challenge was to tell the story from one camera angle - we really wanted to do some close up shots,” Oczki explains. “We had to spend a long time talking about how Halloween Joe should act, pose and how his silhouette should support each action.”
The short presented the team with a challenge and they were keen to see what they could achieve in five days with very few resources. “The best thing about this project was that the team was made up of just three people,” says Oczki. “Each member is a 3D generalist with production experience so things were very flexible and everything could quickly be fixed by just talking to each other. It was very effective… no long meetings! We are really pleased with the results, although we could have used one more day on the sound effects.”