POST NOTES | 2D Character Animation


808, Inc. is known for its range of animation styles. 808 does everything from Traditional, 2D, 3D, Cutout, to Typography. One of our most popular request is 2D character based animations. They often require less production time and therefore, a more cost effective option for our clients with a fast deadline. Here are a few behind the scene views of us bringing the details of characters to life.

"Characters can always make a simple story come to life and connect to the audience in a more personable way."

       —Gene Hollister, Executive Producer/Director

We want to create movement in a fun way that enhances the story. When the viewer feels that human connection to your story it creates a positive impression that makes the effort for all involved worth while.

To accomplish this style of animation we start with flat vector illustrations and combine them with new After Effects scripting tools that allow us to give the illusion of 3D movement in a 2D workflow.

808 | X-Particles

Working with X-Particles.
by Gene Hollister (Executive Producer/Director  808, Inc.)

I had a chance to discuss the coolest new particle system for C4D with one of 808's motion artist, Glenn Marshall and 808's design director, Fabian Aldama. It's called X-Particles by INSYDIUM, Ltd. Glenn explains: "It's not just limited to particle animation, X-Particle’s powerful and flexible system is perfect for fluids, gaseous, organic and abstract geometry.  For any given scenario or brief - there’s always something creative and exciting that can be achieved."


808's Design Director, Fabian Aldama added:

"Combine it with the advanced Arnold ray tracing renderer by Solid Angle and you get breathtaking results."

No surprise that it's being used by over 300 major studios like ILM, Framestore, MPC, The Mill and Sony Pictures.

INSYDIUM defines X-Particles as the most fully featured, advanced particle simulation and rendering environment for MAXON’s Cinema 4D.

They're not kidding. X-Particles has quickly become one of 808's favorite tools. Be sure to check back as we'll be adding more X-Particle projects soon.

808 | Humor in Advertising

That’s the pungent aroma of successful advertising.

When done right, humor is powerful and surprisingly cost-effective tool for differentiating a brand and connecting with customers.

In I Smell Funny, Writer-Director Robert Campbell talks about the use and misuse of humor in advertising. Packed with examples, weird anecdotes and behind-the-scenes insights, this presentation lays out strategies for how to sell humor to your clients, along with a few fundamentals on how to execute your ideas.

Robert Campbell is Partner and Writer-Director of 808, Inc., a Houston-based creative and production company. Formerly a senior writer with BBDO Houston, Robert has created memorable, award-winning advertising for a variety of national and regional clients. He’s written for print, web, broadcast, outdoor, bathroom walls—and has directed numerous commercials. In addition to receiving a Cannes Lion, his work has been featured in Ad Age, Creativity, Adweek,’s Top 10, TBS’s Funniest Commercials on Television and a BBC Documentary on advertising, which he hasn’t seen.

PRODUCER NOTES | Production is a team sport


by Gene Hollister (Executive Producer/Director  808, Inc.)

Behind every successful production is a great team. There are many moving parts that must work in concert behind the scenes in order to achieve excellence on the screen. No one can do it on their own. As a director, I always try to surround myself with the people that I consider the best at what they do. By appreciating their talents I know how much better they make me.


NRG energy calls on 808 to create an animated shorts series inspired by the design, architecture, and overall futuristic movement of the 1950's and 60's that was influenced by the Atomic and Space Age. These events inspired artists during this time period to create visions of the future that many felt were not too far from becoming reality. NRG wanted to take that concept of a not too distant future and turn it into the idea that a better future can be ours if we make smarter energy choices today. —Click on the images below to watch two of these animated shorts in action.


In this Post Notes feature we'll go behind the scenes for client: Raytheon Professional Services, a global leader in training services and learning outsourcing. 808 creates a video promoting their highly realistic and immersive simulation training.

WARNING: The following contains spoilers. Click here to watch the full video and then come back to see how some of these effects were created.

VFX Breakdown of man overboard: After an explosion strikes the drill floor of an offshore oil rig, our hero character sets out on a mission to find the status of the situation and encounters several challenges along the way. As time passes, the rig becomes more unstable and our hero comes face to face with another explosion that pushes him overboard. Our production team and visual effects team worked together to create this violent blast. We captured two separate shots called plates. First, a background plate of the door opening forcefully, and then a plate of our stuntman being jolted back from the blast. 808's visual effects team then merges these two plates together and adds more smoke, fire and debris to create our final composite.

Watch the clip below to see a VFX breakdown of this shot.