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 brings still photography to life via 3d animation + motion.

The image alone was already intimidating, capturing this military vehicle in a vast rugged land, but creatively we wanted to add even more character by retouching the photo and using camera mapping to bring it to life.

Camera Mapping, also known as camera projection, is a technique that is widely used in the visual effects industry to bring a still (2D) image to life by generating a '3D' look. The technique works by projecting the flat, still image onto 3D geometry and then taking a 3D camera and moving it across the projected image in order for it to appear in the third dimension.

Watch the clip below to see it in action.

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.


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.


The idea was to take an ordinary day at the beach and turn it into a colorful, lively world for a children's sunblock commercial. We started out with the clean untreated footage. Live-Action Director: Gary Lankford.

In order to remove the unwanted beach-goers and add our doodled elements, we needed to do some 3D camera tracking. With camera tracking, or match moving, we are able insert these elements with the same motion that was created by the live-action camera.

Before adding our doodle elements we needed to clean up the shot by doing some cloning and color correcting. We used the same tracking data to help clone out the swimmers and replace the sky and landscape in the background.

Finally we finish it off by adding some fun doodles with some extra post effects to help bring it all together.


Watch the clip below to see it in action.


808 and its director Gene Hollister recently had the opportunity to create HCC's enrollment campaign, which also included some stunning visual effects. Here's a behind-the-scenes look at some of the production that took place. 


After 4 days of shooting it was back to the studio for some post magic. "One of our favorite shots in all three spots was the dream world that would transition from the beginning of each spot to the end," says 808 lead animator Fabian Aldama. "These shots would require some intense visual effects to achieve the desired look. In the end, we were very happy with the results."


808 creates a pop-up book animation that was created almost entirely using After Effects. Here is 808's design director, Fabian Aldama, working on creating this visual effect.

"Pop-up books can always make a simple story come to life and make the experience of reading a book much more fascinating. We wanted to create that same experience using visual effects. That feeling that you get when everything truly looks like its coming to life right before your eyes — limited only by one's imagination." —Fabian



Semi Precious Weapons music video
by Fabian Aldama

The goal here was to composite these rock stars into a world that suited their glam rock style. The first task was to create the background. A grid of bright flashy lights seemed appropriate. I then keyed out these characters from the green screen footage and applied some color changes that would help them integrate better with the new background. Finally, after compositing the two layers of footage together, I added some extra lighting effects. These streaks of light helped bring the two together and achieve a more realistic result.