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.


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.


Shhh... Quiet please. We are in session.

Here's a sneak peek of some animation fun currently in session. Stay tuned for updates on this and more projects currently brewing here at 808.


Here's a behind the scenes glimpse of what happens when we step away from our Wacom tablets and get our hands a little dirty. When designing a character, a maquette (miniature clay model) is a great way to start. Having a model of your character is the quickest way to find the flaws in your design as well as a valuable reference tool for animators. Also, there is no greater satisfaction than holding the fruit of your imagination in your hands as it stares back at you.


We had a great time at SXSW this year. While exploring the festival and the great city of Austin, we captured a lot of exciting footage for an upcoming project and made some new friends along the way. Stay tuned for more including 808's Unofficial Guide to Unofficial SXSW.


DePelchin Children's Center selects 808 to create an animated short highlighting their services. Writer/Director Robert Campbell transformed a strong message on a sensitive subject into an enchanting story about a boy with an incredible imagination.

Our team of artists and animators, led by Design Director and VFX Supervisor Fabian Aldama, brought this surreal story to life by combining hand-made and painted artwork, animation and visual effects. Here are a few production stills of the rigorous process from early character development to the finished look.

Click image below to see 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."