This year for Halloween we decided to pay homage to one of the oldest forms of animation. And what do you get when you cross a pumpkin with a zoetrope? A Pumkintrope!
Technically it was a challenge. We designed the animation to work on a rotating object (maths...) and animated each segment digitally. orking at 12 frames per section, each segment was placed at 30 degrees. The segments were printed and used to carefully carve the pumpkin.
To rotate the pumpkin, we used a turntable which we adapted to fit under the black background, the base of the pumpkin glued through a hole in the paper. Now comes the tricky bit. To achieve the appearance that the animation “magically” appears as the pumpkin rotates we engineered some complex compositing. We shot a clean plate of the pumpkin before carving, and then digitally (and painstakingly) painted each frame - blending the two animations together until it looked like it truly, spookily, animated itself.
We commissioned Ana Roman do do music, as we felt it was really important that the sound matched with the rhythm of the animation.
Creator’s Project hailed it “The Jack O’ Lantern King”, Laughing Squid described it as “a work of art” and Dragonframe (the software company favourite by the likes of Aardman and Disney) said it is “guaranteed to spook you with its level of craft.”
It was also selected by Reuters and was subsequently by Rai Uno (Italian TV channel), Huffington Post (US) and Aol On (US), among others.