Salesman Pete Trailer

French animation students–yes, students–continue to push the envelope for cel-shaded CG animation more than anybody else within the industry. This trailer for Salesman Pete is the latest example (and among the finest) that I’ve seen from a technique standpoint. It also puts to shame the bland indistinguishable visual styling that dominates all mainstream computer animated features nowadays.

The film’s directors Anthony Vivien, Marc Bouyer, and Max Loubaresse point out emphatically on their Vimeo page that “WE ARE NOT from Supinfocom, in fact we left our school before our last year in order to make this short our own way.” Now this is the kind of dropping-out that I can get behind, but I’m really curious to learn the full story about why such a production wasn’t possible at their school Supinfocom. The have a Salesman Pete production blog with pre-production artwork from their film.

(Thanks, Dan Pinto and via Drawn)


  • http://saturdaymorningcentral.com Tommy

    Wow, that looks kind of fantastic.

  • TheGunheart

    Is it just me, or does it occasionally switch to 2D art for certain scenes?

    That said, that’s simply amazing.

  • Adam

    This really made my day; it’s so gorgeous! I can’t wait to see more.

  • http://mymedicatedlife.blogspot.com/ Bitter Animator

    That is an absolutely beautiful piece of work. Kids these days… they’re talented. Great stuff.

  • james madison

    Great work!

    Thanks for posting.

  • pizzaforeveryone

    holy moses this looks like beautiful candy

  • Roberto Severino

    That was awesome. Great work!

  • http://jessicaplummer.blogspot.com Jessica Plummer

    OH WOW. I would pay many good monies to see this over and over as a feature.

    What a great mash-up of 2D and 3D…such beautiful colors throughout as well.

  • Jonas

    Thank you! That’s an amazing find!

  • http://mayersononanimation.blogspot.com Mark Mayerson

    While it’s not fair to judge a film from a trailer, it seems to me that French animation students have lost all interest in acting and character and are satisfied to do elaborate chase scenes. Certainly, that’s my impression of recent films from Gobelins.

  • http://www.taberanimation.com Taber Dunipace

    Interesting concept making 3D look like Flash. I feel compelled to give this a try myself! The limited nature of the animation could be very economical for a series, especially if all the assets are reused.

    Get job to the creators!

  • http://virgiliovasconcelos.com Virgilio

    49 seconds of awesomeness

  • Christopher Smigliano

    My God! It has LIFE!!!

  • Phil

    WOW! JUST WOW!

    This is easily the most appealing 3D I’ve seen.

  • http://chippyandloopus.com/ John S

    Now THAT…was damned cool.
    Appealing design, fun crazy action, nice art direction.
    I want to know how this was made. It would be cool to see more stuff in this style.

  • Art L

    Leaves you wanting more. These kids know how to entertain, which is more than half of the industry realizes.

  • Miguel

    It is great work indeed Amid! What is sad however is that apart from
    a handful of places, NOBODY is interested in this kind of work. Whats
    more nobody knows what to do with talented students like these.
    I mean mainstream studios dont seem to want to go out of their pre-established and stale mold. They would not know what to do with these guys. God forbid we hire them and they ruin our corporate structure and outlook. Todays “visionaries” want to hire “creatives” that can compromise real vision and pump out the movies of tomorrow.

    To pump out Ice Age 4, 5 and 6 plus Shrek 4 and Toy Story 3 or Cars 2… not to mention Princess and the Frog… you dont need and dont want young blood and passion of the calibre of these french students. You want submissive yes men and women that dont cause problems within production pipeline and animation drones competing for peanuts from
    middle management.

    Heaven forbid we hire them and they show they can do things better.
    What becomes of the people that hired them… ??

  • http://www.pitchbibles.blogspot.com Steve Schnier

    WOW oh WOW oh WOW oh WOW oh WOW oh WOW oh WOW oh WOW oh WOW oh WOW oh WOW oh WOW oh WOW oh WOW oh WOW oh WOW oh WOW oh WOW oh WOW oh WOW oh WOW oh WOW oh WOW oh WOW oh WOW oh WOW oh WOW oh WOW oh WOW oh WOW oh WOW oh WOW oh WOW oh WOW oh WOW oh WOW oh WOW oh WOW

  • Ron

    It looks terrific. I hope they make something out of it. Regarding an earlier post from a few weeks ago: I hope the “Bone” movie takes a cue from this and uses whatever cel-shading and line work technology they used here to make the movie look as cool as the comic book. Them’s my 2 cents- (or two white flags since we’re talking about France)

  • AltredEgo

    @ MIGUEL – I couldn’t have said it better myself.

    Bravo!
    AE.

  • http://www.stopmotionworld.com SMW

    Loved the visual direction for this and just a student work! Holly i wish my reel would have been this great! Those character rigs are very squashy as well, really nice work from art direction to animation, and personally would love to see a cartoon like this on tv instead of many of the work going on right now.

  • J

    Funny you should say that Miguel, I was thinking this morning, just what happens to all these great French animation students? Because year after year they wow us with fantastic looking short films, but then seem to dissapear without a trace. I mean, why aren’t these these fresh, unique and interesting ideas feeding into commercial works?

  • http://www.jpdj.com JPDJ

    That…..was insane. Well done.

  • http://www.comicrazys.com Chris

    Very weird effect. My mind couldn’t take in the 2D/3D-ness of it all. It was like watching Jerry dance with Gene Kelly. Not knocking it. Kudos for the effort!

    Again, though… 3D action moves waaay too fast for me to register what is happening? Why is that? It’s not just the case here but in every 3D film action sequences. Azureus Rising is also too fast moving for example.

    Sloooow it doooown.

  • http://crisafullidoodles.blogspot.com/ Marc Crisafulli

    Who can deny the level of quality and range coming from French animation these days? And STUDENTS, no less! Sure to make for some great films in the years ahead.

  • http://zeteos.blogspot.com/ Mick

    hurray… more of these types of folks…. more of them … hurray

  • http://www.animationfestival.ca J. Zaroski

    The artwork reminds me of the art of Day of the Tentacle, that old Lucas Arts game, even the mise-en-scene… Am I crazy?

  • Gerard de Souza

    @Mark Mayerson
    YES. I was going to say something like that. But so does Hollywood.

    I hope there is acting in there.
    But great design, color, action and direction.

  • Anonymous

    Must… see… more!

  • http://mrseanlane.com Sean

    I’ll take this kind of 3D work any day over the 3D farting animal sequel ladden 3D films our industry in the US can’t live without.

    The French know their stuff.

  • http://tequilawhisperer.com Lippy

    I had to stop at EVERY scene change to check out the awesome (I NEVER use that word) designs from the BGs to the poses.
    OUTSTANDING work!
    Would PAY to have this in my collection, Frenchies!

  • http://headofhadrian.blogspot.com Adrian

    love this style. is his sidekick the steak wearing cowboy boots? cuz that’s gold. Can’t wait to see it

  • http://mrseanlane.com Sean

    Oh yeah, the attention to detail in the backgrounds really makes it seem like a real bustling city without making you lost sight of the line of action, I love it!

    I too wonder what happens to the French students. Do they go work at Xilam or Ubisoft when they are done?

  • samster

    God damn! that’s freaking brilliant!!

  • Mike Gabriel

    Fresh home made candy. Pure cartoon animation esthetics in all its glory. Values matter. It’s about time somebody showed us how thrilling pure clean hues against each other, and against more muted deep neutrals can dazzle in cg. Time to take one step backward in order to jump two steps forward in cg animation. Thanks for the inspiring work, mes amis.

  • http://www.sisterson.co.uk Dennis Sisterson

    Feature CGI design has been at a plateau for years. Pixar should be headhunting these guys!

  • Johnny Vivi

    bien joué fréro ;)

  • http://agoynamedjew.blogspot.com Anson J

    Best 2.5D I’ve ever seen! Great design work in both characters and environments. Wow!