“Nameless World” by Arthur de Pins

As I watched “Nameless World,” the new music video directed by French artist Arthur de Pins, all I could think was, Why can’t more commercially produced animation look this fun and appealing? Seriously, is it that hard to use Flash and Illustrator to create a smooth digital animation style that takes advantage of those particular programs’ strengths?

De Pins created the video for the French band Skip the Use, but the characters in the video are from his comic series Zombillenium, which readers will be delighted to learn is the first de Pins comic translated into English.

I’ve been a fan of de Pins for a long time and though it’s animation’s loss that he sticks mostly to comics nowadays, his animated projects still impress.

(via Catsuka)


  • bob

    pretty sure there is more than flash going on here…

    And any high quality animation product is pretty difficult to create. It’s not like he just threw this together one night.

    That being said, I do wish the major studios would produce something that feels fresh.

    • AmidAmidi

      I don’t know what de Pins used for this video, but as recently as this year, he said in an interview that he exclusively uses Illustrator 9 and Flash 5 for animation projects.

      • Oslaf

        If he made this on his own, that’s already hugely impressive. But yeah, there’s definitely a lot of 3d NPR stuff going on in this video; that doesn’t diminish his effort, thought, it only means he’s actually mastered, as additional skills on top of his already remarkable craftmanship, techniques which people are happy to consider job-description-worthy specialities on their own merits.

        It’s indeed puzzling only a small percent of the innovative visual work we see in short films and videoclips every day actually make it into the towering standard employed in mainstream TV and film. But I guess part of what justifies a production model as commercially viable is the comfort of the known. I did heard in that one documentary that the only reason a producer would be willing to endorse new techniques is if they make the production cheaper or faster; originality is kind of optional.

      • Bob Harper

        Amid – just so you know those big animation budgets for TV shows aren’t being spent on animation. When we work on Flash shows we usually have a week to produce a minute of footage and maybe a day or two to do retakes. The money is being spent in the front in of things.

    • alt animation podcast

      Yeah most of this is definitely 3d with some stylized render choices. It just says alot about his talent and the technology these days that you cant tell if it was done 2d or 3d

      • AmidAmidi

        The main black character would appear to be CG, as well as the car, but I don’t think the rest of it is. Like you said, it’s a really expert marriage of techniques, and difficult to tell what’s what.

        • alt animation podcast

          Im pretty sure the driver and mummy at least have 3d bodies. And there are some shots that the environment is 3d. People are getting really good with hand painted textures and doing a 2d/3d hybrid of characters and sets. The Supinfocom guys are really masters at this technique

        • Littlefinger

          Amid, surely you can throw your weight around and get an interview with AdP about this very topic, right?

  • sydney

    Brilliant! Love the Hell out of this.

  • Guest

    Uh, the reason you don’t see this type of work more often is because it’s Arthur De(fucking) Pins. This guy is insanely talented. And, as noted in your post he’s been consistently producing high caliber work for a long time.

    I think you forget (or may trivialize) the combination of talent, focus and work ethic that goes into this stuff so your question about ” is it THAT hard to use Flash and Illustrator to create a smooth digital
    animation style that takes advantage of those particular programs’
    strengths?” is a bit silly. Is it that hard to make The Sixth Sense? or Paranormal Activity? or Pi? Uh, yeah. It is.

    Also, seems pretty clear the guy used way more than flash and illustrator (at least AE) so unless you’re completely disconnected from production experience or just trolling i don’t really get that question/statement.

    Sadly, better question might b how much money/time did it take to lock a talent like that down and why don’t more studios take that risk? Didn’t youtube fund like a gabillion dollars into a bunch of channels who I’ve almost certainly never heard of? Why don’t studios have a more open process for new/solid talents?

    Anyways, so lastly, just like to say… How awesome is Arthur De Pins?

    Suh-weet.

    • George_Cliff

      Has it been confirmed that this is the work of just one person?

  • Inkan1969

    Looks like “South Park” with much nicer animation.

  • Aaron R.R.R. Nance

    It’s definitely a wonderful blend of two and three dimensional animation techniques. And I agree that if a short of this quality can be produced as quickly as it would need to have been to keep the music video relevant, that this level of quality should be attainable by other groups with the right pipeline or perhaps lack of pipeline, in place.

    Looking forward to reading the first volume of ‘Zombillenium.’

  • mikeluz

    Firstly, this looks like almost all 3D. Asking why flash can’t be used to produce this is silly. The answer is time and money. The budgets for TV shows suck when broken down by the amount of footage. This is why TV shows don’t look this good. Money, and time.

  • mick

    I can see loads of flash in there, along with 3D of course but lots of flash there. It’s called skill. He has skill. If you look at the stuff he did years ago with flash it is riddled with mistakes but unless you scrutinise it you don’t notice because he skilfully draws your eye. When the dismounted cop (completely flash I’d say) does his little vampire smile the gradient is typical flash rubbish BUT it’s so brief it works. Smoke and mirrors, that’s how show business works, Charlton Heston wasn’t really moses… they made it up, it’s all pretend.

    This video is just marvellous, and remains so with or without technology prejudice.

    Illustrator and flash, sounds like a nightmare the way people go on you’d think it is impossible to make anything like that. By reversing that logic all you need to work at Pixar is buy maya.

  • Pizzicato

    Actually the animation of most of the characters is in 3D, I saw the rigs, I was in an internship at the studio while they were starting the animation in september.

  • Pizzicato

    This was animated in the studio Dreamwall in Belgium, with Maya, Gretchen, the mummy and the two guys in the car are animated with Maya, I know that some not important character ar done with flash (as the farmers at the beginning).

  • 00pinky00

    This video is awesome!
    And, being a lowly tv animator (who just now got into feature), I kinda take offense to the comment “is it that hard to animate this well in flash?” and the answer is: Yes, Yes it is. Most animators in 2d digital (at least in canada) have to do over 55 + seconds a week. I did this for several years and even being a pretty competent animator I was at work 6 days a week just trying to finish quota. Let alone having enough time to polish a scene to a point where I was proud of it. Quota and time constraints aside, flash’s capabilities are only as good as the animator. And really awesome flash work is usually personal projects (bernard derriman’s stuff for example) or productions that have schedules that are reasonable, such as; titmouse having a 15 second/week quota. Not everyone has the good fortune to get into feature right away and get an opportunity to do awesome stuff.

  • Richard Bailey

    That’s one sweet looking clip

  • http://Hertje.com Hert Zollner

    this is Arthur de Pins, so it’s all 3D

  • Guest

    This is actually a pilot for De Pins’ future movie.

  • Guest

    It was presented as an “in development project” at the recent Cartoon Movie in Lyon. It’s scheduled for a 2015 or 2016 release.