robnron-tumblehead robnron-tumblehead

“Rob ‘n’ Ron” Aims for Cartoony CGI

The keyword in computer animation nowadays is “fun.” More and more artists appear to be exploring the possibilities of cartoon-inspired design and movement in CGI. A recent effort in this direction is Rob ‘n Ron directed by Magnus Igland Møller and Peter Smith of the up-and-coming Danish animation studio Tumblehead.

The unlikely combination of real sets—yes, they’re handmade—combined with the Cartoon Modern-esque character designs is immediately compelling. Achieving humorous computer animation with these type of design choices isn’t an easy assignment, but the creators of Rob ‘n Ron handled the challenge with ease.

Their creative solutions to movement can be seen in this rigging demo, which is almost as much fun to watch as the short itself:

Directors: Magnus Igland Møller, Peter Smith
Script and Storyboard: Mads Juul
Backgrounds: Eva Lee Wallberg, Christian Bøving Anderson, Andreas Husballe
Animation: Eva Lee Wallberg, Christian Bøving Anderson, Lars Ellingbø, Peter Smith
Compositing: Lars Ellingbø
Pipeline: Soren Berg Nørbaek
Music and Sound: Thomas Richard Christensen, Peter Smith,
Jody Ann Ghani, Sia Søndergaard

(Thanks, Erik Barkman, via Cartoon Brew’s Facebook group)

  • mick

    Everything in this is spot on. Them Danish fellas I notice have a great sense of silly humour. I give this 37 thumbs up

    …. not wishing to spoil the end but those credits made me laugh out loud… or LOL as some would have it

  • D C Mahler

    such a fun short!

  • martin

    haahahaha that was awesome!
    put a big smile on my face.

  • Dana B

    The fact the models are somewhat flat and mimic traditional animation is what makes them cartoony. If this type of style was done on a normal, full-fledged 3D model, it would look kinda creepy. Fanboy and Chum-chum had potential for cartoony cgi, if it weren’t for those appalling designs…

    • tredlow

      Hotel Transylvania achieved that cartoony feel using full-fledged 3D models. Though, being a feature, I guess it had more resources than Fanboy and Chum-chum.

      • Dana B

        Ah, forgot about Transylvania (since I still need to see it ^^;). I meant more in terms of semi-realistic looking models, with detailed skin textures and whatnot, animated in a toony manner wond look creepy. While the guys in the short aren’t realistically detailed, if they were with full 3D models, it’d certainly look strange!

  • Mike Milo

    Wow! This is FANTASTIC! I especially love the rigging piece after because it clearly shows how they achieved it. Amazing. Now why doesn’t Disney, Pixar, Dreamworks or Bluesky produce something like THIS? We know they can do realistic corkscrew hair, but honestly who cares?!?!

  • This really reminds me of Meindbenders work, they have very cartoony flexible characters in CGI (they try and mimic the claymation look). They’ve mostly done Network ID’s for Cartoon Network, they’ve also done a commercial recently that I thought looks great as well but unfortunately it’s a commercial.

    and the awe inspiring rig they use for the shorts

    It’s nice to see this style stretching out into shorts though, I hope to see more! I know this is a style I’m interested in exploring in my own work.

  • Karl Hungus

    I appreciate the humor and the effort of the film makers, but I’m still scratching my head.This film proves one thing, that people want to see drawings move. Give the people what they want.
    “Oh hey, thats a three dimensional representation that comes close to what I find endearing…”
    Its like eating a pill that tastes like a ham sandwich.

  • Rocktave

    I’m not sure I’m 100% on board with this. I like the idea, but this goes so far in the direction of hand drawn cartoon, that in my opinion, they might as well have just made a hand drawn cartoon. A better example of cartoony CG, for me, is what Meindbender was able to accomplish.

  • MRKid

    Afraid I didn’t smile once and I love a good cartoony short. Very predictable and not that clever. Well, there’s my two cents from the piggy bank.