“The Pirate” by Meindbender

Once in a blue moon I see a piece of animation that plain knocks me out. “The Pirate by Trollhättan, Sweden-based Meindbender is one such piece. Masquerading as an innocuous Cartoon Network station promo, it is a boundary-busting achievement in CG animation. The marriage of realistically shaded/lit environments and madcap cartoon distortion (particularly in the bird character) suggest new avenues in computer animation that are worth exploring further. Here’s some background info about how Meindbender achieves its organic looking CG aesthetic.

Director: Olov Burman
Shading and Rendering: Michael Bengtsson, Hervé Steff
Animators: Calle Halldin, Olov Burman
Modeling: Hervé Steff, Michael Bengtsson, Olov Burman, Marcus Ottosson
Rigging: Calle Halldin
Post Production: Michael Bengtsson
Music: Joel Eriksson
Voice Acting: Pär Nymark
Sound Effects: Ljudlabbet (Daniel Saxlid)
Cloth and Hair Simulation: Marcus Ottosson
Closepup Explosion: Matt Radford
Water Simulation: Brian Looney
Renderfarm: Rendernet (Henrik Norin)
Modelmaking: Chris Schifferns
Technical Support: Kustaa Vuori
Programmer: Mihnea Balta
3D Scanning: Paulo Kiefe (Creative Tools)
Cartoon Network Representatives: Raf Gasak (Creative Director, Turner Broadcasting Europe), Lola Gamester (Project Assistant)
Rendered with Maxwell

(Thanks, Jorge Gutierrez)