hello friends!

as promised, here is the photo heavy update to the Behind the Wheels post.

since this is a show about Hot Wheels cars, we needed cars. we got… lots.
IMG_7468

the sets where all built on top of “animation” tables like these. each one was modular and could be moved around as needed.
raw stages

there’s few things as iconic as the “Hot Wheels Orange Track”. the track we used in the show was painted metal that could be bent and reshaped as needed for each shot. often there would be multiple pieces in the background giving the impression of a larger city.
orange track

and here’s a set with track on animation tables!
the garage

since we were shooting with real Hot Wheels cars, the scale of everything was 1/64… so our characters were very, very small. each pose was sculpted digitally, 3D printed, then hand-painted. here’s some unpainted characters.
unpainted poses

here’s a collection of painted poses for the character “Draven.” when you watch the show and a character moves their arms, or legs, or whatever—those are all DIFFERENT pieces that the animator changed out. stop-motion is very labor intensive.
Draven poses

here’s Matt animating Draven and the Giant Shark (which I voiced).
Matt animates a shark

all the shots for the project where kept track of on the “Big Board”. each of those pieces of paper represents a different shot.
Big Board

speaking of shooting, almost the entire project was shot on iPhones! the low profile of the camera allowed our cinematographer, Eric, to get the camera right on the “pavement”. this, combined with nice lenses that allowed for a shallow depth-of-field helped give the project a “full size” look.
Shot on an iPhone!

here’s a couple of examples of the setup with camera, then what the lens was seeing.
the park

lens view of park

clock tower setup

lens view of clock tower

and here’s a fun picture of my friend Misha animating.
Misha animates

let me know if you have any questions on how we made “Hot Wheels City”… I’m not an expert in stop-motion by any means, but I know a few people who are =)

there’s a bunch more pictures from the production on my Flickr page. check out the album here.

-Luke