Exopolis: Turner Classic Movies

Exopolis created an interesting painterly 3D world for a new TCM promo. The promo is actually a revisioning of an Edward Hopper inspired promo that first aired on TCM 13 years ago.


Maybe I’m jaded from seeing too much CG, but I find this non-realistic 3D treatment so much more approachable than the hyper-real aesthetics often used in CG ads. Kudos to TCM and Exopolis for having the courage and vision to see this through to its full completion.

Here’s a semi-technical blurb from the PR release:

To achieve this dramatic and cinematic 3D world, [Exopolis’ Brien] Holman oversaw a team of designers and animators using a software package consisting of Autodesk 3ds Max for modeling, Adobe After Effects for compositing, and Ambient Design ArtRage 2 to create the oil painting-like effect. Using ArtRage 2, designer Lorin Wood custom painted textures for each scene from which 3D objects were then modeled in 3ds Max. To achieve the stylized painting effect in scenes featuring people, and to give the characters an almost realistic, lifelike quality, several layers of footage from Getty Images were rotoscoped into separate passes of light and shadow. Animator Richie Sandow then treated and composited each layer in After Effects, hand-painting some detail back into each character to create each final “custom-painted” individual.

About the author

Justin Cone

/ justincone.com
Together with Carlos El Asmar, Justin co-founded Motionographer, F5 and The Motion Awards. He currently lives in Austin, Texas with is wife, son and fluffball of a dog. Before taking on Motionographer full-time, Justin worked in various capacities at Psyop, NBC-Universal, Apple, Adobe and SCAD.



Hmm, the painting parts are really cool, and the look is a fresh one for TCM. I am not a big fan of the leaf transition though. The one main leaf stays in scene after a jerky movement, while everything else jump cuts. Otherwise its got a very interesting feel to it, and I’d love to see the work it was inspired by. Creating that world certainly seemed like it would have been time consuming.


Yeah I think the leaf transition was definitely a little awkward. Good fit to TCM though thats for sure.


It is definitely refreshing to see commercial work take an artistic, subtle, non-photorealistic approach to computer animation. The medium is so often treated in either a very competent but unimaginatively realistic manner, or alternately in an overreaching ‘let’s make it look edgy, like graffiti’ style that seems to be everywhere. It’s nice to see work that straddles the line between realism and expressiveness.


same shit….


hey bolo.
ill straight woop you…………..
talk is weakkkk


Edward Hopper has had such a profound infuence on our perception of mid century america. That kind of loaded nostalgic reference can easily be found at the local poster frame shop. When you remove these obvious (almost cliched) references, all you are left with is an animated 3d fly through. I am not saying that this solution is good nor bad…
I just wonder why modern designers really need to reference artists EVER… It is so commonplace in the design industry…I know a lot of creative directors who use images from ART BOOKS as key reference points to sell their work. You could call it a kind of “ready-made” design… I think it forces design to be seen as something that is secondary to art.

Marc B.

I agree with you xpez2000 and it s unfortunately true. A lot of the so called creative directors and designers think they re talented by ripping design & art books apart. Probably much easier for them to not think much and be lazy. That said i’m not talking about this piece here. I don’t find it so bad actually and i ve seen worse examples in that regard.


I’m not that good of an artist, so I don’t want to be to critical here. I believe the Hopper piece mentioned at the beginning of this thread was originally done by a design student as a senior project or something like that. I’m not entirely sure. I always liked the original it was simple, clean and true to Hoppers work. This newer one is very good but it kind of bugs me that the textures and low polygon count remind me of “Doom”. It’s kind of like a cross between Hopper’s work and 1st person shooter.

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