Case Study – Hotelicopter Viral Animation

June.26.2010 · Posted By - Rex


Production Company: PerspectX

Client: Hotelicopter

Role: Modeling, Texturing, Effects, Lighting, Compositing, Animation


In the spring of 2009, we were contacted by a soon to be in airport hotel booking company, to help pull off an internet hoax.  The idea, based around the name of their venture, was to create an illusion of a supersized transport helicopter, converted in to an in-air travel/hotel service.  Not exactly what Hotelicopter does literally, except for the name sake.

They wanted a vehicle inspired by the Soviet MI-12, the largest helicopter built and test flown, as the basis of the look and feel of the Hotelicopter.  Also, they wanted some still ‘photography’ and ‘video clips’ which were of course renders and animation that had to at least convince the somewhat gullible.

So with a few weeks before April Fools day we set about modeling and texturing the Hotelicopter.  Early drafts included a hot tub, party deck, but were ruled out as too obvious to not be feasible in a real vehicle.  All work on this project was done in Modo, including stills and animation.  Photoshop and AfterEffects were of course used to composite final results with photographic materials.  Allan Soriano did the principal work on the project.

Take a moment and visit the web site which was the original hotelicopter (viral) site.  Adam Healey and his team constructed a terrific viral marketting campaign as a real venture – resulting in tens of millions of views on their site, actual attempted bookings, and BBC and US network coverage as a possible hoax.

Of course on April 2, the joke was up – but we were proud to have worked on one of the biggest aircraft related hoaxes in internet history :-).

Here are some links to YouTube videos produced as a part of the hoax.

The project was short and a lot of fun, and resulted in other viral related projects, and we hope to do more in the future.

Any input or questions are appreciated.

Storyboards pt 1: To Board or not to Board

July.26.2009 · Posted By - Rex

Okay, pardon the cheesy title.  On any animation project we’ve got around here at PerspectX, we’ve asked that question.  And the consensus is that unless your animation is a turntable, it is important to storyboard the project … If an animation requires telling a story, you should storyboard.  The price of not storyboarding, is rehashing and reshaping your work or having your client do it at your expense.  It’s worth a percentage of the project schedule and budget to do …