Plates Animation

By Sh Published on .

Plates Animation lives up to its name and then some, fusing 2-D illustrations and characters with Maya-generated 3-D animation, recently rocking vids for the gloomy underground hip-hop of El-P's "Stepfather Factory" and "Show Me Love" for Russian pop sensations Tatu. "People are bringing 2-D and 3-D together but it's generally more compositing," says director/animator Warren Sutton, whose colleagues include director/animator Ryan MacKeen and producers Jaime Randle and Michael Macmillan. 'We actually bring 2-D images into a 3-D environment, so the 2-D shows up, casts shadows and reflections, and we can shoot cartoons the way you shoot live action, camera moves and all."

Tatu's pop music is the more saccharine but far more MTV-friendly of the two video projects. Created in just 17 days, "Show Me Love" is a triumph of pseudo-Japanese animation, complete with battling mecha, lithe anime babes with guns and climactic battles. El-P's video, on the other hand, was clearly a labor of love for the urban quartet and the animation matches the ominous themes and sound of the song, depicting a factory "building robotic relatives on the cheap, targeting single mothers," explains Sutton. The titular robo-dads resemble a splice of Futurama's Bender and Ward Cleaver. Greedy execs, breakdancing androids and a father, who despite his metal skin, gives in to drink are just some of the video's highlights. "Life gets to him anyway," laments Sutton. "It doesn't matter he's a robot."

If it weren't so dope, it'd be tragic.

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