Studio 9to3 animation


9to3animation is founded by Ernst Janssen Groesbeek, an architect by training. After five years of lecturing architectural animation at the Technical University of Delft, Ernst decided to start his own animation studio with the focus on animation films for children. 9to3animation stands for creativity, new techniques, unique ideas, family and family values, passion and perfection.

9to3 animation creates short animation films for children. Our inspiration is the collection of fairy tales by the Dutch author Annie M.G. Schmidt.

Currently we are animating her story Tom and Nonna. Although Annie M.G. Schmidt brings a certain Dutchness to her writing, her fairy tales can be placed anywhere in the world.

9to3animation has moved the action for this story to Venice, Italy because of its particular atmosphere and architectural environment.
For 9to3animation, a location and its architecture are characters in itself: they are important contributors to the atmosphere of the story.

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Look development


The Netherlands has a long tradition of children’s illustrators who provide atmosphere without limiting children’s imagination. Our goal is to do the same in our animations. The style was inspired by a number of Dutch illustrators, e.g. Carl Hollander and Helen van Vliet. We want to create the same handdraw look and feel; squiggly lines going off the geometry, shadows made through placing different intensity hatches on top of each other. But the biggest challenge would be that this all has to work in 3D.

Therefore, the visual art style of the film, which we developed after extensive experimentation, was made for RenderMan rendering software in co-operation with LollipopShaders from Vancouver, Canada. This NonPhotoRealistic (NPR) shader gives us the freedom to experiment and create the style we had in mind.

Besides making animation we have another great love: Lego.

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Renderman Challenge 2: Rolling Teapot

For this second Renderman Challenge “The Rolling Teapot”, we got to work with a model developed by Brice Laville Saint-Martin, and designed by Tom Robinson, which providing us with a production-quality scene to showcase our shading, lighting, rendering and compositing skills. Using RenderMan’s holdout workflow in order to create a realistic and compelling composite of […]