Sparky the Trolley



The Historic Downtown Branson’s Community Improvement District and Digital Lunchbox partnered with us in a marketing effort to boost tourism in the historic downtown area.  The CID’s marketing strategy included implementing a free trolley system to shuttle visitors throughout the downtown area.  As the visitors enjoyed a free ride, a 7 minute video narrated by a “pixar” styled character would encourage them to patronize local shops of interest. Of course we accepted the challenge with great enthusiasm and immediately dove into the project with character development.

     The Pixar film, Cars, became our inspiration and a trolley appeared to be the perfect solution.  Once the idea of a trolley was agreed upon, concept sketches played a huge role in defining the look and personality of “Sparky”.  These sketches provided the initial details that could easily be altered by the client before the actual 3-D modeling began.

     The completion of 2-D Sparky brought us into our second phase of development.  With over fifty hours of modeling, texturing, rigging and lighting, Sparky’s personality began to take shape. Since Sparky was an anthropomorphic cartoon, (non-human), we knew the biggest bulk of his communication process would stream from his facial features so we dedicated several man hours to his facial construction. Lighting was important and we had to incorporate an animated figure into real-live footage.  (While watching the video, take notice of the natural, local landscaping shadows that fall across Sparky and the shadows that he casts.)

    The final phase of Sparky’s development came with the animation process.  Several hours went into developing the phonical lip motions along with the many other facial and body movements that brought Sparky to life.

 The trolley campaign has been a successful marketing plan for the CID with high approval ratings from both vendors and tourists.  This was our goal.  This is still our goal; to provide our clients with high quality services that help make them successful.