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Franck Balson and Gabe Askew — Blur Studio

This week, Blur’s Franck Balson and Gabe Askew join Chris to discuss the intricacies of cel-shading, which gives 3D visuals a unique cartoony look. You’ll find out how Blur combined advanced hacks and simple techniques to create stylized animation for Love, Death & Robots episode “Suits,” which features mech-touting farmers, and the frenetic trailer for Riot Games’ Valorant.

Franck also discusses his multi-cultural background and how he landed a job at Blur, while Gabe covers his previous job directing commercials in New York. They talk about what it’s like to get hired and work for Tim Miller and Blur Studio, and shed light on some of the approaches to animation that can bring characters to life.


Gabe Askew >

Franck Balson on IMDb >

VALORANT Retake Cinematic Trailer > 

Inside the Animation: Suits >


4:56 Introducing Franck and Gabe

5:51 Franck from France

9:18 Gabe: The only Californian at Blur

14:02 How Franck got into CG

22:01 Getting the Suits look

28:53 Connecting with 2D characters

36:45 Compositing at Blur

40:01 Motion blur—or lack thereof

46:17 The secrets of smoke and fire

48:10 Daylight in Valerant

59:51 Crossing the uncanny valley

1:06:50 Back to Blur

About the author

Christopher Nichols

Chris is a CG industry veteran and Director of Chaos Labs. He can also be heard regularly as the host of the CG Garage podcast which attracts 20,000 weekly listeners. With a background in both VFX and Design, Chris has worked for Gensler, Digital Domain, Imageworks and Method Studios. His credits include Maleficent, Oblivion and Tron: Legacy.

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