Interview: Capacity “Upgrade + Mobilize”

In the words of Capacity’s Ellerey Gave, “Before we became designers and animators and communicators, we were painters and illustrators and dreamers.”

Over the course of the last year and a half, Culver City-based Capacity has been working on an in-house short film while juggling client projects for companies like NBC, Cartoon Network and Toyota.

At long last, “Upgrade + Mobilize” is ready for the masses, and it’s definitely worth the wait. Mixing inspiration from Asian animation and art with their own polished aesthetic, Capacity has created a high energy, two and a half minute preamble to an epic battle of good vs. evil backed by beautiful audio from Plaid.

Motionographer was fortunate to get an advance interview with Ellerey about “Upgrade + Mobilize.” Check it out, along with some process work showing the development of this ambitious short film.

Read on…

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About the author

Justin Cone

Together with Carlos El Asmar, Justin co-founded Motionographer, F5 and The Motion Awards. He currently lives in Austin, Texas with is wife, son and fluffball of a dog. Before taking on Motionographer full-time, Justin worked in various capacities at Psyop, NBC-Universal, Apple, Adobe and SCAD.

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  • linka

    holy cow

  • omfffgggg

    great job capacity. I BELIEVE IN C4D :)

  • Well done!

  • The “hero” moments in this, or when each shot reaches that undeniable state of graphic stillness is my favorite. They hit them – almost on beat – throughout the entire film. The shots are dynamic, transitions effortless, and type is to-die-for!

  • WOW! I want more. Much much more. Capacity continues to amaze me.

  • The work seemed to have a lot of maturity behind it. I’m not sure if that makes any sense, but it didn’t seem like someone’s first stab at the style, it seemed like they were seasoned pros doing it fluently. I expected something like the character animation to stand out as less good than the visuals, but it all looked equally great. nice job!

  • Incredible attention to details as usual!!! Great work you +’d it homeslices.

  • oeuf

    Loved the pacing, kept me on the edge of my seat. Good stuff.
    Was this all Cinema 4d?

  • Pup

    Sooo enjoyable to watch!

  • damn

  • Well done Capacity! A definite labor of love that shines all the way through. Great to see this out in the open now!

  • Isaac_H

    Stunning work guys!

  • Nathan Love


    The bar has been raised!!!

    Great work Capacity!

  • eternitease

    Pure Beauty ! well done !
    A nice way to push Cinema 4d the its maximum !

  • ocelot

    no one annyoed by that asian voice over ? seems so tacked on…

  • poolparty


  • echolab

    WOW! that is Bawse!
    Great job getting Plaid onboard to do the score.

  • Truly amazing work.

    Ridiculously good.

    Love the color palette, the attention to detail, fluid transitions – everything!

  • Hey everybody! Thanks so much for all the kind words. It really means a lot to get such positive feedback from our peers. Justin, thank you for the platform to share our work as a community. You are the man.

  • WOW that was amazing!

  • i. love. that.

  • mintyfresh

    ellerey, was that using any global illunimation or was it just great lighting and clever shaders? or both…

    great stuff, loved the sword reference to final fantasy

    • Hi mintyfresh… we used GI for a couple of shots, but the look is mostly achieved through a combination of lighting, hand-painted textures, and lots of compositing. As a few people pointed out, we used C4D pretty heavily in this project… but honestly, once we had our render passes we probably spent more time in AE in Painter. ; )