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    “Black Slide,” A Refreshing & Impressive Israeli-British Animated Short Film

    “Black Slide,” A Refreshing & Impressive Israeli-British Animated Short Film

    In recent years, more and more excellent 3D animated films have sprung up, so that we can see more and more fantastic ideas and talents of CG artists all around the world.

    Recently, an Israeli-British 3D animated film caught the audience’s attention. Black Slide, directed by Uri Lotan and produced by The Hive Studio & Flipbook Studio, is an over 10-minute animated film inspired by a real-life experience from the Director's childhood that changed his life.

    The Slide-Ovadia Benishu

    With a unique animation style mixing simple design aesthetics with real-world materials, Black Slide tells Eviah’s story - a young Israeli kid sneaking in with his best friend Tsuf to the scariest water slide of all, The Black Slide. Throughout the day Eviah is filled with strange, foreboding feelings, and we quickly learn that there's more to Eviah's story than meets the eye.

    Avner Geller

    © Avner Geller

    Check out the trailer for Black Slide:

    Here’s the interview between the film Director Uri Lotan and Fox Renderfarm, in which Uri talked about the story behind the short film.

    Fox Renderfarm: Would you please give a brief introduction about yourself and your team?

    Uri: Hi, I’m Uri Lotan, the Director of the short film Black Slide. I am a graduate of Ringling College of Art and Design. Since graduating, I've been lucky enough to have worked in feature films, TV and commercials. After several years in the states, I returned to my hometown Tel-Aviv in Israel in the hopes of telling personal stories.

    Our team consists of a small group of artists here in Tel-Aviv, and a bunch of talented friends from all over the globe, helping us make this film.

    The Slide - Uri Lotan

    The Slide-Uri Lotan

    Fox Renderfarm: What was the inspiration for the short film?

    Uri: In the summer of 99׳, I spent a long, confusing day at the waterpark. All day long I felt something was off. Returning home that evening, I came back to a new reality- my life changed forever. As the years pass, the memory of the waterpark and that life-changing evening merged into one inseparable memory, which is the inspiration for our film.

    Uri Lotan-The Slide

    Uri Lotan-The Slide

    Uri Lotan-The Slide 2

    © Noam Wiener

    Uri Lotan-The Slide 3

    © Noam Wiener

    Fox Renderfarm: Can you tell us about your CG pipeline?

    Uri: After developing our unique visual style and endlessly refining our story, we jumped into the CG world with a splash, trying to find the right technique for us, we knew we wanted to maintain the naive nature of our 2D designs in our three-dimensional reality.

    The Slide-Lily Snowden

    © Lily Snowden

    The Slide-Lily Snowden 1

    © Lily Snowden

    The Slide-Lily Snowden 2

    © Lily Snowden

    Set building process:

    The Slide The Slide
    The Slide The Slide

    © Ovadia Benishu


    We modeled our characters and environments in Maya. M-Gear was used to rig our characters. We found a unique feature in the latest version of Arnold, which enabled us to create a one-of-a-kind, texture-based facial rig. It lets us create these very graphic facial expressions, keeping that naive aesthetic of our drawings.

    The Slide 2

    The Slide

    With the help of our British Co-production partner, Flipbook Studio, we’re texturing and shading our characters and sets in Substance Painter, this gave us the freedom to be playful and courageous with our shading decisions.

    The Slide 4

    © Yuval Turgeman

    At the very beginning of our production, we took a sequence of shots and took them all the way through our productions, from asset creation to final compositing. This helped us understand the complexities of our pipeline and where the potholes might lie. With that, as animation is on its way and we know what’s awaiting us when we get to the lighting and rendering stages of production.

    Fox Renderfarm: What’s the most unforgettable and interesting part of the creation process?

    Uri: It was a moment of discovery, it was when we finished the very first shot in animation. Our lead animator Charles Larrieu worked on a shot where we see Eviah looking up to the Black Slide, just as he’s about to take the very first step up the stairs.

    It took some time to get it just right, but when we saw the look on Eviah’s face, it told us everything we needed to know. Who Eviah is, and how he moves and behaves in his world, gave us so much clarity for the rest of the film.

    The Slide

    Fox Renderfarm: Did you meet any difficulties when creating the film? And how did you solve it?

    Uri: Our biggest issue has been our limited budget. Creating short films is never easy, especially CG animated films. We took the challenge of working with a limited budget, trying to focus on the essence of each element, what do we need? What can we simplify? What can we lose? This approach made the production of our film feasible, But more than that, by result it created many of the creative solutions that make the film unique.

    The Slide 5

    © Maya Shleifer

    Fox Renderfarm: Could you introduce the current progress of the project? When is the film expected to be completed?

    Uri: We’re planning to finish the film by the end of 2020, fingers crossed!

    We are right in the middle of production - animating shots, finalizing sets and soon we׳ll start lighting this baby! The short is funded by an Israeli foundation and each and every team member’s personal investment and support. It couldn’t have happened without them.

    We decided to begin production knowing we don't have enough money to produce the film exactly the way we wanted to, but we had so much faith in this film, we believed that if we start it- we’ll also find a way to finish. Now, As the end seems closer than ever, a funding boost from our Kickstarter campaign will give us the opportunity to finish the film the way we always dreamed it, and to pay our wonderful team who worked so hard on this film.

    The Slide - Roy Rachamim

    © Roy Rachamim

    Fox Renderfarm: How do you feel about Fox Renderfarm’s cloud rendering services?

    Uri: Fox Renderfarm has provided us with a breath of fresh air. We came across the service while researching different options for online render clouds. Since the very first login, the service has been on our side, the incredible support team has been solving all the problems that we have encountered.

    It took us a few moments to get the hang of it, but once we were set up, we realized how easy, comfortable and cost-effective Fox renderfarm is.

    Avner Geller - The Slide

    © Avner Geller

    Fox Renderfarm: Any other things you want to share with the audience who supports you?

    Uri: I would like to thank the animation community for the unbelievable support in our Kickstarter campaign, and invite you to support Our short film. We need your help to get this film to the finish line. Check out the fun rewards we have for you, and help spread the word of the campaign.


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