A Hotel in the Hills

The hospitality and travel industry image their destination properties with glossy photography and slick professional videos. But scroll, scroll, scroll…the Instagram generation is inundated on a daily basis with beautiful photos and engaging videos. At a certain point, everything starts looking the same.

To capture the magic and majesty of a legendary Hollywood hotel, we animated this promotional video with a compelling, unique look to break from the pack.


We wanted the video to not be story-driven but place-driven, detailed and iconic, with faceless celebrities and shifting stages. The storyboards focused on movement, transitions and the experience, all at a hotel that’s the true star of the scene.


A fabled, fairytale castle in the Hills, the hotel’s iconic personality is felt from blocks away. The illustrative style with uneven paint strokes was created in Photoshop for a distinct and striking look colored by vibrant pastels.

Going Retro

Reminiscent of a time gone by, the unfinished, painted-on brush style evokes a mid-century, minimal feel with its vivid tones.


To bring these illustrations to life, we spent time planning the innovate movements and creating numerous animated GIFs to infuse the exact intended impression that we were seeking.

To fake the 3D movements, we manipulated one layer one way, while scaling another layer opposing it. The backgrounds are composed of up to five layers, randomly cycled for a moving effect.


We created the video using frame-by-frame animation, seen here in the wine slide, which is painstaking and time-intensive. We experimented with different frame rates, settling on 12 frames per second to reflect the retro feel of the art.

Walk Cycles

To make the characters move, we wanted the walk to look realistic, giving it a more stylized leg bend. We devised an IK method in After Effects, with handles for each limb that are linked, like a bone structure.

Chateau Animation Waiter Animated GIF Walk Cycle
Motion Type Animation for Hotel

Custom type in motion

To match up with the illustrative style, a script typeface was customized, sketched over by hand with a painted line feel. The aspirational copy was then painstakingly animated, the type filling in with swooshes and shooting stars frame-by-frame.