Behind The Scenes with GIPHY Studios: Blobs in Space

We’re incredibly excited to release GIPHY Studios’ first ever synth disco opera! Blobs in Space is about connecting to your loved ones in the time of Covid-19. We dove into exploring a new format with this one-minute animation short to give the world a little story that says it’s ok to laugh, to cry, or even burst into dance because we’re all in this together.

Produced by Marina Campaña

Art Direction by Tianna Harvey & Sazan Pasori

Original song & lyrics written and performed by Sazan Pasori

Musical Performance by Tim Switzer

Additional Animation by April Wang & Audrey Beale

Storyboard Art by Jackie Albano

Q&A between Sazan Pasori, Tianna Harvey, and Maria Campaña

What was your inspiration for the project?

SP: Tianna and I have worked together for years. Since we started at GIPHY in 2017, we’ve shared a desk, carpooled together, and partnered on projects constantly. Once the pandemic hit, like so many, we had to recontextualize our work relationship and friendship. “Blobs in Space,” is our silly little love letter to each other, where we explored the hilariousness and despair of connection in the time of Covid-19.

Was there anything surprising that happened during the process? Did you learn anything new?

SP: With GIPHY’s introduction of Clips (aka GIFs with sound), comes the infinity of sound effects, audio editing, and music creation. I would definitely consider myself an amatuer musician, but I learned a lot about composition, song-writing, and recording throughout this project. What I learned mostly is that it’s HARD! Lol. The challenge for me was creating something that was equal parts beautiful, heart-wrenching, and funny all in a one minute track. There was a lot of “killing my darlings,” throughout the editing process (the song was originally much slower and much longer), but I’m so pleased with the sad, slapping disco-bop we made in the end.

Producing a project like this is pretty unprecedented. How did you keep Tianna and Sazan motivated and on-track throughout the process?

MC: A project like this is about bringing a shared vision to life. Team trust, communication, adaptability and humor are key in this process. I basically built a framework so Tianna and Sazan could experiment and reach for the stars while guiding them along the way. Oh, and a lot of espresso drinks to the finish line. Attempting to do something new will inevitably present challenges, but we love a good challenge. It’s been incredibly rewarding to venture into space with these two talented women and push the bar of GIPHY’s visual language together.

The blend of 2D and 3D styles is really unique. Tell us about developing the characters and the process of animating.

TH: In terms of design, we knew Blobina was outgoing and fabulous, and Bloberta was reserved and grumpy. Both of them needed to have a lovable quality, so we agreed on big eyes, boobies, and butts across the board. I provided a facial rig test for reference for one of our animators, April Wang. When she came back with her first rough frame-by-frame animation, it looked so fantastic that I adjusted to match her look.

Overall, the entire animation was a combination of different animation styles to get us to the final. In some sequences we only used frame-by-frame animation, cleaning it up After Effects. In others, we used a mixture of a facial rig and 2D animation. Sazan added all of those beautiful extra glows and highlights, and added all of the 3D flair.

What do you hope people take away from your project?

TH: Working with Sazan and Marina was such a great opportunity to feel together again, and it was an important reminder to reconnect with people you love. Find a friend, hold them close (if they consent), and don’t let them go unless they need to pee.

See more from the project on GIPHY.

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