+64 27 734 5423
  • Client name:
    Shotover Jet
  • Product / Service:
    Jet Boating Thrill Ride
  • Project specifications:
    25fps 1080P video
  • Photography by:
  • Did you know?:
    Jet boats are a New Zealand invention.
  • Project Completed:

Shotover Jet is New Zealand’s most iconic jet boat thrill ride. The boats thread their way through a rocky canyong at breakneck speed and are able to turn on a knife edge to maximise passenger excitement.

Buses take Shotover Jet’s from Queenstown to the site and back and my brief was to create a series of animated segments to play with video segments to prep the guests for their time at the activity. Shotover Jet already had a video for this purpose, though part of my brief here was to create something that was non-language specific as much as possible.

As well as a safety briefing the entire film was to prepare guests for the trip on the jet boat and also include an overview of their merchandising. We started with a list of shots, which went back and forth a couple of times and scenes were optimized and clarified in the process before I created a storyboard. Again with the storyboard we made a few edits and after that I worked on character designs.

‘Scotty’, the blue character was very much a product of the things that were needed to be performed. His long arms are well spaced from his body so he can wear a rain poncho and life jacket, and his face is large and expressive, to maximise visibility not he buses’ video screens. After experimenting with a variety of skin colours we found blue to be nicely visible and a good contrast to the red of the boats.

I found he was reliably smiley and excited when required, but could also do a great switch to looking more serious or determined

Scotty and his friends were a pleasure to work with – his arms and legs were easy to animate, and with his simple features I found he was reliably smiley and excited when required, but could also do a great switch to looking more serious or determined. Along the way I put some sneaky touches in – for example, the jet boat driver never smiles a toothy grin because jet boat drivers have a rather cool demeanor. True to character, in the segment where the boat pulls up or speeds along full of grinning passengers, there’s our driver looking suitably unruffled in his shades.

I used a variety of animation techniques throughout the movie. Most of the motion is controlled by moving objects on paths, the rocking boat is a keyframed 3D model, and the life jacket scene was mostly achieved with frame by frame drawings.

All in all there was 3:45m of animation across 15 distinct scenes. If you would like to see the complete film then send me a message and I’ll provide a link, though of course taking the bus trip before the actual trip would be the best way to see it.


Life Jackets from Toby Eglesfield on Vimeo.

Replay from Toby Eglesfield on Vimeo.