- Member: Bowler
- Studio: Ten Pin Productions
- Title: Em Seven (M7)
- Premiered: 2000-04-20
- Original Theme from M7
[EDIT: There was no 3D used or harmed or even looked at sideways during the production of this very short piece. If it looks 3D, you have been fooled. Please look again :) ]
This was a one minute original content animated opening sequence for a pitch concept I did for my former employer, Startoons International, LLC.
Quite a few people worked on it (and I'll get to those people in a minute), but for the large part, it was my idea, character creation, storyboards, directing, animation, background layout (pencils), and even some assisting (clean up), digital ink and painting, camerawork, and compositing (rendering). I really hate taking all the credit (or any credit, as I rarely sign my own drawings), so here's all the great folks whose job it was to help me finish this:
Djeodje Cakovan (my apologies to "George" for butchering his name)
Mike "Thor" Fritz
Background Layout Artist:
Background Painter Extraordinaire:
Ink and Paint:
M7 took the better part of a few months worth of full time work, and was at one point on the verge of being picked up as a 13 ep series for TV. That time has come and gone, and I just want as many people as possible to see it, since it was at one point my "baby."
--THINGS TO LOOK FOR--
Ummmmm, the only real "animator joke" I put in there is on one of the street signs on the shops and houses. I can't read or write an ounce of Kanji (or even phonetic Nipponese, for that matter), so I was copying symbols off of the Anime magazines we had at work, and I decided to lift directly the string of Kanji that says "Macross 7" since I thought that would be a cool series. But then I saw the movie. And that's a whole different story.
Other neat technical achievements that my Tech Director Ron helped me to achieve is the "zoom in" over the town, which we did using a multiplane pan and a rack focus while zooming in. I think we had something like 5 different levels of background for that shot, and I know Phil my BG painter wanted to kill me over that. God knows he loves painting finely detailed airial views of towns 5 times over.
Another good one is the "strobe" effect at the end. I had one thing in mind, and Ron pulled that strobe order out of his keyster. It's very well thought out. Feel free to study it frame by frame if your player allows it. It really helps sell the drum stutter at the end.
I guess the ultimate technical achievement was the timing involved. I wrote the music used in the piece, so I was able to sit down with the exposure sheets (all 45 11x17" pages of them) and work out on what frame each beat would fall on. It just so happens that a one minute song at 133 bpm has beats fall every 7.5 frames if you're running at 24 fps. I think. At any rate, if you watch closely, every action of every character falls on a beat of the song.
The smoke that my friend Kurt did on Heihachi (the Samurai), and the beautiful drawings of the girl (I forget her name for now) that Djeordje did.
The amazing background paintings Phil did with my layouts. I wish you people could *see* the .tiffs of those Sakura trees. They're just freaking amazing.
My drunken master animation (at least the first scene) and my animation on the glave weilding Samurai. I'm particularly proud of those two. Oh yeah, and the nightmare final shot where everyone's jumping into frame (and yes, for you old skizool nuts out there, I lifted it *exactly* from the Thundercats intro, so don't bother pointing that out ;P).
My own bad drawings. I was taking on so many roles on this project that I had to compromise quality for raw speed and I think that the clean-up and character design could have been punched up a big ol' notch.
Animation Tables and Disks.
Reams of Animation Paper.
Pencils. Lots of Pencils.
Pentium 700 with a huge Video Hard Drive external unit that cost something like $20,000 for rendering camerawork.
Pentium 500 for painting Backgrounds on.
I have no idea what hardware the "editing" house upstairs used, but it was large, multicomponent, noisy, and very expensive. And allow me to point out pointless as well, since all the editor did was assemble the clips together. This whole thing was planned out on paper to the exact frame. I still don't understand what editors do for traditional animation.
Oh yeah, there was a Beta SP deck used somewhere.
USAnimation. This stuff costs $10,000 a seat and is worth every penny if you're getting paid to do large amounts of animation. Amazing software. Wish I could afford it for my house.
Premier 5.1 I know the editor used it since I watched him "work" on it. It took him the better part of a week or something to edit this. I could have done it in about 3 hours (again, we're talking about the editor's job being dragging and dropping final clips into the timeline, adding a filter for 2-3 pulldown [for taking it from 24 fps to 30 fps] and pushing the render button).
PLEASE WRITE OPINIONS IF YOU DL AND WATCH IT. Thanks! :)