- Members: MeriC, VegettoEX
- Studio: Temple O' Trunks
- Title: Enter the Dragon: DDR Project 4, Track 11
- Premiered: 2004-09-25
- B3-PROJECT THEME FROM 'Enter the Dragon'
This video is the 11th track on the 4th DDR Project (5th Mix). It premiered at Anime Weekend Atlanta (AWA) 10, which took place in September of 2004. If you are unfamiliar with these "projects," here's how it works. There is one giant audio track which lasts approximately an hour (in this case, anyway). Individual editors (or teams) are given snippets of audio (in this case, a certain song) to edit to. Each song flows into the next song, and in turn, each video flows into the next video, creating one long collaborative effort!
We chose Enter the Dragon for a few reasons. For starters, we just really wanted to make a fun action video, and this song allowed us to do so. We also wanted to make a DragonBall video (specifically with footage from the 23rd Tenka-ichi Budokai), and it just seemed to fit very nicely. Contrary to what you may think (and what the opening may suggest), this is not a video about Shenlong ^_~
This video starts off with the ending to the previous video, David McKeen's track to "Ecstasy" done to Naruto, which is why you see Gai-sensei appear. To make for a neat transition, we asked Dave for the files to Gai-sensei and had him "fall off" the screen when our track began... but more about that, later!
Before we even start out with the rest of the information, we'd like to point out that this was our first "After Effects video." Hopefully it doesn't show too much; by that we mean that hopefully it's not sloppy! We'd like to thank Jeff Heller for his help, which will be noted again in appropriate places. Also, this footage is heavily filtered via AVS scripts. We actually used a combination of a script David Yip (trythil) worked out and a version of our own (mostly depending upon just how much the CPU could handle). Here's an example script:
a = MPEG2Source("locationfile.d2v").Crop(8,0,-8,0).Telecide(1).Decimate(5).ConvertToYV12().Deen("a3d", 3)
lm = a.FluxSmooth(7, 24).Deen("a2d", 7).Blur(1.5).Blur(1.5)
lm_m = lm.EdgeMask(0, 1, 255, 255, "cartoon", Y=3, V=1,U=1).Binarize(threshold=20).Greyscale().Invert().Blur(1.5).Blur(1.5).Blur(1.5).Blur(1.5)
nlm = MaskedMerge(lm, a, lm_m)
mfToon(nlm).Tweak(sat=1.2, cont=1.1, bright=1.3).AddBorders(8,0,8,0)
We knew we wanted this track shortly after the third DDR project, since it was one of the only tracks we had a solid idea to for the next project. We were fortunate enough to get the track, as it seemed to be one of the most sought-after!
The opening title card is the first thing Meri ever did in After Effects! The text for the title scrolls in opposite directions ever-other line in the background. The dragon appearing in the original song's title card is shown first (and was completely re-drawn in Photoshop for clarity; the original title card is a mere 320x240 PNG). This dragon then "flips" to become Shenlong, the wish-granting dragon from DragonBall. It then zooms into his eye where we see the Tenka-ichi Budokai ring, where the battles will soon take place.
As the camera zooms in on the ring, "Tenka-ichi Budokai" is scrolled by in Japanese, with the six characters (which we'll introduce in detail in the next scene) are slid-in from the right and zoomed into the center. The sequence is finished off with "(insert text here)" zooming to the front.
Another concept that came to light was the initial "posedown" sequence near the beginning of the video, serving as an introduction to a few of the characters we'd be focusing on (technically there's eight finalists in the tournament, but we only had time for six of them; sorry Kami and T'ao Paipai!). Over a background generated in After Effects there is a series of cut-outs with the character performing some type of defensive pose. As they reach the conclusion of this pose, they are frozen and zoomed-in with a representative color. During this, their name is scrolled both in English and original Japanese (kanji and/or katakana when appropriate) with a rather large transparent version of the same image behind the text layer. These sequences were made both in Photoshop and After Effects.
More pose-downs! As the characters face off against each other, arrows with glowing tails zip across the screen to the ticks in the song. The characters start fighting each other, and we're off!
The Chi-Chi sequence around 0:35 is color-keyed, replacing the original white background with a "crazy" technicolor blob of spinning DDR arrows. She is then, unfortunately, slammed into a wall thanks to Goku's blast of air ^^.
Next up is the "DDR arrow volleyball segment"! It goes by extremely fast, and is even more interesting when done frame-by-frame. The arrow is literally bounced around the screen whenever it hits a character's hand. They hit it to the character in the next scene, and so on, and so forth... until Kuririn... I dunno... makes it go away! He's short, and all.
The "Select Profile" is somewhat of a DragonBall fan in-joke. The character bouncing around Yamcha is Shen. In actuality, it's Kami-sama (yes, the old green guardian of Earth) in a human's body (long story). To poke fun at this, we have Kami's "image" get slammed off-screen and replaced by an image of Shen! :D
The next segment is really just fun timings and DDR jokes. Lots of timings to beats and Bruce Lee yelps combined with DDR text makes for fun editing and viewing. It ultimately leads up to Tenshinhan losing his pants, which always seems to result in the huge uproar of laughter. Hurray!
One of the earliest concepts envisioned was a segment with scenes scrolling from the sides of the screen with a spinning Dragon Ball in the middle, all with some kind of crazy action going on in the center. With the help of Jeff "gambitt" Heller we were able to build a really nice set of scrolling walls. On the walls scrolling by are just some scenes from the tournament that we really enjoy (such as new techniques, attacks, etc.)... this is also our contribution to the "Hsien in as many videos as possible" project! Fun note, all the footage of Hsien and Jeff dancing was filmed in our apartment. The Dragon Ball is actually just a really nice 3D-ish looking scan we found on the internet.
The Goku cut-outs are from a sequence after Goku removes his weighted-clothing and proceeds to do a nice series of typical martial-arts warm-ups. It's actually MUCH faster in the original sequence, and had to be slowed down just for the viewer to see what's going on! It was frame-blended with a glow while slowed-down, and has a really fun look to it.
Well, we need to conclude these fights relatively soon (the video's not that long), so Goku's gotta get in gear. Goku is able to knock away Tenshinhan's attack of... DDR arrows... with ease, and he's off to finish Ma Junior (Piccolo). The whole section is really just fun timing leading up to the giant Kamehameha blast.
"A winner has been decided!" is one of our favorite parts, allowing us to have even more fun with DDR references. As the announcer lip-synchs to the... err... announcer!... DDR graphics are slid onto the screen. Since Goku's supposed to be the winner, we had his results be slightly higher than Piccolo's. The two character head-shots are taken from Bukuu Tougeki / Super Sonic Warriors on GBA; we wanted some neat 16-bit-looking grapics, and they worked out nicely.
But hey, the fight's not over! Having more fun with timing, we have Piccolo get back up and attack Goku, but hey... he's Goku. He's gotta win. In comes the headbutt, and we've got a knock-out! The announcer slides up onto the screen (a la "Holy Crap!" style, which was done intentionally as a sort of self-reference), and slides back out as the next track starts up.
We had a ton of fun working on the track, as we always do. It was equally cool having such a slick DragonBall video in a DDR project ^_~. Thanks to everyone who helped out in some way, shape, or form. We really hope you enjoy this video.