04 - Da Vinci's Giant Crossbow

One drawing of the crossbow is the only thing that Da Vinci left behind for us. Any research comes out only from this picture anyway. Therefore, I decided not to look for any information initially and remain unaffected until I finish my own study and form my own opinion.
And here is a result:

I would appreciate your honest opinion. I would like to know what is wrong, what to focus on more and how to do it better next time.
Thanks in advance.

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Nice animation.

Though I do have some critique:

  1. Use your own voice, or have someone else do it for you. Having a robot speaking isn’t going to sell it at all. Alternatively, you could place some 3D text boxes at the object explaining the details and measures, and leave out the narration altogether.

  2. Those robot people don’t belong in a medieval scene. I’d suggest you either model your own medieval people, or get them from somewhere else. Alternatively, cut out some medieval people from original medieval illuminations, and animate them (2D). Or better yet, don’t have them at all.

  3. Perhaps a better idea would be to render the entire crossbow with alpha transparancy, then have it shown on a piece of parchment-like background (there are lots of Gimp tutorials on how to make parchment).Then scale the animation down, to have some space for text. Keep it short - very short. Like a max. of 10 words at a time.

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Thank you for your reply.

1: Yes, I agree. The voiceover is not very good. My voice and English pronunciation are not good enough to record it by myself. I tried it many times and I didn’t like it even after applying EQ and some filters to enhance sound quality by tutorials.
Based on my previous experiences with (not so) cheap voice artists in 01-Da Vinci’s Tank and 02-Tsar Tank videos, I decided not to use them anymore. And spending over $80 for a “good enough” voiceover or over $150 for professional-sounding narration makes no sense yet.

2: I agree again. I think about it a lot. It will be nice to have characters appropriate to the time. But creating one takes more time than making the main object. And I can reuse this one for all of my animations.

3: This is a series of animations and my goal is to develop my own reusable and recognizable graphical style that fit every topic from “The first shoot mechanism ever” to “Weapons of the future”.


You actually confirmed what I thought. All three points make sense. Unfortunately, this is the best what I can afford yet.

I am currently looking for what I can improve in a reasonable amount of time and for free :slight_smile:
Maybe I need to pay more attention to timing and a better storyboard.

Thanks for your time. You definitely got the points and I’ll be thinking about how to solve these issues.