Anime: Tachikoma na Hibi (from GITS: Stand Alone Complex)

So about a year and a half ago, looking at the “Tachikoma na Hibi” shorts that follow episodes of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, I thought “Hey, I could do that.” But didn’t actually do anything. Then for some reason, I decided to pick up the idea again several months ago. I was hoping to have at least a couple short bits done by Otakon 2004 for their fan production screenings. But it was a bit more time consuming than I thought (I’ve been using blender for awhile, but not for any character type animation), and all I managed to complete by then was a 10 second test “out take”:

http://astro.scu.edu/~ted/3d/tachikoma/tachiwalk0245.jpg
http://astro.scu.edu/~ted/3d/tachikoma/tachiwalk-dvd.mpg (7.7MB NTSC (interlaced) MPEG2)

Please download (i.e. save to disk) it first, then watch it (with something other than your browser’s plugin). It’s MPEG2, so odds are whatever plugin your browser is using won’t like it. It’ll probably play best using DVD player software. (I was making this with the idea that it would be shown at an anime convention played from DVD.) In Windows, WinDVD can play it, as well as mplayerc (Media Player Classic – you may need to also install ffdshow). On UN*X systems, mplayer or xine can play it. For OS X users, I’m guessing VideoLAN Client will work.

I was planning on holding off on releasing anything until premiering it at an anime convention. But at this rate, that won’t be until Katsucon 2005, or more likely Fanime 2005 (in part due to time, but also because I don’t know if I can fly out to Katsucon), I decided to post this.

The whole thing will probably only be about 4-5 minutes when done (and include parodies of Azumanga Daioh, Sailor Moon, and Initial D carried out by the Tachikomas). I don’t think I want to give away the model. But if others are interested in collaborating on this project and if you’re serious about it, I’m interested. (in fact part of why I posted this is in hope of maybe finding others willing to help out)

Also, it looks like blender itself will end up benefiting from this project. Work on actual animating has been suspected for a little while as I work on fixing up Blender. (my goal is to do this exclusively with open source tools) Frustrations with booleans (particularly useful tools for this sort of model) led me to write my own boolean routine. I wrote a small patch to make edge rendering work better with fields, and will probably be updating that to work more generally for non-square pixels. Maybe I’ll just rewrite the edge system, since it’s results are not quite what I want (too thick, and no ability to force rendering of certain edges), but that I won’t have time for for a few months.

Oh, and here’s a high resolution, non-toon shaded, non-texture mapped render of the model if anyone is curious:
http://astro.scu.edu/~ted/3d/tachikoma/aitest0001.png
(AO is on because it makes the crevices look much better)

Very nice indeed! Can’t see the video though :frowning: I too have issues with the current edging system in the Toon render engine of Blender, but I suppose it forces us to be a bit creative in post-production.
I would love to help you on this project (unfortunately the only experience I have with Ghost in the Shell is the first movie, which I love to bits) but I’m a big Anime fan in general. Not that good at Blender, but I can do the website if you want - I’m a web design student so that’s what I bring to the table. I can help write or something as well.

Looks good, can’t wait to see more!

Well, for anyone curious about Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, the first R1 DVD is already out in the US. It’s also airing on the Cartoon Network starting in November. (Though that will obviously be dubbed, and unfortunately the english dub is somewhat painful to listen to due to the characters trying to have various accents that are so badly faked that they ruin whatever good point of their actual acting there may be.) The second season is on air in Japan now, and in my opinion much better than the first - it has a dark & surreal element present in the movies that the first season of the TV series lacked. The second movie (Innocence) is premiering subtitled in US theaters on September 17 (released in Japan March 3). The movie has some visually amazing parts, but also a lot of talking, and so it’s a bit slow paced and complicated.

Also, for those unfamiliar with GITS:SAC’s Tachikoma robots, they are A.I. tanks. They operate both as a means for transportation and armor for the members of Public Safety Section 9, and as teammates providing backup support. Their AI is extremely advanced, but that places them mentally at about the level of children. That being the case, they have the benefit of being able to provide better support than less intelligent AI, but it also means they have a strong sense of curiousity. Due to that, they can sometimes act unpredictably and get themselves in trouble.
After each episode of GITS:SAC, there is a short (~ 1 minute) skit of sorts titled “A day in the life of a Tachikoma” (my translation of “Tachikoma na Hibi”). The humorous skits explore what the robots do when left on their own, or other aspects of their life. My goal is to put together a few of those skits.

Anyways, first I need more footage before a website or anything like that makes sense.

Sounds like a recipe for hilarity if there ever was one ^^ Being at the mental age of a child myself ( :wink: ) drop me a line if ou ever need some help ^^