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/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:
(AO is on because it makes the crevices look much better)