Road to Redemption - Animation

Hello. I have finished my another animation. Please have a look and criticize. - watch it on Vimeo if you’re from USA or Australia

If anyone is interested, I’ll leave here my thoughts, how the work looked, what was my inspiration and etc. Apologise for my english, it’s not my native language.

So the idea for the whole animation came to my mind after watching Kakashi vs Obito fight. Theme of duel in melancholic mood appealed to me and I knew that I had to do something like that. After few months, I started to work on my next animation.
For the first time, before starting to animate, I began from making an animatic. It really paid off because later I saved tons of time while animating but nonetheless figure out the choreography of fight took me a lot of time as well. When I was kid and was watching cartoons where the characters were fighting I always thought that only if I could to animate, my fights would so cool that everyone would be amazed. Now, when my skills more or less allowed me to dramatize what’s in my head, I have realized that pouring out the imagination on the screen and transforming it into a good film really is a hard task. All characters moves which were coming to my head were moves taken from other anime/movies/animations. It was difficult to me to think out any unique character motion which I haven’t seen before in other people media. All what I created was a modification of something what I saw before, and from day to day when I kept looking for another inspirations and I started to believe that in movies, everything already has been invented. At long last I had to bite the bullet and admit to myself that I’m not imaginative as I thought.

When I finished my animatic, I started to animate. From the beginning whole fight was supposed to be “anime-like” so I took a risk and decided that I’ll be animating mainly on 2’s with a mix on 1’s and 3’s. I knew that I have much to lose because my rendering knowledge is really low and with a bad NPR the characters animated on 2’s in 3D wlooks like they are just lacking FPS. To overcome the effect of “low-fps” I animated all particles,sfx and accessories on 1’s. Additionally I exported the animation in 60fps. I think it helped a bit.
Regarding technical animation I tried to experiment a bit and for example, one motion (58sec) is created based on FSN:UB. The move itself doesn’t have sense. The sword cuts through the spear, then back to the contact with it followed by parry. Despite the fact it’s impossible, the move being in action looks believable. Some things which I’ve noticed while trying to imitate 2D style.
The biggest adventage of 2d animation are separated characters from background and possibility of arbitrary change of perspective. Unfortunately while animating in 3D, in the most scenes, you have to keep the same camera frame-rate what characters have due to lack of separated background. If you gonna ignore it and for example try to have a camera made on 1’s and characters on 2’s, your whole animation will appear “stuttering” because the placement of the characters will be changed on each frame when you don’t want it. I’ve managed to overcome this issue only in one scene, when male ninja jumps over the female one. As the camera moves only along one axis, I was able to move the character with it via root bone, so even by having character animated on 2’s and camera on 1’s I was able to keep the character in one place in relative to camera.
Second thing is a perspective, in 3D we set them by changing FoV factor but as in the previous case, the problem is lack of separated background. So when we change perspective of the character, background is follwing by, which is unwanted. If someone would ever invented a script where FoV would work only on one object it’d be so cool! Everyting what I wrote here can be by passed by using render layers but that’s a lot of extra work.

To everything would make sense, I had to of course find the reason why those two characters are fighting. I always like the history of Yasuo from League of Legend and it became my main inspiration. If anyone would be interested in backstory of the characters, here it is.

Male ninja<Shinta>
This once proud warrior of the order has been disgraced by a false accusation and forced into a desperate fight for survival. He will do everything in his power to bring the guilty to justice and restore his honor.
Every wound which he inflict on his former allies is also a critical damage for himself but he decided to follow this path of redemption until the end.

Female ninja - <Arya>
Mere member of the order with huge affection to her younger brother. When Arya heard that he has been assigned to hit squad which were supposed to assasinate master’s killer, she begged elders of the order to replace her brother with her but Elders didn’t agree on it. After two weeks, mission report confirmed the worst scenario. Scouts had found the corpses of the whole hit squad. This massage was life-crushing for her and revange has became the most important thing in her life. She deciced to investigate case of the master’s killer on her own then find and kill him, The investigation led Arya not only to location of the master’s killer but she also found out some hints for authenticity of the rumors that master’s death was conspiracy. But it didn’t really matter for her, Arya got what she needed and set out to avenge her brother. When she met with Shinta even tho she was aware that there’s a probability that he’s not guilty of assasination of the master, the truth was that she stands in front of the man which drowned the blade in her brother’s body.

Personally I like the first part, much less the second one as the spoken lines do not “dovetail” as good as I thought they will. If it comes to my own performance, it’s hard to say anything. I tried to do my best but it sounds as it sounds. I never had attractive sound nor good accent and as always I’ll gather a lot of criticzm for it but nontheless I love to voice act my animations even if their quality goes down a bit :stuck_out_tongue:


To save time, I have downloaded models from blendswap, modify them, rigged and simplyfy the materials so they could suit the freestyle (npr rendering in blender) I haven’t focused much on a composition, I had to please myself with “decent” level. I wish i could refine this element (not only this), but at some point I wanted to refine everything in my animation. Finally I had to say stop and relase what I had, as I was far late with my personal deadline.

I encoruage you to critizice my work. My main point of these all animations is to get better so feel free to write whatever you have on your tongue. Thanks.

That’s a depressing movie.

When she sais ‘It’s already too late’ zooming the camera out would be more impactful.

cool storytelling. it keeps pace but doesn´t hurry. thumbs up. when they fight, the camera is too near. i hate modern actionmovies, where you cannot see the handling of the weapons, because they try to raise the speed of the scene with too many cuts and bad cameraangles.

There are so many things you got right in this animation! Seriously! You just put a lot of AAA cutscenes to shame with this animation! I thought the camera work for the fight scene was excellent! It worked for the storytelling. My only critique is that there were a couple of dialogue scenes in which the camera was static, and I thought if you had just a little upward pan and zoom, it could help carry the emotion. Awesome job on the motion blur though!

I’ll seriously be using this as an example when our group gets around to making our next fight cutscene, because this is such a perfect example of all the things that make fight cutscenes excellent!

I have got to put some time in for some fight choreography…

I liked it. :slight_smile: very interesting story. You have some good cinematography in this. I feel your characters are very full of emotion in their voices, but not in their actions. The expressions could be more exagurated. And I would get more dynamic with the poses. Look at some old Spider-Man comics. He had some wicked dynamic posing in the old days. I would also check your timing and spacing. That would help get a little more variation in the characters actions. All in all though it was entertaining. :slight_smile:

Yeah, I agree with everything. The small expressions in dialogues parts are mostly because I was already late with my personal deadline and I really rushed animation in dialogues. Regarding poses, I’ll definitely check the refrence.

Beside that, thank you all for feedback.

Really nicely done in all respects.

Music was great. Good dialog. Only criticism I’d have would be just a repeat of what others have said. Very heartbreaking in all the right ways.