The Legend of Craft: The Awakening

Moo-Ack!

This is a Minecraft-Zelda mashup animation, something I have been planning for some time now (in general, this animation is still more of a “practice run”)

Production of this short took about a week, but much of that time was spent rigging, working on the cloth simulation’s stability, and programming. I’m making an addon to speed up my workflow, which takes an imported OBJ (the minecraft world) and systematically fixes and improves all the materials and does “mesh swapping” with an assets library (replacing 2D planar grass with 3D animated wavy grass, replacing torches with groups containing already setup particle systems, etc). With much of that out of the way, future animations should theoretically take less time to produce. (I made a short video here demoing the WIP addon, still much to do!)

For this animation, the focus was really trying to improve on my fight scene animation. PLEASE! Send me all the horrible critiques you can think of, it would mean a lot to me :slight_smile:

This is one of the better looking Minecraft animations I’ve seen! I really appreciate the amount of detail, and the attention paid to making the characters and environment look good. Did you use any SSS on Link’s face? I could’ve sworn I saw it in some of the shots.

As far as the fight scene went, you did a good job making it clear what was going on. Even though the protagonist and the antagonists have a very similar appearance, it was never difficult to tell who was who. I think a big part of this was your attention to camera angles, and not breaking the “180 degree rule”. So good job there! If I had any suggestions, it would be that I would’ve liked to see a little bit more. It felt like the fight was over very quickly. Maybe a close up of a face, or a low angle shot, or something to allow for a little bit of tension to build, or to focus on whatever you want the audience to feel. Even if it only adds 2 or 3 more shots to the video, if you can find ways to add more character to your action sequence, then I think the video grabs hold of the viewer on a deeper level.

Of course I know this was just a quick test for a short video! I liked the shots you chose to use, especially the one where the arrows hit the shield. I just know that is something I find myself wishing, “Why didn’t I shoot just a few more different shots?” whenever it feels like my video is paced just a little too fast and lacking a bit of character.

Also, great work on the Add-on you’re creating! It’s a very good idea, and I imagine would save a great deal of time for your future projects!

I also liked the way Link’s hat moved! A minor note, I know, but I still wanted to acknowledge it!

Hello,

Thanks for your response! I really appreciate the time you took :slight_smile:

Indeed, there was SSS enabled for his skin. Originally I thought I wouldn’t like the look in a minecraft setting, but on a team project for a previous animation it was used and I actually warmed up to the look.

On the matter of the 180: I tried hard to keep everything very consistent and logical to follow. I heavily debated the shot at 0:24–0:27, because originally when Link runs to the first enemies, he runs right to left onscreen (0:12-0:15), so to properly not break the 180 and really help indicate that Link is going back to the original starting point the camera angle theoretically should have shown him doing the opposite, going left to right. But because of the composition of the previous shot (the Lizalfos, or final enemy) coming in on screen left sort of reset the 180 and so it seemed more natural to have the camera on this other side. The big reasons it works is because the camera angle from 0:19-0:24 serves as a good transition about the 180, and definitely the placement of the stump – it’s a very distinctive element of the set to help orient the audience, which is the primary reason it’s there it all

So, for your other comments on camera angles, yes I agree some more variation could be useful… though I tried to do a combination of “hand-held”/steadycam following and static shots to give some variety. But that’s a good point, to look at the camera angles with respects to how tension builds and not just “to show what’s happening” – I’ll keep that more explicitly in mind for the future. Part of the reason for the pacing is I had arranged the music firsthand, to make sure it complimented the animation and helped to set a “progress bar” for my self-set week deadline (based on how much was left to animate to match the music length).

Glad you liked the hat – originally I had some fancy setup using rigid body constraints, but something about how that functions just doesn’t work well with a rig, so I setup the hat with a simple IK rig, which made it pretty quick to animate :slight_smile:

Indeed, I’m glad I finally decided to take up the work to develop an addon. I have just run into that old dependency limitation again though for linked libraries, where you can only make one proxy per linked group (and not per group instance) … so I might be working on a hackish workaround to that as well :slight_smile:

Oooh, nice! Some of the fighting looked a bit “unenthusiastic”, particularly at the end, but it was still quite good overall.

That’s a good idea, placing the stump into the scene to serve as a reference point. I hadn’t even thought of that.

I forgot to add, I really liked the mix of handheld and smooth camera movements. You did a great job with that. I suppose the difficulty with these Minecraft videos is in finding ways for the characters to emote. Obviously there are some things you just can’t change, such as the blocky bodies, and the general aesthetic of the characters. But if you can find ways to get around that, and get people to relate to the characters in whatever situation you’re putting them, I feel you could become THE Minecraft 3d film guy.

And whether that’s in the character design, the character movements, voice work (if you do ever choose to add voices, not saying you have to), or just situations that you have your characters react to. If you can come up with a style that is unique to your work, then as soon as people see it they’ll say “That’s gotta be a Moo-ack video!”

Yup, when I put the setting in a forest opening, I knew that there was a higher risk of “confusing” the viewer with regards to orientation, since it would just be trees in every direction, so I needed to have something!

Hey, thanks for your kind words and motivation! I don’t know about being “THE Minecraft 3d” guy considering the massive number of other amazing animators also making this kind of content, but I suppose there’s certainly no reason to aim for less :wink: