This Isn't Not A Fairy Tale

Alright, here’s an animation that we just finished on a tight deadline. In my area, there’s a local film and video group that puts on a monthly meeting where they provide a prompt and everyone makes a piece (not usually more than 5 minutes) based on that prompt. Because of the tight turn-around, they usually don’t have a lot of animation, so we figured we’d surprise them. This month’s prompt was “not not nudity”. Using Blender (and a littel flash), we put this 2D style animation together.

While viewing, bear these things in mind:

  • While we had a month to put this together, total production took about a week and a half… and all the animation was done in the last 24 hours of that time (nope… didn’t sleep much for that).
  • All characters and backgrounds are hand-drawn (that’s what took up 90% of the time)
  • There is crude humor and slight cartoon nudity in this, so you might not want to view it at work. Consider yourself warned.

Without further ado, here is that animation:

This Isn’t Not A Fairy Tale - 3 minutes, 40 seconds; 11MB - DivX encoded

All comments and critiques are encouraged. We want to know what you really think… no holding back.

Pity noone would ever guess u used 3d on that :smiley:

The narrator rocks!

Yeah… but I really wouldn’t have it any other way. Besides, there aren’t very many 2D animation progs on the market that allow for the complex camera movement and character rigging that I can do in Blender (no, there really isn’t a lot of camerawork in this particular piece, but the availability of that functionality is a decision-making factor). I was tempted to look into Moho, but we had a serious deadline to hit on this and I didn’t have that kinda time.

I’ll be sure to let him know :slight_smile:

That is an interesting use of Blender. I like it. Although the rigging could be better. Sometimes the shoulders move with the head. And the facial animation looks a bit odd because the whole head wobbles as if it was made of jelly.

The narrator really rocks!

The rigging could definitely stand for some (just some? probably a lot :)) improvement. However, not using this as an excuse (although it certainly sounds like it), but let me repeat that this was modeled (they were a little bit more complex than flat planes… needed some control verts to allow for deformation), rigged, and animated in 24 hours (minus 3 hours for sleep). Ideally, I would have liked to separate the eyes onto a different plane than the body (like the jaw is) to allow more independent expressions. However, even if that got rigged, there really wouldn’t be enough time to take advantage of it.

After finishing it (and viewing it again with non-sleep-deprived eyes), I kinda think the globular distortions in the Leper rig kind of add a nice dynamic (happy accident?). I might go back in later and adjust the rig to remove the weighting to the head and hair bones on the shoulder verts, though… but probably not any time soon. The blend file for this one needs some rest.

Heh… He’s gonna love it when I tell him that so many people liked his voice.

That’s it! I’m gonna beat some respect into you- lazy eye!

hehe. seriously, I think you’ve got something going there with that deforming 2d rig. I’d say instead of going back and “fixing it” you should develop this even further. seems like it could turn into a pretty cool 2 1/4 D style…
Did I mention I liked it?

This is awesome.

Yes, the whole thing.

There are rigging issues but it kind of adds a south park feel (you know, the odd animation doesn’t matter because other things make up for it).

Thanks for the complements, folks.

@slikdigit: you never explicitly mentioned you liked it… but I got that impression ;). I definitely think that this style can grow some legs if I can tweak it a bit (without killing it with over-fiddling). I might not use it in my next project, but we might revisit this one… or use it for another piece down the road.

@shbaz: Thanks a lot, man! We were thinking a bit about South Park when we putting together the concept. We liked the feel of their animation, but we didn’t want to rip off their really distinctive style. We kinda wanted to hit our own vibe, but keep a certain South Park meets Monty Python feel. From what I’ve heard, it looks like might’ve actually achieved that. Either way, I consider your comment to be a huge compliment. Thanks!

I actualy think this particular animation would have looked a little nicer in Flash. But it was still neat.

In some ways you might be right… however, flash doesn’t have some of the nice character animation features that are pretty readily available in blender. Armatures and IK, in particular, really made this animation go by a lot faster. Another consideration is that I run a linux box. Flash (the creation software, not the player) doesn’t play nice in linux. I could have tried to work with Moho (which can export to flash, among other things, and does have IK and armatures), but time was an issue.

That said, some of the cut-away scenes were done in flash by one of the other members in the group (actually, the voice of the narrator), but that animation was mostly simple moves and scaling… not a lot of character animation.

I dunno… we’re still kinda experimenting. I definitely like the flexibilty that blender allows and I really like the look it gave us. I guess we’ll just have to see how things work out in future projects.

Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, this is great. Why not use Blender for 2D? It’s a tool and you had an idea. Good job.

Yes, I thought the stretching eye and shoulder was intentional, it fit the piece and the character perfectly, expressed his madness so well. So, this was very good, I liked it a lot.

Thank you guys very much. We have another animation in the pipe, but this one is a bit more long-term, so it might be a while before we get it out. However, we might squeeze in a quickie or two in this style before we finish, just to keep our minds alert.