THIS is prime Newgrounds material. Funny, to the point, short and with a message we can all agree on. Well done lad!
I have no idea what this is for or from, and I don't even really care what was said. What I am blown away by is what is without a doubt the BEST tween-assisted character animation I've EVER seen. The attention to detail is phenomenal. I can't imagine how much effort went into this, but I can only assume much caffeine / alcohol was involved.
Well done artist(s), well frigging done.
Madmen? Not inspired at all? IMPOSSIBLE!
I had NO idea WTF was going on for a while there. Loved it.
Lacking visually, but with good structure
Is this story and are these characters original? I'm writing this review under the assumption that they are.
Your backgrounds are messy and simplistic. Your animations are very minimal and the voice acting is heavily compressed and far from perfect... BUT, you're focused on telling a story, and you don't seem to be letting anything get in the way of that. FAR too many animations on newgrounds have this formula backwards. Great visuals should come AFTER a well structured story and original characters.
My advice would be to keep working with your focus on the story and characters, but slowly keep trying to improve your art. Look around at other people's art and try to emulate their style. In times where you are waiting for voice work, just go nuts on the detail of a background.
Don't feel overwhelmed by the complexity of the background. You don't have to draw every tree and plant. You only have to IMPLY the existence of these objects. Try looking at similar backgrounds in cartoons and anime. Notice how most of the time, very little work has gone into them, but they imply the space with shadows or lowering detail in the background.
Even if you don't change a thing about the art, I think you're going somewhere with this. Don't lose faith in yourself.
Yup, it is all original and thank you ^^
My 8 is kinda like most people's 9 :P
I don't remember how my review went with the last part, so I hope I don't repeat myself too much.
Your drawing style is unique enough to stand out, and fluid enough to not look lazy, so props for that. I don't like it when I can clearly see what has been tweened and what hasn't, and even though you use a lot of auto-corrected shapes and straight lines, it actually kinda plays toward the charm of the animation.
The plot and story telling is clear enough, though for people with horrible memory like me, a really short refresher of what happened last time wouldn't hurt.
Sound wise, you seem to do well picking appropriate songs and do well to stick to music from the audio portal. When the music came in the first time, I felt it was a little loud (or the voice was a little soft before it), but otherwise your sound design is on par. You could gain a bit of detail by adding background sounds to different locations. Nothing too loud or crazy, but enough to fill in the spaces between bits of dialog.
Where your animations really lose their momentum is in the voice acting. Its not poorly voiced, and the actual quality of the voice samples is fine, but you need to gather some outside people for voice work. Try posting to the front page for a casting call. If each character had a unique and expressive voice, it would really add some color to the overall production.
Good work, and I look forward to seeing what craziness you come up with next.
Drawings: Thanks for the compliment on the drawing style. About the auto corrected shapes and straight lines, I just found it easier to work that way while I still don't have a tablet. I'm saving for it though.
Plot and story telling: Yes, it did missed a short reminder of what happened last time, sorry about that.
Voice acting: Next time I'll find some friends that could help me with the voice acting cause I can't do all the character voices... The thing is I need them too speak english and spanish for now :P.
Sounds: I already have the idea for my next two animations, and the only sound I'm gonna use in both of them will be a background song, so no voice acting or sfx for now. I will keep in mind what you said about the background sound though... When I'm back at telling a normal story with dialog I'll problably ask you for advice on actual audio help. Thanks a lot man.
And so I give away my coveted 10...
I was actually lead to this because I was curious to see how my song "The Red Barron" was used. Not only was it used quite well, the whole animation was great! I love your use of flashes new 3D, and the energy put into implementing motionblur on so many effects.
I've gotta ask, how did you do motion blur on objects not moving strictly horizontal or vertical? Did you just pre-render all those objects outside of flash?
Anyway, well done sir... Quite epic.
Yeah the whole video was actually made in after effects, not flash. So thats how I did the blurs and the shadows and stuff :)
(9 is my 10 FYI. 10 is reserved for the few times that something is so mindblowing that my projector screen actually catches on fire... yeah)
This is some really good looking stuff. The camera movements that are timed with the music, be it a minor thing, make a WORLD of difference. The music and animation are just made for each other, and the colors you've chosen to use are both consistent and mood shifting.
This closing sequence should stand as an example to other serious animators as to how a good ending can look. Just great stuff. I don't expect one man to be able to push out full episodes very rapidly, but I am looking forward to whatever happens in the future.
Thanks for sharing your hard work, Eva inspired lens-flares and all :P
Fantastic on all fronts.
Sound effects were not over-compressed, and sounded great. Everything blended together nicely.
The 3D animation was simple, but very very smooth. The animation lined up with it flawlessly.
The 2D animation its self was probably the weakest part, but still good enough to hold its own and get the point across. The shots were composed so skillfully that it actually made the drawings look a little worse, if that makes any sense at all.
The composting and effects were dead on. Video Copilots camera flair effects, what looks like Sapphire Shake used on each shot to give it that 'hand cam' feel, and well placed use of depth of field.
In all, I'd love to see a whole series composed like this, but I won't knock it down a star for being short because I understand how very hard it is for one person to construct something like this on their own. I also kept the 10 because (as far as I can tell) its original content. This means you're not standing on someone elses shoulders (Like I admit to doing with my Eva and Macross stuff).
While I personally didn't like the music, it DID fit, and it would be stupid to knock this work just for that.
I liked the painted looking backgrounds and the sketchy looking lines. It looked messy and stylistic. I'd really like to see what you can do when you plan ahead first (as you said this started as an exercise and grew from there), and I wouldn't mind a shorter length in exchange for a little more time taken on each scene, if that was the price.
Keep at it!
I give this animation a 9 for how damn solid it is. That is, no one part is exceptional, but as a whole it really stands out. As strange as it may sound, a lot of artists modify the script and direction to fit what is easily done. I do it a lot myself when confronted with difficult shots. You don't seem to have held back with this, and I really like that. I'll break this down and be a little bit more specific than I normally am.
The music did its job and didn't stand in the way. Nothing took place that really could have gained much more power from some overused Hans Zimmer music, so no faults there. The sound effects were a little over compressed in some cases, but such is the result of a megabyte budget.
I disagree with many other reviews. I felt the voice acting was reasonable, and above the common standard of newgrounds. Yes there are some AMAZING voice actors and actresses out there, some of which I've been lucky enough to work with, but its just physically impossible for every single animation to have top notch VAs. I thought the acting was just fine. The quality of the samples was lacking, but again, this is out of your hands.
Just so you know, the secret to good VAs is puting your idea out there, asking for auditions, and poking around in places like the Voice Actor Alliance forums.
Movement wise, again, you've done as much, if not a little more, than was necessary to imply movement. All animation is implied movement to some degree, and with a budget of zero dollars, extensive frame by frame sequences are just plane unrealistic expectations. This is obviously a character driven story, so writing and still visuals takes priority.
On that subject, I would recommend, as some others have, that you try using the paintbrush tool instead of vector lines. The brush does a better job interpolating your intended strokes (a godsend if you use a mouse), and overall looks cleaner if used properly. If you really spent a year on this, I'd say its worth your money to invest in a WACOM tablet if you haven't already.
You characters could use a little work. I think you just need to spend a little more time on them, and need carefully drawn character reference sheets. When artists draw real humans, they often use real human references. You should consider picking a studio or artist who draws in your preferred style, and start using their artwork as a reference for your own. And if people dislike your work because it is Anime styled, screw em. There is a reason why Anime is the top grossing style of animation. Its simple enough to be affordable to draw, but stylized in a way that makes its characters enjoyable.
Your 3D animation isn't mind-blowing, but it more than does its job. I really like how it is employed. I never received any 'formal training' in 3D art either, but I'm now able to illustrate complex transforming flying vehicles. Its just a matter of dedication. I can see you are modeling with primitives for the most part. I'd recommend you pick up a copy of Milkshape 3D ($20) or Blender (Free) and learn the art of 'extrusion modeling.' That'll allow you to make more complex shapes, and interesting things. Swift's interface is meant for posing and setting up shots, and its a terrible modeler. You might also be able to use Sketchup, but you'll need PRO to export .3ds.
Your dialog was well written (especially by newgrounds standards) and the story complex and original. I'll admit I was kinda lost, like watching the 5th episode of a 13 episode series, but you've been told that already, so I'll leave it be.
Sub titles would be great. I know in the elevator scene, I was unable to make out what was being said over the SFX in a shot or two. I don't understand what you mean when you say 'program' subtitles. I've subtitled the majority of my work, and I don't know a single line of ActionScript.
Its a simple process of adding a text layer and timing it with your audio. This is even easier if you use the text as a trigger for the vocal files.
Thanks for the detailed review - always appreciated.
As far as sound, I didn't record anything myself, but I thought they turned out...serviceable. Save perhaps for the awkward static in the train sequence that you perhaps noted (something there was just no way to fix; it didn't sound that way in the source file T_T) I think they fared compression decently.
I'm glad you liked the voices. I am personally quite found of several of the actors I got to work with, though as you mentioned there were several cases where I had some pretty cruddy quality to work with. This was the first time I ever auditioned anyone for anything and I only used one site, so hopefully future works of mine will see larger, better held auditions and better acting. XD
I'm still not entirely sure of what you guys mean by using the brush. Obviously when you wrote this, I had no response below, but without pressure sensitivity, I think it just makes things look like they weren't within lines and ups the filesize. I think I may be missing some detail of what you guys mean by using the brush "right" and if you have the time to elaborate, please pm me. YOU THINK I COULD DO THIS WITHOUT A TABLET?!? XD I do have a tablet, but its getting on in years - I really should get a new one...
I was using mostly primatives at this time, but if I know what you mean by extrusion (drawing a shape that the program gives depth) I did use some of that for the train, and have used it more in my more recent 3D (the 3D work for this was actually finished early in the production cycle). I looked at blender once - couldn't figure it out. Honestly - I'd really rather get some formal 3D training before I invest in a program.
SIR you NAILED it. In my head you see, this IS the 5th episode of a 13 episode series. At least it was. Now its like the 7th episode of a 16 episode series >_<. Point is - as I've said, it was kinda dumb to 'start' there. I add also that I did NOT 'start' with this. If you care to watch a rather BADLY done 8 minutes, check out my older animation - Dual Arms Precipice. It shows its age, though it may very well be less confusing than verbatim (that's saying a lot, i know)
Again, as I said below, if I'm going to do subs, I want them to be activatable. I don't want text just hovering over every screen with no option to turn it off. I mean, if I did that, I'd need to main a plain version of the movie for any time I wanted to export to a non-flash format and besides - I think if you can DO that sort of thing (activated/deactivated subs - and I've seen it done) you should. And I dont' know what you mean by 'trigger'.
Thanks for reviewing man! Hope to hear from you in the future!
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