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maxon
08-06-2005, 04:02 PM
http://koti.mbnet.fi/manuj/CGTalk-attachments/Get_Inspired_-_short_film_by_maxon.jpg


Hello.

I've been an illustrator for about 5 years now. However, recently I've had this feeling that it could be nice to make some animation as well. So I spent half a year making different short animation clips and tests and finally, I made my first short film.

It's not any glamorous piece of art, but I think it's a pretty nice step for me from illustration towards animation.

This was originally made for the Assembly'05 Short film -competition. And, for my surprise, the 4000 head audience voted it first. 1000 juicy euros worth of products and a lot of publicity. That sure was nice. :D

- Photoshop
- After Effects
- LightWave
- Acid Pro

10MB, 20MB, 30MB -filesizes of this film are available in Pocketmovies.net. Just follow this link (opens in new window):
Download-site (http://www.pocketmovies.net/detail_348.html)

There's also available this 127MB, 1280x720, DivX6 (http://www.divx.com/divx/play/download/) -encoded .avi -file, if you like it to be the best quality:
Download (ftp://ftp.scene.org/pub/parties/2005/assembly05/short_film/get_inspired_by_maxon-nomickey-version_hdtv720p.avi) (Right click -> Save as...)



Thank you! :)

Warlock 279
08-12-2005, 05:40 AM
Well I checked you animation out. Since I’m the first to post I’m going to give you the full critique, and I’m not trying to be mean, remember this is your first animation and everyone’s got room to grow.
First thing I have to say is that you need to cut down the file size. It is way too big. High-def is cool and I love large files but there’s a limit. I’d say cut that puppy down to 800x600…you really don’t need it to be that big your designs are clean and simple, there aren’t a thousand micro details to take in. If you still want to post the behemoth file then by all means go ahead you’ve already rendered it out and what not might as well put it up, but I would definitely consider a smaller version also so that people have the choice between 127 megs and something smaller maybe 30 or 40 megs. I think you’d get a lot more feedback and people watching it that way. It is hard to get people to want to download something that large especially when you admit that it is your first animation and you may have jumped in a little green. Also a file that large doesn’t always run extremely smoothly in MediaPlayer, I know I had some stutters when I watched it. Okay file sizing and such aside now down to the actual piece itself.

I love the beginning the screaming monkey is awesome and the way that all works is great.

The dude climbing the ladder is nice the staggered rhythm he climbs with is cool. I would almost like so see that be the interlude for the music use his hands on the rungs as the beginning drum beat, almost like a click track for the start of the music.

Your transition from your establishing shot with the wall fading out works well, as well as the long pan up the peak. Those are both nice. Also your set designs are really nice and clean and simple allowing your characters to be the focal point very easily.

I like the character design of your main character. He looks like the type of guy who would live out where no one can get to him with the dark eyes and the slicked back hair.

The part where he twirls the lights is cool but the speed is wrong. I’m assuming its supposed to be slow motion but there’s not enough contrast between the speed of that motion and the rest of the motions in that scene for it to read as slow motion. Its animated really well and the way it moves is really good though.

The part where he signs for the package is cool I really the ink effect you’re using there the way it blobs our and then dries into the page. The part where he slams the door is pretty well done and the use of repeating the action from multiple angles works well. Him getting hit with the rock moving side wards was a little weird. I’m not entirely sure that works having the rock come in that horizontal.

The next scene where he opens the crate is really well done. That’s a great shot starting up close when he pops the first board and the nail goes flying and panning around it as he goes. That’s a really good shot, the boards flying through the air is really nice. I get a cool Guy Ritchie vibe from that shot. His reaction shot is good, but lose the gag it detracts a lot from the piece especially where it is. The gag might work if it were at the very beginning or the very end but its not working the way it is now its too distracting. The way he scans over the box and reads the note is nice. His scream is good. The run cycle in the next shot could use some work. The slow motion in this sequence does work because you have nice contrast between the quick actions in the run and the real slowed down actions, which is what was lacking in the other slow motion sequence. It does seem anti climactic though when nothing explodes. I think you could get around that by showing a close up of the bomb after he jumps off the cliff and then have a tight shot when the jack in the box springs up so its right in the viewers face. Alternatively you could have the “bomb” go off before he goes over the edge as he’s running away from it, and when just the jack in the box pops out and he’s nearing the edge he could look back and see that he was tricked and try to stop but have his momentum carry him over the edge.

Again your credits sequence is really nice. I also like that you included the software used and the little comment about the project size and time taken.

Over all for you first animation this wasn’t bad at all. It has a lot of nice things going for it. There are a lot of stylistic elements in your designs that are pretty cool and different from a lot of the other current stuff. Like I said there’s some things that can be worked on, there always are but all in all I think you’ve got a nice start to your animation “career” or whatever you want to call.

Warlock 279
08-12-2005, 06:49 AM
sorry i posted that twice...

maxon
08-12-2005, 09:43 AM
Wow. :)

I'm very glad you made the first critique and all the effort you put into it. I read every sentence of it very carefully many times and I'm sure I'll use every piece of the advice in my upcoming projects.

Before your post I thought the reason of this thread getting none of comments was because I'm a total rookie, but now that you said it.... yeah, it might truly be only because I'm offering a way too big movie-file. :shrug:

Originally, I was going to offer only PAL-version of the film, but since the scene.org-host was willing to take as large a file as you could possible want them to (even 1.2GB was fine with them!) and their server is freaking fast as well (as fast as your cable just can suck in) so I thought that what the hell, lets render the film to HDTV-resolution, because the original version is saved as 1920x1080 single PNG images anyways.

So, as learned my lesson, I try to put up a 30-50MB -version of the movie on the server as well, if everything goes nicely. Although this thread will be lost in the sand by the time that happens, I think.


I love the beginning the screaming monkey is awesome and the way that all works is great.

Thanks :D - Though the whole kalsariapina-pictures-name (it's Finnish and means "A monkey in underpants") was invented only to amuse the Finnish audience of Assembly'05 -festival (about 4000 people), where the whole film got its premiere. (And what the whole film was originally developed for.)





I would almost like so see that be the interlude for the music use his hands on the rungs as the beginning drum beat, almost like a click track for the start of the music.

That sure would've been nice, but since I don't know shit about music (especially making it to relate to the action of the film) I just whipped the whole soundtrack for the movie just to get it done fast. I realized that I'm not going to be making any music in the future anyway because I'm a illustrator/animator, so I was happy enough with it.





The part where he twirls the lights is cool but the speed is wrong. I’m assuming its supposed to be slow motion but there’s not enough contrast between the speed of that motion and the rest of the motions in that scene for it to read as slow motion. Its animated really well and the way it moves is really good though.

Yeah, I didn't like how this scene turned out either. I had no idea how I could've make it to look and feel smoother and nicer. I also didn't have any energy to correct the speeds of the lighter-flipping-shot. That's simply because it's hell to animate 25fps by drawing frame-by-frame. I took me a week to get that shot done. (BTW, I have a making-of about that shot. The link to it you can find from my website (http://www.maxon.rules.it).)





Him getting hit with the rock moving side wards was a little weird. I’m not entirely sure that works having the rock come in that horizontal.

Hehee, yeah, I wasn't sure how people would interpret this. You know, when the falling dude takes his mini-umbrella out I thought that the audience immediately realizes that "hey, that's copied straight from the Roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote clips!". So they think there's nothing original in that shot. But then, when nobody expects, there's this rock that comes from the right and hits the dude just the same way what always happens to the Wile E. Coyote. But this time nobody could see it coming. It was meant to be like there was no sense in that. It's just some sort of tribute to the Warner Bros' great great animation.




But yeah, maybe it just doesn't work the way it should.


...the boards flying through the air is really nice. I get a cool Guy Ritchie vibe from that shot. His reaction shot is good, but lose the gag it detracts a lot from the piece especially where it is. The gag might work if it were at the very beginning or the very end but its not working the way it is now its too distracting.

Hmm, I thought this was the most greatest time to put the gag. You know, just when audience is about to see what's inside the box.... and then it crashes. If this film would've been originally made for web-publishing, I sure wasn't to include that joke. But since the film was originally made for 4000-head audience and to be viewed through a big movie-screen in a Assembly'05 computer-festival, everybody will think the media player of the whole system goes down just the moment something vital would've happened and then they laugh because of the crash. But then happens this joke of "just kidding". So the audience realizes it was part of the act and then laugh again, this time for the whole act itself. At least that was my intention. Maybe it did work, maybe it didn't... dunno. :shrug:





It does seem anti climactic though when nothing explodes. I think you could get around that by showing a close up of the bomb after he jumps off the cliff and then have a tight shot when the jack in the box springs up so its right in the viewers face. Alternatively you could have the “bomb” go off before he goes over the edge as he’s running away from it, and when just the jack in the box pops out and he’s nearing the edge he could look back and see that he was tricked and try to stop but have his momentum carry him over the edge.

I admit those would've been a lot better solutions for the end. But, as I didn't have a clue about how much work there's to get a five-minute film done by one person, this was by far the most easiest way to produce the ending. Many of the scenes were only made so tacky because they were much easier to do that way. For one person a five-minute, full animated short film with sounds and music is too much of a job to make in three months of time. I must say I'm amazed I could even finish the whole piece. There were so many times I just thought I wanna give up and that I'm never gonna made it for the deadline. But by cutting the quality of the movie, I proved myself wrong. So that's why I thought it was good to insert the "Sorry I bit off more than I could chew" -text to the end of the movie.





all in all I think you’ve got a nice start to your animation “career” or whatever you want to call.

Thank you very very much. :) And thank you for taking the time to get to dig into the film so deeply. :D



Manu Järvinen

Warlock 279
08-12-2005, 08:41 PM
i'm glad you got something out of that crit...

...i could see the media player gag working on the big screen b/c there's its so unexpected...where as...at least on my computer media player messes up so so so often that it just annoyed me...

...as far as the amount of work that goes into a short piece...believe me i know all about it...i've done four or five cg pieces and a few traditional pieces...my last project was a 2 minute short that myself and a friend banged out in about 2 weeks...now that's crunch time...

...i checked out your website you've got a nice thing going over there...you're illustartions are great...i really like the hitchiker one...that one is awesome...

...you're style lends itself very much towards flash animation...i was wondering if you had considered using flash, or were considering using it in the future?...i think it would work well and also afford you the stylized animation approach as that's whats typical of flash pieces...

maxon
08-15-2005, 09:18 PM
...as far as the amount of work that goes into a short piece...believe me i know all about it...i've done four or five cg pieces and a few traditional pieces...my last project was a 2 minute short that myself and a friend banged out in about 2 weeks...now that's crunch time...
Wow. Is there any chance to see your production anywhere?




...you're style lends itself very much towards flash animation...i was wondering if you had considered using flash, or were considering using it in the future?
Somehow, I don't like flash animation very much. It definitely looks nice in webpages if they're decently produced, but naah... not for storytelling (of course there are some exceptions). But yeah, if I keep doing 2D-animation, I wan't to make as few rotate-, twist-, stretch- and scale animation-stuff as possible. So I think I'm gonna start learning 3D-animation much rather. Or then just make some frame-by-frame animations once in a while.



And as a sidenote, I now added my movie to pocketmovies.net, so there's now plenty of download-options to choose from. Check the link in the updated first post of this thread, y'all.

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