One Man Animates CG Feature w Trailer

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Old 03 March 2013   #31
Do You want to do a secret screening by some of us here to see what they think
I kind of like the non rendered stuff you had and I have imagination to fill in the gap. As I'm working on my own film Id love to study it and I can give you an honest opinion aside from visuals.

You seemed to have shown hwood execs. What do they know? I predicted Final fantasy was going to fail from the trailer. No final fantasy enough. 99% of the time I can call within 1-3 million a movie will make. Example Croods. I said 43 mil. Made 46 opening

This weeks "host". 21 million. Hehehe
 
Old 03 March 2013   #32
Originally Posted by mustique: If you have a good story, it will sell itself even if you just use black&white surface shaders but never the other way around. Good luck.


I don't think you understood me.

People today have a limited free time and there's a huge amount of entertainment competing for that time and for that money.

There's already a LOT of very high quality stuff failing to gain enough of an audience to recover its production costs. TV series get canceled, game studios collapse, movies ruin careers.

On the other hand, people tend to flock to proven properties because they don't even have the time to try new things. This is why comic book adaptations and video game sequels are in such high demand. The audience knows what to expect from Iron Man 3 or the new Call of Duty.

If something wants to compete in this market, then substandard execution is unforgivable. People will switch off and go look for the next thing before the supposedly good story has any time to captivate them.


The very problem with this project is that it aims too high, it tries to compete with the looks of Pixar and Dreamworks - realistic lighting and shading and mocap animation. And then it fails spectacularly with the rigging and the non-mocap animation and the character design and modeling. This is unacceptable.

If the story is as strong as the author suggests than there are two options - either execute at a quality that's competitive with the big ones (Hoodwinked was on the edge of that); or chose a different style, like that of South Park, that requires far less work and skill to execute properly.
But this mess won't do and noone in their right mind would provide a cent of financing, because no audience will ever be bothered to watch it. And the praising comments from CGS posters in this thread are completely irrelevant to that.

That's my point about this.
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Old 03 March 2013   #33
Thanks Aang, but I've gotta keep this one close to my chest!
 
Old 03 March 2013   #34
Laa-Yosh is right about this. I applaud your efforts in creating White Tiger Legend so far, and if you are doing this for personal enjoyment then just keep doing what you are doing.

But if you are planning on this being a commercial endeavor and want to make money from it, then you need to re-do the modeling and rigging because they are not currently good enough to attract and keep a sizable audience, nor is it good enough to attract investors. Investors might put up money if you have something that looks good and you just need funds to make more good looking stuff, but they probably won't fund your dev to see if you can even get up to an acceptable level of quality much less be able to produce 100 minutes of it.

You don't need to look as good as Pixar or DreamWorks, but you do need to hit a certain quality level before you can attract the several thousand fans you need to make an indie film financially viable. You can do this by either improving the current art, or choosing another art style that you can successfully pull off given your resources. Don't go photoreal, but do go better.

I'm a big fan of indie "one-man" films, but most are not commercially successful. I'd love to see this project be commercially successful, but it has a ways to go before it can hit that mark, IMHO.

Good Luck!

Cheers,
Michael
 
Old 03 March 2013   #35
Quote: There's already a LOT of very high quality stuff failing to gain enough of an audience to recover its production costs. TV series get canceled, game studios collapse, movies ruin careers.


There is also low quality stuff that is making it.
The Asylum is a prime example.

Quote: found the guys who run The Asylum, a self-described factory for movie mock-busters (think Roger Corman in the 21st century), a system that successfully keep the churn and the cash flow going at the rate of one movie a month, and revenues of about $5 million per year. Cannes, Shmannes. Itís not every day you get to see movies that feel familiar but yet arenít really.


And if you make a movie for less than 100,000 are able to make 1 million and you are a one man army then I think you did okay. Keep costs low and keep a certain level of quality and you can turn a good profit.

But that is where business comes into play.

Quote: I'm a big fan of indie "one-man" films, but most are not commercially successful. I'd love to see this project be commercially successful, but it has a ways to go before it can hit that mark, IMHO.


Most indie one man film makers are not really business men. If you have a keen sense of business you can sell poop to people and make a profit. Not saying this work is poop. I think it looks okay but not great.

http://24flinching.com/word/gold-se...earings-beyond/ Poop for sale to prove my point.

I mean at the end of the day only you can prove these things are right Mr. Tiger.
I say finish it, do the best you can and try to sell it doing traditional distribution methods or even some not so non traditional. Then you can prove what is what. I hope you make it and make it a a success. If and when you do please come here and tell us about it.

IF you are wrong you are still a success too. You've done what many have not been able to do. You can move on to your next project and make it better and improve. You may also get more support from CG artists who know you can accomplish something in long format and they may join you to make a better film.

On trailer I'd take out :30-32 and 50-52. It kind of throws a few things off.

Also
You could look for distributors in various countries and do a presales distribution, I mean you have a whole film all you need to do is render it.

Last edited by AangtheAvatar : 03 March 2013 at 05:16 AM.
 
Old 03 March 2013   #36
Sorry, that looks horrible. If you worked on avatar and final fantasy you should have better aesthetic judgement, independent of the functions you fulfilled there.
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Old 03 March 2013   #37
It looks like MDuffy kind of beat me to the gist of what I was going to say, but here it is anyway:

whiteTigerLegend, if your goal was just the satisfaction of saying "I've made a feature," then I'd say "Keep it up, and kudos on all the hard work." However, as it seems you really want this film to do well commercially, I think a number of things are working against your chances of success. Since the technical/design issues have been mentioned so much already, here's what else comes to mind:

What the trailer shows:

For a martial arts film, there seems to be surprisingly little combat in the trailer. If your fight scenes are exciting, I think you'd do well to give more of a taste of them; if they're not exciting... well, that's an issue you might want to resolve before trying to generate interest. As for the blue-glowing-balls-of-energy, that struck me as more derivative than intriguing (it's been done in Dragonball, Street Fighter, etc.). I'm not saying I know there's nothing special about your story; I'm just saying the trailer gives me no reason to think otherwise.

Production approach:

Raising interest with a higher-quality, smaller-scale project seems more practical than diving into feature-length production and hoping things work out later. It's my understanding that South Park, Family Guy, and Shane Acker's 9 started with independent shorts/pilots before growing into larger projects, and now R'ha might be heading that way (District 9, though not 100% animation, also comes to mind). The only recent animated feature I recall going into full production with a "let's hope!" mindset for distribution was Delgo. You could take a truly independent approach (like Bill Plympton, Nina Paley, etc.), but it seems like you want more commercial success than that tends to yield.

Attitude toward criticism:
In a perfect world all critiques would be diplomatic, but the reality is people can be harsh. (This is especially true for flawed work being touted as a major achievement.) Even if you disagree with criticism--or just dislike its tone--I think the ideal thing to say is "I appreciate your candor." If a Hollywood exec gave your pitch a snarky response, would you tell them "Jesus, learn to be nice, f-ckin' a"? While it's important to have a backbone, it's also important not to be thin-skinned; a reputation for being easily upset could hurt not just this project, but future ones as well.

I'm by no means an industry guru, so take my words with a grain of salt. My bottom line is this: while I admire the amount of work you've done, as a viewer I'm not eager for more based on the current trailer, and minimizing that kind of reaction would give you better odds for success.

Also, AangtheAvatar: if this concept really means so much to its creator, the Asylum's approach of "keep cranking out the cheapest crap people will buy" probably isn't relevant.
 
Old 03 March 2013   #38
Originally Posted by AangtheAvatar: There is almost an animosity and a defeatest attitude when it comes to personal film making. If it don't look like Pixar it ain't worth viewing.

No there is a minimum level of quality that makes something watchable. If the personal films that are shown here are bad and members here write that, it doesnt necessarily make them wrong. I didnt know I was replying to the maker of the film in the first posts I just thought it was someone defending this approach to animation. The appraoch is quantity at the cost of 'why make the animation in the first place?'. You can do it if you want but if you post a sample on a forum where people spend a good part of their lives specialising in these areas then expect at least a few honest reactions.

I dont care if you worked on which AAA title when. I dont care if when I disagree with you you think I am a nasty pasty. The work is bad. Rigging wont help if you cant skin model or texture. In Holland they have a saying: Even if a monkey wears a golden ring it is and stays an ugly thing. Nothing will fix the quality of the work except more hard work. If I were you I would not count on a million anytime in the future, instead I would specialize in an area you like and get that working while looking for a team to help you with the rest.

The story looks like some kung fu rip off we have seen a billion times and what I have seen so far does not make me curious to sit through 100 minutes of whatever it is you are going to make, actually not even 1 minute. People complain endlessly on these boards about the lack of originality demonstrated by Hollywood and then dont go to the effort of coming up with an original tale themselves, while harping on about the art of storytelling to boot.

In the end though if it sells then it does so good luck and prove me wrong.
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Last edited by Kanga : 03 March 2013 at 02:01 AM.
 
Old 03 March 2013   #39
Quote: You can do it if you want but if you post a sample on a forum where people spend a good part of their lives specialising in these areas then expect at least a few honest reactions.


True, I feel you on that. I mean many folks on here are high level pros in the field. They are going to tear into the pieces more than anyone. That is why I try to take it as a normal audience member. A pro will pick at something for hours, days and months of their own work for something the audience will not notice. I remember on the behind the scenes of the Incredibles they mentioned a scene where the family is fighting at the table and they tried to make the stuff on the table jumble around and move perfectly and they wasted a lot of time on that trying to get it just right and in the end they just had to let it go because the scene looked great regardless of them trying to get the "perfection" out of it. So you'll definately get some nit picking from all aspects from the pros. I mean they do that to themselves so you are not exempt. General audience is more forgiving.

Quote: Raising interest with a higher-quality, smaller-scale project seems more practical than diving into feature-length production and hoping things work out later.


boo! I have never been into this short production stuff. The honest to good way to learn how to make movies is to make movies, long or short. Do what you feel man! Short or long does not matter. Heck if you are going to build all the assets anyways and use mocap for most of it you might as well do a movie. It all depends on what YOU want to commit to. But again the best way to learn anything is simply to do it.

LEt us think about time in the first place. You have a ton of people doing shorts that take 2-8 years. Oh you'll probably have learned how to make things look nice and almost Pixary and that is great. No problem.

Or you can work on an entire film for 2 years as it looks like you did for this movie, and yes it may not be as high in quality as folks would like but A) You told the story you wanted to tell B) You learned tricks and how to do things better and now you can use the next 2 years making an entirely new film and make it look better than the last. Say it takes you 2 years per film. You are only going to get better along the way through application and practice doing it. You'll probably have fun doing it and the same frustrations whether you are doing shorts or features. If you do 1 film per 2 years in 8 years you'd have done 4 all probably getting better with each film plus possibly getting more support along the way. Plus we are not even adding technology advances.

Just depends on how you want to spend that 2-8 years. And some good looking shorts have taken 8 years (http://thepassengerfilm.blogspot.com/)

Go with what you want to do. If you want to do a short then go for it and if you want to go feature then go for it.

A short is great but since we have been talking a bit about money and finances which is important since we have to eat and to eat we must make money and time is money...you get the drift, a short ain't going to make you money especially if you are working on it for 2+ years. With a feature you do have a slightly higher chance of making some money. To me I'd go long form. If I'm going to spend the time building the assets I might as well go for the long form and not waste them.

Now I will have to say though if you are going for the "HWood" funding you'd probably need an even better trailer. I mean Blizzard/Blur I forget made a great "The Goon" test/trailer mathing short and they still are begging for money to make some "no one can see unless you are in LA at the special viewing" animatic. If they are having trouble I imagine you would. I mean you can work that angle of this is what I can do with no budget....now Imagine I had a budget. If you are going for the Hwood funding then no point in doing the whole movie IMHO. Then people are right about the shorter version if that is your goal for the Hwood funds. Make it look spectacular. Try to collab with modelers.
I don't see no reason why with the right modelers you couldn't get something like

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzx5B08_fMk
or
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2yL...re=results_main

And honestly I think you may be able to get away with Poser morphed to heck with Zbrush.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvHp90z9bq4

If you are going the Hwood route that is. Try to sell them a hyped up version with the TAG. I did this for 1000 bucks Imagine what I can with 20 mill?

But I also think if you want to just tell this story, then render it out. Get some kickstarter going to rent out a renderfarm or something. Then get your own distribution by contacting companies around the world.

I mean if these guys http://www.videobrinquedo.com.br/ can make money and keep a company running since 97 I'm sure you'll have no problem if you work it right.

There is so many paths but only you can choose. I don't agree with some folks suggestions but I'm sure they don't agree with mine. Secretly and some not so secretly , I think they do wish you'd prove them wrong. Cause honestly your success could mean inspiration for someone else. I mean this forum has so much talent but so few films produced among the collective. Seeing one man guys gain success may inspire a new breed of folks going in that direction.

Quote: People complain endlessly on these boards about the lack of originality demonstrated by Hollywood and then dont go to the effort of coming up with an original tale themselves, while harping on about the art of storytelling to boot.


Agreed. I mean it is either Kung Fu/Martial arts fight or some form of chase scene. 80% of all shorts fall under one of these 2 things. The other 20% is spent on pretentious imagery or whimsical children and something colorful flying around them and waking up from a dream and climbing something.

PS
Quote: I dont care if you worked on which AAA title when. I dont care if when I disagree with you you think I am a nasty pasty. The work is bad. Rigging wont help if you cant skin model or texture. In Holland they have a saying: Even if a monkey wears a golden ring it is and stays an ugly thing. Nothing will fix the quality of the work except more hard work. If I were you I would not count on a million anytime in the future, instead I would specialize in an area you like and get that working while looking for a team to help you with the rest.


http://www.cartoonbrew.com/business...hues-80105.html

Yup the studio that brought you
This http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=hONmeLchliM#! is not the bankrupt one and was able to buy the company that makes this....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BrD_v5Vt70

They bet a million on it!

Last edited by AangtheAvatar : 03 March 2013 at 06:17 AM.
 
Old 03 March 2013   #40
Originally Posted by AangtheAvatar: I have never been into this short production stuff... a short ain't going to make you money especially if you are working on it for 2+ years. With a feature you do have a slightly higher chance of making some money.


My focus is less what one might prefer or speculate, and more what has a precedent of working (again, see independent shorts launching Powerpuff Girls, South Park, Family Guy, 9, District 9, possibly R'ha, etc). The evidence seems to show that if an animator really wants to make a specific IP successful, it's better to pitch with 5 minutes of brilliance than 100 minutes of mediocrity.

What would change my mind is if there were multiple examples of individuals starting production ("one-man-army" style, or at least without studio funding) on original (non-"mockbuster") animated features and ending up with anything profitable. The closest thing I can think of is Hoodwinked from nearly a decade ago, and that film's success was somewhat tarnished by its sequel's flop in 2011.

To me, pointing out studio projects and saying "hypothetically, an individual could probably animate something like this" isn't the strongest argument. Still, I welcome more examples of original, animated features that started without studios and went on to financial success--if they exist, I'm keen to know!
 
Old 03 March 2013   #41
Originally Posted by AangtheAvatar: I mean many folks on here are high level pros in the field. They are going to tear into the pieces more than anyone.

Nope there is a minimum quality that makes something watchable.
Quote: General audience is more forgiving.

That has nothing to do with the work that is being shown here. A general audience wont watch this.
Quote: http://www.cartoonbrew.com/business...hues-80105.html

Yup the studio that brought you
This http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=hONmeLchliM#! is not the bankrupt one and was able to buy the company that makes this....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BrD_v5Vt70

They bet a million on it!

So a low level studio buys a bankrupt high level studio. I fail to see what this has to do with the trailer being shown here. The low level studio has capital probably accrued through outsourcing and making minimul products, whereas the maker of this trailer here is looking to get a million in funding. The things you are comparing make no sense at all. Plus the vid on the link was at least watchable if not high quality.

You are writing and writing and missing the point of all the advice given here for free. I can only imagine you are doing something similar, if so good luck and prove me wrong.
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Old 03 March 2013   #42
whiteTigerLegend: While I applaud you for taking on and completing this incredible endeavor on your own, I have to agree with the most resounding comments here in regards to rigging and especially the modeling.

Trying to be constructive, I feel like pointing out to that it seems you ignored one of the most important animation principles out there: appeal. The character models simply look ..... , sorry to say and the anatomy in the modeling is so far below par, I'm not going to comment on that any further.

While your story might be great, your characters need not be photo-real to sell it, but they should look appealing. The latter alone could easily sell an otherwise mediocre story, but bad visuals on characters will certainly break any good story's chances. Characters can look very simple but the general audience has to like their looks, otherwise they just wont watch. Period. The Southpark-comparison doesn't work here, btw ,as that design is simple and consistent, still having a primitive appeal visually and is sound anatomically from a simplified perspective.

That said, I wish you the best of luck with this, but would warmly advise you to spend more time on stylistic character design and then modeling etc for the next one.

Cheers!
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Last edited by TheRazorsEdge : 03 March 2013 at 01:26 PM.
 
Old 03 March 2013   #43
It really needs polishing. Mocap of that "quality" I would not even accept on a student showreel. Touting it here and arguing the point shows you lack of perspective when it comes to quality. And the majority of people defending this would like to be able to achieve something of this level but are totally ignorant of taking it further and improving it. If that's your audience then fine. I showed this to a few non savvy friends. Safe to say they would not consider it an option to spend their money on.
Honesty is a better dish than mediocrity, regardless how cold the Honesty is served.
If you feel I have been harsh, I recommend asking for comments on your YouTube posts, just to see what everyday folk would think.
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Last edited by Airflow : 03 March 2013 at 06:24 PM.
 
Old 04 April 2013   #44
Originally Posted by AangtheAvatar: True, I feel you on that. I mean many folks on here are high level pros in the field. They are going to tear into the pieces more than anyone. That is why I try to take it as a normal audience member. A pro will pick at something for hours, days and months of their own work for something the audience will not notice.


True, but White Tiger Legend isn't anywhere near bumping up against this issue yet. It still needs to pass the lower boundary of being good enough to attract the audience who will buy into indie productions and let some degree of quality slide. White Tiger Legend needs to look at least as good as Kaze Ghost Warrior before people will spend their time on it.

Originally Posted by AangtheAvatar: I have never been into this short production stuff. The honest to good way to learn how to make movies is to make movies, long or short. Do what you feel man! Short or long does not matter. Heck if you are going to build all the assets anyways and use mocap for most of it you might as well do a movie. It all depends on what YOU want to commit to. But again the best way to learn anything is simply to do it.


It depends on the artist's goal. If the goal is to get a movie deal in Hollywood or to get a job on a larger production, go the route of making a short. If the goal is to make money off of the indie production itself, go the feature film route. Keep in mind that a feature film is a LOT more work than a short though, and you have to carry a story differently than a short which can revolve around a simple plot twist and be carried out without much dialog.

Originally Posted by AangtheAvatar: A short is great but since we have been talking a bit about money and finances which is important since we have to eat and to eat we must make money and time is money...you get the drift, a short ain't going to make you money especially if you are working on it for 2+ years. With a feature you do have a slightly higher chance of making some money.


But you still need to make a good-enough film if you are going to recoupe 2 years worth of living expenses. Killer Bean Forever took 2-4 years to make and used mo-cap to speed up the production process, but I don't believe it came close to making back the investment Jeff Lew put into it. And that film wasn't painful to watch.... simple, but not painful.

Originally Posted by AangtheAvatar: Now I will have to say though if you are going for the "HWood" funding you'd probably need an even better trailer. I mean Blizzard/Blur I forget made a great "The Goon" test/trailer mathing short and they still are begging for money to make some "no one can see unless you are in LA at the special viewing" animatic. If they are having trouble I imagine you would.


Exactly. You can pretty much assume that White Tiger Legend will not get Hollywood funding. There are lots of projects out there being pitched in Hollywood by people who have the experience and can already demonstrate that they can hit Hollywood level quality without trying to convince the execs "I can do a good job if only I had some of your money." This means the filmmaker must figure out how to hit the proper quality level with the resources he or she is able to access or develop now.

Originally Posted by AangtheAvatar: I don't see no reason why with the right modelers you couldn't get something like
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzx5B08_fMk
or
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2yL...re=results_main


Sure, if an indie artist is able to hit "Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker" quality then they will be able to draw in enough of an audience to make the production economically feasible if they can keep their costs of production down. Get the modeling, rigging, and lighting to this level and we'll be having a different conversation.

Originally Posted by AangtheAvatar: Try to sell them a hyped up version with the TAG. I did this for 1000 bucks Imagine what I can with 20 mill?


In reality, no one is going to be falling for that line. Show them 5 minutes of something beautiful and you can convince them that you could do 90 minutes of that quality with more financial backing, but you can't show them something of low quality and convince them that money is the only thing holding you back. There is too much competition from people who actually can do high level stuff for any investor to risk taking a chance on the low level stuff.

Also, the comparison with Prana and R&H is completely separate from this discussion. Prana is hitting well into the acceptable film quality area and has plenty of Indian financing behind it. That really has nothing to do with indie one-man or small-team productions.

Cheers,
Michael
 
Old 04 April 2013   #45
I admire your courage and vision, the hard work shows up clearly, if you have gone this far it would be a real shame to let it go, Iīm also been working on a shortfilm on my own for the last 3 years because I strongly believe in my story, please finish yours regardless of anything people might say.


beto-gaona.blogspot.com
 
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