Animation: Shortfilm: "Avatar:Origins"

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Old 12 December 2003   #1
Completed "Avatar:Origins" computer animated short film

Hello all,

I have finally completed "Avatar: Origins" . Its a 13 minute short film, all Computer animated, in the ol' silver age comic style.

You can see it at Avatar:Origins at

I hope you enjoy it.

Thanks for watching.
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Mike Kane
Old 12 December 2003   #2
well i would like to view your movie but since my family is living in the stone age i still have a 56k modem and im sorry but im not gonna wait 4 hours for your movie lol, if you can host a smaller divx version or something like that the 56kers would greatly appreciate it. it looks interesting but i dont have that kind of time.
Old 12 December 2003   #3
Cloth looks good. There's not a bunch of animation in the whole thing but what there is looks okay. Pretty wicked bad guy. No animator should ever, ever do their own voices though. Please consider another option for your second installment, which I will be interested to see.
Skipped over when they were handing out business sense.
Wilkommen in
Old 12 December 2003   #4
It's much too long. I think for the amount of stuff that happens, it could be entertaining as a three minute film or so. Quality over quantity.
I never apologize. I'm sorry, but it's just the way I am.

Last edited by Ex Tessera : 12 December 2003 at 08:57 PM.
Old 12 December 2003   #5
That was entertaining, I can certainly see the vision there.

My crits: The characters hardly move. The cloth looks nice, but other than that... they look like stiff puppets sliding around the place.

Your special fx look good though. What software did you use?

It looks to me like you certainly know what you're doing, but you just aren't taking the time to do it right. Good story though, I'd say work on the animation for your next installment and you've got something really great here.
The force is strong with this one.

Please forgive my poor English, I normally speak Gibberish. Does anyone else speak Gibberish?
Old 12 December 2003   #6
You've definately put a lot work into it. My main problem is when he's "fighting" the demon, I feel that the scene lacked intensity. I also agree with one of the above posters, the movie as a whole seems stretched, and could be more entertaining at half the length. Excellent job on the cloth, it flowed very nicely, I also enjoyed the lighting effects when the Avatar fought back.

I'm looking forward to seeing how you deal with the second episode. Keep up the good work.
Old 12 December 2003   #7
definite potential

Quote: It looks to me like you certainly know what you're doing, but you just aren't taking the time to do it right.

i have to agree with that. this is beautiful material for a first draft kind of thing, but there is plenty of room for improvement. i liked the movement of the camera towards the beginning, and the cloth animation on the Avatar is smoooth like butter, i would say its the highlight of the film, as was some of the character animation on the Avater himself. there were some shots for which i thought you used a live model!!

a main drawback was the Demon villain. not to be insulting, but it looked like a giant cow skull floating above a skeleton. i would like to see something less humanoid, possibly with huge horned bone plates or something. take a look at the villains in the Legacy of Kain/Soul Reaver series. i personally want a demon or main villain to be frightening and imposing, not a still life. also showing it in full view was kind of a let down. i've heard this a thousand times, and i'll repeat it a thousand more: "sometimes what you dont see is more frightening than what you DO see." in fact, all three of the character designs lacked either inspiration or execution.

another nit to pick was the background in the sewer layer. at least the floor. it looked like a gird of tiled blocks. some variation of elevations or dramatic lighting would help there.

again, not a bad start, but i want to see you breaking the box you've built around yourself next time around!! keep it up!
"people cannot tell where darkness comes from or from what direction it arrives"
Old 12 December 2003   #8
I mostly agree with the above. The FX are great - even though the cloth fx don`t look "really" real, they still look fantastic - this is what Dr Doom`s cape would look like
Right at the moment I`m on a machine without sound, so I only saw the animation, and the whole thing really seems to be very depending on dialogues, because "pics only" really looks very slow - but maybe this was your intention (I remember Kirby dialogues were hyper-slow as well...)
I also agree with the crits on the dragon, it didn`t really scare me - some rotten flesh on this skeleton would be nice to see (and time consuming to render, I know ).
Ah, and the water in the sewer looks way too clean!

Anyway, for the work of more or less one single person, it`s really amazing, I couldn`t say I could do any better.
Old 12 December 2003   #9
Thanks for your comments so far.

Jedinights: Everything was done in 3d Studio Max 4.2

A very unexpected bonus to completing this animation are the people who would like to contribute to my future projects now that they see I have the wherewithall and tenacity to complete a film.

I've been lucky enough to get a professional radio talent to voice Avatar instead of my puny voice, I've also got a sound effects guy who does work in the gaming industry. I'm hoping to find some good modelers who will help contribute as well.

And on the direction side, I was VERY surprised to get feedback from an animator at pixar who pointed out that my films talk too much and animate too little. Very good advice since I wrote the scripts like a comic book instead of a film. Based on that very good advice, I cut half the dialoge and replaced it with action in part II.

The response has been both wonderful and insightful.
Mike Kane
Old 12 December 2003   #10
Just to let everyone know that Avatar got me featured on Animation Arena. Nice interview and samples of some of my work too.

Here's the link

Let me know what you think.
Mike Kane
Old 12 December 2003   #11
Hi again,

Avatar: Origins got me onthe front page at the E-Eye website.

Click here for the E-Eye homepage

Thanks for watching.
Mike Kane
Old 01 January 2004   #12
Just another update. Avatar: Origins is now featured at

Thanks for watching!
Mike Kane
Old 01 January 2004   #13
Wow, sooo much potential in this one dude!

It looks pretty damn cool. Nearly all of the timing is right, the shots and camera angles are all good, and the voice acting reminds me of Arthus from Warcraft 3 at times, hehe.

As said before, the character animation needs work... and lots of it. They move so stiffly. The bit where the dude jumps down and lands.. that landing was.. quite slow, like he had no weight.

Good work dude!

Last edited by The_Magician : 01 January 2004 at 06:41 AM.
Old 01 January 2004   #14
Thanks for the comments. Every Crit is noted and will help me improve my character animation skills.
Mike Kane
Old 01 January 2004   #15
Hi there,

I thought the concept was kind of cool and the visual FX of nice. but I have to say, your BIGGEST letdown was the voice. I couldn't watch it with the sound on; bit unbearable. Maybe if you get a friend with a better voice to dub, it'll be a lot more entertaining. Still, a lot of the comments that has been said, I agree with. Fix the voice acting and it'd be much much better.
See some of my work here!
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