Animation: "DAMN KNIGHT" short film...


"DAMN KNIGHT"short film

Hi Everyone

I posted this up cause I completed an animated short that took me two years to make. I wanted to let you all in on it and see what you think. I am an artist like all of you, and have chosen character animation as my skill focus. It took me so long to make this because i have to work 6 days a week to pay the bills…

I am hoping that this will showcase my skills, so that i may get work finally. Anyway, I hope you all enjoy it and please tell me what you think…Thank you all in advance for taking a look

O yea, incase anyone wanted to know, I did everything from storyboarding, to voice over, animation, design, set up etc…



Dave, I think you’ve created a really nice little piece. There are a couple areas that I’d continue to work on. First, the model of the knight was pretty distracting, mainly his face. The animation was not too bad, though there were a couple of parts that were a little shady. Why a knight would be trying to teach an alien to fight is beyond me, so right off the bat it was a tough sell. I finally got it in the end, but I as still a little confused. Maybe have some stage hands come on screen or the director at the end. Great job for doing everything yourself. Hope you find work.



I really appreciate the feedback, and hehehe your right what in the world, why would a knight be teaching an alien how to fight is crazy, but thats why i did it. I wanted to do something diffrent, something that would make you say HU…and have to watch it until the end. I hope thats what i accomplished. As far as the feedback goes, thanks allot for taking the time out, and looking in on DAMN KNIGHT. At the end, yea i can see having a stage hand or two walking around checking lighting or something. I guess after animating the four characters and the time it took, never thought of it. But yea it would really add to the ending. If you thought the animation itself though wasn’t bad at all then maybe, I just might have done something good right. thanks again for all of your comments, and take care…



I know your concentrating on becoming an animator, but you have given the lighting absolutley no consideration. it doesnt matter what a great idea for a story you have or how funny the end joke is. If its dull to look at then people arent going to waste there time to watch it all. I only sat through it all because Im a little bored here, but your short doesnt work, its painful to watch, badly lit, composited, acted, animated, but most importatnly isnt funny.


Easy there cowboy, rage pills are available at your local clinic.

If my lighting hurt your eyes that much then I’m sorry, but i never said that I was a lighitng specialist, for that matter an effects animator, or a jack of all trades, simply character animation. I never even mentioned anything about compositing, so i don’t know where you got that either. Straight rendering sorry…
I did give this out as an open invitation to give opinons and thoughts so thats fine if you feel that way. I don’t expect to make everyone happy. I will always be working in all areas of animation, so one day i will say that i am a jack of all trades. I’m here to learn and improve… and now for you…

Your reply does tell me something. If you can come to a place like this, have a collection of artists and there work to look at and learn from at your finger tips and say you are BOARD, then maybe you should concider unsubscribing. Maybe your just upset that someone else did something that you could not do. Have you ever made a 3 plus minute short all by yourself…HMMMMMM…

O well, thanks again for watching my entire movie because you were board… :applause: :wavey: :wip: either way in the end you watch the whole thing so that tells us all that it’s not as bad as you say it is…Good luck with your life, let alone with your career.
Dave. …remember rage pills.


I have to agree with Dom, the story was just not interesting. But to make how it looks better i can at least give a little input.
The wings on the butterfly seem too stiff as well as too thick. The lip movements of the knight were really bad i have to say. As the other guy was sayin, put in stage hands etc at the end, to help get the point across. Like right when the alien walks away the guy that holds the long mic on a pole could like “relax” a bit and it dips into the picture, maybe a clapboard ending the take, though i dunno if thats done anyways, and maybe some more camara jiggle like the camaraman stepped away from it, either way its pretty fluid at the end during the director speaking when if that guy knocked himself out 5 times already the camaraman would probably be tired.
One last thing, you should probably change the title, doesn’t really go with it that well.


If you found my criticism hard to take then I apologize, but maybe you should ask yourself some serious questions, if you can’t take on board some helpful advice then maybe you shouldn’t be posting here. I realize you are only concentrating on the animation, but this still should never mean you ignore other really important areas like compostion and lighting. Overall the animation isn’t bad and alot better than I can do. But then again I never said I could, and your arguement that you can only comment if you can do better is slightly immature. I only commented on your work to help you, nothing else.


Hello Dominichi,

atleast this time, you sound a-bit more calm than the last. I want you to re-read what you said :I only sat through it all because Im a little bored here, but your short doesnt work, its painful to watch, badly lit, composited, acted, animated, but most importatnly isnt funn
If you were me, and i said that to you, you would think that was very sarcastic and rude. That is not helpful advice That’s not called a critigue, thats why i said what i said to you. :shame:

Dominichi if you want to give advice to someone thats fine, but there are allot better ways of doing it then your attempt to me, as well as you need to read what people say before you comment, it can get you in trouble in the work force if you don’t pay attention to what they say. ENOUGH
Out of all of this, you did make me think about those other areas, and you are right, as an artist, you do have to pay attention to all detail not just one thing when you make a full scene, so you did help me after all.
ok so now that we all know what i am trying to do, hows about you letting me see what it is you do, or atleast trying to do…
what do you say…:shrug:



This is getting silly now. you’ve taken my comments completely wrong. I don’t know if your in the industry or not, I am, so am used to criticism. You WILL need to learn to take criticism better. If you can honestly say that you are 100 percent happy with your movie then why post it in the first place? You said you made this movie to get a job, and I stand by what I said, I found it painful to watch, don’t you think a potential employer could think the same? Lighting is extremely important, if you want to sell your short as best you can then make it beautiful to look at, at the momment the overall look of your movie detracts from the animation.
As for you wanting to see what I do, Im not playing that game I have nothing to prove to you.


I’ve got a better idea for you. I just came up with it and I am a freaking genius!!! (just kidding)

Take a scene, your favorite piece of the animation you are working on, but only three or four seconds worth.

Now go back and really nail that thing in. Put as much thought into making things work that you can. Act it out, seriously get up off your butt and move around. Try and see if the motions in your character match up to what you would do in real life. Don’t worry if it’s an alien movement, or a guy in plate mail. Worry about the lighting and rendering later, that is time consuming and can really bog down your thoughts, detracting from your animation.

Come back and post just a few seconds. No sound, jsut good timing and good movement.

Good Luck



Right…ok then

Well at this point I can see I am wasting my time with you. I say ENOUGH so that we could move on from all of this, comment on the fact that I thought YOU WERE RIGHT about paying attention to everything when making a scene. Tell you that you did help me out, ask you to show me some of your work so that “I COULD LEARN” and what do you do…

You go right back to bashing me again and now think that I’m playing games with you… are you an idiot???

At this point I don’t care what you do, who you work for, or what ever else you have to say. I’m not going to listen to someone that can’t understand the concept of simple communication. Remember what i said about reading what people are saying before you react, you need to work on that badly man.

I will still end this on a positive note, good luck with your life, and career, and may all your dreams come true…peace



Hows it going,
thanks for the advice about what to do. As it stands now, I am currently creating my first poly character and am going to use it for my first animation in maya so I will probably do what you said only with the new character. Use it as a full learning experience.

You were right, I should have just let it all go from the beginning, o well i guess i learned something else right hehehehe. Anyway so I will let you know when i re-post the next animation so that you can see ok. take care and talk with you later



Originally posted by dgarrison

You were right, I should have just let it all go from the beginning, o well i guess i learned something else right hehehehe.

Indeed you have, my friend. It becomes an exercise in futility from the very beginning.

On the other hand, you can say you have finished an entire story from it’s conception. That is something that many people never do. I am tackling that right now, also by myself.

I too will hopefully have something to show soon.



A couple of quick thoughts, while waiting for my rendering to finish… hehe… anyway, before going back and taking the time to create more characters to add in at the end I would try cleaning up some of the animations in which you’ve already gotten started, especially since you’re working on this in relatively scarce time trying to land a job with it. I agree, lighting and new textures would help out a lot, but as for animation… first off, since they’ve both got cartoon characteristics, I would first work on exaggerating their movements a lot more. Make them more dramatic… How are you creating the lip sync animation, morph’s or bones? I would seriously work on creating more expressions for the characters and really push their facial movement first and foremost. A lot could be added to their body language as well. Right now the knight seems very ridged and stiff, maybe you were going for this because of the armor, but I would try stylizing it more if I were you. Keep in mind the character and his traits. He’s arrogant and a no it all, or at least thinks he is, really he’s kind of a silly clumsy character. Make him have more of a swagger in his walk cycle, perhaps trying to strut a little, but then stumble as he approaches the dummy. I think it’s a really good start, now if you really want to break it in a tough industry, you need to really push it. Most important in telling this story as an animator, imagine it with no voiceovers and still being able to give these characters their personalities telling the story merely thru their body language and facial expressions… then when you add the sound to it, it will really come alive… keep at it, I know it can be tedious, but you’ve got a great start on things, now just polish her up!
Oh and DOMINICHI that’s hardly a helpful critique… dgarrison as an artist, there will always be people to criticize; sometimes you learn from them, sometimes you just have to ignor their coments


While I agree that some of the criticism wasn’t helpful, I can’t say I disagree with it.

I’m not going to focus on the modeling or lighting, becuase that wasn’t the point of the piece.

The animation wasn’t very good. Besides techincal problems like his knees popping all the time, he swings his arms around a ton, for seemingly no real reason, while holding a heavy sword and shield. The sound is also way off, it actually looks better without the sound on. The acting doesn’t go with the audio very well.

I’d suggest doing a shorter animation, maybe a 10 second thing, and just refine the animation as much as you can. A kickass 10 second animation will be appreciated about a million times more than 3 minutes, that, well, isn’t very fun to watch.

If this seems mean, I tried to keep the criticism as constructive as I could, and remember this is the focused critiques section.


:applause: :beer: :applause:

Thanks allot everyone for giving me what I wanted to here, some good honest advice.

dmcgrath: thanks allot for your support on my work from the beginning of all of this, I know that I’m not the only one out there doing what it is that I’ve done, so I wish you the best as well on your piece when your finished.

Hello Rhidlen and Ex Tessera

You two have hit it right on the nose I think from just walking in on this, and i really appreciate your time on it. I think you are both right as far as a good approach to this piece. Hard core exagerations, more expressions, and a focused section I think would also be the key for me to make this shine allot better. I do have to think about the knight more cause i was trying to go with a stiff feeling because of the armor, and still have life like gestures, so will see. Giving the characters alittle more development in there movments to reflect there personalities would also be key for this, and NO by no means did either one of you seem hard on me for a critiques. You both gave me what i wanted, good clean advice, and more importantly inspiration :thumbsup:
Some of the things you both asked, the arms swinging and shield
I gave them extra movment to show more weight towards the knight cause of how small he was to the objects, but maybe i should minimize that down abit, the lipsync I did through shape animation. I made heads and then shaped the lips to the letters, then key framed out the sounds.

To you all, I am curious about you guys, what are your areas of interest in animation, what do you use for software, are any of you working or have worked, do you know of any good modeling technics for poly character modeling…
Thanks again guys for taking time out on my behalf, i really appreciate the advice and will go to it… Talk to you all later


Holy crap.

I can’t tell you how good it feels to meet someone who can take harsh criticism. That will serve you very very well, keep that up, by all means.

Right now i’m an animation student at VFS. I use softimage, for no reason other than that’s what VFS teaches. I’ll show you my demo reel in a couple months, when it’s finished.

If you want advice on what to do next, I’d say take a little monologue from a movie, something ~10 - 15 seconds long, and do the monologue with your knight character (but remove the sword and shield first). Try and get the acting perfect, but don’t copy the movie, act it out yourself and try to do it in the most convincing way possible. Make sure he takes a couple steps durring the thing, and try and get good weight shift.

Start with the big movements, the body, then work your way down to the arms and foot rolls, then hands and face. (It’s useless to have the fingers moving when the body isn’t right yet).

Doing this will make you better in just about all areas of animation, movement, getting a sense of weight, acting, facial, and lipsync. Try to get each of 'em perfect.

Oh, and don’t worry about sound effects for everything, they really took away from this piece, I think. Just the dialogue is enough.


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