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London MCM EXPO May 24th-26th 2019
ExCeL London
One Western Gateway
Royal Victoria Dock
London E16 1XL

Other Animations

Prior to Genma I did have several other shots at animation as well. These were done during my University days all of which have a set theme and request on behalf of the modules at the time, as I explain with each one.

Animation is definately a hands down fun experience, if not a little surreal and otherwordly when you see your own characters move and talk for the first time. What certainly helped a lot before was prior experiments as teen with powerpoint slideshows and making fan-made cartoon music videos. As such these were mostly compiled with the use of Adobe Premiere and Magix Audio and Video editor. As well as the use of 3D Studio Max and Macromedia Flash (the latter bought out by Adobe i believe) my approach to these animations was mostly a self taught process depending on my more traditional approach. I usually have higher aspirations with most things i do but because time was short when working on these i often had to find simplied solutions to the problems presented. I suppose you could say that these animations function as Animatics; teasers and tests for ideas of bigger to come.
As an overview, the animation period for me was for the most part a buff for my penchant for Illustration, Sequential stories, comics and Storyboards, but even still this did teach this dog quite a few tricks and I'd love to give animation a go again in the future.

Further credits including Sounds and Music are mentioned in each vid.

The Trap

For this animation, the task at hand was to centre an animation around the idea of building up tension to the highest peak before a release. Naturally Horror felt like the best choice of subject.
The designs on this one was based on an Idea in my secondary School back when i was quite enthusiastic for 1st person shooters and the modding tools that often came with them. Effectively, this animation is akin to Id Software's Doom with perhaps a slightly more transylvanian theme with the Post Apocalypse \ abandoned city motif in place. The idea of the blackened creatures that jump right out were meant to be werewolves, albeit a more visceral take on them. Everything else was plain demonology and it was a blast to design these. I opted for the green gore as a means of making this cartoon 12 A \ PG13 in age rating.
If memory serves, asides from studying similar animations and film that plays off tension and release, it was recommended to explore personal facial expressions and poses as a source of inspiration, hence why this unnamed Soldier bears a slight resemblance in the face to me. The atheletic physique is owed to the animation, sadly.


3D Utensil Animation

My first proper 3D Animation. The course in 3D was aimed to test the water with students by having us animate for 30 seconds inanimate objects of our choosing, giving them movement and personality. At the same time for the choice of programs were were asked to choose between 3D Studio Max and Maya. After at first loosing my cool with the former and trying out the latter, i eventually chose 3D Studio Max as i felt the texturing, animation and vertix editing et all felt a lot more accessible at the time. Plus i had heard of 3D Studio Max around the campfire for years before i gave it a go, so my eagerness was already in favour of that one.
We modeled various types of objects and settings at the time before we we let go to create out own animations. I believe i chose the Whisk, Scissors, Kettle and 3 way Adjustable Ceiling lights (i.e. 3 heads) as i felt these objects of different sizes, and therefore anatomies, could convey a good sense of differentiating character and personality among them.
Inititially these were animated without sound, which wasn't requested and the fact that they were dancing gave the story enough structure in its own right. The music shown here was only really a Youtube specific addition.


Curious Corn

Following up from the 1st 3d animation, we were next expected to up our game by animating living organic characters for 45 seconds. We were given free reign to create and portray whatever we wished so long as we added in 3d modelling terms "bone structures" or skeletons to make them animate. I remember having to make do with the distinct lack of tutorials back then which was a slightly bummer, but I did score notably well for this one so that's one perk.
So this animation is pretty straight forward. 2 anthropomorphic corn cobs gain life only to run afoul of a vegetarian dog (called Seymour in the development). The title is a reference to the album Curious Corn by the Ozric Tentacles, with the track Afroclonk playing in the background. The corn cobs, X-Moody and Kiddywinks as they were called were animated with the aforementioned skeleton rigging aimed to give their limbs a tentacle like effect whereas Seymours animation was a simple but detailed Polygon editing. As a whole, it was a joy to animate these not just to integrate an artstyle based from my animations into it but also play around with slapstick and cartoony sfx within the 3d medium.


Max gets Even

This one has to start with a bit of explaining.
The concept i had in mind involved a rather colourful, futuristic world where monsters exist, super heroes and villains duke it out, and robotic cyborgs work jobs from Army Service to teaching Gym. Enter Max Juggernaught, a no good street punk who gets arrested for his last big crime and in his circumstance given the option of Jail or the Army. Choosing the latter, Max is later brutally maimed in action at the warfront and presumed dead. His body is acquired by a shady Super Weapons corporation who proceed to do awful experiments on him using Cyborg implants and mutation with Velociraptor DNA. Eventually escaping the facility and the authorities, Max screams in despair in the wake of his painful rebirth. Just what would his mother think?
As fate would have it, while crying on the sidewalk while on the run from the Law, Max is shown kindness by a young Shiki Logan (called Emiko in this cartoon), a young super-heroine to be who takes him in and hides him from those who seek to wrong him. Seeing this as a chance to turn his life around, Max soon leaves the shelter of the Logan family, vowing to fight for good, with an everlasting respect for his former young protector who he now refers to as a Niece, God-Daughter or sometimes just Daughter.
12 years later to the present day, and Shiki has grown up to become a pretty lady who has increased strength and frankly doesn't need protecting. Max is still underground carrying out his vigilante activities against the Corporation that wrong him. He is still very protective of Shiki. When his so-called Niece is given an F for gym at school (regardless if its erraneous), Max sees this as a mission from God to find the guy who did it, tie him down to a chair and make him pay for the crime against the heroine who helped him.
Mr Tamano on the other hand is a human who was scarred in a freak Alligator accident where Cyborg implants were the key to his survival. He took up sports and bullying to get back his confidence and got a job as a pig headed Gym teacher with a hidden heart of gold and a fear of Reptilian monsters. He also loves donuts.
I had to make this part clear because you don't see any of this information in the animation itself, and to some extent it's besides the point of this animation as I will mention but anywho.
The original title for this universe and concept was Zyshok (many moons ago). It eventually got intergrated into what i call the Tytronitek City Incident, a separate title that originally started life as a fan remake of a popular anime, but it had so much creative leeway that it was better off as its own title to explore. Further Irony in that the Tytronitek City universe would be later integrated into the Lore and setting of Genma Visage itself, although not necessarily for the benefit of the characters...
Anywho, regarding the modules task at the time of this animation course, the key focus was on characterisation, body language and voice acting. The scene we had to convey in simple base form (we could expand on it later) was a character walks into a room, talks with another prudent character. Display various amounts of emotion and then leave. I generally switched roles for my take with the 3 characters, but the tutors didn't seem to mind. On top of this it was asked that we take lots of film footage and photos of ourselves posing and portraying our own characters. Along with additional sketches you could say that i was Practially Rotoscoped in this piece.
And then came the voice acting. Max was voiced by me doing my best attempt at the time at an Australian accent which i would alter to sound deeper and monstrous in the editing process. It's a bit cringing i will admit hearing my voice, but the brilliant voices provided by Andy Ornelas and Angela made up for it.
The tutors also requested that the main character has to leave the room in the end as well. I decided to have Max's exit though the wall as a comical stinger in the credits in case anyone was thinking if i had forgotten.
Very fun to work on all the same, and I'd like a chance to draw more of Mr Tamano and Shiki in the future (and I can of course!)


5th Wheel

First looking at this again i though "Zulie gets and animation before old Red-eyes does? That jammy girl!" and so it was.
With this one, the aim of the module was solely towards video game design. The catch and the challenge was that the handheld game console that we had to work with was only allowed one button besides the off switch and that movement of cursors or characters would be done by tilting and rotating the device in different angles. In hindsight, keep an eye on the screen may have been the greater challenge at hand.
A dance game like DDR mats seemed a very unlikely coming from me, but my other ideas didn't exactly make the most of the challenge imposed. Plus this gave me the chance as always to make up for shortcomings with crazy ingame designs and whatnot. The idea was like a game like Puzzle Bobble, with competitors from all walks of life with different agendas taking up a grand dancing tournament. Plus a cameo with Zulie with her design at the time.
It was a bit of a shame that i didn't really have the technology at the time persay to render in the onscreen dance interface (i.e. the scrolling arrows that you have to tap) but still it was a gas to design the actual handheld in 3D Studio max and compile a video as if it was on a demoreel.


Zyshok Promo

This predates the other animations by a few years. Like the Trap, this was again inspired by 1st Person Shooters, as most of the sound effects were adapted from Doom and the music of Aubrey Hodges. Unlike the Trap, half of this was animated with Stop motion pipe cleaner models, the originals of which i have buried in a bag somewhere. I recall taking quite a few photos against a sheet of paper at a relative's house where i was staying for a bit. Each character from each photo were lassoed from their jpgs and edited into the scenery. Like 5th wheel and the Genma Visage animations this was animated by creating each frame individually in Photoshop and importing them into a video editing program to make them animate in sequence. Slightly painstaking as all animation is.
The main hero if that's what you wish to call him is meant to be Max J from Max gets Even. I suppose if its within context this is meant to be his cyber-monster soldier days when he was out hunting drone scrubs.

Genma Visage and its related works are Copyright to Thomas Tuke. All rights reserved.