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Submitted on
May 26, 2005
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550 (who?)
Samurai Skirmish - part II by Inkthinker Samurai Skirmish - part II by Inkthinker
Editing this commentary down to the basics. I've brought this up again because it serves as the basis for a segement of animation in HTF's latest short animated film, Kumo Kuro. Keep an eye out for it.

-EDIT- Because of the way DA handled GIF animations back when this was uploaded, you must Download the file (which just opens it in a new browser window) to see the animation. Sorry 'bout that.


At any rate, I'm fairly satisfied with this segment, enough to call it finished. Let me know if you think there's anything that still needs attention (besides the very opening cut... I know, it's fast, but I kinda like it that way for now).

Total time taken for this was about 12-16 hours of solid work... I wasn't keeping super-close track, but I busted out about 3-4 hours a night over 4 nights to get to this point. All Easytoon and 4x5 tablet.
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gianhet Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2009
nice, but maybe a lil too fast^^
turtleboat Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2009  Student Artist
Oh man, i remember this! I think this was all over the internet once. It's fucking awesome.
Fallencypt Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
I see it again, I think the only little suggestion I can propose is the last part, where the samurai got kick into the air. When he land, he should have some couching when he sliding away. So that he won't look so robotic. and few more frames on the villain pro get hold of the samurai's sword. Make it as if they were fighting a bit of strength on the arms, in stead of like: my combo is finish, now is yours.

really a brilliant work. It's must be really hard to draw all this in 24fps rate. I salute for your effort and excellency.
roronora Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2008
I know this is a dumb question, but how long on average does it take you to draw one frame lol?

Oh and don't you kinda get distracted (or mislead) by the onion skin?

It's just your animations always seem so perfect.
Inkthinker Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
It's not a dumb question at all, it's perfectly reasonable.

In regards to how long it takes to draw a frame: it varies; for roughs, it can be anwhere from a couple minutes up to ten... if it's taking longer than ten minutes to draw out a key frame, it's probably too complex and I need to rethink it. For tweens, which is almost mathematical drawing, usually a couple minutes.

This still means I can only animate a few seconds a day, at most. It's slow, but luckily I have partners who help speed it along by parallel processing.

In regards to the onion skin being distracting or misleading: No, not usually. It takes practice to get used to seeing through the lines, of course, but the onion skinning is your guide... without it, you can't tell where you've been or where you're going. If it becomes distracting (and it can be) then you turn it off, or at least turn off some of them. But ultimately it's serving the same purpose as a traditional light table. I rarely get mislead, 'cause my previous frames are blue and my following frames are red, and so long as I remember that blue moves into red, I'm good. In that regard, it beats the old days when I animated straight to paper.
roronora Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2008
Thanks for that detailed reply.
I should know where I'm at now with time management.

You've just set me straight. My problem is is that I always rush frames thinking that I'm going too slow, but then it leads to an average/below average animation.

Thanks again.
Inkthinker Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
Timing is one of those things that's hard to work out, but it's also the most important thing in animation. You pick it up over time with practice... Easytoon is pretty good for that. Remember to work out your keyframes first, then your breakdowns... the number of frames it takes to go between 'em determines how many tweens you need.
roronora Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2008
Thanks a lot (and sorry for another question) but how do you actually create your fight scenes, like this one and that epic "Overviolent" one?
Do you just go straight ahead drawing frame after frame or do you draw your keys, then your extremes, then passing positions etc.?

Because I once tried to use that pose-to-pose method (That might be what it's called) but I failed miserably at it.

I find it hard to know where to place the keys, extremes etc. because I usually leave myself with too much space in between 'em. I especially find it hard with EasyToon. But I guess it's to do with timing, as you said.

Oh and one last question (I promise), do you have any tips for good blood effects? My blood doesn't look liquidy at all, he-he.
Inkthinker Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
The answer is both... again, this is one of those things you get over time, as you practice the craft, until eventually it "clicks".

It's easier to start by key-to-key. You set up your first keyframe (the beginning of any particular action) and you set up your second key (the end of that same action) and then you make a guess as to how many tweens you will need. Ideally you test that guess in a timeline, by placing the keys your estimated distance apart and playing it back to see how it feels, but if you can't use a timeline then you can just wing it, and over time you get a feel for it that improves your estimations.

With sufficient experience in timing you get better at animating "straight forward", wherein you just draw one frame after another. But without the timing experience, it's all too easy to go long or fall short... the latter isn't so bad, 'cause you can always add tweens, but the former means time wasted.

Play back your actions often to avoid putting in too many drawings. Check your timing as you go, and you'll get better at controlling it.

Remember that the keys are the extremes of the motion, the farthest points of the action, the drawings that define everything else that follows. They're the framework for the construction, and it's not as though they're set in stone.

As for blood, remember not to make it too blobby (which is the mistake I see most often). Until it congeals, it's as dynamic a fluid as most, and so it will splatter and smear and fleck and soak and run downhill, just like most liquids.

Study the motion of liquids in general. Spill some water or some juice and watch how it splats and runs and gathers. Take the time to see how drops plop, reverberate and ripple. Watch hi-speed video of liquids in action (search em out online, there's plenty out there) and see how the liquids stretch and snap and rebound based on surface tension.

With most anything, the more you watch and study it, the better you understand it. And when you understand it, you can draw it.
roronora Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2008
Again, thank you for the great advice.
This stuff is golden.

*Bows down*
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