Starship Farragut: The Animated Episodes Questions

Discussion in 'Fan Productions' started by FalTorPan, Jun 18, 2008.

  1. FalTorPan

    FalTorPan Vice Admiral Admiral

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    NEO f/x, do you have any recommended web sites or books for people who might want to do something similar to Starship Farragut: The Animated Episodes?
     
  2. NEO f/x

    NEO f/x Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Thanks for asking....As most folks may know, we didn't start off with 2D animation. Instead, we are known for our CGI. However the concepts are very similar...basically fooling the eye that what the person sees on the screen is 'real' or 'realistic' with regard to the environment presented.

    What you will find is that no matter what the medium is..whether it be 3D or 2D, it really is just a method for telling a story. For example, South Park (and even Filmation-style animation) are not the most advanced animation techniques; however I rarely notice them now as they have established themselves as the delivery mechanisms, and I simply pay attention to the stories at this point.

    With this being 2009, I wouldn't worry about finding material on how to do traditional stop-frame animation (which, technically Filmation was...we 'fake' it, as does South Park now). Instead, I would UNDERSTAND how they did it, and see if you can find 2009 method for achieving the look you are going for. Most likely, it will be computer-based, and either Adobe Flash or something similar to that. To get started from even the basic level, you may want to look at items like this: http://goanimate.com/ or
    http://www.reallusion.com/reallusiontv/ct/productdemo.asp

    Bottom line, define the look and style you are going for, and find a method for doing it consistently. But don't let the process of making the animation get in the way of your telling the story. Filmation Trek, by its virtue, is not a lot of action; instead it was typically a lot of talking, head shots, and storytelling. But, don't paint yourself into a box either....once you define your look, expand upon it to do different things and to tell more complex stories.

    I wish I could be more helpful with suggestions, but it really is for you to define what you want it to look like and how much time you wish to spend on it. If you want to pump something out quick, something above might work. For your own style, you may have to spend a bit of time and work a lot on it. At the end of the day, it will be YOUR creation, and no one can take that away from you.
     
  3. jaksajak

    jaksajak Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Nice comments!
     
  4. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    As a former animator myself I'm going to butt in and make some suggestions.

    Michael is correct in that what's the most important thing is to decide what approach you want and how much time you're willing to commit. Most TV animation is "limited". The Filmation style is what Warner Bros.' cartoon great Chuck Jones called "illustrated radio": there's so little animation (other than lip sync) that it is, for all practical purposes, still illustrations punctuated by moments of animation. If you're happy with this level of animation, then that's the level you should aim for...but don't underestimate how much work even that is.

    Character animation is even more complicated, because it requires the characters to act primarily through their movements rather than relying on voice alone. This means body language and a myriad of expressions that require a real understanding of expressions and how to "pose" characters, and is vastly more work.

    In either case, it's a good idea to understand as much about the subject as possible even if you decide to take the simplest approach. What I'm going to recommend are not related to software, but to animation theory and practices, specficially.

    If you have a serious interest in the principles in animation, I recommend the book The Animator's Survival Kit by animation master Richard Williams (Who Framed Roger Rabbit). It totally demystifies the process, from the basics to advanced techniques.

    A fun blog by a very opinionated animator who's worth reading even if you don't always agree with his tastes is that of Ren & Stimpy creator John Kricfalusi, who discusses everything from layout to character appear to the downfalls of overly stylized characters.
     
  5. NEO f/x

    NEO f/x Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Maurice...you are dead on correct about that....I am going on YEARS that I have been working on the lip sync for the Farragut stuff...now I see why, many times, Filmation simply showed something else when folks were talking.

    However, this does go to a good point...it is a LOT of work if you want it to be...depending on the style. Don't be afraid of hard work, however. There is an old saying...if you want what everyone else has, do what they are doing...if you want MORE than the others, you have to do more.
     
  6. DogPatch1149

    DogPatch1149 Cadet Newbie

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    TNM

    EXCELLENT work...the team has truly captured the TAS feel and look, and indeed improved on it noticeably, especially in the area of sound effects.

    Nice touch with the Gorn ship resembling the CBSD version. I thought it was neat how the ray effect is basically the exact same as the one from the Klingon cruiser in "More Tribbles, More Troubles"...if I'm not mistaken, the sound is the same as well.

    Is Ralph Miller the same person who originally voiced the Gorn in TOS? If he's not, he's got that voice spot-on perfect, especially the way he says "Kirrrrk" and how there's the hiss effect in the translation.

    Keep up the fantastic work. The technical talent and obvious love for Star Trek show in everything you do.
     
  7. NEO f/x

    NEO f/x Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: TNM

    Actually, Ralph did not do the original TOS Gorn (there is actually contridictions online on who did, but that is another story). However, Ralph DOES do this Gorn, and another one we haven't seen before. You WILL be able to tell subtle differences in the voice between the two Gorns, but the second one even sounds like it was done by another familiar Trek voice (Think Balok as a Gorn).
     
  8. Kelso

    Kelso Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: TNM

    I hope you're talking about Ted's Balok... he'd have made a fantastic Gorn. Though, Vic's certainly would have been interesting.
     
  9. FalTorPan

    FalTorPan Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Thanks to everyone who replied to my question. John Kricfalusi's blog is very enlightening!

    I wasn't entirely clear with my original question. I'm very aware that I have much to learn about 2D animation. Having said that, I'm familiar as a very amateurish hobbyist with related areas, such as 3D animation, digital video editing, visual effects, audio editing, foley work, etc. I just want to dabble with 2D animation for now, but using some of the same tools that others have used in their projects. I am a licensed user of Adobe Creative Suite 4, including Photoshop, After Effects, Flash and other applications that, to this point, I've only used for the aforementioned activities. Does anyone have recommendations about how I might utilize these tools to make an animated short? Obviously I would start with something very simple.

    Thanks!
     
  10. NEO f/x

    NEO f/x Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    In that case, since you have the Abode suite (which is what we use), you have all of the tools to do something. For us, it is create the base drawings and any of the moving parts of the character in Photoshop, put them together and animate them in AE for each 'scene', render out the scene, and then put it into a timeline with the other scenes to create a movie in Premiere.

    If you are comfortable with Flash, you can take the AE step out and replace it with Flash animations.

    I recommend starting with a simple story and character...maybe even a stick figure..that would be easy to animate. I would create a simply story board of the camera angles and the movement, Then move the character around in AE ...possibly making his mouth move (I can give you some tips on that as well).

    Does that help at all?
     
  11. FalTorPan

    FalTorPan Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It does indeed, and so did your previous reply. Thanks again!

    Farragut is incredibly cool. Some time ago I put a link to it on the He-Man.org message boards, and people began to wonder what it might be like to see a Masters of the Universe or Blackstar "revival." :)
     
  12. NEO f/x

    NEO f/x Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Um...my arms, hands, and brain are tired from all of the lipsyncing for Farragut..if someone to bring a truck load of money to my house, however, I can probably find a way to work through the pain ;)

    Glad the comments were helpful. Once you get into the flow of the work to create the animations, it isn't too bad..just time consuming.
     
  13. jaksajak

    jaksajak Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Whats up, everyone. I animate with Flash and also use it to draw. It has a great drawing tool that helps with contouring the lines. If you'd like a cleaner look though, you can use the actual line tool, but I find that to be less intuitive. There are lots of tutorials out there and other ways to get started. The animation is done on a timeline via tweening and it works pretty well depending on your experience. The newer versions of Flash also have filters for basic lighting effects, which I've been experimenting with. Feel free to PM or post any questions, this forum has lots of experienced and talented production artists.
     
  14. AJBryant

    AJBryant Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Have you thought of writing an article (or maybe a book thing) on how to do computer-based animation? With the TAS tie in, you have a good special niche point to work from. I'd buy it. :)
     
  15. NEO f/x

    NEO f/x Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Ironically, yes I have...I have written three articles previously for a magazine call HDRI3D, which as the name hints at, is for mostly 3D artists. I did start an article a couple months ago about the animated episodes, but was in the middle of finishing Power Source, so I had to delay it.

    The most difficult part of the article was actually giving some indepth informtion. When it comes down to it, all I am doing is setting up animations in AE using time remapped keyframes. Nothing really spectacular, and I was advised by the editors to 'flavor' it up with more about how digital animation contrasts traditional cel animation.

    The article may yet see the light of day...but probably next year between projects.
     
  16. AJBryant

    AJBryant Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Well, I will definitely be looking forward to getting my sweaty mitts on it. In the meantime, I'm going to try to find those other pieces...
     
  17. NEO f/x

    NEO f/x Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    We have been quiet lately with the holidays, but I wanted to start the fires again with discussing Starship Farragut:The Animated Episodes.

    Ever since the release of Power Source we have been working on the completion of the next episode, The Needs of the Many. Just like before, the more difficult ares of the story and new animations are in the later acts. Act 1, however, is about ready to go, and I plan to release this on 12/31/09 at 12:00 PST (noon, basically).

    This will be a different episode than Power Source, but hopefully no less enjoyable. The fan-crew has been working on their acting, and I hope everyone hears a marked improvement in this episode.

    I will post more later, but hope everyone had a great holiday!
     
  18. jaksajak

    jaksajak Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Good to hear, thanks for posting. I'm looking forward to this episode and your release on New Year's Eve day. Keep up the good work!
     
  19. Barbreader

    Barbreader Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I am always glad to hear about people trying to create quality Fan Trek. I have been making it my mission to make as much Fan Trek as possible available to view, but there's never enough high quality Fan Trek, nor could there ever be enough. Farragut's work has been good or excellent, and I'm delighted that you want it to become even better!

    I'm also looking forward to your next live action episode.
     
  20. Captain Randy Hall

    Captain Randy Hall Commodore Commodore

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    Since this looks to be a pretty ambitious episode, with Andorians, Gorn, Romulans and space battles, I'm looking forward to seeing it as well!