Episode 01: Nintendo, Abortion, and The Amazing Spiderdman This first episode will (be planned to) include:
- The first half of The Amazing Spiderdman from Episode 209: Toxic Love Holes
- Megaman Legends 3 Abortion from Episode 187: The Rosa Parks of Pensises
- Hamza is Meg Griffin from Episode 210: Iím Nightwing & Iím Gonna Sex Your Ass
- Max Scoville is a Dick from Episode 154: Willem Dafoe in The Breast Man
- How Sakurai Made Smash Brothers Brawl from Episode 199: Goose Penis
Starting off with a bang, thereís at least 9 minutes of fun-filled cockery for everyone to enjoy.
At least the four minute Spiderdman segment will make it to PAX, the other (much shorter) segments will be animated at a later time, and added into the final product. If youíre aching from a lack of ďWillem Dafoe Movie PitchesĒ or ďIs It Pedophilia Or Not?Ē, fear not, those will come out in future episodes.
Iím trying to find clips from Podtoid that are universally timeless, so the relevance of the jokes wonít diminish or become irrelevant. In other words, topics unrelated to current video games offer the best material because theyíll still be funny 3 years from now, whereas a Gears of War 3 or Duke Nukem Forever joke may not be as funny then (or now). Iíll still try to fit some in though.
My entire last month has been spent creating character designs, which have taken several hours each, mostly because Iím a perfectionist for getting things right, meaning Iíll spend minutes just getting the pupils in the right spot for the eyes. My philosophy is to patiently get things right the first time, then release a half-hearted project that Iíll have to clean up later. This point is slightly counteracted by the fact that, as many artists will agree, when Iím done with a project, Iíll think it was shit and move onto the next one in hopes of self-improvement. This mentality has helped me grow as an artist and stay humble about my skills, which I still (and always will) think are rubbish.
So enough introspective, how are characters made? Well, in Flash, character libraries allow animators to reuse existing assets and keep them organized. This often lends to the ďcopy-pastedĒ stuff you see in modern animation and many webcomics, but this ďcheapĒ method allows for quicker turnarounds, and is harder to spot when one makes good variation and puts in high detail to the base character. Creating character libraries also allows you to edit just one ďmasterĒ image, and it corrects itself whenever itís used in the rest of the video.
When designing the characters, each has a simple shape to follow when I designed them, and whenever I have to redraw their silhouettes:
- Jim: Egg
- Jon: Upside down Egg
- Tara: Two Ovals
- Max: Downward pointing triangle
- Hamza: Rectangle
- Conrad: Short square
The characters are portrayed in ĺís perspective similar to Simpsons and Family Guy. So while they arenít realistic, they can look forward or to the side without having to drawn completely different assets (as well as the animation for moving between stances). Characters are broken up into layers, in which each limb will rotate off of in simple animations. Dynamic stuff or anything with strange camera angles will require completely newly drawn assets, but break up the monotony of the cheaper character designs.
Shown below is the mouth reference for Tara Long, allow me to animate mouth flaps much quicker (gets done in seconds) than redraw each mouth (takes over a minute). For me, lip synching is the most boring step in animation, but done right, itís one of the most important steps to bring life to a character. By setting up all the mouths first, and creating a key to reference which frame is which, I cut down the time it takes immensely.
Now that you know a little about how episodes are created, stay tuned for more posts as well as the first Contribution Campaign below.
Additional Trivia about the different characters that will help you pick up chicks:
- Max has a little bird drawn on his neck stump
- Hamza has the words ALSO and COCKS written into his arm hair
- Hamzaís arm hair is in its own layer
- In terms of little things with the most detail, Hamzaís glasses take the cake
- Jonathan is wearing a slightly ďoff-brandĒ Beemo T-Shirt (so we don't get sued)
- Hamza is wearing a variation of his vibrant purple and blue shirts that he is known to roll up
- Three character wear ties, to add variation to them:
- Jimís is tucked in
- Maxís is a thin tie with a loose end sticking out
- Hamzaís is a thick tie with a profession neck job
- Conradís shirt design is set in its own layer so the design can be changed on a whim
- Although all the characters have proportions that give them big hands and heads, Tara has the largest head.
- Tara has two different designs depending on the direction she faces in order to keep her hair consistent. (See Sagat in older Street Fighter games to see consistency issue)
- Hamza, Tara, and Conrad have exposed arms/hands which change the hierarchy on how their arms/hands are stacked
- Compared to the E.Y.E. Divine Cybermancy animation, the characters are drawn with Vector lines instead of brushes, in order to keep them uniform and cleaner.
- Jim is the only character without a neck
- Jim is the only character without an eye layer embedded into his face since heís always wearing aviators. He does have different eyebrows depending on extreme circumstances.
- Several characters went through some complete revisions over the last month in order to ďnot make them look like B^U.Ē Maxís faces was pushed inward more, Jonís eyes became more sleepy, and his entire body was pushed to resemble something akin to a gorilla, instead of a middle-aged man.