Fate Saga is a fantastical, action/drama animated series about fate and free will, and follows Cain, a knight who can see the future. With only glimpses of prophecies to guide him, Cain interferes in natural disasters and war in hopes of stopping his tragic visions from happening.

However, in a world on the brink of an apocalypse, is knowing the final outcome enough to change it?

Fate Saga is an original animated action/drama series taking place in a fantastical world based on Medieval Europe.

31 August 2010

Shot 152 Updated (Edited 9/6/10)

Updates 9/6/10: I had some critiques that Cyrus was changing hand position on the scythe too much in the end before he strikes Cain, which implies that the scythe is much longer in the end than it is in the beginning. After carefully looking it over and comparing it to the first time he adjusts his hand position earlier in the animation, I think they were right and the scythe did seem too long. So I went back and kept the same time length, but slowed the animation down so he shifts the scythe in his hands less than before. I think it does look better now! Thanks everyone for your help!

Updates 9/4/10: To resolve the problem with anticipation and impact of when Cyrus knocks Cain out of his path, I added more frames in between when Cyrus pushes off of the table and when he hits Cain. This gives Cyrus a pause, where he's shifting hand position on the scythe while watching Cain. This pause gives Cyrus thinking time, and the viewer a moment to make sure the action doesn't get ahead of them.

I'm still tweaking the impact, particularly on Cain's part. I want to show a bit of whip action in Cain's neck as his head drops down and his body flies back. However, it's been challenging to do so while keeping the action quick enough. With school coming quickly in the horizon, I think I'm going to set this animation to the side and continue working on others, until I can get the critiques of my professors.

I anticipate that I'll be going back to many of these animations and tweak them before they go into inking/clean up. The best I can think of to do right now is to have as many animations ready to show (both individually and together for shot-by-shot flow) by the time school starts.

Original Post: I've started adding the rest of the animation when Cyrus slams the butt of his scythe into Cain and knocks him off screen. I'm still making adjustments to the impact and the anticipation on Cyrus' part. Because Cyrus shifts the scythe from holding it right at the end, to holding it right at the base of the blades, I needed Cyrus to shift his hand position back towards the middle/lower part of the scythe. So during his anticipation, he's supposed to throw the scythe back and catch it in a quick motion.

I don't think the change in hand position on the scythe reads that clearly, but adding more frames makes the motion too slow and the most important aspect of that motion is to show the impact. I think it works to a degree, but I will probably switch to a different sequence and go back and mess around with this shot again in the future.

05 August 2010

Test Comp v7 Updated 9/07/10

Here's a quick compilation of the animations that have been done thus far put together in sequence. The gaps are filled with the storyboards and there's one blank gap. The timing of the storyboard's isn't perfect and there's no sound yet other than Cain's scream of righteous fury. This is just a test to see how the clips are meshing together in sequence.

9/9/10: Added more dialogue to the composite. Added extra frames at the end of shot 152 because I felt it cut too abruptly. Began animation for shots 153 and 155.

9/7/10: Added Zelda's fire to shots 107, 111, 112, 113, 118, 126, 127, 144. Fixed Cain's eyes in shot 143 so now he looks more like he's looking down at the fire instead of looking over it. Adjusted his animation a little in shot 144. Added shots 130-132, and added the ending animation to shot 152.

8/7/10: Added Cyrus' maniacal laugh, Zelda's fire on shots 133, 134, 137, 140 and 151, rough animation sequences for shots 115, 116, 119 and 122.

I really wanted to do the shots before and after the sequences Tracy handled (117-118). I loved her impact so I really wanted to make Shot 116 have the same amount of force that is implied in her animations. I like how the shots are flowing.

I think tomorrow I'm going to play around with shots 120 and 121. I would really like to try and complete those and as many other connecting sequences as I can before I visit family in NY on Monday. I'll be there for 10 days and, from then on, redirect some of my focus on the Thesis paper and preparing for a class I'm teaching next quarter. This blog will continue to be updated, just possibly not as frequently.

I wonder if I should make a new blog chronicling my research with the paper? I didn't intend to originally, but it may be an interesting way of keeping track and give others the opportunity to give their input.

8/7/10: Added shots 111 and 120. Fixed shot 144 (143 and 144 both had Cain look over, so that it appeared that he looks in the same direction twice.). I want to work on 121 and fix 143 next. (143 has Cain's eyes looking up above the fire instead of down at it. It'll be a quick fix once I get to it)

8/8/10: Added shots 121, 123 and 124.

8/26/10: Added Zelda's gorgeous fire to several of the shots! Sorry for the temporary lull in updates. As I had warned previously, I had to redirect my focus to the Thesis paper and the class I'm teaching next quarter, but I will soon be working on a little bit more animation to get as far as I can before the quarter starts. Once it starts, I will probably be updating the blog more frequently again since working on the Thesis film will be a very high priority.

04 August 2010

Shot 110, 117-118, 145 and 147 Roughs

Shot 110 Roughs

This was a tough shot to do just because I didn't have much time to plan it. Originally I figured it would look better to make it look fast, so my first draft included speed lines and blurred motion. But it ended up looking more like a helicopter blade spinning over Cyrus' head and it didn't look like Cyrus was the one making it spin. So I went to my references with Tyler (A friend of mine who knows martial arts and was kind enough to re-enact some of Cain and Cyrus' moves on camera!), and focused on Cyrus' hand and arm motions to try and keep it true-er to real life - while of course pushing it a little.

Shot 117-118 Roughs by Tracy MacLauchlan

Once again Tracy did an excellent job with shots 117-118! I love the impact, how much Cyrus gets knocked back and how he sways like a stunned fighting game character. I really felt the intensity of the impact.

Shot 145 Roughs

Not much to this shot. It's the moment Cain realizes what he's doing. I wanted the eyes to show the expression first (mainly the pupil/iris) and the rest follow suit. I also felt the sweat would be a nice touch.

Shot 147

This is a fairly simple shot as well. I wanted to get some of the easier shots out of the way while I'm confined to the tablet, now that the fire scenes are done! It's simply Cyrus reacting with confusion to Cain's sudden lack of bloodlust.

01 August 2010

Shot 141-143 Fire Test

Fire effects by Zelda Vinciguerra

Here are some gorgeous fire roughs done by the amazing Zelda! I think the fire adds so much more to the scene, and it's the center of both Cain's focus and the viewer's.

Shot 112 Roughs

These are the roughs for shot 112 in progress. This...is a pretty hard shot, to be honest. Cyrus was a little challenging but Cain is especially hard. Probably went through a good several false starts, especially since I wanted to synchronize it to the intensity of the yell.

The way I handled the camera move was by making the stage the width of the camera move (which is double the width of the stage - 1440 x 540px). Then I made a box in the Flash file that was the size of the camera view - 720x540px) and used a classic tween to move it from one side of the stage to the other, with some ease. That's how I calculated when to draw Cyrus since there wasn't any point in animating Cyrus when he's not visible on stage.

I used reference for both Cyrus and Cain, but much more loosely than what I originally intended. I had even considered rotoscoping Cain, but one of my earlier attempts with that just didn't work. It didn't feel like the animation mixed with the rest of my pilot, and rotoscope can be limiting. So there's no rotoscoping in this sequence. So in the end, I used the references only for a few of the poses so I'd have a loose guess for the foot placement and posture. I still need to work a bit on Cain, but here's the progress so far.

Updates: 8/1/2010 - Tweens and background have been added. Cain definitely will need some fixing once I get to clean up (he looks more like he's power walking than running, really). However I think it's more of an issue with some of Cain's poses. I'm overall very happy with the timing and Cyrus' roughs, and the movement of the camera. So for what I need for Zelda's fire, it's ready enough. And with the deadline fast approaching, I'll come back to this after I've hit the other fire scenes.