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Aug 14, 2013 | 7:17 PM EDT

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Shattered Heaven

Episode 1 "The Path Laid Out"

An original mecha animated web series based off the novel series of the same name.

A hundred years has passed since the rebirth of humanity. A new world, born from a catastrophe of its own making. The world has grown and technology has advanced. Genesis Global, the world's fore front developer of mechanized frames continue to help educate new generations. The New Year is upon us. For each year, a new path is revealed.

Cast in order of appearance

Narrator: Ty Konzak
Extras: Tamtu Bui, Heidi Tabing, Gerardo Paz
Mike Aquilus: Carlos Moreno
Grace Cooper: Corinne S.
Christina Efflorenso: Michelle Deco
Sean Repens: Brian Gilbert
Jen Fama: Jasmine Carbonell
Amy Caecus: Kira Buckland
Adam Novus: Adam Tilford
Severen: Niel Sumter
Catherine Henning: Brittany Lauda
Sarah Henning: Holly Hampson
Stephen Novus: Greg Nugent
Veronica Laboro: Jessi Nowack

Music composed by Project Trinity

Ending theme
"Broken Machine"
Performed by Amanda Lee
Lyrics and composition by Luke Thomas

Purchase the full song here - http://shatteredheaven.bandcamp.com/

Follow the series:

Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/ShatteredHeaven
Twitter - https://twitter.com/christilford

First novel available on Kindle -
http://www.amazon.com/Shattered-Heaven-Sins-Soul-ebook/dp/B007QOVL38

Reviews


KingsPointKingsPoint

Rated 4 / 5 stars August 23, 2013

I agree with some of the other comments, I'd like to know my characters before I'm flooded with more, but either way I think this is off to a decent start. I wont comment on the art because if you're working on it and improving there is nothing I have to say. The character Mike's voice makes me laugh but it starts to bother me as much as Yugi's voice did after hearing him for a while, but I wouldn't want it changed because his voice and way of speaking does make him unique in terms of speech, but it can be toned down a little bit, at times. Another thing about the characters is that I'd like to see some character development later on in the story. This sure as hell does have potential, and y'know, I've always been kind of a mech guy so I'll definetely continue to watch this :P. Keep working hard, I want to see a dramatic story, epic fights and tragic deaths. By the way the ending of this kind of reminded me of Gundam Seed, especially the outfits the people had on in the last picture.


nikedrummer33 responds:

There will be tragic stuff. I just didn't want to start out with all of that. Kinda wanted to show the main character now as unassuming and then you can see his growth. I suppose it could be comparable to Seed's endings, but I really came up with what I wanted to do out of nowhere. Probably could have been subconsciously inspired by Seed but it wasnt a direct intent. Characters get cut down in the following so it's more focused. Should have done that to begin with but oops


NeochildsNeochilds

Rated 3.5 / 5 stars August 23, 2013

Regardless for my distaste of how the review and critic was handled by Kage-IchihashiKage-Ichihashi, she did make a few valid points regarding your work but it's not what was said but how she stated it I disliked and sounding like an ass gets you no where. Anyway dude keep up the work, do for the love of god fix those lines and work on perspectives and 90% of what she stated unfortunately is true. Raise the bar, make your project unique claim it as your own as so far you have not claimed it and it seems to lack that AHHH DAYUM! feeling. It definitely lacks depth and it's not because you are lazy as this is 15 minutes of animation but there are many tricks to doing that with lighting. I love the narrator and the various character-voice actors. Then again this is not a huge or high budget so I understand that you are working within the limits of your constraints. The one thing I can definitely state is that the voices is much better than 90% of the anime dubs out there.
Unfortunately being an animator and artist it's hard to not get distracted by the perspective and some level of details with depth and character designs, but I did take a look at your profile post regarding being a writer and not being an artist/animator so I will leave it at that. Don't forget you are a creator now so strive to be better and you will be able to do it, don't make excuses. Note to you from me I was never a programmer but I made a game and I don't use the line well I am not a programmer so it's not that great, my statement is I am not a programmer so I will try my best to be better through levels of progress. Anyway dude keep at it I want to see where this goes.


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nikedrummer33 responds:

The art style and lines is an ongoing process. It really is, I've been improving since when I first started and I'll continue as such. So that's not really a problem. The uniqueness, yeah, I can't really say much about it since it's hard to judge a full story on a single snippet. Most people don't review books based on only one chapter and then say it lacks themes, etc, etc. Mainly because things develop over time. No author I know exposes everything immediately. I don't get why people judge/assume to know the story's full theme based on 1 installment. Seems premature really. Just something I've noticed with pretty much every web series so it's more of a general statement I'm making. Like I said in the description, I'm converting my book into an animation. So I'm still a bit "off" when it comes to episodic things. With a book it's straight forward, you have the initial chapter where maybe not a lot happens but you read the next chapter and it's easier to judge the whole thing completely. I actually spoke with some people before doing the first episode, I wasn't sure if I wanted to start the series off at the point in the book where the story/plot really takes off and then do a flash back to show how their life was before the shift. The majority of people told me to keep it chronologically and to have the audience experience it with the character. I could have done it better, clearly. What I was aiming for with the first few episodes is to show the unassuming/laid back/not deep portion of their lives and then have that as the contrast for when they're abruptly introduced to how the world really is. There is a lot of depth and meaning and themes in the book, it's just not shown yet because of how I chose to start it off. A lot about the world is left in the dark for a reason. I wanted to have characters there who do know what's going on and use them as foreshadowing with some lines that may seem unassuming but when the shift happens people can see "oh, that's what was meant." Again, could have done that better. I actually didn't realize most of the names weren't even mentioned until I started mixing it. At that point I just said to hell with it and moved to finish the episode. I actually was looking for a voice director early on, I had someone but something came up. Not that this is an excuse, but I work full time and have a lot of shit going on in life so ultimately I wasn't really in some "let's be creative, happy" state. I was really stringing along, depressed and working on this was the only thing really keeping me going. I've been aware of the flaws, the voice direction being big, the slowness of the first episode, too many characters shown at first. Pretty much all of that was adjusted with the 2nd episode. Since it's based on my book, I already know what's going on and the scripts are done in bulk.

I can't really look back anymore, I'm overall happy with what I put out, this being the first thing I've completed since 2011. And when looking back at those, I know I've improved and I have listened to a lot of critiques and people helped me improve. But I'm not "satisfied" with this episode and I know there's things I could have done better, but it's best to just move on to the next one and implement them there. To sound selfish, I needed this finished and put out for myself, it was a testament that I could finish it and get through the life issues that were making it difficult to work. Working on this after a 9-5, staying up til about 3, maybe getting 4 hours of sleep. Now that it's out, it's a bit easier to get people to help out. I've always preferred to get people on board, but at the time, it wasn't happening, whether due to scheduling issues or other things. If this was something where I had an endless amount of time, then yeah, I'd spend a shit load more time upping the individual quality of character depths and designs, but I don't. So I have to balance my time with what I can manage and still finish things. Naturally, as time goes on, they will be improved, but I don't want people expecting a big jump from this to the next episode.

I take all criticism and look to use it to improve. But like you mentioned, I was a bit disappointed in how rude some reviews have been. I give a lot of critiques to people as well, and the one thing that's obvious is that there's the right way to do it and then there's just a demeaning and insulting way. And when you do it that way, no one takes half of what you say with any merit. But ignoring the negative and really insulting reviews, I've been rather surprised at the support and that there are people who do enjoy it, and the ones who did leave honest critiques are still looking forward to seeing it improve, not just writing it off as"this is shit." So that's appreciated.

All I can really say at the end of it, is that I'm not satisfied with this episode, I've been aware of the flaws and I am working to make them not an issue going forward. I actually feel a lot more confident about this after getting this out and working on something with an actual level of confidence as opposed to depression and trying to ignore certain things, is going to make a ridiculous difference. I hope that I do make noticeable improvements going forward.


mopey2mopey2

Rated 2 / 5 stars August 22, 2013

oh joy. Another story about giant robots. How original



haXedhaXed

Rated 4.5 / 5 stars August 22, 2013

I actually enjoyed it, although the animation could have been a tad bit better xD. Other than that, I'm definitely interested in episode 2.



Kage-IchihashiKage-Ichihashi

Rated 0.5 / 5 stars August 22, 2013

Well, first and foremost, this story is utterly attrocious. Potential or no, the execution is all over the place. You introduce a handful of characters on screen but hardly a name is given to them before we're introduced to more. It's as if the storyteller expects us to go into this world as omnipotent. How am I supposed to know who the pink-haired girl is and what her relation is to this Sarah person is (who I only recognized because Holly has a distinctive accent and not because the character was notable) if I don't even know her name?

Not only do your characters lack names, but they lack any sort of individual voice whatsoever. Simply casting different voices does not set apart their manner of speaking or identity from one another. You need an editor to keep your story concise and on track, or you really need to start analyzing your own work from a technical standpoint. The writing fails on so many rudimentary levels that it cancels out all of the work you put into making almost 15 minutes of animation.

Secondly, what makes your story any different than the umpteen other successful mecha anime that exist? What sets Shattered Heaven apart? Because as far as I can tell, there is no commentary, no theme, no identity. The characters all fit tropes and archetypes, but no one feels solid or authentic. What is it about the mecha genre that serves the narrative you're trying to tell? Are you trying to make a mecha just because you like mechs or does it actually serve a purpose to your storytelling?

Moving on from the writing, because I could go on about that for a while, the voice acting is subpar, which was a disappointment because you've got a pretty stellar cast. They lacked a lot of direction, and it was pretty clear that this was recorded at various points in the past. The actors seemed just as lost and unaware of their characters as the writer and audience did. Some actors seemed to want to downplay their delivery into a more subtle, nuanced, and realistic performance, whereas others wanted to play up the animated nature of the medium. The best example of that is at about 7 minutes and 45 seconds in, the character of Sean, I assume? The bumbling and idiotic line came across less like someone who realizes their mistake and more like an alcoholic having a seizure. This compared to the scene that follows between Adam and Amy is jarring and unfocused.

Along with an editor for the story, you would benefit greatly from a voice director - someone who could take the work off yours hands and weave together solid performances from obviously talented actors as a cohesive whole. This is why animation often requires teams; a fresh pair of ears and eyes allow for a much better product.

Finally, I am no expert on animation. I recognize the difficulty and level of dedication necessary to complete the amount of work that goes into it. However, for such an ambitious project, I feel that it would benefit you to connect your lineart. It's so distracting to see all of these incomplete lines hanging off of one another and not meeting in any manner, especially when your art style is not spectacular. Everything comes off as flat, there is no depth to the backgrounds, the movement is not fluid or interesting, and your overall visual composition lacks foresight. It would behoove you to take a film class to understand cinematography, as well as an anatomy or figure drawing class. The hands, by far, were my biggest pet peeve. If they were not connected to the character's arms, I would not have recognized them as such.

I recognize your passion and desire to make something compelling and worthwhile. Unfortunately, you failed. Ambition does not matter when you are lazy. You certainly worked hard to complete a product, and I commend you for that, but ultimately, after having seen all your previous work, it does not appear that you are taking constructive criticism and working to improve. You would benefit from doing one of two things with this. Either construct a team to assist you in your artistic vision or begin to condense this massive project and focus your efforts in more concentrated ways. As of this moment, this is far too much for what you seem to be capable of when there are so many questions that you need to answer for yourself and for the sake of your story.


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