Well all I can really say was that I really didn't enjoy this too much.
The first problem was obviously in the visuals themselves, and that's practically the biggest thing in a cartoon. The characters, backgrounds and just the artwork in general looked incredibly flat and two-dimensional, I could barely sense any depth in anything. The characters were all line-tooled and when they moved around it was extremely stiff and the motions just seemed awkward. Occasionally it looked okay and had a nice flowy look to it when you used easing on the tweens, but the rest of the time it just looked cheap and off, it was simply unpleasant to me.
This issue showed especially when the characters were running, there was no bouncing motion or really anything to show that force was being put behind the movements. Sometimes the perspective got all distorted, like when the camera was zooming out of the two on the planet for one example. Also the lip-syncing, it matched with the words they were saying, but it was just one picture for each sound, their mouths kept blinking to different frames. It beats mouth-flapping, but it still wasn't so great.
The colors weren't really interesting, just boring, dull shades and muddy-looking half of the time. I didn't find them appealing.
When they were running from that monster, at some parts when it zoomed in on them it looked pretty good since you put eases on the tweens, but the lack of music, ambiance and overall sound effects in general made it so dead. It was just boring.
Writing was okay but again, kinda boring, everything was so slow-moving and I just wished the whole thing would hurry up and end already throughout the whole thing. Voicing was alright, the robot guy sounded good, the other characters were kinda bland though.
Overall I found it stiff, flat, slow-moving and lifeless, could've been so much better.
Casey, the background artist ~ as an artist, I know that the biggest rule to making anything is that you simply aren't going to please everybody, and that's fair. The beauty of creative media is that it's better for the diverse input it gets.
I can actually agree with you on a few things here. We had a bit of a marathon putting this episode together. I don't know how you felt about the other episodes if you've seen them, but we brought in a new animator and were trying some new things on this one. A lot of 'real life' got in the way and we were cycling the file around a lot of hands. I'd be lying if I said it didn't suffer from this.
That being said however, in a professional atmosphere, you HAVE to learn how to work fluidly with multiple artists, animators, composers, etc. If you can't deal with it, than you're just not going anywhere.
In our case, I'm glad we had this episode to learn our own strengths and weaknesses, and to be honest, I don't think it came out that badly, and I'm glad we had the experience that we could learn from.
That being said, I think it's a silly thing to criticize someone for using the line tool. I could use that logic to say that anyone's work is bad for using the paint bucket tool or hell, even flash itself. Why don't we really get down to business and hand-draw everything on paper like a REAL animator.
Plus, I'll be honest, personally I COULD draw a lot of the environments by hand, (in fact I usually do in concept art, I have notebooks overflowing with art and drawings) but it's really only a stylistic change. When I use the pencil or do things with a tablet, I tend to put more gritty details into it, I use a lot of lines to bring out the shading and such. It has a totally different feel and vibe to it. If I'd done things in that style, than I doubt it'd match very well to the characters or animation. Wonders is supposed to feel very clean and smooth, and yes, simple. We actually agreed on the style in the beginning before episode 1 was ever finished, so that we could sync up our work with one-another easier. We keep to basic shapes and stuff on purpose. Some people don't like that or see it as lazy, but again, we understand that not EVERYONE is going to just fall in love with it, and that's fine.
In the animation, I can't argue with you a whole lot. Me and Joseph animated large parts of this, and neither of us have animated something on this scale in years, so that was a bit ambitious, but we had to if we wanted the episode to get done, because Chris Boe was being bombarded with work, and Mark was busy making episode 4. Like I said before, it was a learning experience, and I believe we're planning on updating the character models in some way after ep4.
I don't know what to say about your sound effects comment, because if you take ANY frame of that sand worm scene, there's at least 2 or 3 sound effects playing weather it be wind, roaring, or explosions.
In the end, I could see us changing up how we work with one another in the future to have a more streamlined result. But we don't have an office where we can easily trade these files, it's all done online between people who never see each other and sometimes rarely hear from each other. On top of that, we want to try to get this stuff out fairly quickly so that there's not a lot of dead space between releases. It's a great experience and I like working with these guys and I'm sure we'll improve over the coming months.
I wish I could give you a better response other than "oh, well oh well, /shrug" but that's really all I can think to say. Thanks for the lengthy review though, I do enjoy reading through all of them.
LOL wow that robot is such a troll IT HAS WIRELESS RECHARGE
Oh my god! that was great! keep it up :)
While I still love this team's work, I can't help but feel that this episode didn't offer much to the overall story or universe it happens in. It seemed like more of a random story with little significance. I certainly realize that I could be wrong, but that's the overall impression I'm getting.
Aside from that, I find that the entire ensemble is continuing their great work. Unless I get very nit-picky and search through the video with a fine-toothed comb, I have no criticisms in the writing of the episode itself, the animation, the voice acting, the music, the sounds, or the organization of them all. I know that my review would be better if I could find some specific things to praise, but all this team needs to do to provide more high quality videos is to continue working. I'm sure there may be some things in the video that this team wants to improve upon, but from my perspective, you're doing just fine. Keep up the good work, and I will be waiting for the next episode.
We actually ended up cutting a lot from this episode, though I don't know how much of the stuff we cut actually had to do with deepening of the universe this takes place in. Really the goal with this episode was to introduce a new character to the series, and we wanted to approach it a bit differently than we did with introducing Canis in episode 2.
I'm not sure which style is better, keeping the scope more broad across a huge adventure or more focused on a couple characters. I'm sure it's a case where there's pros and cons for both. We chose the latter for this episode simply because after episode 2 it was appealing to only worry about 1 or 2 characters. You can rest assured that future episodes will include a bit of both,
I know I'm not lying when I state that episode 4 (which is already pretty far into it's production) definitely opens up the world this all takes place in a bit more as we specifically wrote it with questions about the plot in mind.
Neat, great thing about this is that it actually feels like it ends, cuz there were times i couldve swore it was gonna be a cliff hanger, lulz. Keep that habit going and this will go far.