Ninjai

Seen some cool animation lately? Share it with the rest of us.

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Simpy
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Ninjai

Post by Simpy » Mon Aug 09, 2004 1:23 pm

If none of you have never seen Ninjai, then i advise you strongly to do so.

www.ninjai.com

2d Animation, with gorgeous sound + visuals all made in Flash 5.

Enjoy!
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arglborps
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Post by arglborps » Fri Oct 01, 2004 4:21 am

This site is amazing, it really raised my anticipation for a terribly cool flash animation, and then when I watched the animation I was shocked how ugly and sloppily drawn the characters are.

I'd call Ninjai the Microsoft of Flash movies. They make you hot for what's to come and once you get it you're only left with disappointment.
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Post by cribble » Fri Oct 01, 2004 3:52 pm

I too was disapointed by this.

It was just like anything mange/anime really. Crap story line revolving around some mysterious person who didn't know who he is and then finds out some harsh truth, about himself/family/girlfriend, while fighting a heard of sheep (don't foget the manga wooshie background, phoaaarrr). Oh and theres got to be explosions. :D
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Post by kdiddy13 » Fri Oct 01, 2004 4:15 pm

Oh good. I thought I was missing something. I disagree with the blaming it on Manga though. While there certainly is quite a bit of garbage in Manga, there is plenty of good manga and anime: Spirited Away and anything else from Miyazaki, Akira, Ghost in the Shell 1 and 2, Cowboy Beebop, and not to mention it's influence on Western animation and movies, such as Samurai Jack and the Clone War Shorts, Filmore, The Matrix, and many more.

Keep in mind too that the story telling in other cultures often follows a different format than the Greek mythos that Westerners are often used to. Perhaps Final Fantasy was a failure not because of the botox facial animation but because it failed to connect with the Western audience (politicians being concerned with honor? yeah, right!)

And while much of manga/anime is produced quickly, cheaply and without much reguard for a story, Manga is definitely not the sole owner of that thought process. There is plenty of garbage animation/comics out there. Just about anything from the '80's for instance or the majority of work done by Hanna/Barbara in the '70's. Just cheap junk put out as fast as they could.

The majority of the flash animation out there is pure garbage, relying on cheap locker room jokes and poor design, but that isn't to say that all of it is this way. I've seen a good number of flash animations that should be played in theaters.

That being said, I agree, the Ninja animation just looks cheap and cliche. Although I'll admit, I only watched the first episode and decided it wasn't for me.
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Post by cribble » Sun Oct 03, 2004 11:03 am

kdiddy13 wrote:Oh good. I thought I was missing something. I disagree with the blaming it on Manga though. While there certainly is quite a bit of garbage in Manga, there is plenty of good manga and anime: Spirited Away and anything else from Miyazaki, Akira, Ghost in the Shell 1 and 2, Cowboy Beebop, and not to mention it's influence on Western animation and movies, such as Samurai Jack and the Clone War Shorts, Filmore, The Matrix, and many more.

Keep in mind too that the story telling in other cultures often follows a different format than the Greek mythos that Westerners are often used to. Perhaps Final Fantasy was a failure not because of the botox facial animation but because it failed to connect with the Western audience (politicians being concerned with honor? yeah, right!)

And while much of manga/anime is produced quickly, cheaply and without much reguard for a story, Manga is definitely not the sole owner of that thought process. There is plenty of garbage animation/comics out there. Just about anything from the '80's for instance or the majority of work done by Hanna/Barbara in the '70's. Just cheap junk put out as fast as they could.

The majority of the flash animation out there is pure garbage, relying on cheap locker room jokes and poor design, but that isn't to say that all of it is this way. I've seen a good number of flash animations that should be played in theaters.
Yeah i do see where you're coming from. But seeing that i have seen so many real cheap 'n' nasty japanimation, i have been put off it for good. But i have seen Akire and Ghost in the Shell, and i was rather fond on how detailed the animation was (not so much the art work, but stuff like wind blowing and general movements of objects and humans). But, usualy, anime is a no-no on my list.
kdiddy13 wrote: That being said, I agree, the Ninja animation just looks cheap and cliche. Although I'll admit, I only watched the first episode and decided it wasn't for me.
Oh but it gets better.... in ep2 (or was it 3... i foget) theres a guy that swears out of random, and it has nothing to do with the plot.
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arglborps
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Post by arglborps » Thu Oct 14, 2004 7:31 am

kdiddy13 wrote:Spirited Away and anything else from Miyazaki,
I loved "Tonari no Totoro" (or whatever it's called in English), because it's a very cute story and a very innocent movie, but Spirited Away was crap. Most Japanese people I know (and I know a lot, I've been living in Tokyo now for 7 years) didn't like it much either. He's mixing western stuff with Japanese symbolism in a too weird way.
Keep in mind too that the story telling in other cultures often follows a different format than the Greek mythos that Westerners are often used to. Perhaps Final Fantasy was a failure not because of the botox facial animation but because it failed to connect with the Western audience (politicians being concerned with honor? yeah, right!)
But it was also a failure in Japan... Final Fantasy was a failure because the main motivation for the movie was to make it all in 3D. I.E. show off SFX. That's just the wrong way to start making a film. Unless you want to tell a story there's no point in making a film.

Many people mention Akira as a good example for Japanese anime, but if you look at the smoothness of the animation, it really isn't that great. Just from a technical standpoint Walt Disney and Don Bluth completely blow any Japanese Animation studio out of the water when it comes to smooth and expressive animation.

Of course the recent Disney stuff isn't all that great either, but I really am fed up with watching Japanese animation movies in Japanese and still the lips of the characters just move randomly and do not sync up a bit. I'm sick of having most of the characters scream all of the time in a high pitched voice. I am sick of them always using women for the voices of little boys. And I'm sick of the very sloppy and extremely unsmooth movement all the time. I'm sure they are only animation on twos on a good day and on fours in general. Looks like 8fps to 16fps at best most of the time.
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Post by TheTallGuy » Thu Oct 14, 2004 8:01 am

arglborps wrote:Of course the recent Disney stuff isn't all that great either, but I really am fed up with watching Japanese animation movies in Japanese and still the lips of the characters just move randomly and do not sync up a bit. I'm sick of having most of the characters scream all of the time in a high pitched voice. I am sick of them always using women for the voices of little boys. And I'm sick of the very sloppy and extremely unsmooth movement all the time. I'm sure they are only animation on twos on a good day and on fours in general. Looks like 8fps to 16fps at best most of the time.
Yeah, I think it's hard to argue that Disney out-animates just about everyone else out there. As *animation*, Disney is tops. As entertainment, I feel like they're really hurting. Whereas, for me, the Anime that I watch is great entertainment with barely adequate animation.

That said, I was surprised to notice that, after watching anime for a while, I no longer cared that the movement was jerky or that the characters used "manga notation" to show fear/hate/embarrassment instead of conveying the emotion via posture and action.

I thought Kdiddy made a great point in another thread that anime was a great model for independent animators, given its greatly simplified production and low cost. So I guess I have a selfish motivation for liking anime -- it's the kind of animation that I can do myself, without a Disney sized budget.

BTW, I believe a lot of anime is shot on sixes or eights. Only the lushly produced ones like Miyazaki's works can affort to animate on twos and fours.
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Post by kdiddy13 » Thu Oct 14, 2004 4:23 pm

...but Spirited Away was crap.
I disagree, but no one movie will ever be great for everyone.
I thought Kdiddy made a great point in another thread that anime was a great model for independent animators, given its greatly simplified production and low cost. So I guess I have a selfish motivation for liking anime -- it's the kind of animation that I can do myself, without a Disney sized budget.
Thanks, I thought I was going to have to repeat myself.

Disney and Don Bluth throw millions at the animation and it show in the quality of movement. Most other studios can't afford that, especially for televsion or web based productions.

And I don't even believe it's necessary. Cartoon Cartoon has proven that the simple limited animation pioneered by Asian animation (and imitated by many others like Bullwinkle) can connect with a Western audience.

Now I do understand why many people don't like anime and the styles/conventions that they use to get their ideas across quickly and affordably. What I don't understand is people who want to be animators and dismiss entire genres as worthless. You may not like them, but to claim they're crap and not learn from what does make them successful is doing you, as the artist, more harm than good. Anime in particular fits very nicely into the idea of the independent animator.

Just because I think most Flash animation is garbage, doesn't mean I've stopped watching it. Occasionaly, when a Flash animator gets it right, I learn from that, and when they don't I can still learn from their mistakes, too. If I stop watching, I've stopped learning.
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Post by TheTallGuy » Thu Oct 14, 2004 6:08 pm

kdiddy13 wrote:And I don't even believe it's necessary. Cartoon Cartoon has proven that the simple limited animation pioneered by Asian animation (and imitated by many others like Bullwinkle) can connect with a Western audience.
Totally agree. Bullwinkle has a spot in many people's heart that is totally unrelated to its animation production values. :) These days, I'm blown away by the quality achieved via limited animation. True, it's not Disney at its finest, but does well enough for its intended audience.
kdiddy13 wrote:Just because I think most Flash animation is garbage, doesn't mean I've stopped watching it. Occasionaly, when a Flash animator gets it right, I learn from that, and when they don't I can still learn from their mistakes, too. If I stop watching, I've stopped learning.
I, too, had trouble with Flash. Then I checked out shows like Mucha Lucha, which are done in Flash. Very well done. So it's not the technology, its the talent.

One Flash series that I think is absolutely wonderful is Pucca. This series is created in Korea (though I don't consider it "anime") and done in Flash. The characters are extremely simple, but the animation (i.e. movement) is surprisingly well done and the timing is, IMHO, brilliant. I shamelessly borrowed character design and timing ideas from Pucca for my own work.

Check it out:
http://puccaclub.com/eng/

You'll find the cartoons under the "Amusement" box. Start with some of the oldest ones (at the bottom of the page) to get an idea of the story, but do not miss "Sky Diving", "The Rival", "Oasis" and "The Frog Prince". "The Rival" is particularly amazing animation.
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Post by kdiddy13 » Thu Oct 14, 2004 7:16 pm

One Flash series that I think is absolutely wonderful is Pucca. This series is created in Korea (though I don't consider it "anime") and done in Flash. The characters are extremely simple, but the animation (i.e. movement) is surprisingly well done and the timing is, IMHO, brilliant. I shamelessly borrowed character design and timing ideas from Pucca for my own work.

Check it out:
http://puccaclub.com/eng/
Awesome! Thanks for the link. There's some really amazing animation here!

I'm going to post this in it's own link as it definitely deserves a look by anyone that's sick of this anime argument.
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Post by cribble » Thu Oct 14, 2004 7:20 pm

arglborps wrote: Of course the recent Disney stuff isn't all that great either, but I really am fed up with watching Japanese animation movies in Japanese and still the lips of the characters just move randomly and do not sync up a bit. I'm sick of having most of the characters scream all of the time in a high pitched voice. I am sick of them always using women for the voices of little boys. And I'm sick of the very sloppy and extremely unsmooth movement all the time. I'm sure they are only animation on twos on a good day and on fours in general. Looks like 8fps to 16fps at best most of the time.
I agree. There are American studios that produce anime style aniamtion as it appeals to some audiences. Totally Spies on Fox Kids(UK) is a prime example of american studios using the style.

Personally, I think its a lazy style. You might as well get a head shape, eyes and then use that as a template to put hair, mouth etc on the template.... :lol: oh and lets not foget the random wooshing background whenever they annouce/do something followed by great voice acting.
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Post by spasmodic_cheese » Fri Oct 15, 2004 2:13 am

*changes moustache for 5 different characters*

each style to their own i think, like art each person is subjective, what brings the money in is the entertainment values.
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Speaking of Flash animation

Post by arglborps » Fri Oct 15, 2004 9:38 am

Here's a site with fairly simple (if you look very close), but very well done animation. They really found out how to make you believe there's much more motion going on than there actually is.

http://www.mondominishows.com/

If you're on OS X you'll find that their Flash detection Java-Script is too stupid to recognize the Flash plug-in on most OS X browsers (I sent them several emails, nicely asking them to fix it puh-leeeze, but no luck). So here's a link to their gallery which doesn't do the plug-in check:

http://gallery.mondominishows.com/



As for Japanese Anime, of course if you look at badly done animation, that's still liked by many people, you can always say, oh great, this is so badly done and people like it, why don't I just stick to the same level, because for most people it appears to be good enough.

Do you really want to do stuff that's just good enough? I don't think you should orient the quality of your work towards the lowest common denominator...
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Post by spasmodic_cheese » Fri Oct 15, 2004 10:08 am

their flash detection is too stupid for mozilla too
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Post by kdiddy13 » Fri Oct 15, 2004 3:39 pm

Do you really want to do stuff that's just good enough? I don't think you should orient the quality of your work towards the lowest common denominator...
That is assuming you think that anime is bad to begin with. Sure there's plenty of garbage out there, but that goes for any artform, especially one as prolific and abundant as anime. Sometimes it's important as an artist to realise the difference between not liking an artform and thinking an artform shows a lack of skill or is poorly done.

I think many times people confuse their understandable distaste for anime with thinking that they're talentless hacks. Many Americans grew up expecting every animation to look like the multi-million dollar Disney industry, or even the talented (and relatively well funded) "golden years" at Warner Brothers. Anime is an artform that's developed out of different needs (significantly lower budgets, features for under $10mil recently by Miyazaki, Tom Hanks gets that alone for Toy Story) and different cultures. They tell different stories with different character archetypes.

To do this they've come up with ways of cheating. Limited animation, character and animation icons, multiplane camera tricks, etc. Some arguably do it better than others, but there's something to be learned from it. ESPECIALLY, if you're doing animation for the web, where stuttering over animated flash or QT's can ruin the download and playback of an animation instantly. You may not like "why" they did it but by discounting it as bad and not taking a second look at "how" they did it, you are really loosing out.

Everyone complains about Hollywood blockbusters and overblown special effects, and movies that cost over $50 mil to make. And yet as soon as you show them some of the alternatives, they complain that it isn't like the big budget blockbusters.
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