Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thanksgiving travels

It's almost Thanksgiving! That, of course, means it's time to go visit the old ninja village. But how?? Here are my options: go to the airport and either get molested or have a pervy photo taken.... or sit in a bus for 23 hours.... I've opted for the bus. I'll let you know how many hours it takes before I go mentally insane. Safe travels everyone, and remember, if you opt for the intimate "pat down," get a room! It's your right ;)


-Shiro Ninja-

Monday, November 15, 2010


Shiro Ninja here! Things have been a little slow on the blog lately, but I can assure you that a lot of work has been going into our CG and 2D projects. "Cowboys and Dinosaurs" is finally entering its animation phase. I thought I'd share a frame from the storyboards so you could get an idea of the world and the kind of action to expect. Here is a rough colored thumbnail sketch of our two heroes in an aerial assault:

We're still working out color schemes and other designs elements, so expect more concept art in the days to come!

Nin, nin!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Over another hurdle


greetings fellow sentient beings!!

Unit 07 here with an update on what's been going on at Studio Gattai. Keyframe Samurai and I have been refining the human and dinosaur rigs. The characters are pretty much ready to start animating. We'll have some more updates with hair and hat variations in the coming weeks. According to Keyframe Samurai, the dinosaurs just need a bit more tweaking. Once that's done we can start work on our trailer. The tentative release date for a teaser trailer is March 7, 2011. I hope you all look forward to it!! Until then, here are some images of characters in color looking very angry...or constipated....

end of line...


Friday, October 8, 2010

When Dinosaurs Roamed the Interwebs

Keyframe Samurai here. I haven't posted anything in a little while. But I'm basically finished rigging all the dinosaurs. I just have a few little touch ups to do on everyone, but I just couldn't resist posting them now anyways. Enjoy. I'll be posting some test animations with all the characters soon once I iron out the last few bugs in the characters rigs.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

If they mated...

Every once in a while we like to play drawing games. One of these games is a lot like Conan O'Brien's "If they mated" concept. In our game, we take a character and try and draw them in a totally different cartoon style. For example, what would Superman look like in the style of SpongeBob?? Here are some of the offspring that we've created recently:

Take Garfield... in the style of Hellboy...

...and you get:

Let's try another one!
Take Wonderwoman... in the style of the anime series Gurren Lagann...

.....and you get:

(Nice detail with the camel toe Zer07.)
How about Ronald McDonald in the style of comicbook artist Joe Madureira....

To be continued......

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

More messy drawings

Shiro Ninja sanjou! Hello friends. I'd like to share some more rough animation fighting scenes with you. This is a continuation of the last rough animation clip I posted. (Please pardon the extreme messiness of the drawings!!)

Fight Scene2 (Rough Animation) from Shiro Ninja on Vimeo.

By the way, the previous scene that I posted ended up being over 60 drawings for a mere 4.5 seconds of action! So, for my brother, who asks, "Why does animation take so long???" .....That is why.

Drawing the "cleaned up" version of that scene on paper presented an unexpected challenge: their huge heads and tiny arms made it really hard to punch at each other without their noggins colliding! It all worked out in the end though!

Until next time. Nin, nin!

-Shiro Ninja-

Monday, August 16, 2010

The mystery of L5

Your journey has taken you longer than it should have. When you return to Earth, the only thing waiting for you are the remains of our once prominent and advanced civilization.

What happened?

This is the premise of a new series called L5 being pitched right now by our good friend Stanley Von Medvey. The series follows a band of astronauts who have journeyed to a far off star system and return home later than anticipated. They discover massive empty colonies in space orbiting the planet earth and set off to discover just exactly what happened to humanity.

The project is being funded by a grass roots website called Kickstarter, where you the viewer have the opportunity to be a part of funding the project that you believe in. It is an opportunity to put the creativity back into the hands of the creator and contribute to art as it happens. Please check out the link below and donate!

you can find the info and website below:

Monday, August 9, 2010


Gobusata shimashita!! Shiro Ninja here. My apologies for the long absence! Zer07 and I were on a top secret mission in Los Angeles. Our mission: to infiltrate SIGGRAPH and distribute as many of our demo reels as possible!

For those of you who don't know, SIGGRAPH is an annual conference held for the Computer Graphics industry. There are exhibits on emerging technologies, new software, and most excitingly, a job fair. All the big animation studios set up booths and it's a great opportunity to network! So Zer07 and I went with 200 demo reels and this is what happened:

Nobody seemed very enthusiastic about taking our demo reels or applications... so then we went to the designated "Job Fair" section thinking that everyone there was recruiting...

Before the end of the day, we each had luck with one studio.

Needless to say, our mission was a supreme failure.

We did, however, have fun with some good friends and see some beautiful sights! It was a looooong journey back to Canada. Maybe next time we'll fly!

-Shiro Ninja-

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Rough Animation

Today I thought I'd show you what happened to those thumbnail sketches from my previous post. Every Last Cookie clip you've seen so far has been drawn and colored on paper. I give all of those drawings to Zero7 to scan and edit in the computer. For most animators, there's a little trial and error involved in the animation process. To check if the animation is working properly, you do numerous "pencil tests," which are basically video footage of test animation. Because I don't want to waste too much of Zero7's time, I do all of my preliminary animation in Flash first. As you'll see below, it's VERY rough... but it doesn't need to look pretty. At this stage, all I care about is how the action looks. Flash allows me to quickly draw, adjust timing, and playback the animation all at the click of a button. Once I'm happy with the action, I start working on paper, using the Flash animation test as a guide, but this time trying to make each frame look pretty.

Fight scene (Rough Animation) from Shiro Ninja on Vimeo.

Keep an eye out for some final images of this scene!

-Shiro Ninja-

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Inspiration Candy!


ohayou gozaimasu...

greetings fellow interneters,

today we're going to highlight some inspirational animation for all you fans to salivate over. I personally have been waiting for this film to come out since I heard about it back in 2006. Since then this film has been like a ghost wandering the vast expanse of the internet, showing its face from time to time in scattered bits of news and constantly pushed back premiere dates. I'm talking of course about Takeshi Koike's Directorial debut "Redline".

For those of you who don't know Koike by name, perhaps you might recognize the Animatrix. Koike directed the short "World Record" about a record breaking run that turned into enlightenment for one denizen of the matrix. It was a brilliantly animated and directed piece, so fans have been greatly anticipating his first feature film. Not much is known about the plot of Redline at this time, but this is what I know.

Redline is an intergalactic race of epic proportions. The story follows main character JP as he chases love and victory on the ultimate track. Will he achieve his goals? Will he surpass the Red line? Still don't think you have any reason to check it out? Here's five...

Trailer 1:

Trailer 2:

Trailer 3:

Trailer 4:

Trailer 5:

until next time...


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Yattaaa!! \(^o^)/

Shiro Ninja here... just finished a scene that really kicked my butt (-_-;)

When we last left our two cookie monsters, they were staring each other down and ready to strike! If you can't tell already, "The Last Cookie" is about to get intense. The truth is, I've been dreading this next sequence for months. These action sequences need to be really awesome... otherwise I will have to commit seppuku! (>o<) I was watching LOTS of anime fighting clips, wushu choreography, and some just plain gross violence, trying to get some sort of inspiration, but I just couldn't figure out this next sequence. Then, I went back to one of the original inspirations for Last Cookie: "Ranma 1/2."

"The Last Cookie" originally came about ten years ago when I was obsessed with Ranma and also watching way too much "Dragonball Z" on Toonami. Needless to say, after watching several episodes of Ranma, I finally knew what I wanted to do with this next part, and came up with these thumbnails:

Next time I will show you the rough animation phase!

Nin, nin!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Musical Miscreants (part 2)

Greetings humans! A good friend of mine by the name of Digiflesh has just released his first album. It's an industrial style with "heavy beats, aggressive synths and driving baselines." I have often slayed many the undead zombie while listening to his music.

"Digiflesh is a weapon of musical mass destruction that's armed and set to detonate on the electronic music scene!"

you can check out his debut album "Disunity" here:

"Disunity" is available for download in all major online music stores.

until next time,

hen - tai!


Monday, June 14, 2010


(a sexy bartender designed by ShiroNinja)

This post officially marks overcoming the rigging hump. The bartender rig is officially done which means we're more than half way through rigging human characters. (4 out of 7 to be exact) We also only have 1 dinosaur left to rig, which means in no time we'll be starting textures. I'll be doing a more in depth post about textures in the coming weeks.

Keep your eyes peeled for a trailer as well! It can come at any time...

powering down...


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A look at Rigging

Greetings autobots! unitzer07 here with a new post on the exciting topic of Rigging!

Some of you may be wondering what exactly Rigging is. Well, a "rig" is a representation of the bones and joints in your body. Those bones and joints can be used to manipulate and animate a model. "Rigging" is the process of creating those bones and giving the artist control over them. Think "putting the strings on the puppet". Check out the video below for an in-depth look at the process of building a rig for our Sheriff character.

As always, questions and comments are encouraged and appreciated!

Rig Demo from zero seven on Vimeo.

see you, space cowboy...

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Cookie part II

Shiro Ninja, sanjou!! I have been ordered by a very high ranking ninja to post new scenes of "The Last Cookie." My mission almost failed when my most valuable weapon, the ninja light table, broke! Thankfully, some skillful technicians fixed my table, and I am able to deliver some new scenes to you. Please be sure to check out the previous Cookie post for the first part of the story if you haven't watched that already!


-Shiro Ninja-

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Getting into Modeling

Greetings programs! unitzer07 here. I know I promised to have this ready last week, but unfortunately things sometimes just get in the way of having fun...However, I've found some time to briefly explain the process of modeling for a computer animated production.

Modeling is the process of creating everything you see in a computer animation. For example, take a look at your desk. Notice all the objects on it, their size, shape and form. A modeler is responsible for recreating those objects for use in computer animation. Although there are different methods to modeling, many modelers use a technique called "Box" modeling. This involves starting with a box and basically sculpting it into the shape of the object you want to create. (for example. a human head as seen below:)

video created by chandainmunda

Using this and similar processes, a modeler can create anything they imagine. One disadvantage to making computer animation is how time consuming it can be to create every single object in your world. However, the strength of computer animation is the ability to reuse objects once you have modeled them, unlike in traditional 2-d animation. With 2d animation, each frame is a single drawing. At 24 frames per second, the amount of drawings in a single short film can be staggering. You can think of computer animation as making and then playing with action figures that you designed.

Below is another example of modeling, as well as a helpful link for more information about modeling and modeling tutorials. As always, please feel free to post comments, questions, or requests. If you don't feel comfortable posting to the blog, you can email us at the link to the right.

Until next time....Stay Tuned!

modeling a tree:

links to modeling tutorials:


Sunday, April 18, 2010

stay tuned after this word from our sponsors...

unitZer07 here! It's been quite some time since I've had a chance to post. I've been very busy troubleshooting and managing our entire pipeline. For those of you who don't know, a pipeline is a system you develop to take you through all the different steps of production. After you've written a script and done storyboards, there are still quite a few steps to be taken: modelling, texturing, rigging, animation, lighting, effects, rendering, compositing and editing. Starting next week with modelling, I'll be going through the list and explaining what goes into each step and how it fits into the overall scheme of production. For now, you'll have to settle for some updates on the main character rigs. First up is our villain :

I have just finished setting up his head. He's definitely looking mean!

next up we have a few poses of the two heroes of our short(courtesy of the keyframe samurai):

We still have to design a saddle for our Cowboy to use. I should have done that before production started, but I'm still learning hehe...

that's all for now!



Monday, April 12, 2010

More cookie

Hello fellow ninjas. I've finally got some new scenes to share from "The Last Cookie." Thank you to everyone who's been helping with the coloring! Look for your names in the credits once the short is done. Feel free to comment, and keep an eye out for more updates. It's still anyone's game... who will get the last cookie??


Monday, March 29, 2010

Konichiwa interwebbers. Keyframe Samurai here to give you another little taste of Cowboys & Dinosaurs*. :) I just finished the pachycephalosaurus rig, so I decided to have fun and do just a quick little pose. I didn't want to do a full walk cycle because I wanted to continue rigging the rest of the dinos before spending too much time playing. Hopefully Zer07 will give me enough play time to have some fun with all my new dinosaur toys and a few of my soon to come humanoid play things before we moved on to the next step. We still have a ton of work to do. Finish rigging, normal maps, set modeling and texturing......all before animation. Ugh. Lots of work. But twice as much fun. Especially when it's all finished.

Here is the complete Dinosaur lineup. I modeled the Utahraptor, Pachycephalosaurus, Parasaurolophus, Styrakosaurus, & the Triceratops. Zer07 modeled the Apatosaurus.

Next up for rigging is the Parasaur. Look for him soon. As soon as Zer07 finishes Josiah, I'll pose and post some Hero shots of Josiah and Gwanji. Keep an eye out. Jaa mata ne. ^_^

Monday, March 22, 2010

Cowboys and Dinosaurs concept art

Shiro Ninja sanjou! Along with directing our 2D short, "The Last Cookie," I've also assumed the role of concept/storyboard artist for our CG short. This time, I thought I'd share some more of what's to come for our cowboy story. Here are some character designs I drew. The curvaceous lady is a bartender who flirts with our sad cowboy, and the old man is a semi-useless town sheriff:

This is some concept art of the bartender's tavern. We're going for a rustic Dino-world aesthetic!

That's all I can share for now. Saraba!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Completed walk cycle

Keyframe Samurai here once again with the completed walk cycle for the raptor. Dialed back the tail and found out that I will indeed have FK control over the tail instead of the dynamics system controlling it right now. Next up is the pachycephelosaurus, so keep an eye out for him.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Valley of the Gwanji

Moshi Moshi interwebs!! Keyframe Samurai here, reporting for duty. Here's my first addition of our WIP CG short film. I modeled, and I'll be rigging all our dinosaurs for the short. Here are some early rigging tests I'm currently working on for one of our other main characters. Until next time. Jaa, mata ne (see you later).

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Every Cowboy sings a sad sad song....

I've been working on rigging our cowboy character and made a bit of progress today.

To those of you asking..."We already saw facial poses, how is this progress?" I'll tell you. In my previous post I was merely testing out how well the face would pose. For that test I was not using a rig to make the character "ooo" and "bleh!". Some of you at this point might ask..."What is this rig we keep hearing about?". A "rig"is what makes an action figure posable.The figure's "rig" allows the arms to bend at the elbows, shoulders and wrist . A marionette's rig is the strings attached to it. Basically without a rig the character can't move. So What you see below has a rig inside of it making our cowboy very, very sad.



The Last Cookie (W.I.P.)

Shiro Ninja, sanjou!! Greetings! I am Shiro Ninja, here to share some 2D fun with you. Back in Ninja film school, I made a short film called, "The Last Cookie." At the time I had no formal animation training, and it was always my desire to redo it someday and make it awesome! Now with a few years of animation under my obi, I'm in the process of remaking this short film. Here's what we have so far...

That's all for now. If you have any questions, feel free to ask!

Ninja smoke bomb!!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Human Rigging Automation Complete!

I have officially finished the human rig script. Complete with facial setup.

What this means for anyone who doesn't understand animation lingo is, now I'm one step away from being able to make a character actually move.

We have an ambitious seven different human and 6 different dinosaur characters to rig. I will be doing all of the human character rigging. My deadline is fast approaching.

7 characters in 5 weeks...can it be done? Is it unreasonable? Too ambitous?



Questions? Feel free to ask!