In the past, Stick figures Animation has been viewed as a simplistic form of ‘childsplay’ art. This is an idea that has evolved and changed throughout the years due to the continued effort of young aspiring animators continuing to push the limits of this simplistic form of animation. Now today, animators have made a name for themselves with their art and strive to share their invaluable information with their peers to help the growth and performance of the community, and the art itself as a whole. Perpetuating what we love through the communication and respect from one animator to another. This magazine is devoted to sharing in-depth information regarding the latest advances in stick figure animation as well as provide an interesting back story behind the popular works and animators of the time.
“Attention to detail leads to excellence.”
CONTENTS Introduction........... Table Of Contents ........... Film Tribute Competition . 1-2 Swordsman Steve ......... 3-6 Interview Attack :Hyun.7-10
Walk/Run Tutorial ......11-12 BSE V4.................... 13-14
The film tribute competition was originally created to help bring the newly merged community of stickpage and fluidanims together. It was developed and inspired based upon a recent feature at the time, ‘Saber’ http://www.stickpage.com/sabre.shtml by Dannyplatinum. Tributing a popular film seemed like a very fitting topic and has been popular in the past for competitions at stickpage. With that, we gave the competitors just over 4 months to complete a masterpiece of an animation for all to enjoy in this user, forum based competition.
We had some of the biggest and best prizes ever seen on stickpage for such a competition. Ranging from cash, merchandise to even a grahpics tablet! Given the amount of time that would be spent on these animations. The quality that could come from such an event, and the sheer volume of popularity it can bring in due to the fan base of the tributed film, really left open some amazing possibilities for results. After much deliberation amongst the judges, they came to the results. These were the winners, and the prizes they earned.
1. Winning:$800 Avatar - Danmark Rating: 9.3 -.25 =9.275
4. Winning:Graphics Tablet Kemical Rating: 6.2 -.25= 6.125 (short)
2. Winning:$600 Indiana Jones - dabigE13 Rating: 8.5 -.25 =8.425
5. T-shirt Jetli “The One” - AlfaAnims Rating: 4 -.25 = 3.75
3. Winning:$300 Jurassic Park - Oxob3000 Rating: 7.7
6. T-shirt Altair -Harry Potter Rating 3.5 -.25 = 3.475
Issues Now originally this was intended to be very large competition. With over 50+ competitors it was shooing to have one of the best stickpage competition turnouts ever, right? Well, coming down to the first deadline we’d only had a single submission sent in on time. Setting extensions is common amongst competitions of this nature, so we went ahead and gave a 2 week extension to give others a bit more time to finish off their parts. During this time I think people really kicked it into gear and realized that they have the ability to pull something together with what time they now had available. At the end of the 2 week period we still had less than 10 animations, how did this happen you ask? There a couple factors we didn’t pay close enough attention to early on developing the competition which inevitably led to the lack of participation. For starters, school was at one of the busiest points of the year for most. Some even seniors graduating. With this it really hampered the time for most animators out there to be able to devote time to a large-scale project such as this. Two, with so many competitors, many were turned off at the competition simply thinking, no matter what they produce, there is no chance that they will place in the competition to make it worth their time. Last but not least, and usually the most common ‘competition killer,’ is seeing other very talented animators putting their name up on the list and grabbing a quality movie to tribute. This gave the overall appeal of the competition to seem as though a near impossibility for most to place. However, with this in mind, many of those talented animators out there never even got started on their animations. This gave a huge opportunity to those who really wanted to give it their all regardless. What we were left with was some major high-quality works done by some not-so-commonly known animators. For that, it made the competition all worth it. We saw some real diamonds in the rough show their colors and shine brighter than anyone could have anticipated.
Winners Annouced on Livestream To announce the winners, we tried something a little different. Rather than letting the public know all at once via news post or forum thread update, we went with letting users know about our livestream and showcasing the winners live. It seemed much more natural feeling to hand out such prizes with a little more personalization to it, little more commentary, and lot more interaction overall between the competition holders, entrants, and the viewers. Overall it was quite a fun event and we do hope to hold loads more in the very near future.
Swordsman Steve : The
Swordsman Steve: The Polytizans A simple concept developed a characer. A character developed an idea. An idea developed a world. “Swordsman Steve: The Polytizans,” is a flash game developed by Travis ‘stone’ Steven and Ido ‘Max Morgon’ Adar. Swordsman Steve is a hack ‘n slash game where you play as our hero, Steve, the hard working man happy with his life doing what he loves best. When, seemingly out of nowhere, the evil ‘Polytizans’ enter his world and change everything for the worse. Life gets hard, people become unhappy and the Polytizans sit back and profit and the pure unhappiness of those working hard to keep their lives a float. The issues that Steve and his people face are great. Their obstacles, impossible. Regardless of what faces Steve, he has had enough! Steve goes out, on his own, to fight off the Polytizans and rid his people of their control. This is no easy feat, this is something that had thought would require the worlds largest and greatest forces joining together to overthrow. Steve knows this, he could care less. He’s tired of the way things are. Done with all the resentment and unhappiness in this world. Regardless if his effort has no ef-
fect, he believes he’s going to fight for what is just.
concept and story
Stone, the artist and animator for this project, originally was inspired by the gameplay of the old-er classic ‘Bob the Barbarian.’ http://www.addictinggames.com/funny-games/barbarianbob.jsp What was unique about this game to him was the simple old school hack ‘n slash, with a simple added twist. The ability to block! Revolutionary right? Well, its more than just an added move. It completely shaped the entire gameplay. You no-longer just slashed your way through waves of enemies. You had to sit there and strategically combat your opponents, time your attacks to breach the enemies sheild just in time to land a hit before they are able to strike you as well. This left a much more long-lasting interaction between you, the hero, and your enemy. What this opens the game up to is having more detailed backgrounds, and more detailed enemy placement. Rather than simple random spawn, as well as more careful background planning and overall gameplay development. This small change opens up a whole new world of possibilities as well as the more likely chance to actually add a cute, funny, and or otherwise interesting storyline to our game as the player will be more engaged and connected with the hero. Rather than just mashing a button mindlessly, and running through the forgetable landscapes. Trying to stick a simplistic gameplay isn’t always the easiest thing to do!
As you continue your quest with Steve through the 3 separate realms, you find many different foes await around the corner. Each with varying levels of difficulty and play style. Yes, it still conforms to the same hack / slash / block format, but with slightly unique instances and abilities in the enemies that force you to alter your strategies. With the unique enemies, you have unique settings as well. You first start off in a Forest / wilderness settings which doesnâ€™t seem so bleak. The plants are overgrown, life is flourishing, but there is the presense of your foe breathing down your neck making your life miserable. After you hack and slash your way through the Overgrown Forest, you find yourself in an underground mine shaft where the Polytizans put their unwilling innocent people to work to feed their endless greed. Next, you find yourself in the final
realm. Complete and utter destruction fills this place as the scortched earth crumbles and bleeds beneath your feet. Each of one the 3 realms has a boss. The first boss might seem familiar. He’s like many of the foes you faced early on, except much, much larger and more powerful. He comes at you with mighty strikes that are sure to make you sheild frenzied. The second boss is a little less familiar. He’s the main lord of the undergrown cavern. Keeping everything running ‘smoothly’ at the expense of the happiness of Steve and his people. A shaman, but he’s no weak feable old man. He’s a powerhouse in size as well as pure fear that he strikes into you. Utilizing his ability to fear people allows him to easily contain those inside the cavern to complete ‘their’ task. After you tackle the scortched land in the third realm you will reach your final opponent. The true leader shows his colors. Riding in on his hunk of rock hemoraging lava as he speeds his way to dispose of you. The enraged opponent strikes you with the heaviest of all hits. Keeping him at bay, avoiding his attacks and still some how getting within his reach to strike his is no easy task. He has slower attacks, but his range is outstanding. Timing will be everything in the final fight for Steve to free his people
Interview Attack: Hyun Between
stone and hyun
- Hi there! (hyun) - Uhh hiiii~ spaghetti and meatballz - Hyun, most know you as an awesome stick figure animator. Would you mind sharing with us a little more about yourself, what you are into right now or possibly what your current plans are for the near future? (hyun) - Well first off my names Eric (Hyun) Kwon and I’ve been animating ever since Jr. high school! I’ve always wanted to become a great stick figure animator ever since being inspired by the greats like the JCTLM gang and I’m really living that dream since a lot of people look up to me now when it comes
Animator Extraordinaire to animating. I want to pave the way for stick figures and bring them up to a whole new level so people can give them the respect and appreciation that they deserve. - You’ve been known / animating for quite awhile now. Is animating your job? Do you feel this is something you can do for years to come? (hyun) - Animating stick figures is my job at the mome nt and I didn’t think it was possible a few months ago. Now, I truly believe there is a big untouched market for stick figures because of its simplicity and how it makes instant connection to audiences of any age, race, or gender. I’m not sure if it’s something that I can do for years to come, but either way I’m going to try to make it work, not just for me, but for others who have the same dream I do. - Most commonly animators animate starting with the head of the character. Whether animate it first, or just placing it first. You seem to feel most comfortable animating without the head placement starting out. Without the head, how do you begin to think about your spacing- or rather- where do you focus your mind when starting your spacing on a new frame. (hyun) - The reason why I still use body first is mainly because of foot placement. For me I imagine what the character’s feet is doing in any kind of action sequence. If you look at the kungfu movies, they’re always doing crazy stuff with their feet, when they switch legs, how they spin, jump etc. All the power is in the legs NOT the head and if you get the legs right, all the rest is easy to fill in afterwards. - Do you think animating stick figures is only something you should do for awhile just as a step to move onto fullbody animation? Or is it something viable as its own form of entertainment? (hyun) - The traditional take was that you start with stick figures, move to fullbody, then go to 3D. That way still works and I’m still trying to work up to those standards, but lately I’ve been getting so much more luck in just doing what I do best which is stick figures. More and more I’m beginning to think that stickfigure animations can be a whole new form of entertainment to the
point where people would RATHER see stick figures animated in a certain style than a fullbody or 3D animation. - When working on large-scale projects, what do you think is the most important key factor in keeping yourself inspired enough to keep pushing through on the same file for extended periods of time? (hyun) - Having people watch you animate is probably the best way to keep yourself from being distracted. That’s the reason why I livestream so I don’t slack off and I know that people are expecting me to animate. Even if nobody’s watching, you can record yourself animating so you know that something is keeping track of your progress while you animate. Other times you just have to sit and pump out frames just using your mental stamina. - It’s no secret you got some mad skills. Many animators out there are dying for some help wherever they can get it. Would you be able to share a fla with us for others to download and observe and study to better themselves? (hyun) - Sure I’ll hook you guys up with my Rushed2 entry because I think
it’s a good example of what my style shows best in a fight scene. Like what I said before, if you just focus on the legs for the entire fight, you can see how much attention they get when it comes to each step, balance, rotation, stance, and jump. Try looking at legs as 2 huge weights and think carefully on how they will counterbalance each movement of your character when he strikes. Arms are important for counterbalance as well, but I mainly use them to SHOW ROTATION. A lot of other factors in this animation, but you just have to look at study the frames. http://www.fileize.com/view/aca7aa4b-2f5/
- Most animators now-a-days seem to focus primarily on solo projects. Is there any educational value to working directly with others on the same file or project? AKA ‘joints.’
take a break with some easy ones here. Do you use a tablet? If so, which? Would you recommend this tablet to beginners? If not, what would you recommend? (hyun) - I use a 6 x 8 wacom intuos 3. The one that I have is a bit overkill if you’re just planning on animating stick figures. Bamboo tablets work just as well. I do recommend tablets for people who want to use the brush tool with more control. It also helps a lot with particle effects. - Do you generally ‘stick’ with the same properties when animating? What I mean by this is, smoothing / zoom etc. Since we’re on the subject, would you mind sharing your general zoom / smoothing with us?
(hyun) - My properties and preferences have changed very gradually over (hyun) - I’ve never been a huge fan of the years but I think I’ve settled for joint animations because of the com20 smoothing with 300-400% zoom. plexity and high failure rate for comple- MY BRUSH SMOOTHING YOU ASK??!!? tion, but when I did do joints, I learned AS FAT AS YOU CAN MAKE THEM CUS a lot about how other people animate. FAT STICKS RULE AND ARE A DYING It’s a great way to LEARN but extreme- BREEEEEEEED! DAMN YOU PHIL! ly hard to finish a full project. - You’ve released a new trailer on your upcoming droid mobile game http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USheusiINpI
How’s that going? When can we expect a release?! (hyun) - Basically the whole game is done. We’re just testing it out now for bugs and balancing. Official release to the market should be early July. - Enough with the heavy questions, let’s
Tutorial Time With Oxob3000
One of the very first things most ask in stick animation, is simply mastering their running and walk. Fortunately, learning such a skill will also open you up to loads of animation principles that you can use throughout animation. Once you get him from standing still to start walking is when you bring him to life. It’s quite easy to learn aswell. So let’s begin! When I make a walkloop, I make 5 frames that repeat themselves over and over as he walks. Walking is a very slow movement, and is hard to get right if youre singleframing. Therefore, I doubleframe most/all frames in a walkloop. The common misconception with double framing is that it is something bad or something you shouldn’t do. It is a technique! Master it, and it will open up animation avenues.
And back to frame 1
Running is actualy a bit esier to do, becaus your stickfigure makes bigger movements and it does’nt need as many frames inbetween each movement. When I animate running, I usualy dont doubleframe at all, but you can doubleframe the 2 frames where your stickfigure is airborn. This creates a feeling of weight and drag
Frame 4 Frame 5 And back (doubleframe (doubleframe to frame 1 optional) optional)
Basic Walking / Running Now how do you get your stickman from standing still to start moving?
| Small leap
| Runloop starts
Well before your stickfigure actualy enters into the walkloop, he has to slowly start leaning forwoard just alittle. As you Well before your stickfigure actualy enters into walkloop, he has to slowly start leaning forwoard just alittle. As you can see in the picture to the left, your stickfigure has to go from moving just 2 pixels, to 4 pixels, then 8 pixels and eventualy enters the walkloop. This is to make him start walking in a smooth way rather then starting with a chop wich looks unrealistic. Same rules applies for running. Also before your stickgifure starts running he should just take one smaller leap | before he enters the actual runloop, just so that it looks like a realistic acceleration. Hope this tutorial helps. Peace out /Oxob
BSE VERSION 4 is back, and boy is it BACK! Many users were looking for something from this merge to really begin to solidify our group together as one. Something that can bring the community together on an even playing ground where all users can showcase their skills and rank amongst their peers. Oxob300 brought us the delicious and always enjoyable BSE. This time coming back for version 4. BSE, AKA Best Sequence Execution, is a long-running competitoin where users are challenged to animate a given combo fight sequence under differing circumstances. For instance, in this first round your character had to execute a combo whilest portraying being on a very slippery surface. Out of Nowhere! BSE V4 round 1 exploded with entries. Never in the history of all BSE has there been so many committed good spirited competitors! Easily over 40+ entries submitted to the first round alone, this competition is sure to be going down in the history books with a bang. We had a lot of returning animators joining in from the previous versions of BSE as well as loads of new contendors who really showed their true colors and gave it all they got into the first round. Facing up against some of the best in the business!
ROUND 1 CONTROVERSY As the many entries came piling in. Some really started to shine through the cracks. One in particular came out of nowhere with Kixx’s rendition of an Anime-style stick fight. Loaded with style, emphasis on impact and loads of speed and adrenaline. This short was shooing to skip straight to the top of the charts blowing all entries out of the water. However, the tally’s weren’t all in just yet. As time was coming to a close terkoiz, one of the crowds favorites, blasted his way through with a well-timed cinematic slam. The energy, timing, entertainment value and overall appeal were just fantastic! He brought it all together with some of the very same elements Kixx had presented in his, but with his very own flavor in change of scenes, angles, emphasis on each attack and ending with style. This began to give a split amongst the competitors and viewers between who would take the top spot. Some assumed terkoiz would take his usual spot up top, along with kixx in a close second. Others, demanded Kixx get his rightful place at the top. The results are in, people are shocked! They find that kixx hadn’t even made it in the top 2! Kidkei’s classic 2D entry pushed its way through to hold the second position while terkoiz secured his throne at number one. Outrage broke out. Judgement was beginning to be passed around at the quality of the judges overlooking and giving scores on the animations. The names of the judges weren’t released to help keep them from harassment as well as keep the scoring system un-biased as possible... or is it? Either way its already heating up in the BSE. Round 2 is well underway and already some amazing entries flying in. Check the highlights of round 1 by visiting the forum thread below. http://forums.stickpage.com/showthread.php?35811-BSE-Version-4-Round-1
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