3 Sweet Game Openings

Thursday, August 31, 2006

I recently picked up a ps2 game called Onimusha 3 for $10 from a bargain bin - the game is pretty fun, but something must be said for the amazing opening cgi. It is definitely the most technically stunning cutscene I've ever seen in a game. If someone knows of a better one, please let me know:

I believe this opening is just a few notches below The Animatrix's Final Flight of the Osiris. I heard it took a year to make, too. This YouTube version does not do it justice at all, so here's a better quality link if you're interested:
Onimusha 3 Opening @

This got me thinking of other notable opening sequences from video games. I immediately thought of Final Fantasy VIII's opening, since it's still my favourite:

This one may pale in comparison to the two others here but 7 years ago when this game first came out, I don't think it had any competition. And 7 years later, the game's cinematics are still attractive.

Took me a bit longer to think of a 3rd awesome opening, but I think Soul Calibur III's opening deserves mention.

Again, a better quality version exists:
Soul Calibur III Opening @

The next-gen consoles (excluding the Wii) can almost imitate these cinematics in real time, so it should be interesting to see what they can come up with.

G2 Exit test

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Yay I passed, I finally have a G license. I waited far too long to take this test, so long that I took my first G2 exit test on the expiry date of my license. And I failed it. Luckily they allowed me to book a following test, and gave me a temporary license until that point. The downside was that if I failed today's test.....I would have had to start over from the beginning - written test, g1, g2, g2 exit. So the pressure was ON, and I passed! ohh man starting makes me die a little inside thinking about it.

Stop Requested

Back at the end of last semester, when I was happy about the school year ending and somewhat ambitious for the summer, I thought I'd crack down and make a short animation, with a story, and colour it. BIG project, but I ha
d all summer to do it, right? Well it didn't help that I wasted like the 1st month or so just unwinding and doing nothing, and then it REALLY didn't help when I started working again, 'cause after a 8 hour shift at work, its kinda hard to do anything but laze around.

In those small intervals of time that I wasn't lazing around and playing video games, I was thinking up a story that would be simple enough to animate over the summer. I didn't "work" on the story too much, I was kinda brainstorming in my head for a while, and then one day I sketched this rough storyboard out:

That done, I moved on to designing the characters, trying to keep it simple, as I would have to animate and colour them (lol). I did up model sheets for the two characters (this was a while ago, maybe in June?), so just in case the youtu
be scribbles don't make sense, try imagining with these:

e expressions:

So, around this time (Julyish), I finally realized that the story was too long, and it would be impossible to complete unless I quit work and did nothing but work on this for the rest of the summer. So I kinda dropped the idea, until recently - I decided to at least finalize the idea in animatic form, since I had also done better boards than the first ones. So that's the story.

Finally - I don't think the animatic flows very could use more drawings, perhaps some limited animation to help sell the idea. Instead of doing that, I've included a little "pitch" of the story, so you should have a good idea of what I wanted to see:
Stop Requested

guy is Sorrel, girl is Mint (named for fun)

Guy sitting on a bus, reading.
flips a page.
cut to medium close up of him reading.
He shifts due to the bus braking to pick up passengers.
He takes a quick glance to see passengers getting on.
Double take - something catches his eye.
POV of 'Sorrel': That thing is a girl. Track her as she sits across from him.
She meets his gaze and smiles.
Cut to Sorrel, stunned.
He nervously returns a stiff smile and averts his eyes back to his book.
He takes quick glances upward with his eyes and can tell that she is still looking at him.
So, he decides to hide. He slowly lifts the book to hide his face, as if all were normal.
POV Sorrel: The book continues to move upwards, covering his face, 'Mint' still smiling in the BG.
The book now covers the screen, shaking nervously.
A finger slips in...
And pulls down the's her, giving a sultry look.
She bites her lip as she slowly pulls her finger off the book-
The book pops up a bit since he's holding it so tightly.
She then stands up, Sorrel's POV tracking. She moves to his left...
Cut to seats view - she sits down next to him.
She smiles at him again.
He turns his head down to his book, still nervous and stiff.
She snuggles up closer to him, and pokes her head down towards his book with a curious look.
When her head enters Sorrel's view, he pulls back with surprise.
Sorrel's POV again: her head inches towards the book,
and then she turns and looks up at him, with an innocent, wanting look.
Cut to seats view - Sorrel is frozen for a few seconds. Then....
Mint begins to move closer to his face, and Sorrel tries to slowly back out more, but he's reached the limit...
extreme close (eyes) up of Mint moving closer to Sorrel's frightened face....
another extreme close up of their mouths, getting very close, Sorrel's lips trembling...
Cut to black - *Bus bell rings*
Close up of Sorrel sleeping
Quick pan out as he jolts awake from the bell.
He looks around to get his surroundings.
(POV)He sees at the front of the bus the stop requested sign is red, thus someone rang the bell to get off.
Pan right, and Mint walks into view to wait at the side exit. She was the one who pulled it.
She notices that he's looking at her, and innocently smiles back again.
cut back to medium shot of Sorrel as SFX indicate that Mint has disembarked and the bus continues.
As Sorrel continues to look in her direction, he puts together what has happened.
He slowly turns his head forward,
And lets out a big sigh, head hung in shame and embarrassment.
Head still hung low, he reaches up to pull the bell for his stop.
Cut to black on SFX ding

Comments/critique welcome, thanks for reading, etc. I want to animate something before summer's out, and I'm working on a new (very short) idea at the moment.

Interesting work note: 95% of the animatic boards and the expressions were done with free time @ work.


Sunday, August 27, 2006

Here I am, sucked into the blog world. I'm not much of a blogger, and not much of an artist, so my posts will be few and far between. But I will try! To start off, something old: The Crane's Lament, the animatic with animation that I worked on in the last 2 semesters.