Friday, November 30, 2007

Yo Jeaux! Q and A with Fred

Jeaux Janovsky over at Channel Frederator (remember them? Toon podcast, cool-ass red robot? Yeah, that's the guys, swell fellas.) tossed a few questions my way about 'First Time Out', featured in Fred 108. Here's me chewin' his ear off:

1) How long have you been animating Neil?

I got out of school summer of '95, been workin' since then, so...sweet joosy jebus, 12 years?!? Man, I'm old.

2) Mech-rabbits battling makes for awesome. What was the inspiration of this short Neil?

Too many episodes of Gundam Wing. After seeing yet another mechstravaganza where big awesome robots were being piloted by blank-eyed teens with all the emotive properties of a squashed banana slug, I thought to myself "Man, why don't they create a toon with giant mecha suits piloted by sumthin' that could actually USE a giant mecha suit?" Then an episode of Hamtaro came on, and something clicked. Or snapped, depending on yer point o' view. Originally, the main characters were actually gonna be hamsters, and I may still do that. If I do, it'll be one big valentine to Go Nagai.

3) The short could very well be a cut scene from the GunBunnies video game, do you have any video game aspirations for these cute and cuddly hardcore mech battling robots?

You hit the video game aspirations right on the nose, man! 'First Time Out' was meant to be a great lil' short film, but I also wrote and designed it to introduce the characters and story as a game environment. I'll be posting a 'proof of concept' of sorts, including a demo of how the game would play on the Wii (my platform o' choice) to the GUNBunnies website in early 2008. (

All of the vehicles and characters are game-ready art assets...I could drop 'em into an online game tomorrow if'n I wanted! I originally meant the film to be a realtime machinima piece, running online in Shockwave 3d...couldn't figure out how to code the cameras and lighting, so I decided to render it, but I kept all the art assets 'low poly' to evoke the look of an early/mid era GameCube or PS2 game. The realtime demos still exist, and I'll be putting 'em up online as well when I do the update. I'll update everyone on the RAW site when that happens.

4) What's your favorite videogame?

Tim Schaeffer's Psychonauts. Best combo of animation, design, story, music, voiceover work and gameplay ever, hands down. All that plus Richard Horvitz. Woot.

5) What are you currently working on?

A short lil' Christmas thang in Flash, featuring Emilio the Whooping Llama, a gaming podcast mascot character I designed about a year ago. There's a sample walk cycle and animatic snippet on my RAW page. ( Hoping to have it ready to submit for the Fred Xmas Xtravaganza, but if not, I'll post it on RAW.

I also included this pic...Zav in her battle armor with shield and OmniRifle. Originally, Zav was going to be the main character, but I decided I wanted the fact that all the characters are bunnies (or bunny-like aliens) to be a suprise reveal at the end of the film. So now she's relegated to a small role standing next to Deg (the green 'tech bunny') in the simpod hangar at the end of the film.

Thus ends self-promotion Fridays here on the TAIS blog. More later!

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