Monday, April 25, 2011

Figumo Warfare's Commentarry

For those that haven't watched the video, watch it, now!

Finally after a real while (sorry), I finally get to work on the promised commentary of the Figumo Warfare.

We started shooting last year to participate in our college's animation competition on January. At first we only had general ideas like "Figmas and Gunplas battling each other". We then started thinking of each scene and pairing "who vs who" and "what'll they do", not all of them got implemented though X_X. After thinking a bunch of them, we finally realized one important thing, we haven't thought of how to begin nor to end the story!
At first I wanted to add a prologue story explaining how the Figmas started to attack the Gunplas and taking their parts and weapons, which explains how later San has Astray's Beam Rifle and how Nanoha have well uh--, her Destiny Raiser Zero Custom parts. After all that the gunplas decided to deliver a counterattack. Well, it was cancelled though, mostly because of the deadline and the fact that I had assignments (yeah, new year assignments, huh).

Well anyway, let's start the commentary.

And we begin with the Zaku and Zudah. The Zaku is picked simply because we need the first victim right away :p.
If you wonder why a lot of the gunplas lost, well here's the thing:
When I make a matchup between characters, it wouldn't be interesting if all of them end in a draw. But then again, if I were to ever pick a winner between two different popular character without much explanation, it would, at the very least, awkward. ;^^
So in the end I picked those with the least character of them all, which are the mass-produced grunts (and Figmas doesn't have a grunt unit, so no loser on their side :p).

And right away we come to the first camera trick. This was of course done by holding the Zaku from outside the camera. In fact, everytime you see something moving while having some part outside the camera, you can safely assume it's being holded :P.

Then the Figmas strikes first! Sakuya got picked as the leader figure of the Figmas. To be honest I really don't know who to pick as their leader other than Nanoha, but picking her would spoil the ending ;^^. In the end, Figma Sakuya that my roommate ordered arrived before we started taking pics, and we just went "might as well use her, we can easily create the ZA WARUDO effects anyway :p".
For BRS, my roommate just happen to have here, and of course we must show her off, mwahahahah XD.
Seriously though, we basically need somebody to start an attack, and preferrably from a long range. Other than BRS, Teana and Nanoha came into mind, but Teana was needed for later scene (Jegan's "dramatic" death) and Nanoha for the same reason as before, so we went with BRS.
That, and the pairing with Sakuya makes it a double limited Figma combination XD.

And here's Zudah's role, being the "big gun" of the Gunplas, solely for this scene. Had I have the Zaku Sniper by that point, I would have used him.
And just now I realized that the Gespenst also qualifies as a big gun. ;^^

And this is... well hahahah. I imaged that the Figmas resides on the lower floor while the Gunplas on the upper floor. After the gunpla's "scout team" got attacked, the rest of the gunpla team will come down. Then when we're finally taking pictures I finally wondered how the heck are they going to go down? ;^^
Makin an animation for each one of them to go down the stairs would be hell. That's when our cameramen said "let's use green screen". While it didn't look so good, at least it solved our problem. I really need to think technically before making something X_X.

RG RX-78-2 as the leader of the Gunplas. It's actually a pretty obvious pick for the leader figure since the RG is of the best quality of the scale and RX being the granddaddy of them all. The thing is that the RG is too unstable for stop motion (lot's of moving parts, loose parts, and hard to stand still), which made him only getting a bit of screentime.

The only walking scene in this stop motion video. Only when making this animation I realized that making a stepping movement in stop motion is very difficult. I never realized there has never been a good walking in most stop motion (if there are, they're usually choppy). Even in plamoo's stop motion video, most of the figures moves by hovering/flying.
To make a walking motion with figure, it means that you must make sure the body is standing still while keeping one feet off the ground. Keeping the body still (so the stop motion doesn't look like it's stuttering) is pretty difficult. The worst part is if the figure actually fell, which means that you'll need to start over from the first motion @_@.
That's it, no more walking from now on.

Figma Hatsune Miku and Seto San. This must be the most bizzare pick for this video, as both characters aren't actually combatants LOL. My roommates is a fan of the Seto no Hanayome anime (I introduced it to him :p), and he boasted that Figma San's hand can hold most plamo weapons, which made her showed up with Astray's beam rifle. For Miku's... well, it's Miku XD. Her hand and revolver's is from Figma Ein. We were actually kinda creeped out seeing Miku shooting with a wide smile on her face ;^^.

The GN Archer and Jegan's romantic relation has been a running joke on Chessboard Attic (or hasn't it? If that's the case then I declare it otherwise!), and we decided to take it to the next level by striking a cliche, or perhaps death flag is more appropriate XD.
The dialog were kinda neccesarry for hinting that it's the famous death flag, but we were quite confused as what to actually write in details, and left it at this "not so satisfying" dialogue ;^^.

Of course Jegan died after hitting that flag, very few survive that! We put white screen and lights all over to dramatize the scene. Were your hearts touched during this scene? (Or perhaps you were laughing out loud? :3)

God Gundam and Subaru's rivalry also has been established in the very first couple 4koma of the Chessboard Attic, and they both also have melee finisher attack, so this pairing is also pretty obvious for us. For the Red Astray and Shana, they're both red and uses katana. They were among the quickest matchup to be decided other than the obvious ones.

I have to say that this is one of the error that happened in this stop motion. A proper God Finger attack would mean that the forearm guard should've moved forward, much closer into the hand. I forgot that and left the forearm guard as it is "orz.

Signum and Sinanju were picked because they're both adept in close range. My roommate had the idea of having a sword battle using the slashing effect. We used the dramatic wide screen actually to hide our hands moving both figures from below XD.

And this is perhaps the most embarassing scene on the video. I loved the Gespenst and I wanted to show off the folding gimmick of the F2W Launcher, but I forgot two things that made making the unfolding animation difficult:
1) The unfolded launcher would be too heavy to be held by one hand (duh).
2) For the left hand to hold the grip, you need to separate the left holding hand first, which means that you need to remove the hand from the socket, which of course made the arm move a lot.
It's not something a camera trick and a better planning wouldn't do, but being rushed and sleepless really doesn't help :(.

And with that we killed all the grunt units. I loved grunt units, but they're just not gonna stand a chance in a popularity battle ;^^.

This is the only time Delta Plus and Vita appeared in the video. At first I planned of having the Delta Plus in it's Wave Rider mode flying around attached to the camera using tape to give a third person flight camera feel. We later thought it was to difficult and dangerous, and hence reduced their screentime to just the moments before Nanoha's appearance.
It's incredibly ironic that while Delta Plus had the least screentime among the gunplas, it actually got into an accident were after the shoot, I accidentally snapped one of the peg connecting the trigger hand, making that hand loose as it's now only connected via one peg(the "no gunplas were harmed" at the ending we lies :( ).

The Destiny Raiser Zero Custom Nanoha XD.
This custom actually has already been done by my roommate for quite a while before we even thought of making this video. Parts were used from HG Wing Zero Custom, HG O Raiser, and 1/144 bootleg Destiny Gundam (my roommate bought it specifically for modding. He also bought a 1/144 bootleg Strike Freedom but it didn't look good on it). When we finally thought of making a video of Gunplas vs Figmas, we immediately knew she must be the final boss of that battle XD.

Somebody who haven't watched Nanoha series would probably be a bit confused. Basically it's a magical girl show famous for the character's firepower. The main character's (Nanoha) strongest attack, the Starlight Breaker, is so powerful, it actually destroyed a city in the movie version (I still wonders how come every single one person that has been hit with this attack on the anime managed to stay in one piece after that ;^^). For the explosion, I searched "nuclear explosion" on youtube, and found the footage of Tsar Bomba, currently the most powerful bomb in existance.

The only outdoor shoot, taken at an empty lot near our college. There was an extra scene where Figma Fate appear and congratulated Nanoha, but we took it out because it seemed to out of place.

Aaand the end. Seeing that pretty much all characters died except one, we find it fitting to use Angel Beat ED song since that anime deals with lots of death afterlife issues :p.
As mentioned before, the "no gunpla were harmed" was incorrect, seems that our editor was too excited to make that joke :(.
List of stuff that are harmed:
- Delta Plus' trigger hand: One of the peg snapped.
- Jegan's shield: the connector snapped, and the piece went missing.
- God Gundam's small white piece on the right soulder: missing.
- One gunpla stand base: snapped. Later was repaired but snapped again :(.

In the end, there were some problems in making this stop motion. But in the end, we enjoyed our finished product, even though we didn't win the competition (our animation were superior and longer, but perhaps because it doesn't have many story nor meaning, especially those that aren't familiar with anime and plamo). We're hoping to make another stop motion video not far in the future, hopefully much better planned and less rushed.

On a side note, a little bit while after making that video, me and my roommate became a fan of Monster Hunter games. Remember the part where I said the Figmas were attacking the Gunplas to take their parts? Doesn't that sound similar to Monster Hunter where you kill monsters to make weapons and armors with parts taken from those monsters?

Don't you feel the similarity?
Don't you feel... the idea? :3
Don't you... get what I mean? :3


  1. how the hell did i missed this??

    *watches video*

    *head blows up*


  2. I dried, due to Sakuya's moe-ness factor... too cute... uggu...

    Also, I also tried doing a silly stop-motion of OO and Nobel doing FEVER!