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ANIMATIC: OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes Main Title

(See the final version here!)

Presenting the rough animatic for the show’s main titles! This was a true labor of love and a chance to work with one of my animation heroes, Hiroyuki Imaishi(Best known as the co-founder of Studio Trigger)!

For this project, we began by solidifying the theme song. Our team at Mint Potion Studios, headed by composer Jake Kaufman, created a blood-pumping disco song that not only extols the virtues of friendship but also brings to mind the visual of robots exploding. As an easter egg, the first 9 notes are a callback to the theme song of the original 2012 “Lakewood Plaza Turbo” pilot!

We sent the theme song and some early episodes to Imaishi-san in Japan for him to get the vibe of the project. He sent us a mind-blowing storyboard- he created an otherworldly image of a planet encased in a discoball seamlessly transitioning to a wild action sequence(described by him as “CRAZY FIGHTING”)! Our storyboard supervisor Jeremy Polgar took it from there, and animated the heck out of it. Pausing randomly on the final version reveals some pretty out-there character drawings!

This intro is very special to me, as it encapsulates all of the feelings of the show into one place. It took months of coordinating across multiple time zones. It was a challenge to get all of the main characters, rivals, settings, and a discoball all in 20 seconds! Please, enjoy our hard work!

-Ian JQ

Storyboard: Hiroyuki Imaishi

Director: Jeremy Polgar

Revisions & Additional Animation: Max Collins, Anna Craig, Ian Jones-Quartey

Music: Mint Potion Studios

Special Thanks to Will Feng, Studio Trigger

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We can finally announce it! Ian Jones-Quartey’s OKKO is a tv show!I was fortunate enough to (loosely) animation direct this incredible intro sequence storyboarded by @shiimai (Hiroyuki Imaishi)! Much love to the incredible revisionists @killapede and @buttsIug who revised, cleaned up and animated this with me <3 

Also, huge shout out to the hyper talented crew of storyboard artists @scrotumnose @bootswithnofur @Cuppatan @cartoonfuntime @dannyducker @miraongchua @stebvi @@parkerrsimmons You inspire me everyday!

Can’t wait for the show to come out for reals! I promise you’re all in for a treat :)

It’s time for today’s Hiveswap development team interview!

Hey there folks! We’re back with our next Hiveswap developer interview, right on schedule. This week we’re chatting with our animation director Angela Sham, who – as some of you may already be aware – was already creatively contributing to the Homestuck universe before she started working on Hiveswap. So let’s jump right in!

Introduce yourself to the fans! What is your specific role on the Hiveswap team?

Hullo!! My name’s Angela and I’m the animation director on Hiveswap. I’m responsible for overseeing the development of sprites, cutscenes, and basically anything that moves. Together with our lead animator Adrienne, I help to make the pictures go. I’m very lucky to be drift compatible with her.

When and how did you get your start on the Hiveswap project?

Two years ago What Pumpkin (WP) brought me on to animate Act 7, and then I transitioned into game work! Speaking of Act 7, you can check that out right here if you’d like.

Tell us a little bit about your career background! How did you get your start in animation? Do you have any advice for others looking to enter this field?

I didn’t ever expect to be an animator, to be honest. I didn’t go to school for art, and animation was a manic sort of hobby that helped me concentrate. When I graduated I decided to give it a shot as a career and happened to start freelancing for Sparkler Monthly, where another WP employee was also working, and that was when I joined the Homestuck team. My advice is, there is no one “right” way to enter the field, so draw what you want and put it out there. In my case, I drew fan art and a Homestuck fan animation called “A Lullaby for Gods,” and… here we are! In fact, you can watch “A Lullaby for Gods” right here if you’re so inclined.

We’re making a video game, so of course the question must be asked: what’s your favorite game of all time, and what games are you playing currently (if any)?

This is an impossible question; how could you ask me this!? You’re gonna have to settle for categories of favorite/influential games, including hits like I Cried for 50 Days (Shadow of the Colossus); Why Am I Doing This to Myself (God Hand); I Have a Mouth and It Is Screaming (Rule of Rose, Haunting Ground); I’m Just RPG Trash (Final Fantasy IX, Okami, Paper Mario, Kingdom Hearts); and Gitaroo-Man (Gitaroo-Man). I’m currently playing through NieR: Automata, and I drive around in Grand Theft Auto V when I really need to relax.

Are there any games that you currently use or have used as inspiration for your own animation work here on Hiveswap, or just in general?

Street Fighter III, BlazBlue, and Skullgirls for sure.

As an animator, you must have some favorite cartoons and/or anime – tell us about them!

Tekkonkinkreet was the film that made me want to animate. Something about it made me realize it was possible, that such an incredible thing was made by people, even though I grew up on a healthy diet of cartoons and anime. Some favorite cartoons include Hey Arnold! and Ed, Edd n Eddy, while Samurai Champloo and Escaflowne rank among my favorite anime. Animators who have been especially influential to me include Hiroyuki Imaishi, Yutaka Nakamura, Norio Matsumoto, and Sergio Pablos. I could talk all day about animation, so I’m gonna do you all a favor and head myself off at the pass.

What’s your workstation like? Do you like to listen to any particular kinds of music while you work? If so, tell us about it!

I work from home, so it gets very… uh… listen, there are a lot of snacks within arm’s reach, between my monitors and just a bit too close to all of my art books. Nobody should be told about this, let’s move on.

Favorite Homestuck character?

HMMM. The beta kids are nearest and dearest to my heart; I can’t rank them because they wouldn’t be great without each other. And their patron trolls. So I guess I have eight favorite characters, and are we only being asked impossible questions now.

Favorite Homestuck ship?

GUESS SO. In the early days, I was really ready for Karkat >3>John to happen, but after all these years, the long-buried ship that I think of every so often when I’m lying awake at night wondering where it all went is… Dave/Terezi.

Favorite Homestuck flash?

Lord. I’ve been going through flashes for like 40 minutes now, and this one is actually impossible. This isn’t an answer, but the first one I checked was Jade:Enter, then Jack:Ascend, then Descend, then Make Her Pay, then…

Do you have a personal message you’d like to relay to all the Homestuck and Hiveswap fans out there?

I know. You don’t think I know, but I know. I’m there too.

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Opening to Aoi Honoo (Blue Blazes) pays homage to:

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I was asked to make an assignment for an animation guild class as a guest speaker. I thought it’d be fun to have a small lecture based on contrast between poses and getting more with less drawings. So I gave myself an assignment which was to have the character jump into the air, do 4-5 distinct poses and exit screen. I ended up having a lot of fun with it and turned it into a small project. I was able to get it done in about 6 hours which was kind of the point of the exercise. I think the animation is still passible despite lacking inbetweens. Good for action animation on a budget. Here’s 3 gif’s that demonstrate my process from start to finish

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Jeremy Polgar Live Stream: Action Animation Breakdown/Full-Limited Animation Lecture (light)
[Please start at 3:58 seconds] In this video I describe how I did a 3 second animation in 8 hours from start to finish and discuss the theory of full-limited...

If you were ever curious about what’s going on in my head while I’m animating/staging an action sequence then here’s your chance to take a look! This is my first live streamed video so it’s very cut and dry, but maybe the content might be enough to hold your interest. There’s a general lecture/study of Imaishi’s animation and how he approaches full-limited. Then I breakdown how I animated a shot from start to finish. It ends with a live demo! So feel free to put this on to keep you company while you’re doing something else and enjoy! 

Hiroyuki Imaishi storyboards for Professor Layton

That’s right, between Gurren Lagann and Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt, the future Trigger co-founder laid ‘em down for director Masakazu Hashimoto’s feature film version of the famous Level-5 puzzle-solving sentimental tearbath for the Nintendo DS. P.A. Works had been handling the games’ cutscenes from the very beginning, with Hashimoto serving as director and sole storyboardist at first, but for whatever reason the entire action climax of the film was given to Imaishi to storyboard under unit directors Chizuru Miyawaki & Hideyo Yamamoto, if I am reading the storyboard compilation book that came with the UK & Italian special edition releases of the film correctly. (I have the Italian one; WAY cheaper, and the bonus disc is still in English.)

Anyway, the result of this set of cuts was by far the funniest and most lively character animation in the entire film, so yay for delegation!  

The director of animation here was apparently Hiroyuki Horiuchi, who’s worked in similar capacities on a lot of Katsuhiro Ōtomo-related projects like Steamboy, Freedom and the “A Farewell to Weapons” segment of Short Peace, though I unfortunately don’t know any of the key animators. Maybe all of this information is tucked away inside the audio commentary on the Japanese release, which I don’t believe has ever been translated. Obviously what we need is a re-release branded “FROM THE PEOPLE WHO BROUGHT YOU KILL LA KILL AND SHIROBAKO”… after all, every puzzle has a solution.

THANK YOU for the 5000 followers! (actually 5510 followers) I made this for you but it was more like an argument to animate stuff! Hope you like it! I was inspired by a lot of person like 中村 豊 (Yutaka Nakamura),今石 洋之 (Hiroyuki Imaishi),中村 豊 (masanobu hiraoka) and others! Thank you to my classmates for helping me mentally!