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Tazakk's Blog



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Update

Posted by Tazakk , Mar 28 2014 · 53 views

Just dropping in to say "Hello! I still haven't abandoned this!"
 
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Work continues.


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Animation Log 9

Posted by Tazakk , in Animation Project Jul 30 2013 · 94 views

As you may be aware, I released the second animation in my ongoing project a few days ago. Now that it is out, I thought I would take a moment to summarize my experience creating it.
 
First of all, I wanted to acknowledge that there does appear to be something of a contradiction in the final episode and what I said prior to its release. Before, I had implied the animation was to be significantly longer, and that as a result of that length it would still be a significant amount of time before it was completed.
 
As it happens, this is still partially true. When I began, I did not realize just how long the animation was going to run. I could have continued to finish out the whole thing, but it seemed better that I split it into two separate animations, and release them separately as I completed them. This way, I could go into the second half as the beginning of a fresh, new animation. I could also avoid having to watch the entirety of the first half every time I wanted to see how my animation work looked at the proper frame rate. Plus, it meant you would all get to see a new episode sooner.
 
I learned much through the process of creating this animation. I feel that many of elements that I was still learning at the time of the first episode came together much more smoothly here, to the point that I can compare the two episodes and see a distinct improvement. Hopefully, I can continue to be able to say that for every episode I complete.
 
I had some fun experimenting with new things, too. Among them were such things as moving the Tohunga at a more rapid pace (e.g. running or flinging a disk), animating clouds of dust, and integrating confrontational elements.
 
Although they would occasionally show a solid projectile hit its target, in general Templar would never show direct contact during a battle. Instead, simple effects would indicate what happened. I chose to follow this method, and I believe it turned out rather nicely. It is very clear what occurs during the battle, but nothing is ever directly shown to hit anyone.
 
I am less satisfied with the dust clouds that precede the appearance of Nuvhok. The awkward way that the clouds are designed made it difficult for me to animate them. In the end, though, I still think they came out well, especially in the scene where the Nuvhok first appears.
 
I feel that, as I animate, the story I am telling is becoming clearer in my mind. I genuinely hope that I will be able to offer greater definition to the characters Templar developed, and perhaps provide insight as to how the characters grew through BIONICLE's first two and a half years.
 
I would like to thank everyone that has offered their kind words thus far. I really appreciate the support. I am thrilled that you have all been able to enjoy this project in some way.
 
Now, off to work on episode three.


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Episode II: Shattered Ice

Posted by Tazakk , in Animation Project, Animations Jul 27 2013 · 40 views

Shattered Ice
Bohrok Assault on Ko-Koro
By Takua
 
The fears of many Ko-Koronans were realized today when the Bohrok swarms made their first strike upon the secluded village of Ko-Koro. 
 
“The arrival of the swarms was inevitable,” said Matoro, aid to the village’s Turaga, “but this does not lessen in force what it brings upon our village.”
 
Ko-Koro is found within a deep ravine, generally only accessible by a winding stairway down the icy, sheer rock face. The presence of the Bohrok here is a testament to the swarms' cleverness and persistence. If the Bohrok can reach Ko-Koro, then no place on the island is safe from their reach.
 
The presence of the Ta-Koronan Guard in the village was a deciding factor in the outcome of this first encounter. The Guard’s captain, Jala, heroically brought down a beast and liberated its Krana. The Krana are vital to the Toa on their quest to defeat the Bohrok swarms, and even one, such as Jala recovered, could prove critical.
 
“Should we meet Kopaka in our travels, we shall be certain to give him the parasite,” Jala said, “but the Bohrok threat is far from leaving this place. It will be some time before we can begin to consider a safe departure.”

Although they may now be resting in a moment of peace, all of the Tohunga in the village are left to fear the time when next the swarm will choose to strike, and the dangers the attack will bring.

 
View the topic.


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Animation Log 8

Posted by Tazakk , in Animation Project Jul 22 2013 · 60 views

Just popping in to say this project is still in progress and has not been abandoned, in the case that any one wishes to know. With nothing to say, however, I have fallen into the habit of not posting any updates here.
 
In the unlikely case that I decide to stop for whatever reason, I will put up an entry here to let everyone know. Barring that, I will just wait until the animation has been completed to continue with this blog.
 
Farewell until next time.


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Animation Log 7

Posted by Tazakk , in Animation Project May 12 2013 · 72 views

Work is continuing to move along. Currently, the matter most on my mind in regards to animating is pacing. Having a scene run just long enough for the transition to another seem fluid, or leaving just enough space for a joke to sink in, is simple in concept, but becomes difficult when you must battle with frame rate. Unfortunately, playing back the animation within Flash does not run it at the proper pace, so if I want to check my work I must export and then watch the entire animation. If I am not ready to continue after that, I have to watch the entire thing once or twice more.
 
It is a process that grows increasingly time-consuming as the animation grows in length. It also makes pacing scenes correctly a somewhat frustrating process of trial and error, where I can only make an educated guess as to what will work best before having to export the entire animation again.
 
Beyond that, the animation is coming along well. In comparison to the previous one, this one is rather lengthy and complex (as I may have mentioned before), so it is proving to be far more time consuming than I thought (also as I may have mentioned before). Still, I do not wish to make any concessions in quality in order to speed the process, so for now things shall continue at this pace.
 
I feel as if I am restating myself. Perhaps I am. It is unfortunate that I do not want to share any plot details here; if I did, I would have much more to say. At least when the second animation is completed, I can begin talking more about the direction the project will take as a whole.


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Animation Log 6

Posted by Tazakk , in Animation Project Apr 27 2013 · 79 views

With three of my classes wrapping up for the semester (online and thus on a different schedule than the other classes), it is beginning to appear as if I will have much more time to dedicate to animating. As opposed to working only on the weekends (as I have been), I will soon have an ample amount of time to dedicate to the project on weekdays.
 
I am quickly learning that it is a difficulty to generate a sizable paragraph or two with which to fill these blog entries. I am afraid that I have nothing more of interest to say at the moment.


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Animation Log 5

Posted by Tazakk , in Animation Project Apr 14 2013 · 137 views

I began animating today. Honoring the time-honored saying "a picture is worth one thousand words" (does that mean the saying is doubly honored now?), here is a screenshot, purportedly worth one thousand words:
 
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...and with a stunning 1033 words, I conclude this week's blog entry.


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Animation Log 4

Posted by Tazakk , in Animation Project Apr 07 2013 · 118 views

After a week spent away from home at a steampunk convention with friends, I returned and immediately began not working on this project. :P The workload from school has not, as I had hoped it might, lessened over Spring Break, but remained constant, which effected the amount of time I could work on writing/animating.
 
... but of course you don't want to hear a jumble of excuses. I would guess that if you are reading this, you probably want to know about how the animation is coming along.
 
At this point, I am considering revisions to the script. I want to ensure that the plot can continue to be balanced and reminiscent of Templar's animations. I already know that I can imitate their animation style well enough, but the story is another, far more delicate, matter. I don't want to rush, as it could mean creating a less than ideal story.
 
When considering how Templar created the plot for MNOG and the subsequent news animations, one must consider not only the style and voice of the authors, but the limitations they worked under as well. Templar worked with LEGO during the heat of the violence debate, and as a result were severely limited as far as combat. Not to say that this is a bad thing (rather, it can even be said to add a unique element to the animations) but it does require creative thinking when you are animating something for a heavily conflict-based toyline. An interesting example is that you never actually see the Boxor vehicles in action; they are either disabled by the enemy or the animation cuts off before the conflict begins. The punching action of the Boxor was apparently too violent to depict. Since the plot of the Bohrok news updates featured the Boxor vehicles heavily, Templar had to invent maneuvers to avoid the issue.
 
Now I have to do the same (with the Boxor vehicles and other conflict-related elements), and I have begun to realize how tricky it is. Creating interesting new scenarios while avoiding direct combat is an interesting challenge, and I hope that I am able to overcome it successfully. As such, I shall continue to work, and probably post another update this upcoming weekend detailing my progress.


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Writing the Script

Posted by Tazakk , in Animation Project Mar 24 2013 · 94 views

This week, I proceeded to write the script for the upcoming episode. One of the problems that I feel was extant in the first episode was a lack of action, but this will most certainly be compensated for by episode two. Given the earthquake at the end of episode one, you can probably guess the direction the next episode will take, but I won't say specifically what is in store, just to maintain some level of suspense.
 
It was interesting to see how the format these animations are in worked as a limit to what I could do. One notable issue is that it is difficult to show Bohrok destroying things, as that would require special animation that I am not at the moment capable of. Hopefully, I will be able to improve my animating ability to the point where I can do that at some point in the future.
 
You can expect the next episode to be a much better length, as that was another of my pet peeves with the first. Although I cannot gauge it to be certain, the next animation will probably be about the length of or slightly longer than one of Templar's episodes.


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Plotting and Planning

Posted by Tazakk , in Animation Project Mar 16 2013 · 96 views

Before I get to work on the next animation, I've taken a week to look at what I am aiming to accomplish as a whole. The plan is to have my animations compliment those by Templar, so now seemed as good of a time as any to decide where I want the overall story of my project to go, and how it will work with the original animations.
 
I did this by creating a timeline that had everything I have planned for future episodes, along with everything Templar has done. From there, I broke down my ideas into episodes, and came to a total of seven, including the first and already completed one (Ta-Koronan Guard Arrives in Ko-Koro). With Templar's animations, this will bring the entire story up to fourteen episodes, or seventeen including the Bohrok-Kal.
 
This is a rather small update, but unfortunately it is all I have for this week. Next time, I will probably have more content as I write about creating the script for the next episode, and perhaps a bit of animating as well.






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