Topic: I am the Night

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I am the Night

I am the Night on YouTube

A LEGO Batman short which took me way too long to make despite being rather short.

It was supposed to be longer, but I decided to finish off what I had so that I could move on to other projects.

Sorry that it's not what it was supposed to be, but I hope that it's something at least.

Re: I am the Night

Watched it before you posted it on BiM. mini/bigsmile
Great job!
Granted, there was a bit of light flicker, but you have already fixed that, so I will discuss it no further. The glowing head though... that must have been a labor of love! (...or hate once you started animating with it). I dabbled with glowing heads before, and it is no easy task getting it to look good.
To bad that you weren't able to finish the whole thing, but it's good nonetheless.
Overall, I give it a 5/5 children!

Edit: I agree with what was said about the dutch angles. They were a bit overwhelming.

Last edited by Rivvm m (February 10, 2016 (06:18pm))

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Re: I am the Night

Yeash this was a mixed bag. Let's start of the with cinematography. Way too much dutch tilt. I watched this on my phone and I ended up tilting my phone to properly balance each shot. Seriously, it was like watching some sort of Battlefield Earth fan fictions. Adding it in every shot does nothing but annoy the audience. The look of the film was very cool. I enjoy the explosion animation which was well executed. The cutting of this film was also weird the action sequences felt slow and disjointed. Overall this was a pretty film with some neat idea to that had glaring flaws.

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Re: I am the Night

This is excellent. Apart from the light flicker, as Rivvm m mentioned, this was a perfect film. It definitely had a blockbuster feel mini/wink
I loved it!

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Re: I am the Night

I really enjoyed your animation and set design, especially the tracking shot through the wall of the apartment. How were you able to get such smooth camera movement? I always seem to get irregular bumps and things whenever I try to move the camera.

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Re: I am the Night

http://i.imgur.com/Sd8ktR4.png

Last edited by Cartoonkid98 (February 10, 2016 (07:28pm))

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Re: I am the Night

I didn't mind the Dutch angles that much, though the light flicker did get to me. I couldn't do better though, and overall this is a very well done animation packed with awesome shots and great musical accompaniment.

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Re: I am the Night

I do admit, the slants were really over-used in this.  That was initially somewhat intentional, but even so I went too far.
Most of this was animated quite some time ago.  After having received such criticism for other films, I've seriously cut down on my slant usage, with Leprechauns in France being completely slant free, and with Ella's Tale using only a small few.
I still do quite like slants though, I'm obsessed and I don't think that I'll ever be completely rid of them.  Welcome to Darkmoor so far only uses a few stray slants, and some slants for specific short scenes, but contains mostly long periods of time where the camera is as level as I could manage, so that's something.  Now I see that a slant really isn't worth it at all unless there isn't a level shot to contrast it.

One of the reasons I stopped the film here is that I didn't want to film the rest of the film now that I've fixed my light flicker and don't use as many slants.  It would have been terrible for continuity.

Geouug wrote:

I really enjoyed your animation and set design, especially the tracking shot through the wall of the apartment. How were you able to get such smooth camera movement? I always seem to get irregular bumps and things whenever I try to move the camera.

Thanks!
I made a video in which I showed the dolly I built for those sorts of shots here: https://youtu.be/RWACQUVGBss  It should contain enough shots of the dolly to build your own similar dolly.  I'd really recommend it.  It makes things a lot easier.
Although, even with the good dolly, the wall shot the single hardest to produce shot I've ever attempted.  It took me somewhere around three months if I remember correctly.

Re: I am the Night

I'll admit. I didn't notice the Dutch angles until I re-watched this. Slants aside, I really enjoyed the final result of this project; your editing is crisp and the animation is as smooth as ever. This and Ella's Tale reminded me of just how long it's been since I watched a good brickfilm. Nicely done, Squid!

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Re: I am the Night

I feel like most of what's been said has been already said here, but I thought I might throw in a few of my thoughts as well.  As I mentioned on Twitter, the slanted angles were definitely in excess here and it could have used some toning down.  The editing also seemed a bit "off" and sluggish to me somehow, like the shots didn't quite match up.  There's also some really great stuff here, though--the dolly through the wall in the TV room is inspired, and the brick-built explosion and the shot of King Tut and his henchmen popping out from behind each other were great too.  Overall, it certainly has its weaknesses but still definitely worth watching.  Even in its incomplete state, I'm glad you decided to upload it.  It's fascinating to watch you you've changed ad developed your style over time.

Squid wrote:

I still do quite like slants though, I'm obsessed and I don't think that I'll ever be completely rid of them. 

Now I see that a slant really isn't worth it at all unless there isn't a level shot to contrast it.

This isn't a bad thing.

Many well-known directors have a unique visual style, and you've definitely got a unique vision.  At the end of the day, I'd still prefer watching something unique and interesting yet imperfect rather than something technically good but bland.  And don't forget you're always improving; you've gotten much better since then, and it shows. 

With that being said, I don't think it's particularly helpful to think about slanted angles as needing an arbitrary amount of "straight" shots to even them out.  Slanted angles are a tool to use to tell your story, and there are always good and bad ways of using them.  The best way to make use of any shot or camera placement is to think about what effect they have, and how and why they accomplish this.  The "traditional" use of a slanted angle is to create a sense of unease, foreboding and/or danger--the crookedness helps sell the idea that something is "off" to the audience.  This is why this sort of shot tends to show up in Noir and German Expressionist films a lot, which often deal with such themes (in fact, the name "Dutch angle" allegedly even comes from this--"Dutch" is derived from "Deutsch", which is the German word for, well, German).  You can apply this in multiple ways--for example, you could have a scene where the protagonist has a ground-breaking revelation, or a massive secret/plot twist is revealed.  In the moment it is revealed, framing it in a slanted angle could really give it some extra impact.  Or, you could have a film where the main character gradually goes insane--have the shots start out straight and even, but as time goes on, make them become more and more slanted.  I don't know the specifics you've planned for Welcome to Darkmoor, but I imagine the style you've got going could definitely benefit from some slants. 

Really, though, there are no fixed rules in film-making, and you could make a shot like that mean almost anything you want it to, as long as you can do it well, and have reasonable justification for doing so.  Keep experimenting and thinking about the effect you want to have.  You're in control of the story you want to tell: how do you want your audience to feel?  And even if you do add it in for no particular reason, it can still be fun to see from time to time.  There's nothing inherently wrong with using one once in a while as long as you don't go overboard.  Think about it like eating delicious chocolate cake: it's wonderful to have on your birthday, but you'd get pretty tired of it if you ate it every single day.  Save it for the occasions that matter.

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Re: I am the Night

Well, well, well, it's finally here.

First off, your sister did a great job on the music. Sure, it's repetitive, but like Zimmer's Batman score, it works really well for setting the mood and complementing the visuals. Even if that means it isn't that great for listening to on it's own. The short pause in music around 1:56 was an excellent choice, perfectly highlighting the action. It's just too bad that the thug's popping out at 2:05 isn't synced up with the score. That would have been perfect. It's close, but not quite.

The dynamic camera movements all throughout the final fight are fantastic. They are executed perfectly, and look really nice. As usual, your animation is incredibly smooth, though I feel most of the people are too hyperactive, and moved a bit much. This is most evident with the news anchor, as he was waving his arms all around, and at times, the motions don't match his dialog. That being said, the explosion and fight scenes are on-point.

The alley sets and lighting are great, and Batman's glowing head is a definite highlight.

After years of waiting, it does seem a bit less substantial than I was expecting. But that's entirely on me, and what's here is quite impressive. You've pulled together a nice little short, and as another guy who started a too-big-to-handle Batman film, I admire the effort it took to complete this and let us see it.
Thank you!

Re: I am the Night

Good job! It holds together well even after years of on and off work.

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Re: I am the Night

Great film I really liked the explosion and Batman's face glowing keep it up

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Re: I am the Night

Your films have been a huge inspiration for me, and this particular one is no different. The animation was flawless, and the in-camera effects were something to marvel at. You really captured the Batman feel, while adding your own touch. Also, how did you achieve that explosion effect?