Slow Spot

Last week during out meeting, we got a lot of things hashed out. For one, everyone involved drew out concept art for their characters, and all parts involved seem like examples of pieces we will be able to provide for each other.

We also decided on a more concise story. As we expounded upon plot points, we came to the conclusion what we were coming up with would end up too long and/or complicated. Especially after Shawn wrote a scene break down during out conversation and I added up all the time for each scene. Because of this, the story has become a lot more straight forward and will be more manageable withing out production schedule. (or at least I hope) Another step we took was giving Chris more responsibility in writing the story, and having Matt help get it into script form.

As the title of the blog alludes to however, we hit a slow spot due to everyone in the group besides me having a review that took away our meeting day on Tuesday. Since we could not meet, I sent messages to certain individuals on tasks I wanted them to work on in between then and Thursday.

On my end, I got most of the fight choreography done for the film. As of right now, it spans about 3 pages and covers 3 of the five planned fights. I will acknowledge some slight challenge however in writing certain styles I’m not used to. For Muay Thai in particular I looked up quite a few videos and articles as a sort of refresher. Overall I’m happy with how it came out. The link below is to the doc containing the aforementioned choreography which is the bulk of the work I’ve done in the last week.


Can’t wake up-

Reactions of an audience can be hard to gauge. The reaction I received however was above and beyond expectation. I admit I wasn’t expecting the laughs I got positive or negative reaction, but better to accept the positivity than question the laughing. Not the first time I got more laughs than I anticipated, but it is something that will probably be integrated into the project. The group pretty early seemed adamant of striking a balanced tone with humor and some seriousness.

And not to overly positive or assuming, but Zack seems like the perfect person to have gotten the role of production manager. He seems to be taking the role seriously and started taking notes as I was during our initial meeting.

Below is what I wrote into the groups google doc. I’m not going to make a habit of copying and pasting the doc, as that would be lazy, but as I write new things into the doc I will share them in consecutive blog posts. The google doc is essentially a more organized version of the notes I took and the progress the group has made in decisions. All info  given subject to change which I will update you on in newer posts. Certain things are removed due to them already being in my previous blog posts.




Director: Dean


Production Manager and Cinematographer: Zach


Storyboarding: Christabel, Matt


Writing: Matt


Group Blog: Shawn


Editing: Christabel, Chris


Choreography and Fight Editing: Dean


Visual Effects: Judah


Documentarian: TBD




Judah: Muay Thai, Protagonist


Chris: Kickboxing, Main Villain, Tournament host, wants to take Judah on as a disciple


Matt: Friend of Protagonist, catalyst for Judah’s tournament entry. Master the Rhythm


Katherine: Boxing, Friend of protagonist


Christabel: 1700’s boxing( , Krav Maga


Shawn: Judo


The Name Debate (Give your opinion if you can.):




So, I didn’t really chime in much while we debated the name. This is mostly because I have mixed feelings on both and think we might need to put more thought into it.


Fists of Vengeance: To me, it sounds too generic, even though I think it reflects the story.


Falling Pheonix: While I like this name more, I feel it does to an extent ruin the ending. Calling this Falling Pheonix I worry sets up the viewer to anticipate exactly where the the downfall of the hero occurs at the end.


Available costume examples:


Lucha Masks


Custom Pants from a Cancelled Project


Shot of My closest


Suffice to say, my closest is plentiful. While I admit the last isn’t the best picture, I show this because I want to emphasize there’s a lot of variety in how we can assemble costumes.

Agenda for Thursday 3/2/2017 (Feel Free to add to this if you think of anything, chances are we’ll discuss more on the day of.)


Agree on tournament ladder


Go over costume ideas


Discuss locations more


Discuss documentation position.



Proposal Blog


So, I’m a fight choreographer. Or at least I call myself one. So while I admit  I hate to be one note, I figure I suggest something that I personally somewhat specialize in. Despite the videos posted below, I personally have no intention of actually performing any choreography myself. Being a group project I feel it important to for myself to handle just the fight itself. One of the videos below pertains to a series I’m currently working on where CCAD students fight portraying themselves. This however is just the individual story of that video, and I do not consider that indicative of the potential video that could be created. Story ideas I feel are something that hypothetically would have to be fleshed out in group meetings and be cleared with writers and editors. The story of the second should also not be seen as a factor because this is mostly her e to demonstrate potential involvement with after effects if that’s the direction it’s taken. Also while perhaps strange to say, I do not consider gender a factor here. I say this because my fights tend to involve just men and I don’t want to discourage someone who would potentially be interested.


Production manager


Writing (Story and dialogue)

Story Editor

Costume designer


Video editor

Choreography editor

At least 2 performers

After effects Editor (If needed.)


Documentary editor



Preproduction: February 28 to March 12 (writing, story boarding, choreography, story editing, costume designing and gathering)

Production: March 10 to March 26 (Shooting)

Post Production: March 23 to March 30 (Finish Rough Cut Editing)



I apologize for the repetition of this post when put next to the last. In the last week the main work I had to get done was the palette(located at the bottom), and the camera movement(as shown in the video.)

And now, I have what I’d like to call the final version of this project. What we have before us is a menagerie animation based upon different philosophies that can be found within Martial Arts. Here they are arranged into different scrolls as to imply they are ancient manuscripts of some kind.

To reiterate:

The far left animation is of a metronome. It represents the pendulum effect within martial arts that involves one using their center or gravity, and core within their movements. I use a metronome rather than an actually pendulum or some kind comes down to a desire to ultimately tie this into the rythmatic nature of martial arts training.

The middle animation is about emptying one’s mind, with it be represented with a literal example or a trash can coming out of a brain. The relevance of this concept comes down to not allowing the mind to be clouded by unnecessary or distracting thoughts. Even a momentary distraction can make a gigantic difference in a situation where on needs to make split second decisions.

The far right animation is based upon the principal of being like water. Water’s being shapeless and able to adapt to anything ties into both the previous animations. With the powerful but flowing movements of the pendulum effect in movements, as well as emptying one’s mind, it can make a martial artist as water, with a combination of both muscle memory as well as a calm yet focused mind. The ideas on their surface come across as contradictions in adjectives, but it speaks of the nature of water with it simultaneously being a form of matter that can be change it’s shape and form and being a sort of representation of chaos, as well as being something that is ultimately formed by the environment around it.

Music used:

“Ascending the Vale” Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License



A Light?

Perhaps an off thing to comment on, but I do think I’m farther along in this than I initially believed at this point. Last weekend after my adobe subscription expired, I became worried. I thought I wouldn’t be able to get done what I needed to by today when my ability to work became reliant on me being on campus, but in the end I pulled it off. The quality is up for debate, but I completed the background, scroll animation, texturing of the scroll, layout of the scrolls, the brain animation, and placements of the assets onto the scrolls.


Where I retrieved said scroll texture.

Currently, while I have to commit to where I am, before the Thursday, what I hope to do is add a border, banner, or text of some kind to provide context. Though I’m toying with the idea of doing voice over that will have the camera within my editor pan across. Being metaphorical in nature this will be a must.

I’m also considering adding

In testing, I heard this animation compared to that of Home Movies.home-movies

Suffice to say this person was not a fan. Perhaps my decision to use trackback was a mistake, even beyond it making the animation take longer than it should have(beyond the brain with I didn’t do this with because it’s already shaking.), I also feel like it has limited the aesthetic appeal due to me taking it beyond its normal level of line jitter.

The other person kept repeating it over and over trying to figure out the meaning, which is a more positive response I suppose, though once again reinforcing my point on needing to add one of the aforementioned ways to give context. Even if I were to come across this without context I’d never guess it’s about martial arts.

To explain all 3:

The brain animation refers to emptying your mind, here taken in a more literal demonstration in a brain opening up and dumping out a garbage can, which helps it calm itself.

The Metronome represents the pendulum effect with movement in martial arts, where use of one’s core, center of gravity, and momentum allow for maximizing of balance and impact. I use a metronome rather than a more tradition pendulum is due to my desire to reflect the rhythmic nature of martial arts, which in a mental sense I find to be quite similar to learning to play an instrument.

The water is a literal taking on the Bruce Lee video I linked to in my first post on this matter, where he says, “be like water”. To sum it up, waters ability to to take the shape of the cup represents adaptability to any situation, which is both a martial arts and philosophical principal.

Time to end the build up though, this is where I am. Currently eleven seconds, but will be extended as needed when context is added.



And The Beat Goes On

To this point, my biggest update is the continuation of the metronome animation. Using the below as a reference, I began to add color, texture, sound, and shading. I will be honest in saying that while I do think the trace back I used is a more unique way to animate and I do think I will stick with it, but part of me does wonder if that was a mistake in the long run.


The below texture I applied as a multiply layer above the colors which I placed.


Let’s Try Again

So while not in its final phases, I felt like my original idea wasn’t quite up to snuff. Deciding to shift focus, I began to read a book about Judo within CCAD’s Library. Very early on in the book, it brings up the mental aspect of martial arts, with it bringing up the subconscious nature of it.


This focus on the mental side of martial arts got me thinking about a way to represent these aspects, I so far have come to these two animation concepts.

The metronome has two meaning. It reflects the rhythm inherent to Martial Arts, as well as the concept of the pendulum, which utilizes one’s core and center of gravity to maximize effectiveness.

The water in the cup reflects the ideas behind this Bruce Lee interview, who despite his physicality was a genius in his philosophy.

Also I should note I’m a fan of trace back.



As a martial artist, when first contemplating this matter, I had a heavy lean towards something within that subject matter. My first thought was to create a set of  characters based upon different martial arts styles. With that in mind, I began to think of different animals that could represent differing styles, but I came to remember that this isn’t a very original idea, with some styles being based around animals as is.


Furious Five of Kung Fu Panda


So instead, I shifted my focus to our modern day. For my final project in my Intro to Cinematic Arts class, I created a video that briefly goes into  the relevance of martial arts in the modern day world.


Obsolete (Martial Arts Short)


Going off of this idea, I wanted to mesh martial arts into designs of modern day soldiers, their weapons(or in one case lack of weapon) representing different styles of martial arts.


First we have Wing Chun. The rumor is, Wing Chun was developed in China by a woman who needed a method to protect herself. It utilizes rapid strikes that can overwhelm even a much larger target. For this reason, I find it is best represented as dual wielding Uzis.


Next we have Taekwondo. While it can differ depending on if one is speaking on ITF or WTF Taekwondo, the style is most famous for its dynamic and beautiful kicks. For this reason while it is much more than kicks, it is a style that can control a fight when at long range. For this reason I liken it to a sniper rifle.

The Below design is a beta, in a more finalized model I will add more Martial arts elements, elongate the legs,  and add another joint to the weapon.




Changing pace a bit, we have Judo. In a modern combat scenario, I could argue this is the most practical of the styles listed. While in a martial arts environment someone might argue that, but in a military environment, where a lot of combat involves long range weapons, Judo I find to be applicable to a tactical knife. While not the first thing everyone would go to if they had other options, when you’re up close, it’s your best chance of surviving.


Taichi I liken to a general. You see, Taichi isn’t exactly a particularly effective method of combat, but it acts as a wonderful supplement. Tai chi can teach a practitioner a lot they might not have known about their body  and mind, and this knowledge can keep one’s mind calm in stressful situations, as well as known how best to maximize the effectiveness of attacks. However such slow movements are realistically no at all effective in an actual fight, the knowledge this style brings can teach one to use their weapons more effectively, in the same way you would want a general to be able to best direct his army to victory.