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Recent Movie Reviews

131 Movie Reviews

Ah, the perfect balance of latex strap-on's and Siobhan. Even though I feel like this is a satirical jab at young adventurer kids shows, I would watch the shit out of this series.

Sexual-Lobster responds:

cheers, biff.

Nod bad, especially for an intro class. My main gripe is your shadows were all sorts of jacked up. I don't know which program yoiu used, but I'm sure it has light linking. All those tiny strung up lights would not be strong enough to cast shadows, and and probably had no fall-off. You also have the light-angle at 0, giving you a sharp edge on every shadow, when with dim lights light that you'd be getting very very soft shadows. Also, your wood was suuuuuuper reflective, which though it looks cool to see reflections in stuff, is kind of distracting. Other than that I liked the texturing, set building, and lighting (other than the shadows). Good stuff, keep it up.

Snazzymation responds:

Thanks I plan to. I actually wanted the shadows soft but I haven't completely figured the best way to do it yet. I am still working on it. I have a few things I want to change but rendering took forever.

I commend you for having an animation as long as that with everything done by yourself. It's no easy feat creating CG animations at are even a minute long, let alone over 3. It's in sort of a strange middle ground though.

You don't use subdivision modelling for any of your characters, so we can see the poly-flow, and all your textures are very flat, with your shaders limited to lamberts and maybe a few blinns here and there. That would be all well and good if you were trying to show off your animation skills, but for the most part it's lacking - especially in the running scenes. Your facial animation also seems a bit robotic, and limited basically to the eyes/eyebrows, and maybe a bit of mouth. Given the scale of the project, it would be too hard to get good blend shapes or facial rigs for the 20+ characters you have, which is understandable. Also, your lighting is frequently inconsistent (shadows are cast directly behind the main character (and sometimes has two shadows for no apparent reason), your shadows are extremely sharp, and you might even be using an ambient light, which you should pretty much never do.

So basically, since your aren't showing off your modeling skills, lighting skills, texturing skills, or your animation skills, the story is the main focus. The story is definitely interesting, but has some holes. How did that guy wake up in the woods, why was he in a world filled with zombies, and if it was just a bed-time story told to a kid, why is it shown that he actually exists in the end? Also, you have some strange cuts, like when he runs from the diner he's immediately in the middle of the road around the corner. There are some strange slow pans as well, and you don't have enough easing in and out of your camera. Also, completely off topic, you have some parts that are super reflective, which is a common mistake.

I'm not sure what you want from this animation, since it's scale is too large to focus on any one thing enough to make it stand out. Since I can't imagine your render times are longer than maybe 5-10 seconds a frame (or less), it could be really easy to go back in and fix up shadow inconsistencies and mess with camera movements/cuts. Depending on your rigs it might also be semi-easy to really clean up the animation. You can't really do much else to improve it, since you clearly chose a limited style with very basic shapes and textures/shaders. So there's no point in doing global illumination, subsurface scattering, color bleed, or any of that fun stuff. Maybe do an ambient occlusion pass. That generally makes everything look better, and would not be hard to add in post.

So there is my two cents. I just finished the graduate program at Drexel in Digital Media by the way, and teach this kind of stuff. Take from it what you will, and don't think I'm trashing your animation. I'm just used to giving a lot of critiques. Good luck with your stuff.

Genwhite240 responds:

I really appreciate the comment! And, having just now graduated school, I'm used to critiques, so I know where you're coming from. Unfortunately, I wound up creating a story that was fairly ambitious for myself, and the amount of work I had to put in was pretty large, especially considering the time. So, as a result, there's no one part of this that is particularly strong. In the future, I probably wouldn't take on a project of this size, by myself, in such a short time period.

I do really appreciate the comment. I'm always interested in improving.

Recent Game Reviews

9 Game Reviews

Just delightful. :*

Just as good as the original. Everything is improved upon - characterization, game play, art style, music - it's all got that Pico feeling, but it has matured and refined with age. Simply incredible. Hoping this gets ported to XBLA and PSN soon.

I had a blast

It was a great old-school style side-scroller. I liked the idea you had with you having to build your own way up to get to the third boss, and the Metroid/Megaman style "escape as the last boss" was cool. A few glitches made my kill myself, but I got it done. I uh...... beat it in 666 seconds. Great work and a good kick-off to the Po3 event. I'm going to go repent for my sins and read the bible.

Recent Art Reviews

5 Art Reviews

Looks pretty cool. I dig the lighting and the composition. A few critiques: The chromatic aberration seems out of place and doesn't really serve any artistic purpose, at least in my opinion. The atmospheric distortion is cool on the wheel, but it would also affect the small hill in front of it, since it's pretty much the same distance. Right now it's too dark, and would have the same level of haze as the wheel. As for the wheel itself, if it's as gigantic as you depict it, it wouldn't have that detailed a texture on it. It would be so large and far away that you wouldn't really see the detail you have. The way it is now is at odds with it's scale. The weathering of the wheel also is pretty uniform and doesn't have much art direction. Worn objects have wear and tear, but in predictable spots, not over it's entire surface. The clouds are cool, but look a lot more painterly than everything else. I suspect the ground and wheel are a mix of CG and paint, and the clouds are painted. The clouds on the right seem a lot different than the ones on the left, and look repeated. They're different enough but the shapes look like a pattern. I taught CG and Illustration in College, so sorry if it seems like I'm being overly critical. These are just things I notice since it's the type of stuff I deal with on a day-to-day basis. Cool stuff over-all, keep it up.

ErrorCell responds:

You nailed some of the deep seated issues I've personally had with this image that a lot of my friends have also nailed me on after releasing it. I think this image deserves quite an overhaul given the feedback. My hope is to get back to these images one by one and resolve the issues over a couple years time as I work on new images. Then recompile the whole series as a book.

You're not being overly critical! I think if you notice something I'd rather be told than not, especially if you've kindly taken your time to write a whole 250+ word paragraph of just ideas and input. If anything art is a life-long craft that becomes better with discussions like this. It's a practice that makes people better, and it can't get better if nobody has things to say.

Not that it adds anything here, but I'll just add that the scene is 100% 3D, including the clouds. SideTrip really began as an experiment to use partially computer-driven design techniques to tell a story I wrote when I was a kid. And I'm thrilled to see it grow. I've been proudly working on it for 2 years.

So really thanks for your input.

Your color, lighting, and linework are all done well. I'm not much of an anime-style type guy anymore, but I appreciate what you've done, and the resolution you did it in. I have a few suggestions that you can take or leave. First, when you upload an image to NG, I wouldn't upload it at its full resolution. At it's current size it doesn't fit anyones monitor, even if they had double the resolution of current displays - and it takes forever to load. Secondly, work on your perspective. The viewing angle is straight on, but the table and bookshelves look as if we're viewing at a downward angle. We shouldn't be able to see the top of the bookshelves, at least according to how the characters are positioned. Same with the table, though I like what you have arranged on it. The background is also askew slightly, which is interesting, but slightly disorienting. The way you do folds in clothing is a bit haptic and doesn't make much sense, especially in the dude on the left's left arm. I'd suggest googling dudes in dress shirts in various poses and you'll see they don't have those strange bulges and sharp folds that run down the upper arm like that. Also, grey-bro has a very effeminate hair-style, but that's neither here nor there. That's all I've got to say about that. Keep up the good work.

TheDamnThinGuy responds:

I appreciate your critique so much. I can definitely use some words of advice, and I'll try to work on the things you've pointed out. Thank you!

Pretty sweet

Throw down some subsurface scattering yo. Also, you've got some funky stuff going on with the neck/shoulder weights. Wouldn't mind seeing the topo.

Talkin' 'bout cream cheese sandwiches.


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