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Published on January 19th, 2013 | by Chris Blundell

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Making An 8 Bit Movie – An insight

Had a few requests lately on how I’m making The Hit Squad movie, so heres a semi-techy insight for those who are interested…

So, all of the pixel art is created in something called Klik n Play, which is a game making software that I dabble with. For each character I draw separate png sprites for the arms, legs, hips, body and several heads for different expressions (happiness, anger etc…). I do the same for every object in the movie too. So far there are approximately 600+ separate sprites used in the movie.

Once I have the sprites, I have to do various things to them with image editing software (GIMP) to make After Effects display them properly (adding transparency, upscaling the size to stop anti-aliasing).

After that, I create separate After Effects template files for each character in the movie and each scene. This way, for each different camera shot I can import a template scene, import the characters I need and then start animating.

Character animation is made easier using an inverse kinematics tool called “Duik”, this basically allows me to build skeletons for each of the characters which allows them to move around in a human-like way. It makes things a lot easier than animating an entire character by redrawing the entire sprite for every movement.

All sound and dialogue is edited in Adobe Audition. In Anime Studio I animate a mouth file that is synchronised to the dialogue, which is then imported into After Effects and added to the appropriate character.

Once each shot is rendered, I will edit together in Adobe Premiere.

Normally all of these processes would be done by separate people, even for a low budget movie such as this. I have dabbled with much of the software in the past but I learned the most from putting in hours following the many many free tutorial videos available online and making things with the software. I would highly recommend that if you have any interest in learning any type of software, to just get yourself a copy of it and start watching beginners tutorials and using the software.

That is a very brief idea of the process that I go through. If people want a more in-depth insight (really?? 🙂 ) then let me know!

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About the Author

Chris Blundell AKA superpixelchris is a guy that makes things. At the moment it's a pixel comedy movie called The Hit Squad, but he also makes music and other nonsense.



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