The beautiful thing with being passionate about your work is you never want to stop learning. 2015 certainly kept me working hard, and it’s been an honor to be able to share my work with the community on TAY and AniTAY. Come take a look at pieces that are special to me, and see the work throughout the year that people much more talented than me contributed. Warning: Extreme .gif’ing inside. Proceed with caution.
I tried to assemble all of the works I contributed to in order of the date I worked on them. Some of them might be slightly off and I could have missed a few. Please let me know if I missed one of your favorites and I’ll be sure to add it! Below you’ll find the work I did accompanied by comments, insights, or memories I associate with each.
Yurikama Arashi by Morie
This was the first gif that I remember people taking notice of. The actual title capture was done by Messiah, but I cut out the unnecessary frames, optimized it, and then added in the neat little stamp animation to mimic the style of the title.
2015 shall forever be known as the year of JoJo steam sales. I will use this forever.
Kekkai Sensen by Maelwys
I can’t remember the exact date, but this was one of my first works for AniTAY (don’t be fooled by the article date— the review got pushed back because they delayed the finale). It was a real challenge to try and cut down the file size to fit in all the action. It also introduced me to the AniTAY crowd and brought me closer to
DIO a new friend, Maelwys, in the process.
Plastic Memories by Morie
As a whole piece, this is one of my favorites. The way the intro is animated is gorgeous, and although my effort seems minimal here, you’d be surprised at how much I did with it. To fit it into a reasonable file size, I had to pick and choose which frames would make the cut, what would suffer some fuzziness, and fiddle with the dithering.
Pokemon One-A-Day (Smeargle, Legendary Beasts, Lugia / Ho-Oh) by Bonny John
Bonny has served as an inspiration, teacher, and great friend to me since I joined TAY. I wanted to do something special that brought his work to life, so I told myself I’d try to accomplish some kind of animation in one day (the morning after he posted), like he did, and these are what I ended up with. His work is some of the best I’ve seen, and I’ve never met somebody that has such a wide range of artistic talent or bigger heart. If you’ve ever had the privilege of speaking with him about art— not even his own, but the work of others, too— you’ll find a burning dedication in such a rare form that it moves you and inspires you to find a fire of your own
I was really hypnotized by Pat Metheny Group’s “Last Train Home” and the accompanying visuals of the ending for Stardust Crusaders II. This one took me quite awhile to assemble. The shot actually pans to the right while the stars in the sky are moving, so I had to line each of them up on top of each other. I’m sad it’s over every time I look at this, and this was one of the best tributes I could think of toward the show. Cheers, Crusaders.
This is easily the piece I worked the hardest on, and one that people started paying attention to. Went in frame-by-frame and edited the glass breaking. I wanted to make it subtle, so that when you were reading, you’d be taken by surprise. You were expecting a normal review card image, but it was me! DIO! (ZA! WARUDO!)
Kakyoin is great. Look how cool that guy is. This one was just a recolor of an already-existing gif, but I also did...
This one. Holy crap this one was hard. I cut out the credits that go over his shoulder / background, and then realigned and resized the frames. Then, I reversed the animation to make it flow. Finally, this was a LOT of coloring and drawing it in myself.
I could probably do a better job knowing what I do now (if you stare at certain parts of it like the beams of light on the right or the middle brick in the wall, you can see where I was a bit lacking), but thinking about going back and doing it gives me a headache. I love Kakyoin.
Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan by Messiah
I remember the night when Morie told me Messiah was looking for some help doing a gif and tossed my name in the bucket. Churned this one out the same evening and was happy the fuzziness didn’t get the best of the glowing colors. If I was going to go back to do it now, I’d probably recolor the whole star red instead of covering it with the button.
Tembo, The Badass Elephant by Battleborn
I did this one for Battleborn because he swore to me that he loved this elephant almost as much as Shadow the Hedgehog.
AniStats / StaTAYtics by Kristof
Two for Kristof, our master stats guy! Check out the stuff he pulled— it’s a really impressive effort. Interesting bits of trivia: if you look closely at AniStats, you can see a number of anime titles that form the matrix. In the StaTAYtics gif, each word in purple is actually filled with game titles. Tell me if you find them all!
You wanted Game Night Art? YOU GOT IT.
I love Rune (best multiplayer game ever) and wanted to try out a new art style (you can see more of it in my Fallout 4 review). This one is based on a swing animation in the game, and many of the frames are drawn by hand— not coloring over something.
Sailor Moon Crystal by sub judice and Morie
I watched some Sailor Moon when I was a kid before school in the morning. I ain’t afraid to admit it. I was delighted to make this one. The colors are really vivid and just watching all the motions and good times makes me real happy. If you look quickly, you can also see the “AniTAY REVIEW” on Sailor Moon’s umbrella!
Shimoneta by Ascendant - Izanagi
I didn’t see the show, but making this made me want to. Not too much to say, but it was funny animating the circle getting tossed out the window.
Ore Monogatari!! by Morie
One of my favorite shows of the year— maybe even one of my favorite shows ever. I knew I had to do something special. Normally there are a lot more strawberries and credits in the first part— as you can see in the closeups of the faces— that fly through both of them. So I did a clean scrub and washed them all out to bring a focus on the cutest couple and highlight the review button. Cutting Rinko out myself worked surprisingly well— it makes the edges around her more animated.
School-Live! by Messiah
A quick one. The way the star popped out made it fun to animate!
MonMusu by Chef Raitzeno
Every anime needs a spirit bomb.
Ranpo Kitan by Morie
I liked this one for two reasons: cutting the credits out didn’t look half bad (normally I’d just paint over it, but that texture was too difficult to copy), and I got to play with a morphing animation. Initially, I was going to fiddle with After Effects to do the morph for me, but I decided it looked cheesy and did it by hand instead.
Gunsmith Cats by Cosmo
Working with older footage is more difficult than the current stuff. I went into each frame and smoothed out a lot of the colors because it’s already a bit fuzzy to begin with from the age. Cosmo reached out to me in an email, and while I initially thought it’d all be too long to fit into a reasonably-sized gif, I didn’t want to disappoint him.
Symphogear by Raitzeno
I love all my gif children equally, but this one... probably more. When the Chef told me the general direction he wanted, I knew this one would be a blast. I still get a good laugh over how ridiculous it is and the FACE REVEAL. Initially, I had the text scroll kind of boringly through his arm, but I re-did it for clarity to really drive home the build-up of him absorbing it into his face.
Classroom Crisis by Protonstorm
You might think this one was a few quick warps of the review button, but there’s much more to it than meets the eye. I actually went through each and every frame (I think there’s over a hundred) and drew over the credits— just so it’d look good. DEDICATION.
Spacemon: The Ghost Ship by DisturbedShadow
DS came to me with this one and I wasn’t quite sure how to approach it at the beginning. He said he wanted a Pokeball superimposed on the one scene from Nightmare Before Christmas. 2D didn’t look good in the context of the environment, so to make the Pokeball look 3d-ish I did a whole slew of warps and distorts to get the shape just right. Then, I added the red flare to the ball to add some extra flair that Poke-lovers would appreciate.
There’s that stamping animation again. I originally wanted to have a lot more pictures in it, but also wanted it to be flashy. Warped/distorted the frames as they entered and left, tossed in some blurs, and next thing I knew the guide was main paged on Kotaku and was shared to io9 / other blogs. A very cool victory for AniTAY.
Self-explanatory. Battleborn is the best.
Overlord by Protonstorm
Overlord was a neat take on the MMO-anime genre— really enjoyed it. This one was fun to do— if you’ve seen the intro, you’ll notice that I reversed the order in which the skeletons march. I figured the red text would match the red circle better and I rather like it ending out on the golden text and zooming in rather than out.
Fitting that we both begin and end with Morie. This one probably shows how my work has evolved the most— it’s clean, keeps with the theme, and loops well. This one was actually much more work than it appears to be. The hardest part? If you’ve seen the opening theme, you’ll notice that Shiki (the last character) doesn’t breeze completely off the screen— only about half her face does before it cuts to the next scene. It looked awkward in the initial cut, so I actually ended up borrowing some of the animations of her hair blowing from previous frames to make it look more natural, and then I drew in the rest of the details that were cut out because the title text was in the way. It’s a tad time consuming, but I’m really happy with the way it turned out.
Here’s hoping 2016 is an even better year, and feel free to drop me a line if you’d like something done! I’m always glad to help when I can, and I can’t tell you how excited I’ve been with the opportunity to contribute like this. I think the next thing I might do is a “Behind the GIFs” series to show some of the steps I take that make a big difference. If that’s something you’d like to see, or if you have any questions, please let me know in the comments!
Finally, thank you again for at least taking a look at my stuff— it means the world to me.
Note: for the purposes of this article, some of the gifs have been modified from the original. Some have been made more lightweight to cause less strain on browsers, and others have been recreated to scale up to an 800px width from their initial 636px (since Kinja changed).