Happy Bunny Vs Street Fighter's Ken

A recurring theme through my GoAnimate Complaints Department animation series was Street Fighter's Ken complaining about the need to pay 400 GoBucks in order to fight the Street Fighter Character, Bison.

This complaint is actually a common one from GoAnimate members (particularly younger ones who are unable to spend real money online) who feel you shouldn't have to pay for anything on the site. Well at least not the characters they really want.

I've been wanting to do a real 'fight' animation for quite a while but the Street Fighter theme has never really inspired me. There are just too many Street Fighter, fight animations on GoAnimate. It's hard to come up with something original.

As Ken's complaints became more persistent through the course of the Complaints series it was clear I'd found an angle for something new in the fight genre for GoAnimate. Happy Bunny Versus Ken!

It sounds silly. A cute bunny rabbit up against a martial arts extraordinaire - which is the exact reason I wanted to do it. Happy Bunny isn't that sweet either. His character comes with a surprising array of fight options including knives, hammers, zap switches and more.

I don't usually create previews for my animations but GoAnimate experienced some technical issues over a weekend that prevented many animators from working on their more complex animations. With no fix in sight until Monday I decided to make a short preview of the fight to come.

Preview - Happy Bunny Vs Ken by etourist

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Surprisingly the simple mirror effect I used on the characters was commented upon quite a bit. Perhaps I was the first to join the dots to make this effect work but anyone could have thought of it as it doesn't require any custom props at all.

I particularly liked the music I created on this which is two separate pieces of ambient music, readily available to anyone on GoAnimate, run at the same time. Really sets the mood.

Whilst I was quite happy with this preview I actually had I much more complex idea in mind that would have been like one of those 'preparation' style previews. You know, lots of close ups of Ken getting ready to fight. This would have been interspersed with sweeping overhead camera vistas of a car driving down a desert highway at speed.

The more Ken prepares the closer we get to the reveal of Happy Bunny as his opponent. It was quite grand but way too hard to figure out in the end. However that's how the prop of Happy Bunny driving a sports car in my Animator Dominator Contest entry came about. It was going to be used for this preview.

The actual fight between Happy Bunny and Ken was very hard to choreograph. Mostly timing the actions so that the various hits seem like they actually connect.

There is also a slight hint towards the Star Wars prequels when we see Yoda fight with a light sabre for the very first time. George Lucas once commented about this that a little dwarf guy like Yoda fighting taller opponents had the potential to look ridiculous but they managed to make it look cool. The same could be said for Happy Bunny and Ken. I hope I made it look cool.

Happy Bunny Vs Ken by etourist

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There is actually a lot more of the Happy Bunny theme in this than the Street Fighter theme. The knife, Hammer, Zap Switch, Trident, Devil Bunny and Skeleton Bunny are all from that theme.

I like the escalation in the fight and the fact that Happy Bunny isn't intimidated by Ken despite being physically out matched. It's also nice that Ken isn't shown to be a total idiot either. Technically he wins this fight it's just that Happy Bunny doesn't let a little thing like death get in the way of victory.

The tank is the only custom prop used in the whole thing. I can't claim to have made it from scratch but I did base it on a line art technical illustration which I coloured and modified to suit my needs. The tanks gun barrel is a separate prop so it can be raised and lowered as needed.

Just a quick mention on the audio on this. I don't normally include so many sound effects. Usually I'll just have a music track and that's it. However I didn't want to short change people. I felt the sound effects would really help those hits feel like they hurt just a little bit. I like the contrast of the song, Peace on Earth, too. It really adds another layer to the whole thing.

In the end this is a very different animation to what I had in mind but that's not so unusual. Most of my animations are. I hope it's one of the better fight animations on GoAnimate.

Full Energy Fishing

GoAnimate's Full Energy theme is intriguing. I can conceive many ideas for it however the individual characters have such limited movement that it would take some dedication to realize what I had in mind.

My animation, Full Energy Fishing, below, is a case in point.

Fishing - Full Energy by etourist

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I won't go too much into explaining the joke. You either understand the absurdity of what Dave is doing and his attempt to rationalize it by pointing out that Boss is doing something even sillier or you don't.

The point of this article being that when I started this particular animation I had a much bigger and potentially funnier story in mind but didn't want to get into the technicalities of making it happen. I needed actions like Dave being able to use a fishing rod and to fire a shot gun. Two actions that you might expect these trailer park dwellers to perform but unfortunately they can't.

To make those actions happen I would've had to created a few custom props of Dave using a fishing rod and a shot gun. I just didn't want to get into something that complex because the only reason I started this animation in the first place was to get a bit of a break from another complex animation I was working on. Essentially this animation was just meant to be a bit of easy fun.

I do like the end result of what I eventually made but one can only imagine what this animation could have been had I given it more time.

Puppy Love - Red Riding Hood Revisited

Puppy Love is an original animation I created many years ago that parodies the story of Little Red Riding Hood. It posses the question of what if Little Red Riding Hood really, really wanted a puppy?

You'll find out more about Puppy Love shortly but first, a bit of history that inspired my interest in animation.

Way back in the late nineteen eighties and early nineteen nineties animation on home computers really started to take off - especially on the Commodore Amiga range of home computers. Back then the king of animation, who became synonymous with the Amiga brand was a guy called Eric Schwartz and more specifically his character, Amy the Squirrel.

My animation is probably going to pale at the side of Eric's but keep in mind Eric's animation, "At the Movies 3", below, is Eric really at his peak. You can watch much of his earlier work at this YouTube Channel most of which was created on the Amiga platform.



I've digressed from the point of this article because I was a huge fan of Eric's work and it was really him more than anyone else that got me interested in Animation (Disney probably got me into cartooning but Eric showed it was possible to make quality animated cartoons at home - back in the early nineteen nineties).

Puppy Love is not the first animation I created on my trusty but humble Amiga 500 (and later Amiga 600HD) but it was my first and only fully completed, original animated story from that era of my life. Prior to this I had animated a series of comic strips I'd drawn based on an original cat character I created years earlier, as a fifteen year old, called The Night Stalker.

Eric used Deluxe Paint III and IV teamed with GoldDisk's Moviesetter software to create many of his animations so I got my hands on both as soon as I could.

For those of you that have never heard of Moviesetter the easiest way to show you how it worked is to show you GoAnimate's Animation Studio. Moviesetter worked almost exactly the same way except you could fully customize your own characters and their movements as well as drawing upon a library of predefined characters and backgrounds. (for the technical minded, Moviesetter was bitmap animation not the vector, flash animation used on GoAnimate).

Like Eric, I completely by passed all the predefined characters and went straight into customizing everything. In Puppy Love there is nothing that I didn't make myself other than perhaps one or two sound effects (but it is my distorted voice yelling 'Puppy!').

I won't go into much more description here as, if you have ten minutes to spare, I'd really appreciate it if you watch my video below where I tell you about some of the behind the scenes work. Everything from showing you my character design to story boarding and transferring my drawings into the computer.

The video then finishes up with the full remix of my original Puppy Love animation - which I've had to painfully reconstruct because I never had any way to directly convert the animation from the original source.



Compared to Eric's work Puppy Love is hardly earth shattering but I hadn't really come into my own yet. I was still coming to terms with the software, plus the lack of a scanner really made animation both a challenge and a chore.

After Puppy Love I began work on a completely new animation series called Detective Duck which never got beyond some character design work and a demo of the opening titles (seen here as an animated gif file). The original version had music and the sound effect of a car coming screeching to a halt. In this case the car was the titles screeching to a halt to avoid Detective Duck running past.

I do have other small samples of animation from this period, which I may post in another article, however I'm fairly certain Detective Duck marked the end of my interest in animation for many years.

I'm not sure exactly why I stopped. Perhaps I just got busy with other things? 1995 was the year my freelance Graphic Design career really took off with a major client offering me a contract that lasted for many months.

Whatever the reason I pretty much stopped animating my own stories until I discovered GoAnimate, by chance, in July of 2008. I certainly wasn't looking to fire up my interest in animation.

Just happened to read about the site in Mashable's social media blog that I've followed for a couple of years. I'm really glad they wrote about it because it's the most fun I've had on the internet since I first found Youtube.

Full Energy - New GoAnimate Theme

GoAnimate recently launched the premium (i.e. you need to buy it) theme Full Energy. A select bunch of long time GoAnimators were given the theme to play with, myself included. No doubt to help showcase the theme as much as a reward for being long time supporters of the site.

Initial reactions to the theme on GA's forum were mixed (read this thread and this one). One notable comment was from GA's CEO, Alvin who had this to say about the theme:
I personally think the Full Energy theme is quite ugly. However, that's the whole point to that particular animation style. We realize it probably won't appeal to everyone on the site, but we feel it is important to encompass more styles.

Full Energy is going to be one of those things that people either love or hate!
So what is Full Energy? Well if you've seen Adult Swim's Robot Chicken Animations then you'll have some idea of what to expect from Full Energy. Like Robot Chicken it incorporates mashed together dolls (in this case I think it's a Ken doll) and other props to make up the characters.

Currently the theme features three, Energy drink drinking, trailer park inhabitants, Dave (mashed up Ken doll), Boss (a Red Bull like muscle can) and Clyde (a walking talking Men's Health magazine). All three are at the low end of the economic food chain and spend their days scheming ways to make money.

First impressions of any theme are never a good guide. It's not how it looks, it's what you do with it that counts. I've noticed some people who had negative reactions to Full Energy have started to warm to the characters as they've seen what some of the best GoAnimators are doing with them.

Personally I'm a Robot Chicken fan so I wasn't put off by the Full Energy theme when I first saw it. The Trailer Park setting and the 'low rent' characters put this firmly in My Name is Earl territory (another TV show I love).

Unlike others on GA I didn't rip a hillbilly sounding voice track from somewhere to adapt the theme to, I went straight for an original idea in my usual style of speech bubbles and a music backing track to fill the silence.

The premise I started with was that Dave (the ken doll character) would be relating some unbelievable story that played on the fact that he's not as good looking as he thinks he is. At the time I didn't know what but when I came up with the line 'girls are lining up to get to you' it all started to make sense. Why wouldn't Dave think he was good looking enough to be a Male Escort!

I'll let my animation, below, speak for its self.

The Ladies Man by etourist

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