Logged in today and saw I got myself one of those staff badges.
1 month agoandrekrat Live Action VFX/Motion
It’s been a little while since my last case study! Oops… Between our RTX panel, a whole ton of shows for FIRST Night, and a ton of new shows coming down the pipe things got a little away from me. So! That means we’ll be looking at something that premiered a little while back during our pilot month in May and will be returning for its first official season this Wednesday (tomorrow!): Achievement Haunter!
I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that my job is 100% problem solving in varying capacities. When it comes to VFX shots the problem is usually “we shouldn’t see this boom mic/wire rig/green screen/crew in the reflection/license plate” or “we should see an explosion/blood hit/gunshot/muzzle flare/sunset/amputation”. When it comes to motion design though, the problems are a little more nuanced. It’s more about “how do we communicate the feeling of this show?” and “how can we best implement designed elements in a holistic way” or “what looks coolest but is still legible?”.
These sorts of challenges are what excite me the most when working on the look and feel of a show. Achievement Haunter was a great project for this because we had to develop a fairly robust show package, including opening titles, lower thirds, supplemental on-screen displays and credits. And all of these elements had to be flexible enough to accommodate various different scenarios and be easily used and modified in subsequent episodes. Ultimately I made a lot of templates in After Effects for these assets, something I’ll probably break down from a technical standpoint in another post.
The marketing design team provided us with some awesome key art and logo lockups for the show. Right off the bat we have some interesting variations to consider, and the first problem that needs to be solved is what looks best in a video format.
For example, this circular lockup is awesome and plays really well with the ghost element, but can be awkward in a landscape frame. It’d look great on a t-shirt and for other merch/branding needs, but it leaves a lot of negative space on the left and right in a video frame, and there’s a lot of visual weight pulling to the center.
The horizontal lockups are definitely more suited for this medium, but again the ghost element holds a lot of visual weight that anchors the design to the left side (which we’ll take advantage of later).
This stacked vertical design with the type center justified works best for our purposes, so that’s what I moved ahead with. It sits very nicely in a 16x9 frame and the negative space is balanced well with the logotype.
The first thing I explored with the logo was how to animate the ghost element. It’s such a fun, vibrant piece of design that it was just asking to have some exaggerated, almost silly motion to it. A few keyframes, some puppet morphing and a dash of displacement mapping and I ended up with this.
Daniel Fabelo (the co-creator, and director of the show) and I talked a lot about how light played into the design and style of the show, exploring ideas like the long shadows cast by a campfire’s glow, and the frantic motion of a flashlight held in a scared ghost hunter’s hand. So the next idea I played with was using the animated ghost element as a gobo of sorts for a flashlight. Here is a quick test I made to demonstrate how I thought that might look.
This ended up being a little too on-the-nose, the mood of the show is irreverent, but also avoids playing it all up as a joke, so the goal was to explore something a bit more subtle and creepy. It also doesn’t feature the logo and title in a really prominent, clear way, which is generally important for an intro animation so we scrapped this direction.
At this point we’re starting to narrow down the look and feel of the intro. We know light is an important element to play with, but in a more subtle way and in a way that keeps the focus on the logo of the show. An important reference that I was moving forward with was the opening title to John Carpenter’s The Thing. Daniel really wanted to lean on what we could from The Thing’s design for a few reasons. It’s one of his favorite movies, it’s a horror story that takes place in a single location with a difficult to identify creature, and from a film history standpoint is kind of irreverent in itself, like our show.
They’re doing a really interesting reveal of the title by burning away the logotype and allowing the light behind it to shine through.This was definitely a practical effect, so it would seem they made the logo out of something like flash paper and ignited it, which revealed the light behind. My first attempts at recreating this was with a kind of hacky way in After Effects to simulate volumetric light.
Through this exploration we found that including the ghost element with the main title still felt very busy and overwhelming, so it was removed for the next version.
At this point we’re getting close, but it’s still not quite capturing the right feel. The fake in After Effects is decent, but it has some disadvantages. It’s tough to get the really long rays seen in The Thing’s intro, and there’s a lot of subtle detail happening with the real light that we’re missing. So the best way to match a real, practical effect, that uses accurate light casting (aside from actually doing it for real ourselves) is to simulate it in 3D.
Here’s what that setup looks like in Cinema 4D, it’s pretty straightforward because I had a good idea about how the effect was achieved in the first place, so it’s just a matter of emulating that setup digitally.
And this is what the render looked like after processing in After Effects.
Hey, this is really close! One of the remaining issues is that the reveal is pretty slow, and on its own there isn’t a whole lot of visual interest beyond that animation. There is a bit of motion with the light and atmosphere that can definitely be cranked up more.
This second attempt scraps The Thing’s “burn away” reveal effect and instead uses a light reveal that fills up the title from below. This is much better for two main reasons: 1) it’s a lot faster and 2) it emphasizes the focus on “light” more, acting almost as if it’s a flashlight discovering the logo and lighting it from behind. I also took the opportunity to really increase the motion and intensity of the atmosphere of the light to make it extra spooky.
The last piece of the puzzle was to add a creepy, woodsy background, some particles, and dump a whole lot of film grain and contrast over the entire composition.
I mentioned that the ghost logo would return, and what better way to incorporate a design with a pretty heavy visual weight than with an element that needs to be anchored to the left or right of the frame? Here are a few iterations of the lower thirds, taking cues from the animation of the intro but simplified for legibility and speed’s sake.
Our spooky ghost also makes a featured return during the credits.
As always, I hope this helped provide some insight into how I like to approach problem solving and developing graphics for our many shows. I’d love to hear what you guys think, and if there’s anything specific you’d like the next journal to address. And be sure to check out the premiere of Achievement Haunter this Wednesday on Halloween! You’ll see some additional, very fun design work for the intro of the show that I’m not going to spoil here.
1 month agokriss Community Manager
I'm pretty sure I'm going to be missing out on Halloween again this year. It's not that I am actively trying not to participate in it, but it's not something that I really grew up with. We didn't do much as far as wearing costumes and getting candy from strangers. We gave out candy for a number of years until a little girl decide to just walk right into the house because she wanted to touch our pet parrot and her dumbass dad thought it was hilarious she just stepped into a stranger's home and he continued to chug his beer in the street. That didn't bother me at all.
I've done some cosplay here and there, but there's been so much happening in the last couple months that I never really thought about this year. A lot of people are dressed up in the office today, and they look so good! I completely spaced that we have Halloween dress up today because I'm planning out some stuff to do with my parents when they fly in tomorrow.
Next year, I want to dress up as something, but I need ideas. I would also like to make something rather than buying a costume from a store. But I am also limited in my sewing ability. AAAAAAGH.
1 month agoebregman Programming & SVOD
It’s t-minus 2 days until Volume 6 of RWBY finally premieres! Are you excited? I most certainly am, especially because some new exciting updates are rolling out for the website and app. (Still don’t have the app? Why not try it out? Available on Android and iOS).
First off, CAPTIONS ARE NOW LIVE ON RWBY VOLUME 5! Check it out right now!
Every episode of RWBY Volume 6 will premiere with captions in English, Spanish, Korean, German, French, and Portuguese. This is just the start. Slowly over the coming months you’ll see professionally made, fully QCd, English-language captions begin to appear on all seasons of our most popular animated series - available only here, our home, RoosterTeeth.com.
Shout out to the masters of our video player and CMS, Adam (@lazy9669) and Gideon (@gidbot), as well as our content ops team led by Kara (@KaraAnn). They all responded to your feedback to make quick work of getting captioning up and running.
But wait there’s more! OFFLINE VIEWING IS NOW AVAILABLE, ONLY in the Rooster Teeth mobile apps, ONLY for FIRST Members! Download or update your app now to see it!
That’s right. If you have Rooster Teeth downloaded on your Android or iOS device and are a FIRST member, you can now download content straight to your phone to watch at your leisure any time.
What is offline viewing? Offline viewing allows you to download an episode using mobile data or WiFi and save it to watch later. You can manage downloaded episodes in your library.
The below image shows what the experience will look like as you’re downloading episodes. You will be able to see what episodes you have downloaded, denoted by the checkmark.
Episodes that you have not yet downloaded will still have the download icon next to their appropriate video instead of the checkbox:
This is what your downloads page will look like as you begin to add more downloads to your library.
Next up from our FANTASTIC Engineering team is Tap to Advance. This will be coming out very soon (like in the next few weeks), and we can’t wait to show you more.
Now, all of you shiny FIRST members, why don’t you get out there and start downloading some content for later, hmm? As always, ask me some questions in the comments!
1 month agoClarissa.Gonzalez RT Live Events Manager
Update (5 November): Here are the ticketing links for each venue!
*Note - Perth has 2 different ticketing site and have allocate different seats to each selling platform
Update: Please reach out to rtxevent@RoosterTeeth.com if you have any questions.
Get ready for a jam-packed night of non-stop comedy and gaming. Prepare to laugh your asses off as Achievement Hunter does what they do best (and worst). It's all of the insanity and energy of a rock show without the annoying drugs, vomit, and nudity.
Regular Ticket Rates
VIP $225 AUD
Gold $75 AUD
Silver $50 AUD
*Venue Handling Fees per transaction will be applied
Access to show
VIP designated seating section
Exclusive signed poster
30 minute Q&A with cast prior to the show
Jump the line access to merch table at the venue
Guaranteed admittance to community meet-up (More info to come)
Jump the line for pop-up shop (Offsite)
Venue external doors open 6:00 PM
Auditorium doors for VIP 6:30 PM
VIP Q&A with cast 7:00 - 7:30 PM
Auditorium doors for Gold and Silver 7:30 PM
Start-time 8:00 PM
Wed. 23rd January 2019 | State Theatre Sydney
Monday Oct 29th, 9 AM AEST: RTX Presents pre-sale (Promo-code needed)
Tuesday Oct 30th, 9 AM AEST: Ticketmaster pre-sale
Thursday Nov 1st, 9 AM AEST: General Public on sale
Fri. 25th January 2019 | Palais Theatre Melbourne
Monday Oct 29th, 9 AM AEST: RTX Presents pre-sale (Promo-code needed)
Tuesday Oct 30th, 9 AM AEST: Ticketmaster pre-sale
Thursday Nov 1st, 9 AM AEST: General Public on sale
Sun. 27th January 2019 | Perth Concert Hall
Monday Oct 29th, 9 AM AWST: RTX Presents pre-sale (Promo-code needed)
Tuesday Oct 30th, 9 AM AWST: Ticketmaster pre-sale
Thursday Nov 1st, 9 AM AWST: General Public on sale
Ticketing link: RoosterTeethLive.com
Gold and Silver rates are based on your seating location
FIRST, RT Box members, and past RTX Sydney attendees keep a look out for an email coming your way with your promo-code.
Get stoked for a solid night of gameplay, comedy, and conversations. Ya won’t want to miss this one! Pull a sickie if ya need to and come grab a coldie or an icy pole with your best cobbers.
1 month agoKdin
November is fast approaching and it got me thinking “Where Did 2018 Go?”
This year whizzed by with such aggressive speed and with unrelenting force that it’s left me a bit worse for wear and reeling in many facets of my life...which has caused me to stop and reflect on the past two years of my life and try to take it all in piece by piece.
If 2017 was a year of rediscovery, reinventing, and revitalization... 2018 has been a year of rejection, failure, and loss. Now, to be fair, a good chunk of those things happened in 2017 too, but I didn’t feel the full effect of it all until now, especially with all of the “NEW” and “HAPPY” that came from a single bold step.
But now that 2018 is coming to a close, it’s all coming down a bit harder and faster than I would have liked.
I’ve lost people who once stood by me “no matter what”, I felt the sting of rejection not for my abilities or lack thereof but for “who” and “what” I am, I saw the failure and breakdown of communication in already strained familial relationships, and I’m currently preparing myself for an inevitable upcoming loss.
Before coming out, before transitioning, I knew that adversity paved the ground in front of me, it was part of the reason I had waited so long to do so. How friends, family, those I looked up to, etc treated groups like that & how they spoke of them shaped my fears and worldview. An “act” is easiest to describe a younger me, someone who fit the role that those around me wanted me to be. Shedding that off, taking off the disguise, it was invigorating and filled me with a sense of purpose for myself, those around me, and those who may follow the path I began to create.
The last 24 months have really tested me in ways I thought I was prepared for. I knew hate, ignorance, and bigotry would greet me around every corner, both old and new, and I thought that greeting it with a smile would give me an upper hand.
Arguments with what small remaining blood relatives I have became ever constant.
Reading the news every morning broke my heart and filled me with continued dread.
Prayers being made to “cure” me of what I had “become” were made.
Long standing dreams, once within reach, zoomed away to a painfully far distance.
Harassment became an everyday occurrence, and it was normalized.
Professional doors closed, personal relationships died, internal struggles persisted.
It’s no secret that I’ve spent the last year pouring myself fully into VO work, and I’ve met some amazingly talented and lovely people, I’ve gotten roles in projects I’m excited to be in with hardworking and compassionate folks...yet, despite those great moments, they are tainted by a few experiences of disrespect, unprofessionalism, and hate.
To be direct, I was told “You cannot play a woman, because you’re not one. Our company doesn’t approve of men who audition for female roles.” The response went into more detail, and I don’t fully know if that was the company’s actual views or just the views of the vocal and casting director for the project, but you can understand why this has stuck in my mind and heart.
So...with all that and the news that hit yesterday, I felt an all too familiar pain shoot through me, and it came at a time where I’m struggling to feel sympathy for those “closest to me” who are struggling yet continue to deny and persecute my existence as a woman, as a wife, as a daughter, as a person. To many, I don’t “exist”. Yet though these people may not have a place in my life anymore, I still hope the best for them.
Though 2018 hasn’t been kind to me I’ll continue to be kind to those around me...and I’ll keep moving forward.
P.S. - VOTE!
1 month agokriss Community Manager
Bittersweet post for today. I picked up Chloe's ashes from the vet office and I am incredibly heartbroken though I am happy she is back home with us.
I said goodbye to Chloe last week. She was diagnosed with a malignant mass in her lungs back in May, and since she was about 13 years old, it was decided that surgery was not an option. Her health declined over the last few months, and it was last week that her quality of life really took a turn. She wasn't eating well, she lost a lot of weight, and she was no longer acknowledging being pet or our existence. Whenever I came home from work, her tail would wag for a couple seconds, but then her attention would drift away and she would stare away for hours. So I decided to make that appointment with my vet. Before my vet came to the house, I got Chloe a double cheeseburger as a last meal. Funny but heartbreaking fact, I ordered it without onions without thinking.
I adopted Chloe back in October of 2012. I was working with a dog rescue back in Vegas, and they asked me to foster her. Apparently, her previous owner beat her, broke her leg, and left her like that. The rescue took her in, paid for a surgery to amputate her leg, and asked me if I could help her. My other dog, Wasabi, is also a tripod, so the rescue asked me specifically if I could rehabilitate Chloe. As soon as this little, white floof she saw me, she never left my side. And really, I couldn't give her up to another family, so I ended up adopting her.
When I wrote that she never left my side, she REALLY hated it when I left for work or to socialize. She hated it so much that she became a little beast of destruction. Trash cans, shoes, carpets, door frames... she even pushed through a puppy gate so hard (missing the back leg, btw) that she cracked the walls. That's when I found out how to spackle holes. When I tried crate training, she dug a large hole in the carpet (from inside the crate!) and managed to dig all the way to concrete.
I got mad at her many times, but she was my kid and I couldn't stay angry for very long. I never met a dog that loved me unconditionally like her.
It's weird coming home and not seeing her. Admittedly, I have my moments and I just have a good, cathartic cry. I do miss her very much, but I'm happy she's back home, and that I have beautiful mementos of her.
Nothing but good memories of my little Trash Falcore.
1 month agoJoshuaKazemi @joshuakazemi
The Desk of The Desk of Death Battle - Doctor Strange Screws Humanity - Writer & Editor Notes
1 month agoDave Engineering Data/Ops
Trying out adding ReCaptcha to Post creation, in an attempt to limit spam which has gotten even crazier lately. Still working out some bugs, but it should be up and running soon.
-- UPDATE --
So I kind of shot that message out quickly to confirm the system was working correctly, which it now seems to, but I wanted to provide a bit more clarity as to why this is being put into place.
I'm sure you've all seen and are very, very aware of the nefarious bots that love to spam junk posts with links all over our community section. This has been an ongoing battle for quite a while now, and given how bots are it will likely continue as long as bots exist.
We've taken measures in the past to attempt to reduce their abilities to post, while trying to keep the experience as easy for users as possible. Sadly, those measures haven't proven as effective as we'd like, so we have to resort to using ReCaptcha since that's still a great tool in the fight against bots. It adds another step when trying to post, unfortunately, but overall reCaptcha has been streamlined quite a bit over the past couple years and most of the time, you just have to click the checkbox and you're on your way.
Simply adding reCaptcha certainly isn't going to win us the war against spam bots, but it should absolutely level the playing field much more and greatly reduce the occurrence of such shenanigans. If you end up running into problems, reach out and let me know and I'll do my best to make sure the problem is addressed. I'm still hunting through all the various edge-cases that may arise as a result of this to ensure we provide the best experience possible, but things on the large scale seem to be working as expected right now.
Engineering <3's you all!!! Except the bots. I vehemently hate the bots. Like... more than I can possibly express via a text-based post.
1 month agokriss Community Manager
I know we all like to have fun here, but I want to remind everyone that we do have a pretty awesome list of guidelines and policies aka our Terms of Service that help us create the best environment for our community here. I encourage you to read through them again as a refresher.
With the new community site on its way, I did feel like it was a good time to revisit the TOS and reiterate that our goal is to create a fun, healthy, and safe environment for all. In short, we do not tolerate bullying, threats of violence, or harassment on our video or community platforms.
If you do experience any of the above or see that someone is breaking the TOS, we do encourage you to report it to firstname.lastname@example.org. As always, you can contact myself or Chelsea if you feel more comfortable taking that route, but I do want to let everyone know that our Conduct email address is available and it is an alternative for reporting instances that do not follow our TOS.
Be safe, be kind to each other, and let's continue to make the best community out there!
1 month agowesellis Staff Photographer
Been a bit since I've shared BTS from a merch shoot! Bringing you some Achieve today. If you haven't see this incredible new merch drop make sure to shop it here!
So last month we brought in a friend of mine and fellow Austin photographer to shoot the Achievement Hunter boys. Her name is Megan Baker and here is a little introduction she sent me:
My name’s Megan Baker, I’m a grad student at the School of Architecture at UT as well as a portrait conceptual photographer here in Austin. When I’m not in studio (Architectural or photo haha) you can find me at local shows! I wish I could nail down one person who inspires me but I think I’m more inspired by current culture, light, and sound, and how society responds with art all around us.
Go be her friend: @megantbaker
Now that you know a little more about Megan, here are some of my favorites from that shoot!
Also if you're curious to see more of Megan's work, check out her site:
1 month agoburnie
Now Willem Dafoe has to defend the fact that he is playing a character younger than himself? Good lord. It’s called acting.
2 months agoBroadcastBryan Resident Beard
I've started this playlist of chiptune type stuff for driving when it's rainy or late at night. Oddly specific, right? I kind of have an idea of what I want on it, but if people have suggestions for things to add, I'm listening.
2 months agoBenBSinger Ben B. Singer
Episode- 100 Mario VS Sonic
It feels strange to reach this point. Humbling and exciting, yes, but also strange. If you had told me back in 2010 that I’d be making more than one hundred episodes of this horribly nerdy show, I doubt I would have believed you. Honestly, I’m not sure if I would have wanted to believe you. When I started this show, I didn’t expect Death Battle to reach this level of achievement and pass such a milestone few other highly produced shows ever can. I actually didn’t want it to.
This might sound strange, but when Death Battle first came to be, I didn’t view it as the thing that would define my career for the next decade, let alone the careers of dozens of other people alongside me. As I’ve said before, Death Battle was originally created to help catapult ScrewAttack’s then-waning notoriety, and after that I figured I would move on to something else. It was meant to be a stepping stone. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy working on it or didn’t put my all into every episode. I’m the kind of guy who gets really frustrated when someone takes the easy road on a project, so I don’t think I’m physically capable of allowing myself to do that! (If you’ve ever had to do a class group project all by yourself, you probably know what I mean.) The fact is, Death Battle was supposed to end at episode 26.
I say all this because even now, 8 years later, I was caught a little off guard by your responses to my question yesterday of what Death Battle means to you. Not by the positivity itself, which I appreciate, but because of the variety of answers. It’s amazing that after all this time I’m still learning new things about this zany show, and I’m sure I will continue to do so.
Now let’s talk about next week’s Mario VS Sonic, shall we?
It was interesting to watch all the speculation leading up to this episode’s announcement. A lot of people predicted that episode 100 would receive the same sort of treatment that a season finale might. Namely, that it would feature a long-awaited and popularly requested match-up. We’ve received thousands of requests to redo Mario VS Sonic, especially since we discussed the modern rules we use, but at this point it wasn’t on most people’s radar. Insert evil laughter here. Bwahaha.
We’re not treating this like a season finale. I mean, we’re going to have a pretty epic season finale just three episodes after this anyway! Episode 100 isn’t about making the biggest Death Battle that ever was in the history of the universe. This is a celebration of what Death Battle has become. How much we, the staff, have grown while making the show. How much you, the viewers, have supported us for so long. How much the show has evolved to become something of higher quality and more reliability than those early hectic days of seasons one and two. That is what I have been pouring into this episode day and night for the past few months. Plus, I've personally wanted to revisit this match-up for quite awhile!
Death Battle hasn’t been a completely smooth road. There have been many bumps and turns along the way, and even a few nasty crashes. However, the rewards found along the path have made this all worth it.
Seeing Torrian’s first 3D animation come in. Listening to Brandon’s “Titans of Magic” or Therewolf Media’s “Wings of Iron” on repeat. The first time we met all the Research Team members. The incredible fan art we show off on Death Battle Cast. Going to Chris Sabat’s studio to record his Solid Snake role. Wearing the original Death Battle shirt for the first time. Seeing Wiz and Boomstick finally get an official appearance. Every time we shout “It’s time for a Death Battle Panel!” at a convention. That day Goomba VS Koopa became the first episode to hit one million views. Creating my first custom sprites with no previous experience. Learning that Monty Oum, one of the largest inspirations for the show, appreciated our work to the point where he introduced us to the Rooster Teeth family we now find ourselves among every day.... and a wide assortment of other memories that would break the Rooster Teeth website if I tried typing them all up!
Thank you everyone - viewers, writers, animators, researchers, editors, actors, producers, musicians, artists, so many others... and you. Here’s to 100 more.
-Ben B. Singer
2 months agoBenBSinger Ben B. Singer
Time for some giant fighting robots!
Optimus Prime VS the RX-78-2 Gundam has been an incredibly popular request for a very long time, and one that I always knew we would do eventually. Well, either that or Optimus VS Burning Gundam, but I found pitting the original G1 Transformer against the first ever Gundam was a lot more thematically appropriate.
Since Nick left Death Battle, we ran into some obstacles working around filling his role without affected the quality of the show. Despite everything he was already doing while running the brand, Sean stepped up to handle Nick’s dropped duties as best as he could. While he’d done a phenomenal job with his episodes thus far, managing ScrewAttack comes first, so for this one I jumped in to take some of the load off his back and help with the research and writing more than I usually do. I took on Gundam, watching and reading through all of the Universal Century Gundam franchise.
Years ago, I’d done all this for Gundam Wing to make Tigerzord VS Gundam Epyon. I had previously heard that Gundam Wing was the best Mobile Suit Gundam series out there, and while it was really cool, I was unfortunately a little underwhelmed. So I didn’t have stellar expectations for this giant robot story. But hot damn, it turns out this OG Gundam shit is my jam!! I had a blast working on this episode, and if I could I would gleefully dedicate an entire episode of Death Battle Cast just to praise Zeta Gundam in all its brilliance! Not even kidding, go watch the original series. Totally worth it.
It’s not often that I’m a little sad about the victor we choose, but I was honestly a little bummed when it became clear the Gundam stood little chance against Optimus Prime. ‘Cuz you can’t spell Optimus without O P, am I right?
This was the first Death Battle animation to use the Unreal Engine, which beefed up our lighting capabilities and made long render times a thing of the past, among many other things. Coupled with this was getting Kristina, David, and Alex their first go at a 3D fight without Torrian! (Though he did supervise, he only worked on a rare couple shots throughout the entire battle.) There’s certainly a different feel to this fight, as Torrian had his own unique style. But so do these animators, and I’m curious how their personal styles will grow and perform as they continue making these kickass fight scenes!
Last but not least, we have the penultimate episode on the Road to 100; Nightwing VS Daredevil. We went into so much detail on the behind the scenes in our Death Battle Cast with Danny that frankly I’d suggest you just watch that instead of making me type it all out all over again, but I did want to touch on how this episode started.
After Death Battle started to grow in popularity in 2012, other versus shows began popping up around the internet. Most of them focused more on the fights than the analyses, but it was interesting to see other people and companies jumping on the wagon we pushed off on. Which, to be clear, we didn’t start ourselves. Sprite animations on Newgrounds kicked this party into orbit long before Death Battle made its mark. I just like to think we helped revive the craze a bit. Regardless, making characters fight to the death suddenly became a popular thing, and among the creators I saw, the live action fights really stood out to me. While Death Battle is more of an animated series than anything else, I am still a film major. I’ve studied film for nearly 2 decades and done plenty of my own film projects, including action scenes. So when I watch something like Ismahawk’s Minute Match-Ups, I could see a lot of the work, effort and money that went into making something like that...and I knew it was something ScrewAttack would never let me do. At least, not back then. It would be so expensive and require so many more people than ever before. It was impossible.
Then along came 2016. We’re a part of Rooster Teeth, we get in touch with Ismahawk, and everything changes so much for the better!
-Ben B. Singer
P.S. There’s one more blog left on this Road to 100! For my last entry, I want to hear from you. What does Death Battle mean to you? Why do you keep watching? And what do you want to know that you’ve never heard me talk about before?
2 months agosirlarr
Apologies for the delay, but we're finally ready to show you guys
NEWSHAUS GAMING WEEKLY!
The rollout is just a teensy bit complicated so I wanted to lay it all out for you guys. The show will broadcast this way every week --
Thursday, 10:30 AM PDT -- Streamed LIVE on roosterteeth.com, free to watch for everyone!
Thursday, 6:00(ish) PM PDT -- Livestream VOD will be available to watch for RT First members.
Friday, 2:00 PM PDT -- A leaner, shorter version of the show will post on the Funhaus YouTube channel.
Lots more details to discuss, obviously, but hopefully we'll address most of them in the show itself. Hope you guys tune in to watch live!
2 months agoBenBSinger Ben B. Singer
Inspiration may seem like an easy quality to gain, but also the easiest to quickly lose without dedication. Such dedication required of an animator to work for weeks or months on one thing that’s already been entirely planned shot-for-shot, leaving very little wiggle room or space for new creativity, is a feat often unsung. Let alone when that animator puts everything and every minute they have into a single piece of challenging work that previously seemed beyond their capability.
Or in simple terms, Luis Cruz is a goddamn animation monster!
When we planned out Season 5 near the end of 2017, Samurai Jack VS Afro Samurai wasn’t actually part of the list of episodes laid out. A few months into the year though, Rooster Teeth held a little event for its employees. A meet-and-greet sort of thing, since the company was growing quickly and there were a lot of new faces all about. And of course, you can’t work up the nerves to talk to a bunch of strangers without a little alcohol, right? That was when Luis walked up to me and said that this year he wanted to do a completely hand drawn battle with Samurai Jack. Turns out he was a little inebriated when he said that!
Still, when we all came to the office the next work day, he stuck to his guns. He was absolutely set on making this hand-drawn sword duel. I immediately thought of making Afro Samurai the opponent, as Jack vs Afro had been a very popular request for a long time. I had always set that request to the side, because I knew that with our current capabilities we would never be able to do such an animation justice without cutting corners or blowing up a budget we just didn’t have. But all of a sudden, it could be possible. Maybe.
This was new to us. We’d never done this before. Sure, we’d done a hand-drawn battle with Blind Ferret the previous year, but that was a whole different ball game. Blind Ferret has a studio with multiple artists and animators to dedicate to their animations. In order for Jack vs Afro to happen, Luis would have to do the vast majority of the work all on his own. Most studios would have said no and shut down this idea right away. It’s a hell of a risk, especially when it would essentially take away our lead animator from any other projects for a couple months. Good thing we love taking these kind of risks!
It was incredible to watch Luis weave this battle together from scratch to art. With a little help from Jerky on backgrounds and a loooot of late nights, he managed to pull it all together for one of our most beautiful animations we’ve ever shown.
Samurai Jack VS Afro Samurai is what sparked the idea for the Road to 100 blog. I noticed that the episodes leading up to the big one hundred were incredibly special to us and Death Battle overall. Ryu VS Jin was Torrian’s last hurrah, with Optimus Prime VS Gundam marking a changing of the guard as we enter a new era of the show. Nightwing VS Daredevil would be our first ever live action battle, and Carnage VS Lucy would be one of the riskiest battles we’ve ever done.
There are a number of reasons Carnage VS Lucy could have blown up in our faces. First, this match-up isn’t exactly something a lot of people were requesting, much less thinking about. Second, Death Battle may obviously be all about violence, but we’ve never quite shown gore like Elfen Lied before… even Berserk wasn’t quite this bombastic. Third, this animation would be a challenge in and of itself, as one character doesn’t take lasting damage and the other fights with invisible weapons. It’s an odd combination, and difficult to maintain tension and weight to every moment throughout the fight. Fourth, a fan favorite Marvel character was going to lose to some anime waifu hardly anybody knows about.
After all that, I sort of expected a raging hurricane of controversy after the episode aired. Wonderfully enough, that didn’t actually happen! Despite being one of the few match-ups this year not based on fan request, Carnage VS Lucy has been one of Season 5’s most popular episodes! I really appreciate all of you being willing to give it a chance, even if it seemed like an odd choice from the start.
I think this is what makes Death Battle special. We don’t settle for a universal standard. Sure, popular and straight-forward fights like Black Panther VS Batman or Ryu VS Jin will crop up every season because that’s what many people want to see. But we still like to get weird sometimes! Whether or not your favored character won the match shouldn’t be the only surprise when you watch an episode.
-Ben B. Singer
P.S. Marvel VS DC match-ups are always popular, but what's a unique match-up you'd like to see that pits a Marvel or DC character against something else?
2 months agokriss Community Manager
I know this update is a long time coming that many of you have been waiting for, myself included.
We are NOW, OFFICIALLY in an internal beta for the new community site! This is a HUGE milestone for us, and all of us are excited for this achievement. Right now, we are going through the new platform with the goal to work with our amazing Engineering team, to figure out what works well (or...not so well), improve all sorts of aspects, and ultimately create a fantastic experience for you when the community site is able to go public.
We know you have been waiting for updates on the new site (some of you curious if it was even on our radar) and we want you to know that it has been, it is, and it will be because this is a huge priority for us.
For future updates and other news, myself, Chelsea, or Barbara will be making those announcements when we can.
That said, below is a sneak peek of the internal beta. Can't wait to show you more!
*SPECIAL NOTE* Please keep in mind that this is not a finalized version of the community site.
2 months agoBenBSinger Ben B. Singer
We’ve analyzed and portrayed a number of characters with extraordinary powers for years now, but I’m not sure we had ever delved into any with powers so incalculable when we began Doctor Strange VS Doctor Fate. Not to make this any easier on the team, this was one of Sean’s first Death Battle episodes to take point on as writer and project lead. Nick had left Death Battle production after Raven VS Twilight Sparkle, leaving Sean to pick up where he left off. Fortunately, Sean didn’t have too much trouble getting into a groove to make his time and research count… because holy crap, he really needed to. Have you watched this episode lately? Strange and Fate are absolutely ridiculous!
While researching for a Death Battle can be a long and arduous task, and there’s been more than a few occasions where our team has been frustrated over some feat that defies all sane logic, I have to admit that I really enjoy it when a new member first sits down for a particularly wild episode! There were multiple days where Sean would be quietly going over some comics or volumes… and then suddenly shoot back in his chair with a yelp of surprise, followed by some truly genuine excitement to share how Strange threw a star at a god made of black holes, or how Fate’s helmet bounced off the literal edge of all creation.
On a creative side, this made Strange VS Fate one of our most complicated episode to mold together. While they have measurable feats, they’ve each shown numerous powers that dwarf whatever numbers we could possibly attribute to them. They fight with magic, so the battle animation wouldn’t be straightforward. Also, their magic’s limits aren’t well defined, so the battle would have to be extremely complex. There was a lot of back and forth debating how we would present these characters and what basis we would use in our argument for the victor.
Ryu VS Jin, on the other hand, seemed like a fairly straightforward episode. While the characters weren’t exactly simple, it was a far cry from the immeasurable power of our old wizard friends three weeks earlier. That being said, this episode’s result relied so much on scaling over actual proven feats that many of the team were hesitant to lock down Ryu as the victor. In fact, there was a good while where most of us agreed that Jin should take the win. However, it’s very important to me that all our Death Battle analysis and victor prediction end with a unanimous decision, so this one took quite a while to settle. It was worth it, though!
After 4 years of animating for the show, Ryu VS Jin marks Torrian’s final project to work as a lead on. He’s moved on to that sweet gen:LOCK showbiz! We all knew this was coming for a long time, honestly, so we were fully prepared for the transition. Joining him for this one was Kristina Christofferson and David Fisher, two incredibly talented animators who took up the reigns after his departure. For his last go, we also did something Torrian’s been wanted to do for a long time. We teamed up with Omega Sparx to create a rap soundtrack! Torrian had been such an essential part of the team for so long, it’s been weird going over fights with him and counting how many flips he slipped in when nobody was looking.
This episode is extremely special to us.
-Ben B. Singer
P.S. If you could have just one of either Strange or Fate’s magic artifacts, along with all the powers it has, which one would you take and why? I’d take that kickin’ cloak! Hey, it’s stylish.
2 months agoBenBSinger Ben B. Singer
Going into this year and committing to the most popular requests no matter what, I knew there were a few match-ups we had to do which would challenge the reception of our show. Specifically, despite the popularity of some requests, there were a couple which I wasn't sure how they would be recieved. Jotaro VS Kenshiro was one of those, but another was Crash VS Spyro.
Don’t get me wrong, Crash VS Spyro makes so much sense! It’s a classic rivalry of mascots! There’s a good reason for it to be a popular request! Everyone wants to see that, right? Well… sort of. It turns out many people are actually requesting different versions of this match-up. Some people wanted to see Crash and Spyro go at it with everything at their disposal. Others wanted to see their arsenals shrunk down to their classic origins. For example, let’s say we only took the classic versions of the characters. Classic Spyro makes sense, as he had a very distinct timeline somewhat separated from the second trilogy and Skylanders games.
However, Crash does not have such a split, so there really isn’t such a thing as “classic era” Crash in an official sense. What would be the cut off point? The GameBoy games? The PlayStation 1 games? If we intentionally remove part of Crash’s story to create our own version of “Classic Crash” and he loses, won’t that feel like we stacked the deck against him? How would the match have changed if we hadn’t cut out his modern games? If Crash did win, how would things have played out if Spyro had access to his arsenal and skills from the Legends and Skylanders games? And what will fans of Legends think when we completely shut out their version of the character? But if we include Legends and he’s way too powerful, will Crash fans be mad?
IT’S A LOT.
This goes back to that whole problem with taking characters from different parts of their timelines or sources, it creates a mess. This is why I generally don’t like making the character selection so complicated, and streamlined this one as it was. I’m absolutely positive our solutions for the episode were the best ones possible.
Sora VS Pit was yet another long requested episode finally getting its time in the spotlight. It was also yet another chance for us to show off Nick’s hilariously good/bad Goofy voice! Similar to Jotaro VS Kenshiro, I knew that despite this being such a popular request this was one of those that came from a very vocal minority of viewers, but it didn’t matter to me. I was sticking to the goal of this season, getting those popular requests out there, and this one was easily one of the longest running popular requests we’d ever had. I’d venture to say this request’s insisting popularity out-endured even the likes of Galactus VS Unicron.
Then there’s Leon VS Frank, one of the only two match-ups this year not from the top 10% of the most requested. Truth be told, this match-up exists purely because Torrian wanted to do it. I always like to give the team some match-ups each year that they’re passionate about. More often than not, this turns out spectacular episodes like Balrog VS TJ Combo. However, this ultimately had to be moved to Luis’ 2D team… and honestly, I think it worked out really well! Luis was able to pull off some things with the animation that I don’t think Torrian could have, and we ended up with a really cool thematic battle that’s wonderfully different from most of our episodes.
Also, before I wrap this up, there’s another huge change to this season that I want to bring up. I already mentioned how a couple musicians have really brought our battle sequences to a whole new level, but I also want to talk about the sound design. This was the year we began fully integrating into Rooster Teeth creative process, including getting the assistance of audio engineers Chris Kokkinos and Philip Spann. There’s a saying in our field of work that holds a lot of weight; “Sound makes up 70% of what you see.” It’s absolutely true, and these guys have improved our episode quality dramatically. It’s been fascinating to watch some of our older animations and compare them to what we’re capable of producing now. The difference is staggering, and certainly worth a little bit of celebrating with our big 100th episode, right? Right!
-Ben B. Singer
P.S. This marks the last week of the Road To 100 blog! Do you have any questions or thoughts about Death Battle you’d like me to address in an upcoming entry?
2 months agokriss Community Manager
I think most of you know about my avocado obsession. The running joke is that since I'm allergic to avocados, I should be staying away from them, but in truth, I do love them, and I'm even growing avocado trees!
I have four seeds currently growing in glass cups, but two of them are almost ready to pot in soil (I think). Two seeds are from small Hass Avocados and the other two seeds are from large Hass Avocados. Seems that it's highly likely they will not produce fruit which I am incredibly bummed about, but this project has been fun to watch.
This all started when I was given an Avoseedo as a Secret Santa present last year from my friend Kyle. It's basically a little plastic pot that has a separate "seed holder" that is meant to float when you fill the pot with water. Basically, place the seed in the holder, fill the pot with water, and refill when the water line dips too far. Change water as needed. My first seed didn't grow very well, so I decided to try again a couple months later. The second seed took its sweet time cracking and growing a root, but it now has a long stem and I'm waiting for leaves to start sprouting. I accidentally damaged the main root, so it took a while for it to recover from that. Over time, I decided to try and grow three more seeds, and they're growing beautifully!
Here's one of them.
It rained a lot this past weekend, so I didn't pot them in soil. Perhaps this coming weekend, that'll be my house project. I think I should name them. What do y'all think?
2 months agoalyssa.walker
I wanted to introduce myself and share some news. I joined the Programming team a few months ago as the Scheduling Manager. Since then, I have been helping to figure out the best times and dates to launch new episodes. I will also be scheduling the 24/7 channels that you see on our site and app.
This week, we switched over the streaming players on these feeds (Rooster TV Beta, AHTV Beta, and Funhaus TV Beta). Since the launch of the channels, we have been using YouTube’s player to air episodes of our content on a 24-hour basis for the whole community to enjoy.
Because of this player, we were only able to create random playlists and could not program a schedule. On Wednesday, we began using a new player to stream these feeds. This change means that there will no longer be the ability to click-through to the playlist on YouTube from our site, but it DOES mean we will have a lot of new possibilities for scheduling the feeds. (YAY!)
Not only will this switch give us the opportunity to eventually incorporate all live broadcasts and livestreams into the channels, but we will also be able to better curate and specifically schedule the content airing on them. Be on the lookout for marathons, theme days, and holiday content as we start to get more involved in scheduling each channel. And if there’s anything you want to see, let us know! We want to include videos and content that you want to see.