8-bit Project

The 8-bit project

So what is the 8-bit project?
It's a hobby-project of mine that I wanted to do for a long time - to stop-motion animate old 8-bit computergames in 3D. Here I blogg about the process and development to be able to do the animation.
And as with every project, it turns out to be larger than expected ;)
The really great news
More and more threads are being finished in the project, my program and scripts are now working (yes, with some more "needed" features added).
Juuust some more finetuning and then I'm finally ready to start to animate.

I sent a mail to an music artist called LukHash who produces great 8-bit inspired music and asked him if I could use some of his music in my animation to come.
And he said yes, which makes me very happy since there are some stuff that he makes that will be perfect!

Why not visit his page and listen to some music and download it if you want to here.

The wallpapers and this page
It occured to me that someome might actually find it a bit interesting to read about my little project.
So I put this page up and also made a few hi-res wallpapers in 1900*1200. If you want even larger wallpapers then send me a message here.

You find the wallpapers on the image-page for this project here.

The details
The import-script in 3D-studio is nearing it's completion with a small GUI.
Of course I had to go through all the object and name them correctly so that the sequence can find the object in the 3D-model. Downloaded a longplay of Bruce Lee to study the spritemovements and all the moves for Bruce is finishes.

Now it's only Ninja and Sumo left and their movements are easier.
It was however with great joy that I clicked the "Animate"-button in my scritp GUI and saw Bruce come to life.

Some tweaking of the sequences are neccesary to account for scale. It's good if Bruce doesn't stop climbing or jumping in mid-air. And it will probably be like that for Ninja and Sumo as well. Ahh.. my little sprites, I know them so well by now ;)

The stand-alone program
Phew, Quick and Dirty programs have a way of growing. I need this, I need that.. adjusting the workflow, adding features. Forcing myself to stop adding features. Finally it's coming together and now I can generate sequences saved as XML. All that remains now is to write the import-script in 3D-Studio that takes the sequence and animates it.

I wrote the program so that I can add more sprites if I want to (yes, already made a few extra for Bruce). It's not perfect in any way but it works.

The only thing I have to be carefull with is the naming of the files that I use as images in this program. That name will be used in 3D-Studio to animate the corresponding objects.

The script
After spending the nights with making the models and then the first level of Bruce Lee into 3D I was ready to animate!

I quickly realized that 3D-Studio isn't quite made for this type of stop-motion animation. I took a break, posted some pics on a few Commodore-channels on Facebook and got my motivation back from the great response that I got.

What I needed was some sort of way to make sequences of cell-animations that I could read into 3D-studio and then show/hide them to get the stop-motion animation going.

I started by getting acquainted with the scripengine in 3D-studio that is quite powerfull. But perhaps not with the best syntax. So I fired up Visual Studio and started a project there instead, way easier with enviroments that you are accustomed to ;)

That's where I am now, writing a software (instead of the planned script) enabling me to create sequences to import to 3D-Studio.

The enabling software
It all started with me watching tutorials on YouTube about 3D and motion graphics. Then I came across a tutorial about making voxel animations with a software called Qubicle. Voxels is actually a prettier name for pixels, but in a 3D-world.

I instantly realized that with this software I could make 3D-models of sprites from the beloved old C64 games. I bought the software instantly and started trying it out by using screenshots of the sprites of Bruce Lee. Exporting to 3D Studio Max worked great, and that's when I decided that this is a project that will get priority.

I had no clue to how I where about to animate yet, but just being able to make the models quite easy was a huge leap forward. So with great enthusiasm I started turning the sprites from Bruce Lee into 3D-models.

Thinking that this will be done in no time at all ;)
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