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X-Gift[post introduction here]

Simone Tomasello writes:

Hi, I would like to talk about the Reibe Studios and our second short movie, X-Gift:

Reibe Studios was born 3 years ago, by an idea of our teacher and productor Giovanni Gallo (who teach Computer Graphics) who wanted to realize a group of people to create a short movie made entirely in blender. The idea that he wanted to realize was a "working simulation" that could mix two kind of students, the nerdy-part formed by students of "Computer Science" and the creativity-part formed by students of "Arts", both from Catania, in Sicily (Italia).

The first project we realized was "Froggy is Back" and since 2 years we have worked to our second short movie, X-Gift. We would like to tell a story of a young poor boy in ancient Greece, Timios, who has a dream about a family (that he doesn't have...), and he hope that Zeus could realize what he want... So...enjoy the movie!

P.S. We are already working to fix some animations/assets and we would like to know what you think about the entire movie, we appreciate all kind of critics that are costructively (for our skills and to do better and better next time!).

Another one thing: as soon as possible (we think when we fix all the thinks...), we will post on BlendSwap the entirely assets/objects/characters that we made for this movie.



  1. i like that short movie... it has a good story and good happy end.
    only three tiny things to criticize. 1. the newspaper is moving in a unusual way during the walk. 2. the obeisance/tribute of the man in front of the stature - for my meaning he should stay a bit longer time down - currently it looks for me like headbanging/head crashing. 3. sometime the motion of the feet does not fit - the tempo of the floor and feet are not in sync.

  2. I think the main thing that I saw throughout the entire animation were the feet not connecting with the floor properly, feet are slipping as the characters are moving forward.

  3. Bob Randolph on

    Wow, lots of this was really good, story is even pretty good, but the amount of foot slippage during any of the walk cycles is crazy. I know it's a hard thing to do and it requires some math, but if there were ONE thing to fix that would make this look less like a student film, it would be that.

    The story telling and cinematography is surprisingly developed and well thought out for student work. The ending seems a little forced though. I don't know if there should be more time spent on it, making zues's dedication to that boy in particular more apparent, or showing that Zeus is also in of family, but it feels too easy right now.

    Great work over all though, I can tell a lot went into this.

    • We are already working to fix some animations/assets and we would like to know what you think about the entire movie, we appreciate all kind of critics that are costructively [cit]

    • it doesn't take math, You just Don't move the master control! You "walk" away from it. that master is for positioning. move the hips and feet and don't do a "cycle" animate every step.

  4. As said before, feet slipping on walks. The walks, as well as much of the animation is not engaging the entire body (I would like to see more hips, spine, full body moves). Some of the movement, especially in the alien creature, appears to be "movement for the sake of movement," and not really motivated internally by the character. The poses are not particularly interesting.

    • No, It isn't. Too much animation mistakes, bad camera movements, bad shading/lighting, but I admit... it is a very good story. Sorry Reibe. Don't take it bad.

      • If the movie is great to one and not great to another does that mean it is or is not great? It is neither. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

        • The eye of the beholder can be driven by the technical knowledge or ignorance. Make a choice. When all beholders will see the beauty then I did a good job. Until then I must learn more, work harder, accept all criticism with a smile. Nobody makes arts just for himself. And if someone say it... well It 's a lie.

          • Not sure I understand, if the beholder's brain tells him he likes it how could it be wrong? Not everyone likes the same things. If I see something that pleases my eye, how could anyone tell me that it does not please my eye. If it does not please your eye that is your taste, but your eye does not control mine.

            Your absolute at the end is also incorrect. I create art because I enjoy it, I receive enjoyment during the creation process thereby I am my own reward.

          • What I think he means is that if he can satisfy most people even them with knowledge of animation then he has done a good job. If he only satisfies the people with not so good knowledge then that doesn't necessarily mean it's bad but it could be a lot better.

            Also if you make art for your own enjoyment I doubt you get paid for it so I don't think it really qualifies as an argument for the people who actually want to make a career in some kind of art. If you want to make a living you can't just satisfy yourself, others have to enjoy it too.

          • If a work of art could stand for improvment in your opinion, the current work is still good and essential as a stepping stone to the improved work. It is neither bad or wrong, but in fact good for without it the improved work could not be.

            I have nothing against offering a suggestion as to what might help to satisfy ones own tastes, but I think we do ourselves and others a disservice by convincing that something is wrong, not good or not worthwhile when it is in fact worth all the while even if it pleases not one other person.

            I find that "the industry" tends to water down their works of art so as to appeal to the largest audience, but in my opinion people would find greater satisfaction from many different works than a few similar works.

  5. Funny and sweet; just a bit improved walk cycle, camera movement(at 1:04), cloth sim(3:44) and it will be amazing! That said, I really loved it- great work guys!

  6. Overall: cool!

    Sound fits, music fits, atmosphere fits.
    I really like the coffee sequence

    The following critics is from my point of view as viewer. I do not have any experience with movies or art. So do not take it that much serious.

    there is a LOD effect switched on (upper-left corner of the screen). This is acceptable for a game. A movie should not have such effects noticeable. At least the transition is to hard.

    0:24 the floor of the temple looks to much "generated". I think the tiles shouldn't form a grid. It looks "cheep" and does not fit into the appearance of the scenery.

    0:26 and other scenes with the newspaper. The pages of the newspaper seems to be glued with bubblegum. This looks very unnatural. It does not even fit into the comic-style world. It would be better to dynamically bend the corners of the page according to the walk-cycle.

    0:28 Why does the alien enters the temple through the main entrance? He should use the "delivery entrance". Otherwise he could be seen by the "natives" (Especially as the boy is already there according to 1:05).
    I guess the natives should not know about the alien.

    1:05 the alien zooms to the temple. The next scene shows the boy in front of the temple. That forms a relationship between alien and boy which is not continued at this time. The following sequences let the viewer assume the alien did not noticed the boy. Maybe the boy should come later to the temple (after a "draw-your-wishes" sequence?).

    The monitors should show more details of the temple rather then generic alien schemes. At least the front of the statue should be shown as "customers" are expected there.

    1:48 The cut from outside to inside is irritating. I had the impression the old lady is still outside of the door. I do not know how to solve that. Maybe with a different camera angle. Similar to the farmer praying sequence the old lady could bow before the wishing-sequence (with statues view).

    Where is the light flash for the lady?

    Side-note: Shouldn't ancient prayers bring in some fruits or so? With a pile of fruits in front of the statue it would show that the alien had a lot of work that day. And the boy could scarify his last grape (or bread or whatever).
    2.52 The monitors do not show the boy. So what is the alien so surprised about?2:57 Why does the alarm goes on? (Did the alien pressed incorrect buttons or so?) The sequence dos not explain a reason.

    3:45 (and other sequences) The cloth animation looks incorrect.

    4:00 I do not really understand that sequences.
    Why does the boy opens the door? (Maybe adding the "flash" and the flash sound from the temple would help)
    What is with the "wish-board"?
    Why does the boy hide behind the wall?
    And how does it continue? It looks incomplete.

    The day-night-day cycle look cool.

    4:30 at the first sight it looked like the boy did the "photo-frame" by himself. Maybe a camera-move or zoom can show the canvas is within the door. What happened with the photo? The alien could hold it in his hand at the next scene.

    I suggest to add the flash sounds to force the boy to open the door. The wish-board could be somewhere at the "scenes" after opening the door. Something like "... here your wish is done".

    The boy shows that he does not like how his wish came through. Nice work.

    5.12 It will be hard to follow foot trails on that ground! You can solve that with the "delivery-entrance".

    5:34 please redesign this walk cycle.

    In general, why should the boy like the alien? I'm missing how they build up a relationship. As it is in the movie the boy just see the alien and gives him a hug. It does not look like he knows what the alien did for him.
    Suggestion: 5:20 the boy could see how the alien tries to design his wish (e.g. a crayon board with sketches, blackboard with crossed.out photos of the previous trials.) and then be sad because he does not know how.

    Why is the alien not able to fulfill the boy's wish? Is it that he can't understand what he wants? Is it that he has no button to press? Does the alien know what the sketch means but the "wish-machine" was broken on finding the boy's parents (see alarm)?

    Sorry for writing that much

  7. That looks great. + Cool animation, + consistent look, + nice sounds+ really nice characters+ I really like the day.-night-day sequence
    Overall it is very good.
    But I still have some critics. Forgive me if they look too much.
    technique:+ I do not care the feet slipping. This is a common cartoon technique

    - The newspaper animation looks unnatural as mentioned by beta-tester- at the beginning (0:20) there is a visible LOD switching on the city. This is OK in games. Movie usually do not need that. It should be a very smooth transition if any.- The walk-cycle when the boy goes to the alien to hug him (5:33) looks really strange. When he squats down it looks great. This does not fit together.- The boy's cloth animation needs some adjustment (5:22), especially when sitting (3:48). (I know this is hard)- The ground in front of the temple (0:22) looks to much generic. A better tiling would be good.
    Viewer guide:- the control monitors (1:05, 2:45) should shows more cameras with "temple-views" e.g. front of the statue, hallway, door- switching from monitor to "temple front" leaves the impression the alien is watching the boy (title sequence 1:10). But the following sequences show this is not true. Better change that sequence or let the boy enter the scene somehow. E.g. he draws his "wish-plate" somewhere else and goes to the temple.- I suggest to make the flash and the flash sound with each single fulfilled wish (missing on old lady, disco man, boy, boy, boy ,boy ). This "implements" the according association at the viewer.- After the farmer left the temple (1:49) the old lady seems to be outside (that was my impression). A different camera angle would make the lady appear inside the temple (e.g. the view from statues eyes).- When the boy enters the temple. The the monitors do not show the boy (2:45). Currently the monitors are out of sight, but we know from earlier they were just blue. As a viewer I want to know what the alien is looking at. The most left (visible) monitor should show the boy. Or all of them as this si the focus of the sequence.
    Story:- The alien enters his "workplace" via main entrance? The boy would see him. A side entrance would fit much better- Didn't ancient prayers sacrificed things like fruits etc.? This would have following benefits:A) it shows a (sort of) purpose for the alien to do the workB) a pile of fruits would show how much wishes the the alien fulfilled that dayC) it shows how poor the boy is (e.g. just a grape or an half eaten bread or nothing at all)- Why does the alarm goes on (2:56)? I mean the sequence is great. But I can't see a reason for it. Maybe the alien tries to let a device analyze the "wish-plate" and something in the control-room explodes. So he does not know what the boy wants. Or the Alien press two buttons and the monitors show Error or whatever. I really miss a reason for the alarm.- When the boy is home - why does he open the door again (I mean he is tired and want to sleep). If you do the "wish" sound that would be a reason.- After opening the door the boy hides in his house. It looks great but Why? And how does it continue e.g. he could hide under his blanket (still Why?) Could it be that there is a giant "whish-plate" (4:01)? If so I had to look at this 5 times + pausing the video. It is not obvious. I recommend to sharpen the "wish-plate" or "focal-zoom" on it.- The photo-frame was not obvious either. How about a camera move to the door? - What happens with the photo? shouldn't the Alien hold it at the next sequence?- All further "wish-deliveries" look very good. Again it could benefit from the "wish" sound.- I can see the alien is building a relationship to the boy. But how did the boy build a relationship with the alien? Suggestion: The boy follows the trail to the "side-entrance" (not the main hall, there can't be a foot trail it is stone!). Here the boy could see the alien thinking about plans to make the wish come true. Have a blackboard with photographs of the failed trails (similar to the end titles). The alien could cross-out the last try and become blue as he already does. The boy would see someone takes care about him => gets a relationship to the alien.

    Please stop me ....

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