The fight scenes are going to have a retro video game vibe – so the animation won’t be as smooth as the rest of the film. This will give the fighting a totally different feel than the rest of the animation – the look however stay the same. The fight scene should also have some arcade style music (which I will have to source from somewhere – hopefully I can produce or find someone to produce a piece of music especially for my film).
2D fighting video games used ‘sprites’ to animate their characters. A sprite is a two-dimensional image that is integrated into a larger scene.
Street Fighter 2
Street Fighter 2 is one of the most iconic arcade fighting games of all time. Below are all the sprites for Ken and Ryu from the 1993 arcade video game.
My characters will only need so many moves. There will be no fire hands or hadoukens or special moves like that – just punches and kicks and the main basic moves.
- Idle – 4 drawings – This is the character when they are standing still but ready to fight.
- Walking – 4 drawings – This is when they are moving around the arena. One drawing is reused from the stance.
- Jump – 4 drawings – This is when they are jumping – the same drawings are used for going up and coming down – there is no squash or anticipation to the jump.
- Crouch – 1 drawing – This is only one drawing because the other drawings is reused from the stance.
- Block – 2 drawings – One for standing and one for crouching.
- Left Punch – 3 drawings – This is a quick jab punch.
- Right Punch – 2 drawings – The same drawings are used for throwing the punch and returning to stance. The first drawing is reused from the left punch.
- Jumping punch – 2 drawings – One of the drawings is reused from the jump animation.
- Crouch Uppercut – 3 drawings – Same moves used going up as they punch as coming back from the punch to crouch position
- Left kick – 2 drawings – Normal kick move.
- Right high kick – 5 drawings – Bigger kick move.
- Jumping kick – 1 drawing – 1 drawing is reused from the jump animation.
- Forward jumping kick – 2 drawings – This is a kick where the character is flying through the air.
- Hit – 4 drawings – This is when the character takes a hit from their opponent. (Body hit)
- Face hit – 3 drawings – This is when the character takes a hit to the face from their opponent – 1 drawing reused from hit animation.
- Crouch hit – 1 drawing – This is when they are hit while they are crouching.
- Knockdown – 3/4 drawings – There is also a recover animation which is an additional four drawings but I think it looks a bit over the top – I would want to have my character recover in a different way, like getting to their feet like a normal person, or at least have the option for both.
Thats 46/47 drawings in total for the main sprites. There are 4 punches, 4 kicks, and the rest of the moves are basic movements. I think I would also need a celebration move, but I have to decide if that would be a smooth animation scene or not (that would be at least 3 drawings though).
Other moves I could add:
- Leg sweep
- Shoulder toss
- Left low kick
- Right medium kick
- Forward high kick
- Crouch forward punch left
- Crouch forward punch right
- Left low punch (body hit)
- Right low punch (body hit)
- Left high punch (face hit)
- Right high punch (face hit)
Ken Stance and walking animation:
Ken vs Ryu:
The video above demonstrates basically all the moves that these characters can pull off, and gives a good idea as to what I am trying to achieve with my fighting animation. Except I want to also have some smooth animation reaction close ups as well cut into the action.
Mortal Kombat came out in 1992 and was the first fighting video game I think I ever player, and I played hours and hours of it!
Mortal Kombat character sprites:
The way this character gets up from the floor is really cool – no hands, he propels himself up and back into his stance animation.
The Mortal Kombat characters have more sprites for their stance, and some other moves – to make them smoother and look better. I think this is as many sprites as I would want to make before it started to take away from the retro arcade fighting game feel.
Mortal Kombat gameplay:
I like the animations that Mortal Kombat has for when the legs are swept – they fall over backwards.
When they block they are rocked a little bit backwards on their legs when they take a hit.
The same move used over and over again is a classic arcade fighting game trope – Which is similar to how I want Pinkguy to win the fight, his Player punches the opponent over and over again. But maybe he could be the sort of Player who does use the same moves more than once each time he uses them.
I think the spinning jumps forward are not suitable for my film, as the players controlling the fighters are supposed to be casual players – not actual amazing fighters. The fighters should be throwing weak punches in virtual reality and the fighters translate those into the same few strong moves each time.
I made a quick video to see what Pinkguy’s stance could look like. I changed the duration the images appeared to get different pauses and feels to the animation.
The images I made for this quick animation:
This is not the final design for Pinkguy at all – he doesn’t even have the arm and leg bands that I think he would need. The mask is just a quick this I drew for this test – I think I would want to make it a different colour so it stands out from the background, but that also depends on the final arena design.