The artist behind the 3D short has given me a list of questions and answers:
Q: Who are you?
A: Just call me Joe. I am currently a lead 3D instructor at a small college. Iâ€™ve worked on some cool things before working as a teacher but Iâ€™m not about to post my resume. And no I havenâ€™t been teaching or working in 3d for like 25 years or something.
Q: What are we going to be watching?
A: The Starfox cinematic is a demo reel. It was in fact created on accident; it was a â€œone thing lead to anotherâ€ scenario until its actual creation seemed to become viable. I pitched the story, wrote the script and did the storyboards and the animatic.
Q: You pitched it?
A: I couldnâ€™t do this alone I needed some help. My work as an instructor came first and I was working 60+ hours a week. A couple of students and alumni from the college I teach at wanted to participate. But make no mistake, I did 75-80% of the work myself working during every free moment I could, so most of everything you will see on the screen is something I created or animated. I worked feverishly on it because I only had about a year to complete it.
Q: Why did you only have one year to make it?
A: The student population in my department began falling drastically. I did the math and knew I had about 13 months until my job was in jeopardy. In that year I could have just made a 30 sec demo and jumped ship. However, something was dying to get out of my system, I canâ€™t explain it. So I pushed ahead and made the cinematic.
Q: You said the cinematic was an accident?
A: Yeah. I was originally modeling a fighter cockpit but got bored half way through it. So I changed gears because I wanted to learn something new so I ended up teaching myself MAYA fur. I wanted a challenge and as a joke I said, â€œI should make Starfox to sit in my cockpit.â€ Everything sort of snowballed. It was a happy accident.
Q: What motivated you for one year?
A: The struggle my folks are going through (as most families), the very small apartment, and the inability to save enough money for a proper ring for my cuddlebug; teachers donâ€™t earn much. It was that and more that pushed me despite the mountains of hard work and the sleepless nights. Iâ€™m hoping this video will get enough positive attention and views that I can land a full-time job at a really good company.
Q: What was the toughest challenge?
A: Overall the greatest challenge was from making the difficult decisions due to time and resources of which I had neither. Hell, this was all rendered and composited on one computer. There were so many things I wanted to do but just couldnâ€™t because of those reasons. I suppose that was a good experience because production companies sometimes have to make calls like that as well. In the end you have to ask if the scene did its job or not.
Q: What was your favorite Starfox game?
A: I loved playing the original Starfox until I was able to beat it with 100% completion on the toughest courses. Later when the N64 came out, I played that till my rumble pack wore out. After those games Starfox seemed to stray so far.
Q: What should we know about the cinematic?
A: Itâ€™s not canon. No single company would have more weapons and resources than an entire planet under one government such as Corneria. Fox is a pilot, end of story. He would be part of a space force where there are hundreds, even thousands of Arwings and other types of fighters. An entire planet would not rely on just a few people and those heroes would never charge for their services.
Fox, Falco and Peppyâ€™s designs were inspired by the original box art. I wanted to go back to the roots somewhat, minus the steel legs. There are aspects about the characters that scream puppet, and others that scream animal. I believe the marriage between the two was successful.
We redesigned the Arwing so that it does not require the use of racks. A plane that requires racks means the pilot has no chance in a crash landing. Itâ€™s also not time or cost effective when making repairs if the vehicle has to be held on racks. The design of the Arwing also has elements from the original box art too. The ones featured in the cinematic all look as though they have been dealing with the rigors of re-entry.
The Arwing also has design aspects reminiscent to fighter jets and the NASA program. The cockpit, for example, has several controls used in fighter jets, the space shuttle, and a nuclear reactor. To get as much right as possible I spoke with pilots and other military professionals. I guess you can say I did my homework.
Q: You mentioned Fox, Falco and Peppy. Whereâ€™s Slippy?
A: Slippy is at the very end, after the credits. No you donâ€™t get to see his face.
Q: You didnâ€™t have to make all of these changes, why didnâ€™t you keep the original designs and story?
A: Because it was done already. I know this video will not please everyone. There will still be those that donâ€™t like the artistic or story changes and they are going to rush on and say that they donâ€™t like this or would have done something else differently. However, those who were fortunate enough to see this video as it was begin completed all agree that the spirit, which is most important, is definitely there. The video is exciting and suspenseful starting off slow with a continuous build up to the rollercoaster ride. When itâ€™s over you will want more.