The first series of Rooster Teeth’s Poser Pro powered anime, RWBY. wrapped up on the 5th of this month (November 2014). Production continues on the project, but there is little official word on what comes next and when. The series has been released on DVD and Blu-ray, and the soundtrack is also out.
It has to be said that Monty Oum is one stylish devil and I must further admit to having become something of a fan of his work since a press release from Smith Micro popped up in my inbox. To be 100% honest I’d never heard the name Monty Oum till I started digging into just who was behind RWBY. I’d seen a snippet of the Haloid (Halo/Metroid) fan animation, so I had at least had a run-in with his work. I’d also seen a couple of episodes of Red VS Blue but hadn’t relised that seasons 8+ of the show were made with Poser. It was only after hunting down all Monty’s low-fi but incredibly produced and choreographed action animations (Dead Fantasy, Haloid), that I developed an appreciation of the mad skillz (as the kids say) this guy has as a director, editor and animator. This work also gave me a deeper respect for the animation potential of Poser.
It’s hard to write about RWBY without being all Oum be a god. It’s his baby. He’s responsible for the concept, directing, and large parts of writing, animation, and character design – basically all the stuff that us 3D people are interested in. But let’s not forget the awesome talent of Shane Newille too. For a look at what he can do just check out his awesome Megaman X Fanimation, for which he also did the soundtrack. It is great to see what creative, ambitious people can accomplish with a budget (though apparently with no official figures out there who knows what the budget really looks like), and basic tools.
RWBY certainly isn’t to the tastes of everyone. First and foremost anime is one of those things you either love or “can’t get”. Some are weary or outright snobish about westernised anime, and then there are the clipping and other minor animation flaws. For the most part animation shortcomings didn’t bother me, but every now and then there were instances where hair would phase through apparel and weapons sheathed on the back, or feet would slide. …but I’m not really writing a review here.
So, lets just cut to the chase. Watching RWBY has been entertaining, with some of Oum’s signature intricately choreographed fight sequences, and for me it has all been about the seeing Poser in action for a relatively high profile project. Oum’s work with Poser is inspiring, and his message of working with the tools you know and have at hand (not worrying about the tools and wiz-bang you want or think you should have) is refreshing.
RWBY is now part of Poser history. It is a rallying call to all of us that use inexpensive “hobbyist” software. The success of Rooster Teeth Productions should be equally inspiring – a production house that has its roots in no/low budget, but innovative Machinima. It really is a whole new world here on the internet. If you’re smart and you are driven you can accomplish anything with virtually whatever comes to hand.
I am looking forward to getting a copy of the RWBY DVD, watching all the episodes back to back without the distraction of ads. Most of all, I’m looking forward to Oum’s commentary. You can watch all the episodes for free at Rooster Teeth’s website and on their YouTube channel.
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