The Story

Master Pai, a noble man knowledgeable, highly skilled, and devoted to traditional Japanese martial arts, is travelling a long journey by foot to visit his younger brother, Lai. But when he arrives at Lai's place, unexpectedly, he is shocked by the new direction Lai has taken.

The Animation

The Storyboard

It is daytime. Pai is walking towards the village of Kanagawa with his travel bag to see his beloved brother, Lai.

It is getting late. Pai is still walking and very tired.

Pai is exhausted, and can walk no longer. He trips and falls down.

Pai looks up to see the sign to Kanagawa, 76 KM remaining.

He decides to camp by the side of the road for the night. He is looking at a picture of Lai.

It is morning. Pai wakes up, and in keeping up with tradition, does his morning uplifting meditation.

Finally Pai arrives at his brother's place. He knocks and the door opens.

Lai is inside, dancing to hip hop being played on his Sony boombox.

Out of shock over his brother's new hobby, Pai approaches him and starts choking him!

The Making of

The animation was done by forward kinematics in Maya. The skinning weights were adjusted in detail, and this was perhaps the most tedious part of the process.

One particular challenge was that the weights of a joint for a set of vertices is the same across all degrees of freedom of the joint. Consider the movements of the wrist. For the pitch and yaw, the wrist joint should be skinned only to the vertices from the wrist to the fingertips. However, for the roll movement, regions up to the elbow are affected in addition to the hand. Because the wrist joint could not have different weight responsibility for its different degrees of freedom, the roll movement was accounted for by adding a second wrist joint. Similarly, the upper leg was animated by two joints. One joint was responsible for the movement of the walk, with weights specified only for the legs, while another joint was responsible for the movement of the side kick, where regions of the lower hip are also affected. The "side kick" is used in the scene where Pai wakes up in the morning and is performing his ritual morning excercise, he raises both legs up to the side, and balances himself against gravity.

Once the skeletal system and the skinning weights were established, a character rig was created. Locators were used to control the movement of the joints using set driven key animation. A snapshot of the rig follows.

Finally, Premiere was used for the editing.