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Applicable philosophyIíd often claim that part of my success as an artist is in part being an unrequited engineer. I spent much of my childhood assembling things. Being born in poverty, when most infants/toddlers had toys/blocks, etc. as children, my first toys were quite literally the rocks in my backyard. I then moved on to disassembling my various household electronics & car parts. Much of my formative years I spent huddled on the floor over bits and pieces of things my father and I would scrounge up at the garbage dump. The day my older sisters got jobs at McDonalds I thought we were set for life. Free happy meal toys and hamburgers forever. Even eventually as our family established itself, I still dismantled everything to figure out how it worked. Legoís, Transformers, you name it. Nothing was immune to my screwdrivers and pliers. Years forward as family members chart off to their lives. Left alone you learn the habits youíve developed are your arsenal.

This all before I ever knew what a computer was, and yet the moment I found out art was possible digitally was fated in me. The prospect of virtual development to me meant limitless possibilities and iterations of work. Staying late at the elementary prep school I perchance was enrolled in, and worked as a janitor to pay tuition. (Yes I was a 12 year old janitor.) I logged as much Macpaint time as I could. Even then when painting per say a car in Macpaint, with no layers, Iíd layer it as if I were building it. Frame, chassis, pistons, axles, engine, fuselage, eventually exteriorÖ with 2 colors. When a day came that the old Mac IIís were being thrown out. I waited behind the school and fished out of the dumpster my first computer. Dad taught me well.

This is why I lol whenever people ask me about my process. Because almost always this all too often question starts at such a high level, ďWhat program do you use to make you movies?Ē This is a question I hardly answer because any short answer I were to give would just be bad advice. And not to mention btw my process is far from any good at all. It's filled with legacy workarounds and the kind of backwards thinking that only seems to work for me. If I were to somehow implant all of my ability and experience into someone else, and give you every application necessary to recreate what I do. It will never recreate who I am. And thatís what youíre seeing whenever you watch what I put on screen. To be able to engineer a working product from a finite level is part of my workflow. So when I hear people argue about which program/workflow they should choose. Keep in mind; less talented people (myself included) have made more with less, which people have become more invested in. Red Vs Blue is a prime example of that. Aspiring animators, donít get caught up in making a Tech Demo when you should be making a movie.

The finite nature of how I process information extends into everything I work on including RvB. Thereís a comparative nature thatís very prominent in RvB Season 9 (and a little bit in Season 8) of the combat philosophy of particular characters. Having already established Tex as much of a Boxer/Brawler character in Season 8, I knew that Season 9ís agent Carolina would be a counter to her. So in planning agent Carolinaís fighting style I decided her movements to be the more romantic version of combat. Texís moves are rooted more in practical/realistic in application; Carolina on the other hand is a character of philosophy/enlightenment. For every one punch Tex throws Carolina throws 3. But Tex only needs one punch. But Carolinaís fighting lives in a world of possibility, possibility of misses, counters, dodges. But Tex lives in a world where her punches donít miss. Itís this conflict in philosophy that I feel adds detail and meaning to the combat. Essentially I root the differences in their character much as there are the differences in soft and hard martial arts. The strength in Texís punches come mainly from her biceps and chest muscles, Carolina from her Triceps and back muscles. If you observe the direction in which their punches fire. Tex's almost always come from around or below, her posture often has he forearms heavily curled and tense... and are nigh unstoppable. Where as Carolina's originate from her core and come in rapid succession, are compact, less perceptible and more open to change. This is there in the performance if you watch RvB Season 9 with this in mind. Thereís something living breathing in every character one way or another for me. At times Iíve described it to Burnie as:

If Freelancers were cars:

Tex, Ford Mustang, muscle car. But not without style
Carolina is a GT, Also powerful, but with more finesse
York is a good olí pickup truck.
South is a Flashy sports car. Sheís often wasteful and even vain in her movement
North is a Tow Truck. Nyuk Nyuk
Maine is an 18 wheeler.

That being said, I feel in many ways I failed as a combat designer. Not so much in belief, but execution. The nature of my work eventually delineates to the same thing. And I am forced to question, what does it mean for a sequence to have meaning? Does the number of motions spent equal value? I think I may be a little too much Carolina and not enough Tex. Itís times like these when one should begin to think laterally. Itís almost all too appropriate the nature of combat be at question just as we left our Heroine last year at a similar impasse.

Edit: When I think of Wash he's actually much harder to apply. I find myself thinking more of his tactical nature. How he's always got a plan. For example, Season 8. Ice fight, when he was fighting beside Meta against Tex. He does a flying knee into a combo that ends with Tex Putting him on the floor. But did you notice that in the process he actually snatched Tex's holstered battle rifle from her and later used it against her? Wash requires an extra level of thought and appreciation due to his history.

Edit Edit:
Ok this is way better
Alkalye - "Wash is a Volvo. Not often paid attention to... but intelligent and multifaceted.
Wyoming is a Delorean. Because he is a fucking time machine.
"
2 years ago  |  Comments (154)  |  + 493 Cool
154 COMMENTS Sort by Likes · Date
Ianoct21
Beautiful way of putting it and wonderful way of designing the combat styles for the two "head" Freelancers, completing the foil between Tex and Carolina.

- Carolina's goal to be the best and be on top, while Tex is there without trying.
- Tex's flawlessness in combat vs the flaw prone Carolina. Tex sees how to attack and just does in one movement, while Carolina flies around the screen.
- But the one I found probably very interesting, oddly, is the fact that you guys chose Kate for the model where it reflects Luke McKay's drawing of human Tex

Our class here is using Maya and we're texturing our first model, well officially for class. I'm workin' day and mostly night to try and get modeling down. I know for sure especially after years of baseball, that it isn't the tool that makes the player it's the player and their techniques that makes them who they are and how strong they are.
#31  Posted 2 years ago
LoganMine
Monty you're the most amazing artist i have ever seen, having seen your animations prior to joining roosterteeth and having watched rvb, i believe that your joining roosterteeth was the most amazing marriage of two things i love. Hope to see you at pax east again. keep up the incredible work
#32  Posted 2 years ago
Alkalined
Monty that is one hell of a story. I'm currently a low paid line cook at some hash shack struggling with bills and payments living from pay cheque to pay cheque. And my dream is to be a history prof. A carrier that will take years of expensive education and its when I hear a story like that and I can't help but feel inspired. Thank you.
#33  Posted 2 years ago
mgs4life Sponsor
That was a really good tidbit of insight into your thought process and how you approach things. I've read many people talking about how whether its in a movie action scene, or a video game, the best of scenes come from the ones that have character and emotion in every frame. Lots of HK films do this, some more than others. Back in the 70s and 80s, it was a bit more about style differentiation. Now its more about the personality of the individual in the fight. This is definitely apparent in RvB season 9. Thanks for the kernel of knowledge, Mr. Oum.
#34  Posted 2 years ago
Church00001
Failed as a combat designer? What are you talking about?!?!?! We all love your work, we all thought the combat scenes were awesome! I would say you're being to hard on yourself, but I am unable to see your failure in the first place.
#35  Posted 2 years ago
kyubifire
That awkward moment when the positive mods don't come close to describe what I felt as I read the post...
#36  Posted 2 years ago  |  + 1 Ditto
larissa cat lady
Monty, it's things like this that make me truly respect you as a creator. This is what makes your work truly inspiring.
#37  Posted 2 years ago
janevalenz bikebrarian
There really should be an "+2 awesome" mod designated solely for Monty's posts. Also, my friends and I talk about the differences between Tex's (brawler) and Carolina's (balletic/acrobatic) styles of fighting. You've done amazing work so far and we look forward to seeing more in the future.
#38  Posted 2 years ago
lonestarlite Esquire
I like reading about the fighting styles. Your thoughts behind them are very interesting. And I liked the car analogy. I might categorize main more as a bull dozer, but yeah 18 wheeler works.

I took american tae kwon do when I was younger. I wrestled for a few years( collegiate style) and as I've gotten older (and bigger) I've incorporated a lot more just brawler. I think about the philosophy of the fighting styles a lot. Each haver their own personality. I'm glad you gave us this glimpse into your thought process, and I'll be watching the action sequences with a new perspective now.

Cheers Monty!

See you at RTX!
#39  Posted 2 years ago
hurah
i think caboose would be a unicycle
#40  Posted 2 years ago  |  + 30 Funny
Chiron723 Sponsor
No a unicycle works. A vehicle that is too impractical to use, anyone riding it will probably fall on their face, but if someone makes it work they are in awe.
#6  Posted 2 years ago
Kai112086 Cyber Kai
Actually Chiron, a unicycle fits. Since Caboose is really only good at being a team-killing fucktard, when Church told him to "help" South get away in Reconstruction, he helps her with a hail of bullets. It worked and I was in awe. :P
#7  Posted 2 years ago
Tropes MadeUpWorlds
Skipping over the first bit for now (it's been a long day), when I write characters, I make a point of having their reactions and styles of combat be a major informant to their true character. So I really think that your dividing up each Freelancer in that manner is smart and sound.
#41  Posted 2 years ago
JackisWINNIN Sponsor
Man that's a compelling story.
#42  Posted 2 years ago
caitlyn7679
I really enjoyed reading this. You have by no standards failed we here at the RT community love you and appreciate all you do!!!
#43  Posted 2 years ago
Tinygamerluv Sponsor
Listen Monty, you have succeeded greatly when it comes to your work. I personally admire you as an aspiring 3D artist and I see the time and dedication you put into your work. It was funny because I noticed everything about the Freelancer's fighting styles as you described them and that, if anything else, is what impressed me the most. Anyways your doing a great job man and we all love you!
#44  Posted 2 years ago
darkcalling
Damn... thank you so much for sharing this. As beautiful as your work was before, now I feel like I'm seeing a whole new level.
#45  Posted 2 years ago
peej216 SQSpectre14
Sometimes the best way to get things is to look out at what others are throwing away. After all that is how i got my first tv and a new looking table and chairs set. I could have paid a but load of money for them but nope i went up to the house and asked why they had them on the curb next to their trash can .

Along with what you said about taking things apart; I did it too. My parents would always seem to find me when i had things half apart or all the way apart. At that point they would yell at me and berate me for taking things apart. My father would take whatever it was away and attempt to put it back together. It seemed most the time he couldn't and he would end up giving it back to me to put back together. sooner or later i would have it put back together in working order. It started off with the few toys me and my sister had and then after a while it turned in to kitchen appliances.I took my time taking them apart so i could learn how each worked and i even cleaned grime and other such grossness that sometimes lurked in to whatever it was. I learned alot on just how basic patterns of machinery worked. I also learned more then once to make sure its unplugged
From doing all that i personally believe that has helped me be able to visual look at something and figure out how to make it better. This skill has immensely helped the times I've helped people remodel homes just by offering ideas on how to efficiently use the space they have. Along with that its helped me to be able to figure out how to pack a truck(or car) to them brim with anything and also with being efficient with living in a small army barracks room for the past 3 years.

whats my point I'm trying to convey with this insanely long comment ? Mainly its that i concur with Mr. Oum but for the people that need to have it pointed directly out to them 1.) its amazing what people throw away. So make use of it 2.) take what you have learned in the past and apply(or compare) it to what you have at hand even if they don't seem to relate first. IE with Mr.Oum its the freelancers and cars or like me with kitchen appliances and remodeling.

I guess at this point I'm just ranting on to a pointless length but i do have one last thing to say ... everyone is their own worst critic because we know every flaw and can even find something from nothing So listen to what others tell you. The way i see it Mr. Oum, your just taking pride in your work and you want it to be the best and that pride its rightfully so, Least in my opinion you have done an outstanding job with what you have done with and for RT
#46  Posted 2 years ago  |  + 2 Cool
jwheeler1991
Cool. Monty u are a story teller and not just an animator! Thats what sets you apart, because to you (and so many avid fans), all details matter! :D

PS. Its 'per se' not 'per say' :P
#47  Posted 2 years ago  |  - 2 Lame
shadowvamp Sponsor
Man, Monty, this was both such an inspiring and awesome entry to read. I love that no one person has the same approach to accomplishing the same task, and your thought processes truly do come through in everything you do. Unfortunately as an artist, no matter what your medium, there's always going to be that, "It's good, but I could do more," sort of thought, and it's a bitch to deal with.

Your combat philosophy really does come through, and the car analogy makes me grin because it really does make sense. I really do love your thoughts about Wash's the most, I have to say. I love that his is that complicated to pin down because he is such a complicated character.

I'm definitely going to be rewatching seasons 8 and 9 again with an even greater appreciation than I already have.
#48  Posted 2 years ago
ZeDitto
I wish I could Favorite this entry.
#49  Posted 2 years ago
Imnotdeadyet Sponsor
I like how he describes main as an 18 wheeler... Now for some reason I think of him as and evil Optimus Prime or the Evil truck from Knight-rider. For some reason that makes the character cooler for me, lol.

Post edited 2/26/12 8:44PM
#50  Posted 2 years ago
comik300
its pretty cool to learn some of the process of rvb, very interesting read.
#51  Posted 2 years ago  |  + 1 Ditto
PuckPoint0
I am going to be completely honest. You are one of the most badass artists I have ever seen. You take pride in your work, but also manage to contain humility examining it and view your own faults honestly. You take a serious philosophy in what you do, and you've done much to get where you are now. Bravo.
Also, you disassembled Lego's when you were a kid? That's amazing!
#52  Posted 2 years ago
jaspers04
I can't believe I never noticed Wash taking Tex's battle rifle in the ice battle... Wow, that really adds another layer to Wash, making him superior than what people might think... Beautiful work Monty, really!
#53  Posted 2 years ago
Sib888 2013Guardian
Not to mention, it adds another level to Tex's eventual loss in that fight. The blow that took her down came from her own weapon...
#1  Posted 2 years ago
jhenry4
I have watched all of Red vs. Blue innumerable times, and I have especially enjoyed the fight/martial arts episodes. I have never made the connection with different characters and their fighting techniques, but as I was reading your post, I could see the different styles as you described them. I loved the work you did, but now I will admire so much more. Thank you for sharing, you are an inspiration to all of us.
#54  Posted 2 years ago  |  + 1 Cool
mommydearest
My son wore Duplo buckets on his head...can someone tell me how that applied to his creativity..
#55  Posted 2 years ago  |  + 3 Funny
Neefertiti Wraith
Found this very insightful. Will there be more Monty Wisdom and if so, where do I sign up?
#56  Posted 2 years ago  |  + 3 Ditto
afa1234 The 535th
i loved taking apart things in my house, until i started programming and making stuff
#57  Posted 2 years ago
Cheyza NIghtDriver
It is completely natural to be your own worst critic and see every flaw. Also there is the fact that as we all grow older, we change. We learn, we adapt, we grow.
On the other hand, if it ain't broke, don't fix it! The work you have done thus far is nothing short of awesome. Whatever you choose to do, I know it is eagerly awaited, and will be warmly received.
The insight as to how you see the characters and their fighting styles gives them more depth - I'm a bit of a gear-head, so it's very easy for me to comprehend.
PS--love the correlation of Maine to an 18-wheeler.
:)
#58  Posted 2 years ago
Schraver RoosterSpeak
I enjoy hearing your thoughts on these sorts of things. Not necessairly always on work and the creative process, but how you see things though your perception. Both your simIiles and metaphysical breakdowns have always left me wanting to hear more.
#59  Posted 2 years ago
Tatsue
Wyoming is a GAZ-Volga not to easy on the eyes or ears, but never seems to die and is always persistent.
#60  Posted 2 years ago
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