SUPER DIMENSION INSPIRATION
By his own admission, Johnson never quite feels comfortable with 3D animation. “I’m an obsessive old man stuck in nostalgia, so I like my high-budget anime movies from the ’80s, and I’m really not a fan of 3D in anime,” he says. “That’s the way it’s gone now. You see a robot or a car, and it’s made in 3D.” But his short is an attempt at a 2D animated presentation of the 3D world hidden in original 2D form. So while his creation is rich in hand-drawn craft, it’s draped over a 3D frame, used as a reference point to keep perspective. It’s a technique partly inspired by the 1984 movie of Super Dimension Fortress Macross, where the team used cigarette packets and boxes to build a 3D model, before photographing it and drawing in 2D over the junk modelling rig.
Clearly the project wouldn’t feel authentically R-Type if it didn’t feature one of ’80s-era gaming’s most iconic bosses, the Giger-flavoured Dobkeratops, from the culmination of the game’s opening level. This sequence, also inspired by level one, demonstrates how Johnson has fleshed out the original game’s 2D backdrops