Guardian Force and New Century

I've been watching a lot of clips on Youtube recently from the old Zoids animes. I know ultimately it was a vehicle to sell toys, but these two series in particular had some really great qualities. For one, I think they really pioneered cell-shading in CG animation. The Zoids (and some large hardware) were all computer animated, sometimes in the same frame as the hand-drawn human cast.

It's one of the first cell-shaded CG animations I can remember watching, and it looks great! Observe:

This is Zoids: Guardian Force. Yeah it's no Shakespeare, (or .. Akira?) but it's fun! And the cell shading works really well. There's a nice level of detail in the CG models and while some of the CG effects are a little ropey the actual meat and potatoes works. Most of the animation is pretty great too, bringing the Zoids to life. 

Here's another clip, this time from Zoids: New Century. It's from the final episode so spoilers I guess! Great liger vs. tyrannosaurus action.

These two Zoids strike a balance between efficient robots and feral animals. The quality of the animation was spectacular (for the most part) in these two series and they are a great inspiration to me for this project.

Unfortunately later series were a step in the wrong direction both in terms of animation quality, cell shading quality and general Zoid design. Methinks they got cheap.