Read all about the Making of Star Fox Zero: The Battle Begins
Hello everyone! We hope you got to watch the recent animated short, Star Fox Zero: The Battle Begins! This short was created as a collaboration between Production I.G. (who've been involved with a number of popular anime works such as Attack on Titan), WIT STUDIO, and Nintendo’s own Star Fox development team.
In this article, we'll explain how this short was created and how we brought the Star Fox team to life, led by Fox McCloud, as they move and fight, both inside and outside the cockpit.
3D CG animation
When you think of animation, you probably imagine a series of images drawn one by one which are then shown in sequence to create the image of movement. In this short though, Fox and the other main characters were animated using 3D CG (which stands for Computer Graphics) models to make their movements look more realistic.
The base models of Fox McCloud, Falco Lombardi, Peppy Hare and Slippy Toad.
These were the original models we used, and, you can see they have a very 3D CG feel to them! We made some modifications to these models, like changing the surface textures and lighting, so that they fit in nicely with the 2D environments even though they're actually 3D models.
The Star Fox crew as they appear in Star Fox Zero: The Battle Begins.
Here’s what they looked like after the adjustments. We hope that you will agree they have more of an anime look to them now. We also made similar adjustments to the CG models for the vehicles, like the Arwings and Great Fox, to give them the same kind of anime look as the characters.
The Arwing as it appears in the Star Fox Zero: The Battle Begins.
The great thing about using CG models for the vehicles was that we are able to move them and the camera around freely in a 3D space. This is how we were able to shoot the gripping air-battle scene between the Arwings and enemy ships.
A sneak peek at things that don’t appear in the game…
This short also depicts the everyday lives of Fox and his team as they relax on the Great Fox, the Star Fox team’s mothership. In Star Fox Zero you never get to see inside the Great Fox, which is why we added the living space in for this short.
Concept art for the bridge
The bridge as it appears in Star Fox Zero: The Battle Begins.
We also added a number of small details for a richer depiction of the characters. You can see an example of this with Peppy – the oldest member of the Star Fox crew – and his treasured good luck charm.
Concept art for the good luck charm made from General Pepper Fur.
Released in six languages
Star Fox Zero: The Battle Begins is available in six languages (English, French, Italian, German, Spanish and Japanese) so it can be enjoyed by fans across the world. The script was first written in Japanese, and then translated based on the characters’ personalities by the same localisation teams who worked on the game.
You can see the animation in six different languages below. It’s really interesting to see Fox and his team talking in so many different languages!
Star Fox Zero: The Battle Begins
Star Fox Zero: Der Kampf beginnt
Star Fox Zero : Le combat commence
Star Fox Zero: La battaglia ha inizio
Star Fox Zero: Comienza el combate
Star Fox Zero: The Battle Begins (Japanese version)
Tie in with the first stage of the game
Star Fox Zero: The Battle Begins was made to commemorate the launch of Star Fox Zero for Wii U. The story ties in with the battle on Corneria, the first stage of the game, so those of you who watch the short can enjoy the game even more. The battle with the enemy battle ship, Androsa, towards the end of the short should also serve as a guide for the battle in the game too. We hope those of you who haven’t yet watched it will!
Prepare yourself for take-off and learn more about Star Fox Zero at our official Star Fox Zero website.