X-Story is an animated short (roughly 12 minutes) by Vitaliy Shushko.
At first, I thought this was a promo or incorporated animation for a game from a major company. Given the production values, length and level of accomplishment, I was surprised to find that this was an independent animation project.
I checked Shushko’s blog and found this described as his first animated short, and that it was two years in the making.
For an indy project like this, even though he had assistance (please see the Vimeo link for credits), I’m not surprised it took that long.
The story (which can be slightly gruesome in places) is not the point of this for me; it’s the level of storytelling, production, design and realization.
I’ve seen indy animation projects at a high level before, but they’re usually much shorter.
This is done in an anime-influenced style (particularly with reference to Otomo’s classic Akira), but it doesn’t succumb to the stylistic excesses that sometimes plague that genre. The design feels fresh and direct.
I hope somebody throws lots of money at Shushko, so he can keep producing animations like this.
View the video at full screen; my small screen captures don’t do the visuals justice.