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CGIFan Art

Here’s What A ‘Samurai Jack’ CGI Film Could Look Like


While Genndy Tartakovsky’s hands are tied with Adam Sandler and other monstrous creatures, fans of his earlier TV creation Samurai Jack have taken it upon themselves to keep alive the show’s legacy, which due to circumstances beyond Genndy’s control, never enjoyed a proper conclusion.

This CG demo of Jack was created by Ave Espelita (aka Avemagnadude) over the course of four months. Espelita wrote on YouTube that he created all the visual assets himself using the open source CG software Blender. It’s an impressive piece for one man; now imagine what a CG studio filled with hundreds of artists could turn out.

  • EW Parris


  • Turnstyle

    Same issue we had when making the game. The model needs to be able to mold into shapes. Sony could do that. Just like everyone I would love to see a sam jack movie.

  • Victoria

    Holy $&@!# that was gorgeous!!

  • Paul M

    Nope. Like the PS2 video game, Jack’s head especially doesn’t look quite right rendered in 3D. CG would hold no drawbacks to rendering Jack’s 2D “classic” look, however. The artist got the background, framing, color palette and shapes right. I would like to see another attempt, a 2.0 version of this.

    Good to see continuing fan interest in SJ, regardless.

    • DookieMonster

      Totally agree. I absolutely love Samurai Jack, and I appreciate anyone else who spends their time in reverence of it. But while I appreciate the attempt to retain some of the painterly qualities of the show’s amazing design while attempting to translate Samurai Jack to 3D, just attempting such a feet is like plugging the New York Philharmonic into Marshall stacks – it totally misses the point.

      Plus, no Mako, no Aku, so no more Jack.

      • Paul M

        Iroh continued as a character without Mako’s voice, and though no one will likely be able to top his expression of Aku, which really was one of the all time great vocal performances in animation, I’m sure Mako would be OK with someone talented enough taking over, perhaps even with a new interpretation. This would not be without precedent, as Aku could change voice as well as appearance, and once appeared as a woman, Ikra, voiced by Jennifer Martin.

    • white vader

      It can be done though. look at the maquettes for the show! And with Genndy’s pose-based holds in the Hotel Transylvania movies there is already a path to the animation approach.

      I think this is more about appreciating a fan’s love of the character(s) than just “nope” internet snobbery anyway.

      • Paul M

        I appreciate the effort, I thought I made that clear. I see no reason to clamour for the (hopefully!) upcoming SJ movie to be rendered in 3D CGI, however. The 2D look of the original SJ cartoon was and still is unique, and a big part of what made it so special.

  • Mister Twister

    Super nice.

  • k

    It’s always bugged me that they used the papyrus font in the show — that looks not too bad!! Would prefer a 2D comeback. Well any conclusion would be good.

    • white vader

      I hate Papyrus as much as the next graphic designer (wtf James Cameron), but Sam Jack I thought has enough goofy graphicness to make it work. Maybe I’m just totally biased though. If they’d used Bottleneck I couldn’t have defended it though…

  • Alex Dudley

    Hot damn, I need to get my hands on Blender!

  • Michel Van

    A litte Masterpiece !

    sadly a Samurai Jack movie is more unlike as a Popeye movie,
    Why ?
    Tartakovsky works now for Sony
    while Samurai Jack is CN = Warner
    Even if Tartakovsky get the rights of Samurai Jack from Warner
    he must convince the Sony Management financing a CGI Movie
    of a Animation series abandon by Warner years ago

    see who Sony treated Popeye project, they killed it !

  • Doug

    Extremely gorgeous. Well done Ave !

  • white vader

    For me the best “dynamism of 3d while retaining the graphic nature of 2d” examples are that Hellboy clip that only lasts a few seconds (and from memory even has “Jack Kirby crackle/black energy”), and the very celluloid-looking cel shading in the original Zelda Wind Waker game (remake got a bit too 3d at times)…

    • Barking Bud

      By artist Rune Spaans (this was a passion project) :)

      On-topic: I agree that the overall style/BGs looked straight from the show, but the CGI didn’t quite capture the classic ‘silhouetted’ shapes.

      Overall, great fan art, though!

  • Oh my.

  • Timothy McKenzie

    No doubt about it that ever since the Samurai Jack cartoon show ended in 2004, I think making a theatrical big screen Samurai Jack feature film might prove an un-achievable goal for Genndy Tartakovsky himself and other notable Hollywood filmmakers, in my opinion.

    ((But hey! At least the continuing adventures of Samurai Jack were finally realized as a series of 20 comic books through IDW Publishing; comic books being the only hand drawn medium alive in the digital age to portray (and continue) the characters and events of Genndy Tartakovsky’s work on Samurai Jack in ways best suited to his talent and work on Samurai Jack, but that ended last month with the comic book story, Mako the Scribe!))

    Anyway, I hope that one day, in my opinion, someone else (other than Genndy himself) would be brave enough to help fulfill a dream that Genndy Tartakovsky may never attain, which is a theatrical big screen Samurai Jack feature film, and not to mention, help finally render Genndy Tartakovsky’s dreams and visions for Samurai Jack with an especially artistic brilliance that would hopefully match Genndy Tartakovsky’s imagination and/or his work on Samurai Jack.

    Sorry for going off topic here, but speaking of the Samurai Jack cartoon show itself, I, for one, fondly remembered a special Emmy Award-winning Samurai Jack two-parter from 2003 called The Birth of Evil, which concerns the origins of Samurai Jack’s nemesis Aku, the forging of Samurai Jack’s father’s magic sword, and how Jack’s father, the Japanese emperor, fights Aku and then imprisons Aku in a tree with the sword’s so called power of righteousness, all ending with The Birth of Samurai Jack himself.

    Not only is Samurai Jack The Birth of Evil Parts One and Two really one of the great masterpieces of television animation, but it’s also really one of the best things you will ever see on TV–animated or live action–in the decade before HBO’s Game of Thrones came along as a cool and epic TV show, isn’t it?

    ((The DVD commentary below on Samurai Jack The Birth of Evil Parts One and Two is provided for your enjoyment…))

  • JoshActionReplay

    Really impressive effort for one guy, but cgi really hampers the flat ukiyo-e inspired magic of the original series.

  • Luiz Felipe Matos

    He kinda looks like Lord Farquaad.

  • mechasus

    The lighting and background effects here are to die for. Even if the character animation was a little awkward, the rendering is amazing, and to think one person did this with free software! I’m definitely going to push myself even harder to learn Blender now. That UI is insanely complex.

    Even if it’s not fully in keeping with Samurai Jack’s tradition to make a proper revival of it in CGI, this alone demonstrates what software like Blender could offer to other projects.

  • Jackjajack

    Yeah, so the look is not quite the same, but I’d still put down the green to go see this as a film. I don’t want a 90-110 minute movie that looks exactly like an earlier samurai jack tv episode. I want epic story, regardless of the rendering. The sound, the feel, the timing, the really creepy monster – really engaging.