I’ve always wanted to do a Street Fighter piece. As a kid I would stare at the magic that was World Warrior when it first started appearing in my life. Its sound effects echoing through a space would become a staple ingredient to any legit arcade experience. SF2 will always hold that nostalgia, but today I spend more time staring at Alpha and 3rd Strike for their evolution into beautiful pixel art and top tier character designs. 3rd Strike also comes with a considered deep dive into a special realm of music too.
And this is all from a filthy casual perspective. Just like my interest in Mortal Kombat, I’ve never been much of a successful fighting game player, but have always had admiration for the art, concepts, energy, and characters the games bring.
The original SF6 tease was the final piece of the inspiration puzzle to get me moving. It also felt like the perfect time, it being the 35th anniversary.
This film has many inspirations and thoughts go into it which I thought someone (anyone?!) might find interesting. I at least want to shoutout the other artists and art that have inspired me in the making of it.

The Catalyst | The SF6 Reveal Tease
Ryu looked buff AF. He had a specific look to him. An art direction! The hyper real render look combined with paint/brushwork was a bullseye for me. It not only showed a strong and deliberate direction, but it played to my animation strengths too. I love experimenting with brushwork and paint feel. It can give subjects a weighty, timeless and important feel.
My original plan was to get something made before any more SF6 was revealed. To expand on these flavours best I could. That of course  didn’t happen as my idea and workload grew, and we were spoilt for reveal content in the following months which was amazing.
Early test shots
Themes | Fight Your Rival….within!
Everyone has their demons. Ryu also has literal demons! For me he is a symbol of determination, of pushing through, conquering enemies both internal and external.
The concept of SF characters having rivals and specifically “Fight Your Rival” was always fun, and so I thought this was an interesting spin on this. Whether it's in the game, in life, or Ryu’s story, we can be our own most intense rival.
Not many of us need to deal with the Satsu no Hado, but common internal demons for me can be self doubt, imposter syndrome, holding myself back. Several times throughout making this, I wanted to give up or thought it wasn’t worth finishing. That this project and myself, were not good enough.
The idea of “the fight within” is visualised throughout the film with the constant transition technique of having scenes zoom within each other. Each action becomes a portal to the next.

Ryu’s mentality | Training, repetition, iteration, improvement
The base structure of the piece was to highlight Ryu’s previous battles [both internal and external] and moving forward to the next part of his adventure. Inner battles were visualised by the multiple negative Ryus creeping in.
Through intense training and work Ryu overcomes his challenges. The use of repetitions in this piece , and also diagram-like breakdowns of moves, was to visualise those ideas of bettering yourself. Training, practise, iteration.
Artists that really inspired me here in these ideas of repetition and iteration included:
• the master of fighter art Gian Galang
• the complex multiforms of Aaron Li-Hill
• the photography of scientist Harold Eugene Edgerton

Narration & Script
Ryu’s mentality is so strong and focused throughout the games that I was able to build a VO script that aligned with all his plethora of intro/win quotes to motivate and compliment all these ideas. Big thanks to for making this so straight forward to research.
"The eyes of a warrior never stray from the spectacle of battle."  3rd Strike
"Sometimes the most important battle, is the battle within..."  Alpha 3
"Every moment gives us a chance to become more than what we are."  3rd Strike
"Don't fight for victory. Fight to improve yourself. Victory will come."  SF2 Turbo HD Remix
To have the massive talent that is Vo Williams perform the V/O elements was a dream fit. His music and energy also embodies the same strive for excellence, and battle ready focus as Ryu.
Finally another super important, frequent collaborator WhiteOwlSound to make sure the audio was mixed and mastered to perfection was key in making the whole piece punch as hard as possible.

Iconic art callouts
When doing a Street Fighter piece I couldn’t not pay homage to some of the immense library of iconic art. Masters over the years have figured out how to present characters in the most hype and epic compositions and poses. This piece couldn’t have happened without inspiration from the following artists:
Iconic Alpha shots - Japanese artist Tatsuya Nakae (Dai-Chan, Daichan)
 [I can’t find any socials or websites for this artist, please share if you know of any]
The general pose and composition work of Alvin Lee is always a massive inspiration.
Final Fantasy and Gran Blue artist Hideo Minaba.
There is also a homage here to another IP, also using same name. Curious to see if anyone can recognise it.

The music | A call back to Third StrikE
Thirds Strike OST, best OST. The authentic 90s mixture of breakbeats and hip-hop has become iconic. These flavours of 90s music happen to also be favourites of mine, so I had to lean into this realm also.
I wanted to feature some breakbeat flavour, mixed with some classic 90s hip-hop sample based production, complete with sampled vocal cuts.

The Software
For those interested, my tools of the trade are Cinema 4D and After Effects. FL Studio for composing music.
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