Tankforce Action Heroes

Fully animated short

About this project

I animated this for the second round of the Newgrounds Summer animation Jams in 2021. The Tankforce Action Heroes are a fictional line of toys based on popular Newgrounds character Tankman.


After making Feel the Burn, I was really excited to animate more. I quickly became much more ambitious, and this is the result of that ambition.

The theme of this jam was "Saturday morning Newgrounds." The idea was that everyone could make short old school cartoon stuff based on common Newgrounds characters and such. At the end, these could be stitched together for an awesome look into a world where Newgrounds stuff aired on tv. The idea was really cool, so I knew I had to do something really cool as well.

My first idea was very strange and I don't have the time to try to explain it right now, but my second idea was a He-Man/Power Rangers inspired take on Tankman. I knew instantly that other people would do the "awesome Tankman show," so I had the idea to explore the more capitalistic angle of cartoons. Hence the Power Rangers inspiration. I was going to make a toy commercial for a Tankman show, rather than try to make that show itself. Of course, I had to include a clip of said show in order to establish context, so I was going to do a bit of 2d animation on top of 3d animation for this entry. I was also going to need a small voice cast to really sell the effect. Already, this became the biggest animated project I had ever worked on.

orginal tankforce sketch
Orginal Tankforce concept drawings

I had to come up with cartoon character designs that fit the He-Man esk style while also being easy for me to make toy models for. I ended up going with the simpler color scheme because it gave a nice older feeling to the whole thing.

work schedule that spans one week
Project schedule from 7/12/21

My schedule kept me sane. I even included a weekend break, although I ended up working through those spare days to stay on schedule. Buffer days are a good idea I guess. First objective was to make the main toy model, and I did a good portion of this live on my Twitch channel. The rig has constraints that prevent it from moving in a physically impossible way.

a comparison of the model and its rig
Tankman toy model and rig

I had just recently purchased an rtx 3060 graphics card for my computer, so rendering 3d stuff was much easier for me. This was being rendered in Blender Cycles and I was able to make use of Optix to have a realtime rendered view. It was awesome.

a sketch demo-ing the idea of a combined mech made up of smaller toys
Mighty Mega Tank concept sketch

I wish I remembered how I went about making the logo, but I am writing this about 2 years after the fact. I know that it was made in Inkscape, but I can't really determine the design process or timeline based on the files I was able to find. All I know is that it was heavily inspired by a Power Rangers logo.

several logos reading tankforce
Tankforce logo process?

The project as a whole is mostly contained in one Blend file. The one camera would teleport around different sets to capture the final video.

several isolated sets in blender
A large view of the project file

The isolated model and final shot sets just feature a flat surface, so they aren't very interesting to look at. The main set is cool though.

main tankforce set
The main tankforce set

I'm very happy with how the enviornment turned out considering how fast I was making all of this. The 19th ended up being a very productive day overall. I finished all of the modeling, made music, mixed voices, and put together an animated storyboard.

Original storyboard

The voice cast was easy to put together thanks to Newgrounds. I just made a post describing the sort of voice I needed and some people reached out. I also personally reached out to someone who I thought would be a good choice. I ended up switching someones voice rolls at some point, but everything worked out. Shout-outs to PaleFreak, Gray, and MegapiemanPHD for being an awesome voice cast. This video would have been nothing without them.

The 2d animation was done in Krita, and there isn't much to say about it. The animated action line backgrounds were made in Blender, but the rest was just drawn. I made the music in LLMS.

For the final comp, I rendered at 480p and then put it through a vhs filter. The effect turned out really nice. I finished the animation and it was very well received. Overall happy with this project, although there are some small animation errors I wish I could have fixed.

Related Links

Voice Cast Credits:

 Tankman Characters - PaleFreak

 Commercial Child - Gray

 Commercial Narrator - MegapiemanPHD

Places to watch the animated short:

YouTube Version

Newgrounds Version