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It's been several months since the Fall of Beacon, and the world of Remnant is still recovering. Tensions are high, lives have been lost, and the members of Team RWBY... are divided. Each of our heroines now faces a journey of their own.

Volume 4 is the fourth season of RWBY. It premiered on October 22nd, 2016 on the Rooster Teeth website. It featured 12 episodes. It was preceded by Volume 3 and followed by Volume 5.

Volume 4 followed a similar release schedule to Volume 3, being released on Saturday for Rooster Teeth FIRST members followed by the release for registered users on Sunday, 24 hours later. It was then released to the public and uploaded to YouTube the week following the FIRST members' release.

The Volume 4 premiere was preceded by the first season of RWBY Chibi and the "Volume 4 Character Short". The character short featured an original story and animation, which were not cut from the upcoming volume, making it the first non-editorial trailer since the four character trailers for Volume 1. The character short also served as the Volume's main trailer.

Volume 4 was released on DVD and Blu-ray on June 6th, 2017. This release featured a "Complete" movie version of the volume. This "Complete" version would be released to the Rooster Teeth website and YouTube in parts starting on October 14th, 2019.

Overview

After the Fall of Beacon everybody is separated to different parts of the world and dealing with their own problems. Ruby, Jaune, Ren and Nora decided to go to Mistral, unknowingly followed by Qrow. Weiss is taken to Atlas and forced to deal with her father and brother while dealing with the Schnee Dust Company. Sun accompanies Blake as she goes home to Menagerie and Yang deals with her loss of her arm and her defeat with Adam Taurus at her home on Patch with her dad. Meanwhile Cinder heals her wounds with her master.

During the course of the Volume, the concept of the Relics, The Gods and the origins of the creatures of Grimm are introduced. While this is all happening, a young Mistral farmer named Oscar Pine begins to hear the voice of the deceased Professor Ozpin in his head. During the trip to Mistral, Ren and Nora are forced to confront their past demons.

Characters

Major Characters

Other Characters

Minor Characters

Episodes

Main article: Episodes
Chapter Episode Title Original Air Date Run Time External Link
RC5 "RWBY Volume 4 Complete - Part 1" June 6th, 2017 1:31:56 Rt-favicon.png Volume 4 - Part 1
RC6 "RWBY Volume 4 Complete - Part 2" June 6th, 2017 1:43:06 Rt-favicon.png Volume 4 - part 2
"Volume 4 Character Short" October 3rd, 2016 5:10 Rt-favicon.png Character Short
1 "The Next Step" October 22nd, 2016 19:51 Rt-favicon.png The Next Step
2 "Remembrance" October 29th, 2016 14:20 Rt-favicon.png Remembrance
3 "Of Runaways and Stowaways" November 5th, 2016 18:17 Rt-favicon.png Of Runaways and Stowaways
4 "Family" November 19th, 2016 16:29 Rt-favicon.png Family
5 "Menagerie" December 3rd, 2016 12:38 Rt-favicon.png Menagerie
6 "Tipping Point" December 10th, 2016 16:23 Rt-favicon.png Tipping Point
7 "Punished" December 24th, 2016 16:44 Rt-favicon.png Punished
8 "A Much Needed Talk" December 31st, 2016 20:38 Rt-favicon.png A Much Needed Talk
9 "Two Steps Forward, Two Steps Back" January 7th, 2017 15:25 Rt-favicon.png Two Steps Forward, Two Steps Back
10 "Kuroyuri" January 21st, 2017 18:54 Rt-favicon.png Kuroyuri
11 "Taking Control" January 28th, 2017 15:37 Rt-favicon.png Taking Control
12 "No Safe Haven" February 4th, 2017 27:03 Rt-favicon.png No Safe Haven

Development

Main article: RWBY Development

Volume 4 was announced by Gray G. Haddock on April 1st, 2016, the 13th anniversary of Rooster Teeth's founding. At RTX 2016, the release date was announced as October 22nd, 2016.[1] The shot list and initial storyboarding for the first episode were underway by May 2016.[2] Voice acting recording sessions for key characters also began by May to June 2016.[3][4][5]

Volume 4 was animated in Autodesk Maya, unlike previous volumes of RWBY, which were animated in Smith Micro's Poser. Kerry Shawcross cites scalability as one of the advantages of the switch, expanding the number of people capable of working on the team. The new software also made real-time lighting, shadows and other effects feasible.[6]

In addition, they also began using the PSOFT Pencil+ 4 for Maya plugin which they had been wanting to use for years to help with the look and style of the show. Initially, they tried to emulate it using the Maya software in the Volume 4 Character Short, but realized it would be much easier for the technical crew of they just used the original tool so they changed it midway through production.[7]

In addition to the improvements in animation, the visual style of the show was also overhauled, with all character models remade and many of the Grimm redesigned by Erin Winn and remodeled. Concept artist Eileen Chang, who worked on the original concepts for the 4 main characters, was also brought back to create their new time skip outfits and designs.[6]

When remodeling all of the characters for Autodesk Maya, they were mostly kept the same in terms of their faces and hair. Yang was the only one who had a significant change done to her hair and originally Ruby's hair was changed in a way so the lighting would look better and it could move better, but it didn't feel right and the change for Ruby was reverted.[8]

The production team had a rough start for the Volume due to the new production pipeline, which continued for several episodes.[9] Regarding Oscar Pine and his story this Volume, Miles Luna and Kerry Shawcross had more rewrites with him than anything else in RWBY at that point while trying to figure out the right way to present it. At one point, Oscar's first major scene was meant to be in chapter 7 instead of chapter 4.[10] During development, the original plan with Ozpin was to not reveal that he had anything to do with Oscar Pine until the very end of the Volume.[11]

The episode "Punished" was the first time proper reflections were used in any Rooster Teeth production. Before this, they would simply fake it.[12]

Miles Luna stated that the whole campfire scene in the episode "A Much Needed Talk" was probably one of the most difficult things to write in the Volume due to his much they needed to cover. According to Kerry Shawcross, more people worked on this scene than any other in the Volume.[13]

Miles Luna wrote the majority of Blake's scenes in the Volume. When Blake is slapping Sun in "A Much Needed Talk", Miles only intended it to be softer slaps on the shoulder, so he was quite surprised by the end result.[14]

When it came to writing RWBY with multiple storylines happening at the same time, Miles Luna stated it was a "scary experiment", but is happy overall with how it turned out.[15]

Trivia

  • Miles Luna stated that the Apathy Grimm were originally meant to first appear during the events of Volume 4 as one of the Grimm species encountered by Team RNJR during their journey to Mistral.

References

  1. Rooster Teeth's Twitter
  2. Gray G. Haddock's Twitter
  3. Miles Luna's Twitter
  4. Kara Eberle's Twitter
  5. Arryn Zech's Twitter
  6. 6.0 6.1 RTX 2016 RWBY Panel (Saturday)
  7. Volume 4 Directors' Commentary Chapter 3
  8. Volume 4 Directors' Commentary Chapter 9
  9. Volume 4 Directors' Commentary Chapter 1
  10. Volume 4 Directors' Commentary Chapter 1
  11. Volume 4 Directors' Commentary Chapter 7
  12. Volume 4 Directors' Commentary Chapter 7
  13. Volume 4 Directors' Commentary Chapter 8
  14. Volume 4 Directors' Commentary Chapter 8
  15. Volume 4 Directors' Commentary Chapter 3
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