Lol, yeah. Well I'm not trying to rush it or anything. I'm trying to really minimize my chances of half-assing things. I have one thing driving me to do all of this: The will and need to learn more. Without that, I'd probably not have enough motivation to do anything. I don't really understand it either, but that's what I've boiled it down to. XD
Yeah, but that was never a factor for me. I can run it, but it's just not enough to make me want to switch. I've gotten by fine all this time with 8-bit images. 32-bit don't really impress me and I'm not a fan of full screen attacks with 20-minute videos in them. XD.
I don't know what's next. I'm thinking I might try to fix up the Karakuri Dojo or Rocks stages. Karakuri Dojo has all of these "traps" in it the original game. That's going to be tough. Some of those platforms were toggle-able.
This is after color correction. The top two spaces had static gears. I've ripped them out and created an animation to replace both. The door that look slid open is going to reveal something behind it. I'm still trying to figure out what. I could use some ideas for that. But, at least the BGCtrl is working for it. :)
The front-most pillars and floor are separate from the background (not the back-most, metal layer). The pillars also have a shadow behind them to create some sort of depth. The floor is going to be reflective. The background layer is separate from the floor and has its own delta to create some more depth.
The gears I made in After Effects by using a string of capital "V's" and having them wrap around a circle. Then I filled in the extra space with some stroke and masking. Before I found that out, I was looking for some sort of native solution. Then I Google'd it and found a tutorial explaining that.
Making the gears animate even close to correctly, was the real hard part.
Your graphical skills are good though. All you gotta do is translate that to mugen.
Next up is Orochimaru's stage where you'll be able to break the candle lights that make the snake's eyes. After both are broken, the entire stage gets very dark. That and some platforms and fighting on that stage will be very interesting. :D