Production Update 104

I hope everyone had a great extended weekend! I enjoyed some time in the garden and visited some family to relax as a very busy month is just around the corner. I wrapped up the 4th and final pin up for my artist alley table at Anime Fargo at the end of September. I am aiming to get them dropped off at the printer for a test print this week. Just need to run the text on the posters by an editor/writing friend for some feedback before taking them in. I am very excited to see them in the final form :) The purpose of running a test print/run is to make sure the colors all look good and there aren’t areas that are too dark or too light, etc.

While those are at the printer, I am going to be working on getting my presentations into Keynote, a program similar to Powerpoint. I have to do a few updates to one of the presentations and the other one needs an overhaul.

So what else needs to get done in September? Well, I also need to get back on my 3D tutorials, I have been slacking on that front this past couple weeks. I also did some preserving of some fruit since winter is around the corner and it really got me thinking about doing a presentation at some point at a con about dieting and nutrition. I am not an expert on the topic at all, but it is something I enjoy learning about and trying to eat and live a healthier lifestyle. Would maybe need to partner with someone on that topic. I also have animation group this week and we are talking about expressions. I enjoy learning about those and seeing ways that those can help in my workflow as well. I also have a few freelance projects coming in so I can get the Cosmic Rage balance built up again for future needs and maybe a vacation ;)

Christmas in the Summer

I thought about saving this topic for the Production Update, but I decided to do a post on it since I haven’t seen or read anything recently to review. So I guess that worked out well! I have made it known that I have been doing some freelance work here and there to pick up some extra money to fund the entire project. Maybe episode two will be produced a different way, but as of now it is what needs to be done to keep the ball rolling.

Anyways, I have spent some of the funds on some upgrades and I thought I would share some of that with all of you. First off, since I have been working on my 3D modeling skills, I upgraded my 3D software, Cinema 4D, since it has new modeling tools that I want to learn. That was the majority of the cost, 3D software is not cheap :/

I also purchased a sound library since good animation can quickly be ruined by poor audio  sound effects and quality. The sound effects will be plugged in by the audio artist I have been working with.

To top it all off, I got a new plug-in for Adobe After Effects that will help create some great distortions and also a couple 3D models for some of the next scenes I will be working on after I wrap up the pin-ups for Anime Fargo.

I even ordered a few obscure anime titles… so obscure it paid more to ship them than the actual movies cost. That is US shipping too, nothing international. You will have to stayed connected to find out what titles those are. ;)

Production Update 103

Last week was a little bit of a whirlwind. I planned on putting in some late nights for an art competition, but decided to back out of it. I would have stretched my self very thin for a good chunk of time and after mulling it over a bit I decided against it. That was initially why I didn’t do the blog posts, I was going to commit that time to the project.

So with that time, what did I get accomplished? Well, I officially have 3 of my pin-ups ready to go for AnimeFargo in about a month. I have one left to complete and I intend on having that one wrapped up for next week.

I also have some exciting news, I will be hosting 3 panels at AnimeFargo! So I have done a little bit on getting some presentations ready. The run down of panels will be, a session for Q/A on storytelling and techniques. This will be predominantly an open forum for questions, answers and discussion, things to get you started or get you over the road blocks to get you started on your storytelling journey. The second panel will be on the various types and techniques of animation, just in case you want to use animation as a storytelling medium or see what types of animation is available for you to use or watch. The final panel is a look at the history of 3D CGI in Japanese anime. 3D has always been an intriguing topic in anime and the history of it has been an interesting journey to watch. The presentation will have some clips of titles and we will look at different ways CGI is used in anime.

To sum it up, you should check out AnimeFargo! As for next week, looking to wrap up the last pin-up, Jani, and work on my presentations too.

Recent Viewings: Tokyo Magnitude 8.0

Recently I have been checking out the local anime group and working on becoming a little more of an active member in the anime community and seeing if there is a way I can get involved in helping the con scene as well. It has been a couple weeks and I have met some fun people too. :)

Over the course of the last couple weeks, the club was finishing up a series called Tokyo Magnitude 8.0. I missed the first 3 episodes, but got a quick run down from the group on the story so far. It is a short series, spanning only 11 episodes.

One of the interesting facts about the show is the production life of it. Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 was being produced as a show about what would happen in case of a large scale earthquake in Japan. How would major government entities react? The show was made because based on scientific data, a large earthquake was due.

When I got into the show, a brother and sister duo had recently met an adult. The older sister Mirai, her little brother Yuuki and Mari the adult, wee journeying through the city looking for each of their families together. Checking through schools, hospitals and area checkpoints, the three work their way back to their houses to try and locate family members.

The middle of the series (about episodes 4-8) seemed to be a little repetitive and follow the same formula of Yuuki and Mirai roaming around after Mari gets distracted. Personally, I don’t think the children would be out roaming around as much after such an event, but I understand that is needed for story progression.

The ending of the series is where I found value in the show. Having said that, Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 is not a series I would own, but it is worth a watch if you have the opportunity to.

Production Update 102

Last week I set the goal of finishing up 2 pin ups. I didn’t get them completely finished but I made a great amount of progress. The hold up came on the render front. I have both of the pin ups completed, however the renders are taking a little longer than I anticipated. So I haven’t been able to composite the backgrounds with the characters and add in the finishing touches. I blame myself for not setting up one of the files to render over Saturday night, but I decided to set it up Sunday and to run some errands in the mean time. I have another set up for Sunday night so compositing this week should be wrapped up over the first part of this week.

After that, I am down to one more pin up and have a few other loose ends to get wrapped up in preparations for artist alley. More updates on the artist alley front coming soon!

Recent Viewing: Dragonball Z Battle of Gods

For a night I felt like a kid again :) It has been the first time in close to a decade where I was going to see new Dragonball Z, from FUNimation. I was super excited, the film was going to be a full length feature, meaning it would be almost twice as long as the previous 14 movies. So is the film worth your time?

I am going to do my best to avoid any major SPOILERS since it was only in select theaters. I also persuaded my girlfriend to go to the movie as well and she hasn’t seen more than the first 4 or 5 episodes of Dragonball Z. The film handled non-Dragonball Z fans pretty well, by laying out enough history so you had a basic groundwork of some of the characters and storyline.

There was several things that stuck out to me in the film. One of the things that really stuck out to me was the amount of comedy and throwback jokes that long-standing fans. Several times I was finding myself sitting in my seat with a smirk from the jokes and a few one-liners. If your a fan of Vegeta, he is in the film more so than I would have thought. From the trailers and previous Dragonball Z films, my assumption was that the film would primarily feature Goku as the main character/hero and the other characters would only have small portions. The dub version had a few curse words, which was a little surprising. The film probably had more curse words in it, than the rest of the series and films combined. Finally, the amount of CGI in the film was also surprising. It’s the way of the industry in Japan, going more into CGI or the 3D realm if you want to be specific. Several shots had some pretty heavy 3D camera work and environment work. I enjoyed it and think it could evolve pretty well with the DBZ universe. A few of the scenes were a little rough, but you can see that they skills or technical prowess is starting to develop.

On a final note, it has been announced that there will be another new film next year. I have a hunch there was a set up in this film for the future film, it is a personal belief, no spoiler or  insider info. I am curious with the reboot of Sailor Moon, if this film and next years film are testing the waters of doing more on the series or if they will stick to films. I guess only the future will tell ;)

Production Update 101

Late production update for the day, but here is. I didn’t get anything done this week, I know, I know, I said I was going to do this and that and get one of my pin ups completed. But let me explain, I had another project pop up that required me to work a couple nights and over the weekend, basically on stand by for revisions too. To this date, it was probably the most humbling project I have worked on. Considering the content (which I hope to share soon), it really was something that doesn’t get done every day. So it was kind of an honor in getting to work on such a project. I was willing to sacrifice my time on personal projects to tackle that project.

I took part of Sunday off to clean my apartment and just unwind and have a zen moment. I have been living in front of my computer for about a week and I needed a break. I got some things rearranged and organized a lot of my DVDs and Blu Rays, went full on OCD.

I also received my new and dry business cards fro VistaPrint! I will have new shiny cards to hand out to con goers this fall that stop by my table! I am really excited to share them and meet fans.

So this week, I don’t anticipate any more extra projects and have set the goal for having 2 pin ups wrapped up by the end of the weekend. Time to kick it into overdrive and play catch up!