Production Update 36

Production update time! As I post this entry, the final scene is rendering. It should finish up in a day or two. Since I have been rendering out the last couple scenes, I have also been able to get drawings done as well. I know have all of the drawings for the prologue done. When I return home I will be able to get them scanned in, inked and placed into the prologue.

Sometime this week I should be able to get all of the content into a rough prologue and sent to my composer to had the music created. I will keep you all posted on the audio work and will update with pics as soon as I get to compositing.

Progress/Status:

Prologue:

Overall: 55:00  of 1:20:00
Storyboards: DONE
Drawing: 5/5
Inking/coloring/shading: 0/5
Animating/Compositing: In Work
Audio: In Work/ VO is done

Episode 1:
Storyboards: DONE
Drawing: DONE
Inking/coloring/shading: DONE
Animating/Compositing: In Work
Audio: NONE

Episode 2:
Storyboards: DONE
Drawing: 3/20pages
Inking/coloring/shading: 0/20
Animating/Compositing: NONE
Audio: NONE

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Recent Viewing: Millenium Actress

I have been reading some books on some of my favorite anime film makers lately. I just finished up a book of Mamoru Oshii of Ghost in the Shell fame (more on him to come). But I have just started a new book on one of my favorite storytellers, Satoshi Kon. You may know some of his films as; Perfect Blue, Tokyo Godfathers and the film I will be reviewing today, Millennium Actress.

Millennium Actress was created by Studio Madhouse and released in 2002, the start of the experimental 3D/CGI period of animation. I was only able to spot one shot with very limited CGI. Check out the trailer.

The story is centered around an elderly actress who is visited by a film maker and his camera man. They show up to film because the studio the actress worked for was being tore down. As the film maker and cameraman learn more about her, we are shown the story through the filmography of the actress. We also get a glimpse into some Japanese history throughout the film as well, setting the stage for a love story that must survive through the war.

First off, if you haven’t seen any of Satoshi Kon’s work, you need to push at least one of his titles to the top of your watch list, if not all of them. His films always have very interesting cuts between shots, time and the actions of the character(s). Some of the cuts will be triggered by events or objects that are important to the character. Millennium Actress has some of the same great cuts as Perfect Blue. Some of the shots are even reminiscent of Perfect Blue, you will have to see for yourself if you can spot them.

As I stated above, there is almost no CGI in this film, but the animation is great. There are some really beautiful sequences in Millennium Actress. One of my favorites is towards the start of the film when the childhood actress is throwing snowballs at the side of a brick building. No one should be surprised of the quality of animation in the film since it was done by Madhouse after all.

Millennium Actress has plenty of replay value, I have actually been throw it a few times in the last couple weeks alone. Satoshi Kon is one of the directors, in my opinion, that tells amazing stories with superb visuals that really sets his work into a very special class of its own. The story of Millennium Actress is at its core a love story spanning across time, that is hard to not strike a chord in the viewer at the conclusion of the film. Be sure to check out Millennium Actress and more of Satoshi Kon’s work if you haven’t already.

The DVD has a 40 minute extra on the making of the film I have yet to check out but is going to be pretty close to the top of my viewing priorities.

 

Production Update 35

I apologize for missing the review on Thursday last week, it was a pretty hectic week with traveling and closing out a few projects. Things are still pretty busy but I have been able to continue to push forward on the trailer. I am currently working on some of the final touches on the last shot of the prologue. I have made a few tweaks to the previous scene and will be rendering that section out. Once I have a rough cut of the prologue, I can get it sent out for some custom music. While the music is being composed, I can get back into the prologue and get scenes composited.

Once I get the final touches put on the final scene I will be back drawing 🙂 and completing the drawings for the prologue while I have things set up rendering. The goal stays the same of having the prologue completed in early to mid April. More artwork will be posted as soon as I can get the scenes composited. Stay Tuned for a review on Thursday!

Progress/Status:

Prologue:

Overall: 55:00  of 1:20:00
Storyboards: DONE
Drawing: 0/5
Inking/coloring/shading: DONE
Animating/Compositing: In Work
Audio: In Work/ VO is done

Episode 1:
Storyboards: DONE
Drawing: DONE
Inking/coloring/shading: DONE
Animating/Compositing: In Work
Audio: NONE

Episode 2:
Storyboards: DONE
Drawing: 3/20pages
Inking/coloring/shading: 0/20
Animating/Compositing: NONE
Audio: NONE

Production Update 34

It has been a pretty busy week so I haven’t been able to get too much done. I have been traveling for work and closing out a few projects. However, I have started researching and gathering assets for the final scene of the Prologue. I am aiming to have this shot done this week because after that I am traveling for some more work and I can render out the shots while I am traveling. Which means, while things are rendering I will be able to complete the last few drawings and should have everything ready to composite for the start of April. I am hoping that in April the Prologue can get some background music composed and be finalized. I should also be able to get some more drawings for episode 2 started as well.

I did have a very unique opportunity this past weekend working on set of an independent film. Check out the facebook page for some pictures and some more info about the film. I might get a chance to work on set another day before I end up leaving MN around the middle of the week.

Working on set gave me my first look at the production of a film which was different than what I envisioned with my slight background in video production. I got to work mostly with the audio group, but learned a lot just from watching the other members of the crew work.

I wish I had the time to work on set for more days, but my animation duty calls 🙂 Who knows, maybe someday there will be a live action Cosmic Rage movie 😉 until then, stay tuned for more updates and some new artwork in the coming week or two.

 

Progress/Status:

Prologue:

Overall: 55:00  of 1:20:00
Storyboards: DONE
Drawing: 0/5
Inking/coloring/shading: DONE
Animating/Compositing: In Work
Audio: In Work/ VO is done

Episode 1:
Storyboards: DONE
Drawing: DONE
Inking/coloring/shading: DONE
Animating/Compositing: In Work
Audio: NONE

Episode 2:
Storyboards: DONE
Drawing: 3/20pages
Inking/coloring/shading: 0/20
Animating/Compositing: NONE
Audio: NONE

Recent Viewing: Samurai 7

As many of us know, Toonami is back on Cartoon Network and airing many of our favorite shows, such as Ghost in the Shell, Cowboy Bebop and InuYasha. But Toonami has also been airing new titles and also some titles that have slipped through my personal viewing list. Which brings up todays review of Samurai 7.

Samurai 7 was released in 2004 by Gonzo, which was one of the earlier adopters and experimenters of CGI in anime. Funimation currently holds the rights to what is known as the most expensive anime, costing around $300,000 an episode to produce and is based on the Akira Kurosawa film, the Seven Samurai but with a sic fi twist.

I haven’t seen Kurosawa’s film so the anime has been my first introduction to the storyline, and also leaves me blank in drawing comparisons between the two titles. Admittedly, I am not a huge samurai fan, the title has been suggested by several friends so I went on a week by week episodic journey via Toonami. Maybe it was the week by week viewing method, but at certain points the story felt a little slow and there were weeks that the story felt a little rushed, which gave the overall story a bit of an inconsistently paced impression.

There are a few strings of episodes that feel very well put together, there is mostly a little lag at the start, middle and the end feels a bit rushed. Overall, the story contained an interesting premise and I wonder if the uneven pacing is due to my viewing habits or if they are places that were drawn out when compared to the original film.

Since Samurai 7 was produced in the early 2000’s, the CGI is typical of the time period and consistent with some of the other titles I have reviewed such as Burst Angel. This means the robots are animated stiffly, some objects and special effects are rendered in CGI and also that there is a gap in the overall compositing of the project (the explosions feel as if they are overlaid onto the animation and not blended in) which Burst Angel used a destroyed city with an orange sky to help blend the two.

Having said that, the CGI in the last few episodes is noticeably better than the previous 20+ episodes. Most likely a combination of their more experienced CGI animators and more of the budget allocated to those as well.

Overall, Samurai 7 is a title worth checking out. The unique combination of the samurai lifestyle and enemies using sic fi weapons and robotics is an interesting twist on the time period. The CGi isn’t too distracting from the rest of the art, and the show has a wide variety of interesting characters. There is a samurai that almost anyone can connect with.

You can even check out the episodes on Funimations site here since it recently finished up its run on Toonami. Have you already seen Samurai 7? Let me know what you thought of the show!

Announcement: New Site Launch

Sorry for the late post today, it’s been a busy day. The big news I wanted to share with everyone today was the launching of my new site Reanimated Fallout a site where I can give back to the animation and motion graphics community by helping designers with software and WHY we make the decisions we do.

I have always been interested in teaching, I have taken teaching courses in high school and college and wanted to combine two of my passions. I am also doing a lot of experimenting with programs and techniques for Cosmic Rage, and I want to be able to share those and discuss them with other designers and animators. We all can learn things from one another.

It also allowed me to start putting my website coding and design skills to work as I look to expand my abilities into those areas. A mobile site will be in the works after I get a better understanding of javascript and jquery. The javascript and jquery will come in handy as I am looking to build out the cosmicrage website as well to make it more interactive and also for the episodes as well.

I have some great ideas for the cosmic rage site and I am very excited to start developing it sometime in 2013 and making it a unique user experience. Stay Tuned!

 

Production Update 33

Good news, I was able to get some more work in on the Prologue this week. I am currently working on a longer shot, about 11 seconds. After this shot there will be only one more left until the Prologue is completed. After these two shots, I will hopefully be able to get some underlying music for the prologue and then I can also add sound FX.

In most cases I like to work with the audio from the start, but the music for this piece is different than others. In this case, the music is an undertone, for other projects I mainly use the music as a driving point to edit footage and other shots.

I have a few drawings that need to be done for the prologue. There have been a few alterations made to the prologue with the new voice over. Mainly because the voice actor recorded at a slower rate than my own placeholder voice over. Which actually is a better pace considering the context.

I am actually doing quite a bit of traveling for work this month. Since I will be working in studios, I will be able to have my laptop set up to get the shots rendered. I will also be able to get the drawings completed as well.

My goal for the completion of the prologue from an animation standpoint will be in April. After that, the music and sound FX work will begin. Also, I will be able to get working back on the actual episode which I have left off of a while ago.

On a side note, I have an announcement of another project this week, one that will be going live. I am very excited to be launching this project and sharing it with everyone. Look for an update in the next day or two, right before a review on Thursday.

Finally, it’s been a while since I have uploaded some images up to the production gallery. This has mainly been because I have been focused on finishing up the artwork for episode 1 before I start animating. However, I am going to try to break that rut and get more artwork posted up as I go. So this week, I have added two new shots from the prologue into the Production Gallery. Go check them out 🙂

Progress/Status:

Prologue:

Overall: 55:00  of 1:20:00
Storyboards: DONE
Drawing: 0/5
Inking/coloring/shading: DONE
Animating/Compositing: In Work
Audio: In Work/ VO is done

Episode 1:
Storyboards: DONE
Drawing: DONE
Inking/coloring/shading: DONE
Animating/Compositing: In Work
Audio: NONE

Episode 2:
Storyboards: DONE
Drawing: 3/20pages
Inking/coloring/shading: 0/20
Animating/Compositing: NONE
Audio: NONE