Production Update 66

Unfortunately not much to report this week. I had some revisions spring up from the project I completed a week ago that I had to turn around quickly. So I knocked those out over the weekend as well as working on the other project a bit. I did have to take part of the day to get out and about since the weather was nice and I needed a bit of time to unplug.

We will have to wait and see what this week brings in terms of production. I greatly appreciate all of you hanging in there during this time as we “feed the kitty” so we can put it towards production. I promise it will be well spent and well worth it!. Thanks again everyone!

Recent Viewing: Kenshin (Live Action)

When I was first getting into the anime scene in high school, Kenshin was one of the more well known titles to fans at the time. We didn’t have the abundance of streaming options and a few select titles were making their way to late night TV. I enjoyed Kenshin for the most part, but was never a really big fan of the series, admittedly.

Regardless, it was good news to hear that Japan was making a live action film. Some of my friends posted images of the film shoot and slowly but surely I was getting more and more excited for the film, even though I haven’t rewatched the anime in close to ten years at this point. I recall the second season being really good, but found myself forgetting some of the events in the first season.

When I was at A-kon earlier this summer, they had a screening but I missed out due to the lines for registration and pre-registration 😦 So at this point I figured I wasn’t going to really get a chance to check it out. Then to my pleasant surprise, it was screened at this years SGMS. So how was it?

The story of Kenshin revolves around him being a top assassin during the war, but when the war is over, the age of the samurai is as well marking the start of the Meiji Era (I believe this is right, my Japanese history is a bit lacking). So Kenshin takes up a life of not killing, however, other wandering swordsman continue their search for the legendary assassin so they can have their crack at killing him.

The actors and actresses fit the characters well from what I recall, although some of the characters I didn’t remember (mostly some of the villains). Since I also haven’t seen the anime for a while, I wasn’t able to track how closely they followed the storyline (which is a completely different situation than my viewing of Gantz, which will be up next week). So The I wasn’t relegated to knit-picking the story progression to the manga or anime.

I was really thankful for that, because I enjoyed the film since I some of the characters and story seemed new to me. There were a few kinda awkward moments in the film that took it down a notch for me. Mostly there was a pretty harsh cut in the film in the latter portion that  took me out of the film. I didn’t feel like they had to do such a harsh cut, they could have added in another scene or something to help smooth out the transition, or at least some dialogue. That was mostly the only issue I felt in terms of editing. The other moments were a couple lines of dialogue and weird moments of silence, even though I could see those being winks to the anime or manga.

I would be interested to hear what Kenshin fans thought of the film. I talked to one of my friends and she thought the film was really good, so it seems for fans it is a worthwhile film. The film has done well enough that a sequel is in the works as well. I must admit I am pretty excited for this because the second season of the anime was awesome and featured one of my favorite villains in my early anime years.

Production Update 65

I hope everyone had a great weekend! I made some solid progress on some freelance work and even got to work on Cosmic Rage. While I didn’t get a lot of work done, I did get a solid afternoon in, which involved texturing the environment for the main location in episode 1. I did find a couple small modeling tweaks I need to make, but nothing major at all. I think in another afternoon I should be able to have everything textured and ready to go. I am hoping some night early this week I can get to it, but no promises.

I know I mentioned the possibility of some artwork up this week as well, however I have a 3D render going right now and don’t want to render out a frame for that and stop the process.

Again, I really appreciate you all being so understanding as the seemingly lack of progress being made recently, but I assure you in the coming weeks things will pick up and we will have bigger updates and more artwork to see. Thanks again!

Conference Recap: 2013 SGMS

As promised, I thought I would recap this year’s experience at the Schoolgirls and Mobilesuits (SGMS) conference that I attended, located in Minneapolis MN. This was my 4th year going and my 3rd year presenting. This year I presented on Studio Madhouse, how they got started and how they evolved over the years. Recently I have been intrigued by the collaboration aspect of animation and studios, so I wanted to trace the roots of my favorite studio, Madhouse. Some of their works include, Deathnote, RedLine, and Summer Wars.

SGMS is an very interesting conference, in the regards that it isn’t like a convention like you may think. Instead, presenters discuss a topic that they have researched and share them in panel discussions that are in similar areas. The presenters range from college professors, to fans that want to share their research with the audience. Personally I tend to share animation based content since I am an animator and enjoy researching it. It is nice to hear presentations about cultural and academic aspects of anime, because quite frankly, anime gets a pretty bad stereotype based of a select few titles of what people may have seen or heard.

Anyways, this year there were presentations ranging from the rise of Kpop music in Japan to the retirement of Miyazaki and even the changes of the word “otaku” through the films of Satoshi Kon (Perfect Blue and Paprika). There were some panels on the evolution of fandom, the anime industry and government regulations. The keynote speaker talked about Fukushima and his work to help the area recover since it isn’t an easy solution. He gave a presentation and later he returned in the weekend for a Q/A panel that he graciously went over time with because we all had so many questions for him regarding Fukushima and other cultural aspects.

At night, we also had some film screenings. This year we saw the live action Kenshin film (review next week) and I also watched the screening of Wolf Children, again. The film gets better every time I see it, can’t wait for it to be released.

I am already thinking of topics for next year’s conference and look forward to seeing everyone again soon.

Production Update 64

Not much to report on this weeks Production Update, unfortunately. I spent the week working on some freelance projects so I can get some funds to put towards Cosmic Rage. On a sidenote though, I finished up one of them today so this week I will be able to get back to work on Cosmic Rage in some capacity. I apologize for the lack of updates the last couple weeks, but with the funds from freelancing, I will be able to purchase items that will make the production faster in terms of 3D models, and I am now thinking of adding in some VO for the first episode. Which is really the reason for the freelance work. I’m still on the fence with it and it will probably be something that gets figured out as episode 1 gets closer to being done. Thank you so much for your patience!

I will also be writing about this year’s SGMS conference as well! Stay tuned!

Recent Viewing: Attack on Titan

The above trailer belongs to a series called Attack on Titan. It was a series that I watched in spurts when I had some downtime because the title has a pretty big buzz associated with it. The fact that you are reading this is evidence of that. You are either reading what another viewer thought or you have heard something about the title and are interested in knowing more.

I am going to start by being completely honest, I think this title is going to be a big series for the anime community when it gets released in the states (by FUNimation). The series is a stark contrast from a lot of the titles that are coming out. Attack on Titan is not a series based in comedy, not a musical promotion anime and not one for the harem crowd either.

The series takes place in a world where humanity has retreated to within tall walls to prevent “Titans” from getting in. Titans are giant fleshless human creatures that exist to wipe out humanity. There are various classes of Titans, some 12 feet tall and some with abilities, as you will see in the show.

The animation of the series is pretty enjoyable. Some have griped about the color palette, I personally didn’t mind it. There were lots of earthy tones, some oranges, tans, etc. I felt as if it felt the world they were portraying well. Considering the circumstances of the story, they wouldn’t have various colored buildings, etc. The action scenes are animated well, with several shots having unique camera views.

The soundtrack to the series enhanced the animation and the unique story. I was watching the stream so the title isn’t dubbed yet. I am excited to see the dub when it is eventually released. The opening tracks by Linked Horizon are some of the catchiest openings I have heard since Evangelion and Deathnote.

While the trailer provides a unique look at the world and the story, it really doesn’t do it justice. There is so much more to the series than story outline I described, but I want to avoid spoilers for readers who haven’t streamed it this season. Let me put it this way, Attack on Titan may be an early favorite for my presentation for next year’s SGMS conference.

Have you watched it yet? If not, go check it out on Crunchyroll, I don’t think you will be disappointed.

Production Update 63

As you can see, last week the prologue to the Cosmic Rage Universe was posted. If you haven’t seen it yet, there is a shortcut at the top that says “Animated Prologue” I spent most of this week, contacting friends and sharing the prologue with as many people as I could. I still have more places to share it at this week, but I will never really be done promoting it and sending it to others to check out. If you had a chance to check it out, I hope you enjoyed it. It is meant to give you a teaser look into the universe and not introduce you to any characters.

As for this week, I am going to be working on some freelance work. There are potentially some 3D models I would like to purchase to use and I am also starting to toy around with the idea of adding voice over (VO) to the first episode, which means I will need to save up some funds to pay the talent. I will probably pursue this a little more once snow is on the ground and after I get these projects wrapped up.

I am hoping to get some time next weekend to get back to episode 1 and to continue to texture the main setting.

Thanks for taking time to check out my work 🙂 There is so much content on-line it really means a lot for you to check out my work. I also have an exciting review for Thursday. Stay Tuned!