As my 2013 graduation came closer and closer, it was inevitable that goodbyes would have be made. A chapter of our lives would close and new beginnings would appear. During this period of inevitable ‘doom,’ one could say, it became ever more apparent that a display of appreciation for those who made my university experience that much more special was overdue. Read More
It just occurred to me that despite having been animating for the past 6 months, I’ve never updated anyone about what I’ve actually been doing. Realizing this, I have elected to try my best in documenting a little bit of what I do each week (or every couple of days). This probably will not only help inform others on my adventures and endeavors, but it’ll also provide a type of log for me to look back upon in future years. Additionally, by attempting to record my thoughts, I also help organize my ideas in a more tactile form, which, consequently, should also help improve my work. Read More
Even though the overall process took about 13 hours total (5 hours filming, 5 hours editing, 3 hours rendering and finalizing), I had tremendous fun with this assignment. This was my first attempt ever at stop motion, a medium I’ve held a secret fascination and appreciation for (think of Coraline, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Nightmare Before Christmas). The general thought of having to move an immobile object for every frame in a film is generally mind-boggling in scale and effort; imagine having to move a figure about 24 times for just one second of footage. Read More
The movie is better than the book. The book is better than the movie. Which is better? The debate for whether a film adaptation of a popular novel (or any novel, for that matter) can meet or exceed expectations of its fans has been one for the ages. For sure, numerous film studios (live action and animation) have hunkered down and spewed films that draw from pre-existing material. The advantages of this include many: having an original source to draw inspiration from, having pre-existing marketing material or ideas for fans to get excited about (therefore increasing revenue based purely on anticipation), and being able to work with your favorite childhood (or adulthood) characters and bring them to life. Many risks accompany such a decision, as well, however, ranging from total crashing and burning of the movie fails (Golden Compass and Animal Farm come to mind) to being completely forgotten in the voids of film making (not sure which is better). Read More
Sengoku Basara is pretty simple and easy to understand. It’s far from being complex in nature and it’s wonderful that it doesn’t try to be. Each character epitomizes very general personality characterizations, and with artistic license that appeals to most fans of the fantasy/sci-fi fans genre, the series gives each character a theme color. Such decisions really tickle your insides due to how it makes complicated, epic fight scenes more streamlined, crazy, and fun to watch. Read More
Many of you who know me personally are already familiar with the interior struggle I face with what profession I should be trying to chase. While I convinced myself of a choice last winter (basically one year ago), I still have remnant desires to test the thin ice once more.
I transferred from Architecture to the College carrying the fear in my heart that I would not be able to “make it” in the art industry, whether it be Architecture-related or not. To be truthful, I don’t really mind what area of art I’d get sucked into; I have no considerable preference for a particular focus (though I’m pretty horrible at painting, no joke). The constant pursuit of creating better art and long-lasting creative process has been probably the most self-rewarding and addictive things I’ve experienced. Despite all this, following one’s passion could possibly diminish in the face of how such pursuits affect others. Read More
While many of us celebrated the new year with food and drink, many high school seniors (and their families for that matter) spent hours and days up to the new year working on something called College Applications. Granted, not every high school student entertains college applications up until the very last minute; many wish to knock it out as quickly as possible. But for those of us who have a tendency to procrastinate (or don’t find our work complete until the deadline arrives), working until the last minute is part of our work method.
Recursion is a game that was pitched for the University of Virginia’s Student Game Developers (SGD) Fall 2009 lineup by Daniel Epstein. I was intrigued by its premise, and being a first year, I was excited to get involved in any project possible. A puzzle game at heart, Recursion borrowed a mechanic used in the popular Braid: using previous iterations of your character, solve puzzles. Though, as its name implies, Recursion used recursion. There is no ability to re-control a past self, which made players more thoughtful while level exploring and puzzle solving.
It’s strange looking through this old work now. I distinctly remember having random spurts of inspiration and laziness, so the project had very sporadic progress, but fortunately, Recursion was one of the games that had the considerable headway in terms of project completion during that semester. The project spanned over two semesters, since character design and animation were the main focus of the Fall Semester. We wanted a character that was simple enough to be presented in a 16×16 pixel box, and with that limited amount of space, it’s definitely difficult to make any detail noticeable. This resulted in a simple character: Piko. With feet. I resorted to using my favorite original character as the game’s main mascot, but for some pretty obvious reasons, we had to change the character at the end of production.
Usagi Drop is a breath of fresh air from the copious amounts of fanservice, placid character structures, and excessive moe that permeates anime series of recent times. It’s a rare series (from my limited knowledge) that touches upon issues in a serious and honest manner, while simultaenously having the ability to subtly include right amounts of lightheartedness and humor that prevents the series from adopting too heavy an atmosphere. There exists a synergy and expert balance rare in such a form that weaves an empathizing and heartwarming tale.
Hiromasa Yonebayashi, close friend of Hayao Miyazaki, founder of Studio Ghilbi, brings his very first movie to the screen and what a treat it is. Studio Ghibli well known for it’s rather large portfolio of family movies and Karigurashi no Arrietty ( The Borrower Arrietty) deserves no less to be on that list. Though this is Yonebayashi’s first time directing his own film, the Studio Ghibli art and Miyazaki-style of storytelling are present and familiar. Ghibli movies range in both scale and theme, ranging from fantasy adventure to family slice-of-life and though the film definitely cannot be considered a grand epic (maybe one of miniature proportions) like Princess Mononoke or Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Karigurashi no Arrietty is a movie full of heart and quiet charm. Read More