Hi all, I’ve been busy moving house this past few weeks. Given that its been relatively boring there hasn’t been too much to report, but I have started production of a set of t-shirts I’m hoping to sell at comiket this year. I’ve moved into a nicer apartment further away from the centre, which is already bringing my mood back. I’ve been working on four 3d models for future projects so I will post wip images of soon.
Well I did drag myself on the spur of the moment to a cinema to watch a movie this week. Thanks in part to the Cinemasnobs midnight screenings review of the film on youtube.
Firstly the extra video at the start by the director and main cast of the movie thanking the Vietnamese for letting them film there was a nice touch, Id like to see where they actually filmed and see if I can find the spots myself. Maybe a personal goal whilst Im here.
Now onto the film.
Wow did I hit all the right notes on watching the movie, first I decided to splurge on the type of cinema and went with a 4DX screen, which is a 3d screen with moving seats, smoke, flashing lights and jets of mist being thrown about during the whole movie.
The feeling was frankly amazing, at first I thought it would be distracting to be constantly moved about to follow the screen or have water throw at me, but the moments were timed so well I genuinely was throwing my hands up as Kong threw water about. The feeling of his stomps running through the seat as he was leaping about, and the use of flashing lights for scenes that involved flashing cameras or lighting really put me into the movie. I don’t think its the right choice for all movies, but this was perfect for Kong.
The film has a feel of the classic Indiana Jones films, the tempo is fast, the characters don’t annoy or overstay their welcome with drawn out scenes (well maybe there is one or two scenes that were kind of meh but they didnt last).
The music is excellent, defiantly a worthy soundtrack purchase.
Kong and the monsters look good, not super realistic, but not bad either, they fit with the characters and get the job done, looking intimidating and being powerful.
The movie is snappy and fast, you wont feel the time fly by (I actually was worried it would end too soon but it wasn’t a issue).
The 3d was nice, I think I got more out of the 4DX then the 3d but that might be my eyes, but having depth to a film is way better then having it just flat for sure. This will be a vr movie to buy is I can ever get enough money saved up for one.
The credits are in 3d too and more importantly DO NOT LEAVE TILL THE VERY END. I wont say why but it’ll be worth it.
A worthy movie to watch and buy, and I look forward to more from the company and possible future movies like this.
This is by far a better paced movie then the Godzilla film from 2014, and shows that things were learnt from the audiences feelings towards the appearances of the monsters and general storyline. If this is setting the stage for future projects Im going to be a very happy man.
Hi all not much to report just yet, its been a quiet but productive holiday during Tet, since there was so much down time due to the holiday calling away all my students I go to making more models. Currently Im working on ideas for shirts I want to sell and making some random models that Id like to try and rig. That and finishing off some older pieces when I can.
I didnt go to too many places during Tet but I did grab a load of snaps as I was in the centre during the holiday.
Below is the results and below that are my wip shots of one of my models. All done in Blender and from scratch.
Doh this was meant to be out sooner but Vietnam internet took a blow recently and all internet has gone south till they can fix the issue, with just a week or so till Tet. Which is pretty bad timing considering.
Anyway onto what’s been going on:
I just got done watching Sing the musical movie by illumination Entertainments artists. The film is as abc in plot as you can imagine. But it’s execution is what matters and with its clear acts and pacing I really got into the movie. The musical numbers are well spaced and the visuals are joyful and coloured to set the scenes perfectly. The characters each are enjoyable to watch, even when they clearly are designed to be the heels in the story. The fur and lighting really work well in the film, I loved the nice touched of browns and greys in the Gorilla families design, the hair added on the pigs ears and eyebrows and the translucency of the quills on the teen rock singer Ash. The eyes were nicely bright and captured the feeling of wonder and enjoyment pretty well. Particularly when they were focused on for scenes like the singing contest reveal and reminiscing scenes. They has been some joy put into this movie and things like the lip syncing between each animal to the songs didn’t seem mismatched. It isn’t a complex movie like Zootopia or Rango, its focus is so much on the music your almost second guessing yourself into thinking that there will be some drama, but no, it just side steps those issues to get back to the music.
What issue do come up are more motivators for the characters to stay in the production and go through it on their own terms.
Not much more to say on it, just give it a watch with children or with someone who enjoys a good sing and you’ll probably do fine. Its good, not great, but I really am happy to take that. Defiantly going to buy the blue ray and Book when it comes out.
First the bad, I got sick with a fever and flu all in one go one night before I was to set off, thanks to my students not realising the concept of covering their damn mouths when they cough or sneeze. So I stocked up on a cocktail of pills and drugs to try to ease the pain and kill off the flu whilst I sweated out as much of the sickness as I could. After one night I had enough recovery to be able to get myself onto a plane and out Japan. I took a flyover from Taiwan via Vanilla Air, I liked the flight nothing complicated or plush, but it was a damn sight better setup then the last Chinese flight I had to take to get to Japan in August (shudder).
Arriving I basically ended up relapsing into a fever which took another 2-3 days to kill off enough for me to be able to properly travel about. A huge thank you to my friends in Japan for letting me stay with them. I will respect their privacy here but thank you for letting me stay and recover.
Thankfully Tet is very nearly on us so I can get my modelling skills back after this drought I’ve had these past few months. So I’ve been working in my free time on getting my skills back up to scratch.
I’ve been doodling creatures and ideas for various things and last week I was on a mixed race dino kick thanks to being reminded of Dinosaurs the tv series. So I made two heads of different mixed race dinos I picked from Google images and mashed together.
Well I think thats about all for now, its not what I had hoped to be posting but after Tet I will be doing some more VR stuff to show off. Possibly more time-lapses and animations. So till then.
Ok so in short Japan 2016 is go!
I’ve given up on my original savings idea of $7k its just not possible with the time I have left here in Vietnam. But instead I am looking at other avenues and options to get some needed cash in the future.
BUT WHAT I REALLY WANT IS FOR PEOPLE TO WATCH THIS VIDEO ON GREASE PENCIL!
This small info video on the progress of Grease Pencil is HUGE, this brings the process of Papermans 2D animation on 3d so close to reality I can taste it and I freaking cant wait to try it out.
Also this animation is so cute and smile inducing I cant hold back so here have it and enjoy. I want so badly to be able to do this sort of work in the future.
Also there’s a great intro to Easy rigging I want to use on some of the future models Im working and finishing with
One thing that I wish was a reality is a specific brush that acts like a crease pencil but comes with a erase option that removes just a small section of a shapekeys change back to its original form, maybe with options on how much strength. Smoothing at the moment doesn’t do that it just makes the models features smoothed out, leaving a still altered vertex section, Id like one that returns that particular vertex back to its original position and doesn’t effect anything else. (You could just make another layer and do it that way but it seems like a bit too many steps on what could be a alternative switch). Maybe its already there but I haven’t found it yet.
Anyway its late I got work in the morning and for now that’ll have to be it. Night all
So just got back from my showing of Moana and it was ok. Not great, not very rewatchable, just ok. Visuals are sort of ok, story is sort of ok, just generally it felt like the opportunity was there to do something that could have felt sort of like the old greek style adventure, although set to a Polynesia background.
Plot can be read here : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moana_(2016_film)
Warning spoilers kind of (Im not trying to give away plot but some of it might be guessable from my writing)
Dwayne Johnson was a good laugh as the mighty Maui, his song are well sung and his characters design is interesting, but maybe a little too in-human? I guess since he was made a Demigod he lost the need for a neck. Compared to the rest of the cast who are all human looking he does stand out a bit. Maybe its more to do with his birth as he mentioned? Maybe he was born deformed and the gods made him super human to compensate. I dunno, just seemed a little odd.
Moana is ok when she’s not bursting into song at inopportune moments. The way her face is some god damn shiny and cartoony really is starting to look odd against the lush backgrounds that she and the rest of the cast are running about in. Also in some of her songs her face really seemed to stretch out a little too far. Looked weird at the time.
The Pig, funny but why is he even on the poster, the chicken gets more air time then him!
The chicken, funny for a couple of scenes, but seems like it was going for some pay off with it that never came. He was just basic comic relief that even the main cast (including the water!) got sick of.
The macguffin, er I mean the Water. It was there when the script allowed it. Otherwise it wasn’t, even Maui points out plot holes that aren’t explained like why didn’t the water just take them to the island or pick up the hook? It was there at the end to sort of try and help Moana, but it seemed the only reason for its existence is to explain why Maui couldn’t just drop kick Moana off her boat like he tried. Several times.
The grandmother, I liked her she was fine.
The Chief and Moanas mother, meh they did a few songs I forgot about.
Tamatoa or the David Bowie Crab, Jemaine Clements song and the crab design was interesting but somewhat side tracked moment. His song didn’t seem to fit into the world, more like something you’d hear in a David Bowie cover or Theatre production of the little mermaid sung by a male Ursula. (Although the end credits joke did make me chuckle).
The Pygmy pirates called Kakamora, I literally forgot about this scene till I started writing this post, Moana looking pretty bad ass. It was funny but felt rushed.
Ok issues I had in brief:
No tension, never thought the characters were in any danger, and the most badass moment at the end when Moana is facing off again Te Kā is brought to a screeching halt when she goes into slowmo singing mode. Killed the tension and could have had a much greater impact if she had just said what she had sung. Felt like they were crow-baring in songs left and right. The adults in the crowd were noticeable bored with the constant sing song being done through out.
Im not a princess says the princess, Maui calls her out on it. Its a nice nod to how every female protagonist in Disney movies of late has to be royal in some way. Regardless if they see themselves that way.
Cartoon visuals are starting to look tired and needs some more detail in the faces, its starting to give me that barbie doll feel about them all. So damn smooth. Puts some asymmetry or some scarring in there for pete sake! Also did this really need to be a animation, Id have loved to see Dwayne Johnson do it for real with some visual effects thrown in. Its like the complaint with films like Sing being done with animals instead of humans. Sure it looks nice but would it have been impossible to see a load of people sailing about ala Life of Pi style with the effects added in. Could have been cool. (and knowing Disney give it 3 years for a theatre production and 5 years for a remake and they will probably do just that).
Wasn’t expecting a sing a thon throughout the animation, and boy did they love sticking them in whenever they could. Felt very much like this was written for a stage rather then a movie.
Story was a little paint by numbers, third act was pointless drama between Moana and Maui that was resolved in the next scene and really something else could have been done.
In the end I don’t mind having gone seen it but it doesn’t go into my Ill buy it for my collection pile.
A good movie but not a great movie.
7/8 out of 10
Soo its been quiet here (this webpage, not my life in general) that’s for certain, although I have been posting messages here, the level of models hasn’t really been high has it. Well to give you an idea of my month I would have to talk about October or at least the last few weeks of that month:
So first I had to move twice from two different places for different reasons. The first was what some people have been warning about with airbnb, basically tenants getting pushed out so the landlord can get airbnb people in to make a quick buck. It technically wasn’t a huge problem as I was only being made to move a day earlier then planned but the way the landlord informed me was at midnight the previous day, all the while looking pretty sheepish about it. (Although it was pretty clear he had fucked up pretty bad in the dates and didn’t want to get a bad reputation on the app). So after Halloween I was basically out on my ear having to wait in a hotel till I could get into my new apartment. Which if you see the image above didn’t work out too well. I had basically spent zero days in the apartment when it was flooded with water. The new landlord tried to down pay it by saying that if it was a Vietnamese person they would just make do (although he didn’t seem to realise that my estate agent was basically translating on the spot what he was saying so I wasn’t having any of that attitude). So I ended up moving into a new place again 2 days later, and after negotiating for 2 hours I think I walked away with a good deal that was still way under my last landlords asking price. Bonus is that there is no more traffic clogged bridges too work, so that’s taking a bit of the stress away.
After that I found an interesting cafe that was giving people vr experiences either with a Vive or a mobile set-up. I’ve basically become hooked on the place and visit it once a week for around 2 hours to play with Tilt Brush.
First day was a Kitsune design. Wasn’t exactly the style I was going for but it was my first real try at making something for a extended period of time
The next week I did some free form creation, came up with a fairy coming to mother death to plead for their world as it is slowly being sucked into the void of space. I found the shirk and expand tool and WOW is that a game changer for modelling in this program, once you start to understand how to shrink and expand + rotate it all starts to become very fluid.
Last Friday I had a idea that was crawling in my mind about a song I remembered from Guitar hero back in the day, (I’ve been on a heavy metal music kick for a while now). Finally realised it was “Through the fire and the flames” by Dragon Force, an excellent song and basically was my sole background music for 2 hours whilst I built the bike, the character and the scenery around him. Really like how it came out in the end and the use of reference material in the scene really helped with build.
In other news I’ve been to see Doctor Strange and Trolls, I preferred Doctor Strange but I do like the effort that went into the look of Trolls. Trolls really is for kids but for a one time watch it was bearable (even if the switch in the middle of the film and the side characters was strange).
Some other things I’ve taken snaps of:
If I get enough likes Ill post some videos of things going on around here that I captured, including a short run around of the Japanese festival with the Pikachus.
Oh and on my t shirt quest I found a company to print for me again, this time they are based in Vietnam, there are some bugs to sort with the quality of the stitching but I think it could work well for my future plans.
So in short things have settled down again, moneys tight since my lessons have yet to be added on again, so Im running short. but hopefully it’ll pick up again next week.
Till next time: