Who Doesn’t Like a Quickie?

I apologize for being offline lately, it’s such an exciting time I want to share a bunch of stuff with you all. However, things have been really crazy on the full-time job front and also on the school front. On the school front, I have to start a progressive paper, so every week I have updates I need to get in. On the job front, I have had a couple tight deadlines to get turned around and I have also started a new freelance type position. Things will settle down, but Cosmic Rage has taken a backseat for the last two weeks.

I appreciate everyone checking in and sending emails about the VO cast and more. I have lots of exciting things coming up, just bear with me one more week. I am positive this week I will get back in action.

Looking forward to sharing more info soon. Thank you all! 2016 here I come!

Quick Update: Infected

IMG_2417I’ve been away from the site for a while due to an infection in my arm. I’ve been getting IVs and injections to keep the infection at bay. I will hopefully be back online later this week but as of now it’s been trips to the doctor and a ton of sleep. I had a lot of fluid build up in my elbow making computer work difficult.

Thank you all for your patience. I look forward to being back to 100% and getting things wrapped up.

Production Update 154: Back from Nebraskon and Major Updates

What an amazing weekend! I went to my first Anime Nebraskon and had such a wonderful time. I will write more about this con later this week, until then, production update time!

Apologies for the delay on this weeks update, I admittedly was pretty eager to watch the Walking Dead on Monday after recovering Sunday night from the con. There is a lot of updates and I just needed a little time to get them all down.

First off, I wrapped up another scene, below is a screenshot. 26_Jani_AimingWith this scene completed, I now have 3 scenes left until the e-book animated scenes are all wrapped up. I also sent this scene off for audio work, which is why the production update wasn’t up earlier today.

With only a few scenes left for the e-book, I bet you are wondering how much animating I have been doing. Well, when I was preparing the latest scene for audio, I put all of the existing scenes together to see how long Cosmic Rage is so far. As of today, it is just under 10 minutes! Remember, that is just animated content for the e-book. The final animated version will have new shots for the voice over and may approach the length of an actual TV episode. It wasn’t a mark I was aiming for, I want to make Cosmic Rage tell a story in the time it needs, not just hitting a number to make it long.

I will be starting a new scene tomorrow, this one consists of 6 shots. My goal is to get this scene wrapped up over the weekend. With the holidays approaching at the end of the month, the push is to get a scene done every weekend since I will be traveling for the holiday.

Also, the voice over audition period is closing at the end of the week! I have received some awesome auditions, so if you have been waiting to get yours in, I suggest sending them over asap! I will be going through them over the weekend and making decisions on who will voice what character. Hopefully cast announcements will come soon afterwards.

I also have another announcement waiting in the wing. I can probably share it next week since it isn’t set in stone yet. The announcements and news will be coming more and more over the next couple months as the final push starts.

Thank you all for your support!

Production Update 153: Animation Galore

The week started off a little dicey. I had homework to finish up and some revisions to freelance work to get done. I was really concerned that I wasn’t going to get to log as many hours on Cosmic Rage as I would have liked. However, as the weekend approached, I was able to get almost a full day in over the weekend. I had some shots to finish tweaking and then I was moving on to compositing all of the shots in the new scene I was working on.

Overall I was able to get 12 shots done and completed the scene that I was aiming to get done. Here is a frame from the current scene.

25_Fenix_Punch This week I need to go through a scene for audio revisions and also send this scene off for audio.

I am also taking a mini vacation and going to a concert to see a J-Rock band called One OK Rock that is touring in the US since they signed a US record deal. You can check out one of their music videos below.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjZqcDYbvAE&w=560&h=315]

I will also be at Anime Nebraskon this weekend to present a panel and check out the con! I am very excited to hit up the con and meet all kinds of new people.

For Cosmic Rage, I am starting to work on a new scene that is composed of 7 shots. MY goal is to get it done or very close to done by next weeks production update. I am starting a new project for school this week but feel like I can use Monday and Tuesday to get a strong start on this next scene. Have a fantastic week everyone!

Anime Review: Space Dandy

While I have been really busy, I have been catching up watching Space Dandy. I watched the first part of season 1 earlier this summer and when the second part came out, I had to check it out. Plus, Space Dandy is just good fun to watch before heading off to bed.

First off, I want to talk about some of the expectations of Space Dandy. When the series was announced I had lofty expectations for it. Being a Shinichiro Watanabe title (Cowboy Bebop,  Samurai Champloo, Terror in Resonance and more) it was hard to not expect great things. Personally, I expected a humorous version of Cowboy Bebop with over the top animation.

However, the more I heard about the series, the more I realized it wasn’t that. I wasn’t the only one that had those expectations. I recall listening to an episode of the ANNCast where they covered Space Dandy, and they talked about fans having the same lofty expectations. Maybe it was part of this podcast that my mind was changed without knowing it.

From a story perspective, Space Dandy doesn’t really tell a specific story. All of the episodes are practically stand alone episodes without you having to have previous knowledge outside of the first episode when the characters are introduced. There isn’t much of an over-arching story. I kept thinking there would be something like Cowboy Bebop, where one of the episodes would leave us a nugget for future episodes and maybe a handful of them string together to tell a story with lots of fun filler in between. That isn’t the case. Space Dandy the alien hunter and crew don’t have a long form story to tell, and that isn’t a bad thing unless you expect it.

While Space Dandy may have a lot of standalone episodes, it works out. I was originally a little hesitant after the first part of season 1. I love stories and character development. In Space Dandy the characters are pretty straight forward and not much room for them to evolve over time.

Having said that, Space Dandy is good fun. There may not be a developed story, but the comedy infused into the series makes up for that. Before I started the second half of season one, I rewatched the first half while working and the comedy and stand alone episodes made it for an enjoyable casual watch.

The animation is Space Dandy has a lot of fun experimentation in it. Some episodes you can tell they had more room to explore than others but it works. Space Dandy has a variety of tones and animation styles and techniques to reflect it.

I would suggest checking out Space Dandy at least once since it is a Watanabe title and also for the animation of it. If you saw Space Dandy, what were your thoughts?

Voice Over Audition Closing Date Announced!

Closing date is Friday, November 13th! Voice over auditions have been open for a few months now. I have received a lot of awesome auditions, but if you were holding back or just heard about the project you have another month to audition for any characters.

Check out the auditions page to learn more about the characters and also compensation for each role. Feel free to contact me if you have any direct questions about the process or if you have any issues with downloading the audition packets.

Looking forward to hearing more auditions and working with the chosen voice over talent in the near future! Thanks everyone!

Con Review: AnimeFargo 2015

I recently returned from AnimeFargo, an anime convention in Fargo, North Dakota. It was my second year there and their second running the convention. This year, I presented two panels along with setting up a table in Artist Alley, a similar set up to last year.

First off, AnimeFargo is a fun con to attend. The staff is very helpful, friendly and also very open to feedback. They tried some new things this year, including a new layout for the artist alley and vendor room which allowed them to have a few more tables. Some of my friends decided to go to the con too since I had a good time last year. The attendees are always super polite and fun to talk to. Pretty standard stuff in the midwest, but still nice to be immersed in such a fun group of people brought together by our fandoms.

The venue the con is easily accessible, being right off the interstate. There are also plenty of food options within walking distance and also a good restaurant/bar right in the hotel. The hotel has a good layout that allows for the vendors and artists to be in the same room, the cosplay competition has a large room with a stage and the party rooms are in the middle of the convention.

My panels went well, I had about 20 people show up for my History of CGI which is solid for a con that size. The Artist Open Forum is always a blast, talking with other artists and discussing the problems we might be going through on our individual projects. I have been fortunate enough in my career to have some really great teachers, so I try to give back to others as much as I can.

Spike Spencer was one of the guests at AnimeFargo, so I was able to get some of my Evangelion goodies signed, with his own artistic flare too 😉 I was able to attend one of his panels on Friday night and hear some of his crazy adventures. Those panels are always fun to attend. I even got some of my Evangelion gear signed!

The Artist Alley closed in time to check out the cosplay competition, so I got to watch my friends compete. They were part of a RWBY team that won the judges award in the mid tier class. I was super excited for them because I know how much work they have put into their skit and costumes.

The other artists in Artist Alley were all very talented. I wish I would have took time on Friday night to look at everyones artwork and talk to them instead of waiting until Sunday afternoon. Looking forward to seeing them more at future AnimeFargos and also at other midwest cons.

Overall, AnimeFargo was a fantastic con. Everyone is so inviting, from the staff, to the party rooms, to the other attendees. I look forward to being back next year for the Kawaii Invasion.

Production Update 146: Preparations for AnimeFargo

Apologies for the late production update, came down with a bad cold and crashed last night after returning home. Been away from my place for 4 days so it was nice to get back and get a full night sleep. So what’s going on with Cosmic Rage this week?

I received some audio tracks for a couple scenes that have been going through some revisions, those 2 scenes are wrapped up. On top of that, two more scenes have been passed along for audio production. Here is a shot from one of the scenes that was passed on.

23_Down_for_the_countI have also been making final preparations for AnimeFargo. I received a last minute notice that I have been added to the Artist Alley and have been prepping prints to sell and also finalizing some new things to sell, including a unique print that is only available via raffle.

One of my favorite things to do at conventions now is to bring another screen along so attendees can watch me animate and work. I will be working on a couple of short scenes that I anticipate getting wrapped up over the weekend at the con.

Looking forward to being back in Fargo!

Production Update 144: Scene Wrapped Up Again

I wrapped up the shot I was working on this week! Here is a piece of production art below!

22_Zeth_Leaping_DodgeReally been hitting a groove lately on these scenes, I feel like I have a solid process going. Recently I have been doing test background renders and creating an animatic for the scene. After that I set up beauty renders for the backgrounds. Followed by adding in the crowds and completing the final animation and compositing. I really do need to start doing behind-the-scenes videos on these. I really will try to do this!

Anyways, this scene will get sent along for audio production this week. Outside of finishing up this scene, I worked on a bit of freelance work again and also wrapped up my first week back in school.

So whats on the agenda for this week? Well, I would like to get to recording some behind the scenes content and get it put in Youtube. I think the first batch of content will be a series of videos on how a shot takes form from concept to final. Just give me a little time get things situated with the new laptop and recording.

I will also be working on the next scene! The next scene has 4 shots in it. The following scene after that is just a single shot so I will probably lump the 2 together and work to get everything prepped this week so I can work on animation next week.