Production Update 209: Books and Orientation!

I wanted to record a video this week, but the week took a bit of an unexpected turn. We had a death in the family so we spent some time away this weekend helping to go through some things and just to support other family members and plan for a funeral later this week.

I completed 2 more chapters in my book on animation production and have crossed the hallways point. I am on pace to finish the book while on vacation, which will help me form a route on episode 2 for Cosmic Rage.

I also completed my orientation for my online class, which is a go at your own pace, traditional animation class. I plan on documenting the progress of the class and hopefully recording my work as I go through it. The first video/lesson is planning out a shoe animation with timing charts and such. This will be a good way to knock off the rust and also try out some new tools, AnimDessn, a plug in for animating in Photoshop and also my new Cintiq which I haven’t used nearly enough since I purchased it. I look forward to sharing everything with you! Let’s get to work!

Production Update 204: Script Near Completion

Production Update time once again, let’s do this! I spent time this week working on the script and pushing it towards completion. My goal is to wrap it up this week before a local film-maker meet up so I can have a few people give it a look over and poke holes in the story. Since I am so close to the project it is good to have a few more sets of eyes and perspectives on it. I am very excited to meet up with the crew again and for us all to check in on each others progress and talk about each of our projects.

Once the script is being passed around to fellow film-makers to look at, I will be spending some time working on getting things ready for my art show in May, where I will be showing Cosmic Rage.

Outside of the script work, I have been pushing ahead on a freelance project which will go towards paying for voice over work for episode 2. I am very excited to be getting things near completion so I can begin storyboarding and drawing. Thank you all for your support!

Recent Reading: Inuyashiki Volume 1

inuyashiki

Over the holiday break, I took some time to catch up on some manga that I have been meaning to get to. The first item up for reading, volume one of Inuyashiki. This series became my priority for reading, since I read that it is supposedly getting an anime series. It is done by Hiroya Oku, the creator of Gantz. Gantz is one of my favorite anime series, due to the social commentary it contained, but admittedly I have not read all of the manga. One of my favorite things about that franchise is the difference between the manga and anime. I wanted to flip the script on this series and tackle the manga first and also before I fall too far behind, so let’s dive in and see what this series is all about. I wanted to see if it packed the same social punch as Gantz.

The story centers around Ichiro Inuyashiki, a 58-year-old man who is very shy, timid and lacks confidence in himself. We get glimpses of his life, how his interactions with his family and how he fits into society. Needless to say, it’s very uninspiring and you can see that Inuyashiki’s strategy is to basically get by in life, remain hidden from trouble and not to cause any form of confrontation, whether with family or strangers.

But his personality and place in society is not the only thing going wrong with Inuyashiki. We also find out early on that he has cancer and doesn’t have long to live. This life changing diagnosis, inspires him to purchase a dog and they quickly become best friends. A friend that Inuyashiki feels like he can talk to, quickly developing a relationship more in depth than that even with his own family. However, one night, Inuyashiki takes his dog for a walk and has a terrible, unexplained, accident.

Throughout the next few days, Inuyashiki struggles with himself, not feeling like he is the same person he was prior to the accident but also still confronting the fact that he is nearing death.

If you don’t want the first volume to be spoiled, I would suggest not reading much farther.

Inuyashiki, feeling ill, visits doctors and more to get clarification on his diagnosis. These medical tests all come back with errors and the doctors are baffled with the situation. It is revealed that Inuyashiki has now become a robot. With his newfound robot capabilities, Inuyashiki starts to change and decides that he can explore his new capabilities.

While out, Inuyashiki comes across a homeless man that is being assaulted by a younger crowd of kids. This is a topic that makes it’s way into Gantz, so I am eager to see how this develops in future volumes. Inuyashiki is able to help stop the attack and even uses some social media components of his new powers to share the attack and information with other people through sites like Youtube and more.

I felt that the first volume of Inuyashiki was pretty intriguing. I don’t know of other series that have an older super hero. There are also many different social angles I am interested in as well, the role of the homeless (given the fact that it was involved in Gantz as well), how Inuyashiki will handle and adapt with his powers, but most importantly, this concept of public shaming the attackers through social media. I will have a review of more volumes of Inuyashiki as I get them read, I think there are currently 4 or 5 volumes out so far.

Production Update 193: Con-Season Recap and the Future

The 2016 con season has reached it’s conclusion for Cosmic Rage. It has been a successful year debuting Cosmic Rage at a variety of conventions. I’ll recap the convention season and discuss what the future holds for Cosmic Rage as well as planning for Episode 2.

Production Update 179: Sketching

I started working on sketching the e-book cover. I have things roughed out right now so this week I am going to refine it and hopefully get it inked so I can color it in the car on the way to and from SoDak Con! The original plan was to try to finish up the cover, but I picked up a freelance project so I was working on that over the weekend outside of class. My plan is to use the freelance project to help cover the cost of VO for the second episode. I am currently still pushing forward on the script, but it has taken a little bit of a backseat to the e-book cover so I can get that into the iBooks store for people to see.

Outside of that, photography class has been going pretty well, I believe I have about 6 weeks left until I am all done with school. My grant paperwork will be in the mail later this week. Once again, I need to thank the South Dakota Arts Council for their support in Cosmic Rage. This past year has been an amazing ride and the grant has helped me so much with getting the first episode wrapped up.

Finally, I have been spending a bit of time in our garden this week getting caught up on weeding and just unplugging for a bit. Our weeds were getting a little out of control, but we had to let the plants grow so we knew what a weed is and what isn’t. Hopefully we get caught up on weeding this week as well.

Next week I’ll have a recap from SoDak Con!

Introducing James Larabee

Where are you from: Born in Toledo Ohio, grew up in Danville Illinois and then Grove City Ohio.  Moved to Texas and never looked back!  I love living in Dallas!

Why do you want to be a voice actor: Voiceacting is acting-pretending-and gives me a chance to be people I could never be in real life.  Also, as a voice actor, I can be cast in many more roles than a film or stage production that is looking for someone who has a look or age that I might not fit.
Who is your favorite VO actor: Todd Haberkorn is a great actor, and is amazing!
Who is your favorite anime/game/cartoon character: I gotta go with Mr. Incredible from The Incredibles.  Great acting, voice acting, and I identify with being a dad, a husband, and heck…he’s Incredible!
If you could voice any character, who would it be and why: The Joker!   I have a great version of his voice that I think could go toe to toe with Mark Hamill!
What drew you to audition for Cosmic Rage: The art style always pulls me into a project, then it’s the story; both of these hold true with Cosmic Rage!
Where can fans follow you at or find more of your work: Well, you can always follow me by watching my IMDb or check out some of my art and demos at: www.thehomeofhappiness.weebly.com

Production Update 167: Screening Information

Episode one is getting closer and closer to reaching our premiere date. I thought I would take a quick moment to share confirmed appearances and screenings of the first episode at conventions this year. I am still working out what an online release looks like so don’t worry if you can’t make it to a convention to see it. I will share more on this front when things are a little clearer.

Anyways, the premiere will be in my home-state South Dakota at Siouxper Con. I am very excited to be able to share the first episode here. The following week, I will be at Anime Detour for a screening on Friday. No better way to kick Detour off than seeing some original animation in my opinion. Cosmic Rage has also been confirmed for Tokyo in Tulsa in Oklahoma as well in July.

There are a few more I am working on and still looking at more conventions in the midwest and south to get to, so if you know of any, feel free to send some info my way!

On to the production update! It has been a very good week in terms of production. I received more audio files for scenes and we are only a few scenes away from having the audio work all wrapped up. There is some fine tuning going on for a couple scenes that had more animation and artwork added to them during the process.

In terms of animation, I wrapped up a few scenes that I had some edits to and also wrapped up a new scene that required more extensive artwork and compositing than the other scenes that needed extensions. I have one scene remaining that has more extensive work on it, the other scenes are more minor tweaks and edits.

More updates and news coming soon!

Production Update 162: 3D Renders!

Hey everyone! I really appreciate your patience over the last few weeks. There has been a lot of things going on, so let me get you all up to speed!

At work I have been putting in a little bit of extra time in on a few projects. It comes with the territory. Things have settled down recently which has freed me up a little bit.

I’ve also been back in school this semester working towards finishing my graphic design degree. I’m taking two courses this semester versus just one. My branding class is going great so far. The course that has been throwing me a slight curveball is my Art History advanced writing class. I have a big paper that is due by the end of February so I have been putting in white a bit of time on that. I am getting close to getting to the next check point on this paper so this course will have a lighter workload.

One thing I have also started but haven’t mentioned here yet, is I am also doing some assistant teaching/critiquing for an online animation course. My class has been fantastic so far and I have enjoyed every minute of providing feedback to other animators looking to up their game. The course is starting to level out so I am getting some of my free time back.

Slowly but surely I am getting some of my time back to keep plugging away on Cosmic Rage. While it sounds like I haven’t gotten things done, I assure you that isn’t the case. I have been doing some light 3D work and getting some renders set up so that the files can render while I am doing all of these other things. As things start to settle down, I will have my 3D renders ready to go for when I get back into After Effects.

Things have been forming nicely on the voice over cast. I will be updating you more on the VO cast really soon! Thanks again everyone for you patience, I am excited to get back in action!

Production Update 161: Another Scene Complete!

Production Update time! It’s been a pretty hectic week. I had to play catch up on a lot of real life stuff and school is getting started for the semester too so I a lot of “adulating” to do. Having said that, I found a bit of time over the weekend to get some work on Cosmic Rage in. Let’s get into it.

I have recently been working on the first scene of the episode. After I received the VO and shuffled some things around, I decided I needed a couple new pieces of art that I didn’t anticipate. So I was able to get those pieces of art drawn, inked and colored. With the new artwork in hand, I started working on animating the new scenes.

As I sit here typing out the production update for the week, I am also uploading the new scene 1 to send off for audio production. So far, the first 3 scenes are completed animation wise. While this doesn’t sound like a lot, there is one thing to understand, the opening scenes needed a little more fleshing out in terms of new artwork to handle the voice over capacity. When I start getting into the meat of the episode, there isn’t much for artwork that will be needed and production will go by quickly. I believe right now, there are 4 or 5 more scenes that need to be fleshed out a bit and the rest don’t require as much work.

I am still working on finalizing the VO cast. I’ve run into a couple hiccups in regards to a couple roles, but nothing that is hindering production at this point.

As things start to settle in again, I aim to be back on for blogs in the middle of the week(s) again and looking forward to revealing the voice cast as well!