Production Update 135: Full Steam Ahead

Everything is returning to normal. No more vacations or long road trips to distant cons to inform attendees about the history of CGI in anime. Instead, I attended a “mini-con” in my old hometown of Watertown. I gave my presentation on CGI in anime and held down an artist table as well. I tried something new, which I actually learned from a friend at AnimeFargo last year, using a second monitor so other attendees could watch me work and see how Cosmic Rage is made and see what programs I use.

It was amazing to see such a great turnout for Akuacon, especially when I would have never thought that would have happened when I was a student there. It’s pretty awesome to see the progression of the anime community in a decade. I look forward to being a part of more to come.

On the production side of things, it has been a full steam ahead kind of week. I was able to get some good nights of work in and was really productive over the con as well.

In case you forgot, the current scene I am working on is composed of 9 shots (debating about cutting one). I was able to get all of the backgrounds done. This means they aren’t roughed out, I have final renders done and in After Effects for me to work with. There will be no time wasted in waiting for image sequences to finish rendering.

I was also able to start adding in the crowds to these backgrounds as well. I would estimate I am about half done with building the crowds, something I aim to finish up for next weeks update. Along with that, I did discover I missed a piece of artwork, so I need to ink that piece and also get the coloring and shading completed as well.

I do need to spend a bit of time over the holiday in the garden, since we are trying to get the weeds a little more under control since I spent so much of June traveling. July should be a less hectic and also with less miles. I also need to get another piece of production art up soon as well! Stay tuned!

Con Announcement: AkuaCon, Watertown SD

I’ll be presenting my History of CGI in Anime panel at AkuaCon in Watertown, SD. I grew up in Watertown, SD so I am really looking forward to presenting and meeting more of my fellow fans in South Dakota. The interesting thing with AkuaCon, is it is a one day free con for everyone to check out. Here are more details…

The History of CGI in Anime
Watertown, SD
June 27, 2015


My posts and updates to the site have been a little spotty in the month of June and while it may seem like I have been slacking off and the project may not get done, nothing is further from the truth. June has seemingly flew by and July and another holiday are almost upon us. I spent the first part of June really working on some exterior shots for the motion comic so I could get them rendered over the vacation, which was much needed. I went to the Black Hills in South Dakota and did some hiking and really unplugged for 5 days. I didn’t use the internet and just set my computer up to render and let it go (as you can see in the picture below of my makeshift render station).


While the scenes rendered, I enjoyed some time in the outdoors. The west river side of South Dakota has some great hiking if you ever get the chance. This is the view from the top of Harney Peak, which is over 7,000 feet.


I have covered the importance of unplugging from your computer a few times, but it is always worth repeating and always fun sharing some of the things I unplug for. It is nice to step away from the computer and get out in nature and into the real world. I also have to do what I can to spread the word about an awesome area to hike and you can check out Mt Rushmore too.

The time away from the computer allows me to mentally recharge and give my eyes a break from looking at pixels. A small break can act as an instant refresher to your creative batteries and allow you to get back to things 100% when you do get back to a computer. Be sure to check back on Monday and see what I got done this week. 😉 One last picture for the weekend!


Con Recap: Sogen Con 2013

I was able to make my second con of the year this past weekend in my home state of South Dakota for the farewell tour of Sogen Con. About a month before the con, it was announced on social media outlets that Sogen Con was in it’s final year. I was bummed out by the news, because I am hoping that I can take Cosmic Rage on the con road next year and I was hoping that Sogen was going to be on the list of cons to submit for. While the con could come back in future years, this was going to be it’s finale, at least for now.

I didn’t make it for the opening ceremony on Friday night, but I was able to make it to a couple panels. The first panel I attended was the web comic panel, I always like to hear about other artist’s journeys into the medium and to hear them talk about their artwork.

This year the featured artist was James Hatton, who runs a webcomic called “In His Likeness” A comic based on a dot characters of God, the Devil, Poseidon and other characters of religious mythology. The comic makes fun of pop culture so you should get a lot of laughs out of it.

After the comic panel, I  went to a mystery screening session where we poked fun at a few random series. Nothing better than laughing at a series with bad voice acting, bad artwork or terrible storylines.  I caught a few screened episodes of Dragonball, because come on, stuff is always funner to watch on big screens.

I headed back to the con on Saturday morning and had a chance to hang out and talk with James a bit more before going to another panel of his where we talked about how the medium of web comics is changing and evolving. I love hearing about what other artists are working on and their perspective on the current state of the field.

After the panel I killed some time checking out artist alley and the dealers room. I talked with a few of the other artists and saw a lot of stuff I wanted to buy, but that’s normal right?

I went to another screening, this time it was some OVA’s on Dominion Tank Police. Some good stuff to laugh at a bit, it was like an animated 80’s hair band music video. Funny stuff.

I grabbed some food, and then went to another panel about kaiju monsters and we worked on creating one as a group that will be online later. The following panel was the Season 2 premiere of a short series called Bar Flies (you can check the first episode here).

I didn’t see season 1 before so after a quick recap we dove into season 2. It was very entertaining and the director and producer were there to answer questions afterwards and tell us about some of the ups and downs of the filming journey.

Before the rave got underway, there was a pretty epic hailstorm that dumped ping pong sized hail in the area. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend the con on Sunday, missing a few panels that I wanted to see, as well as the closing ceremony. I met some great people and I hope that Sogen Con can be back in the near future.