Sunday, 27 January 2013

I'm still here

University starts back up in a month and I spent all holidays playing video games, watching movies and obsessing over weird shit. I also watched anime. And Being Human started back up. Time well spent.

I'll be sure to write an obviously fantastic review on Ni No Kuni when it comes out here on the 31st of January, which is three days from now.

In the mean time, I'll just keep playing video games. And a bit of roleplaying. But mainly video games.

Go holidays!! Huzzah!!

Sunday, 2 December 2012

The End of the Beginning

So, my first year as a university student is finally over (well, my last assessment was due over a month ago) and I couldn't be feeling any better, really. I finished the year with so much confidence with my work and why wouldn't I? In the process of a year, I have worked my way to becoming a third of a professional animator. Even though that doesn't make much sense, it really is a fantastic feeling. Honestly, I want to do something animator-y over my 3 months or so of holidays, like make another 3D animation or just model something. To know how to create these things just makes me really happy on the inside.

So, now that I'm on holidays, what am I doing? Well, playing all the games I missed, for one. My PS Vita is getting the love it deserves with the haul of games Sony is releasing for the Christmas holidays and there are so many fantastic JRPGs that are surfacing. No doubt, I'll be writing a few positive reviews (and maybe some not so positive ones) for those.

I'm not doing a whole lot of drawing at the moment, despite my planned Pokémon Nuzlocke challenge in the makings an all this animating that I want to do. I just need a break I think. A small one, another half a month or so, before my hand is ready to co-operate.

But since uni is over, I am totally happy to showcase what I've done!

Animation History and Practices:
So, the basis of this assignment was to create something that was influenced by something else. A silly and naive student like myself thought that 2D would be absolutely stunning and easy but... well, it really wasn't. Never-the-less, I did finish it, thank god.

Despite not knowing much what I was doing, I was extremely happy and surprised to get a 7 in this subject (for those who don't know, that's basically an A). The video isn't exceptionally long and it makes me tired thinking about how much more I had planned for this. Still, I finished this subject on such a good note.

Animation and Motion Graphics
This assignment I probably found the 'easiest' in a way that it wasn't difficult, just tedious to put it all together. I based the animation off Atlantis Arising, which you may or may not have heard of (I've mentioned it maybe a billion times in previous entries) and basically made a TV show opening for it. 

I know the criteria said a movie and it did suffer a little since I seemed to have styled it like that. Overall, I got a 5 for the subject, which I am happy with. I learned a lot of tidbits from the subjects and I can actually use After Effects! Hurrah!

Introduction to 3D Computer Graphics
Before now, I had never touched Maya in my life. Sure, I'd heard about it but never had I actually thought about giving it a whirl, since Blender's splash page was too intimidating for me. But, really, after a little time of practice, I found modelling to be a really relaxing experience for me. Everything was so structured and mechanical and logical, so it's a little hard to try and be creative when there's a grid staring at you and telling you to stick between the lines. Once you got the hang of symmetry vs. spontaneity, I could sit for hours at a time trying to try and work out how a bump map works or UV mapping.

I was really happy with my finished product but I did finish the subject on a 5, which was a bit of a bummer. I probably would have gotten a 6 if I had stuck a bit of sound in my video. Ah well, I'm still happy with my work overall. 

Drawing for Animation
The subject overall really felt like a direct copy pasta from last semesters 'Drawing for Design', but with more .gifs and a little more about how movement works. I'll just go ahead and upload EVERYTHING!!

... Okay, not everything. Just the stuff I liked.




The last is a group project which I found both hilarious and amazing. I'm sure you all will too. Overall, I grabbed a 6 from this subject which didn't expect at all.

So, that's what I did in the past 6 months; schooled, worked, gamed, hung outed and was pretty bad ass at it too. Now, excuse me, I gotta get back to Virtue's Last Reward. It's plot twisting my brains out.
Today's song; Nascence - Austin Wintory

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Half a semester down, three big animations to go

So, yeah, university has been pretty hectic up until now. I've finished all of my first assessments for all my subjects, but this isn't going to get any easier. No, between now and the end of semester, I have a short 3D animation, a slightly longer 2D animation, a motion graphics and a drawing portfolio due. I'm in for a pretty busy four weeks but if I can just cram this all together, get my head down and do hard, solid work, I should be just fine.

So, between the start of the semester and now, I've been a pretty good student, aside from the few super late nights doing assignments. I've had two exams, a drawing portfolio, a VLOG and an essay (as well as two proposals and an oral but that doesn't really count) all handed in and it feels good to be free for just a little while. A few days of gaming and catching up on sleep will be good until I need to really pull myself into these next assignments.

So, yes, the first half of semester. I'll upload some stuff!

This is the very rough 'preview' for my motion graphics assignment. I have to create a one and a half to two minute video of a fake movie's opening titles. I chose Atlantis Arising because I'm an uncreative bitch. Also, because the concept is really cool and I've really wanted to do something for this series. 

Now, how about a whole lot of Drawing for Animation .gifs?

And of course, how could I forget life drawing?


As for my other classes, I had exams and essays. Practical exams yes, but nothing special enough that I want to show just yet. After the semester is over, I'll be confident enough to show my obviously bad ass 3D, 2D and motion graphics animations. See you all then, I suppose.
Today's song; Finale - Madeon

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

It's been a long time...

Almost 8 weeks. And it's going to be a bit longer.

Sorry guys, I've been caught up with other things, and with university starting back up for it's second semester, I'm going to get busier.

Just for a heads up, I'm doing four classes again; Animation And Motion Graphics, Animation History And Practices, Introduction To 3d Computer Graphics and Drawing For Animation.

I promise to update soon (ish) with some stuff, okay?

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Colour vs. Line

Though I'm not exceptionally good at it, colouring is my favourite thing to do.

Yeah, drawing is fun and sketching is fun but lining? Bleaugh, sometimes I wish I could skip it. Which I do, actually, and just head straight on to colouring. Lineless art isn't exactly a strong point of mine but I create lines as I go along. Lines are necessary sometimes though when trying to use a more cartoonish style but yes, I find lining such a tedious and un-fun process. Only sometimes when I use non-pen-pressure strokes can I find it interesting. Though, after I line the face, everything else seems too boring. I need to study bodies and torsos more to find more lines!

My style changes so often and so suddenly, though that's how one experiments, right?

I hate that I leave so many things unfinished but I just lose motivation. So, I decided to do a thirty day challenge, starting tomorrow. I'll still upload weekly, not daily (that would just be spammy) so expect some good stuff next week! So, this is just a general update, sorry for the lack of everything. 
Today's song; Obvious - blink-182

Friday, 15 June 2012

(review) Gravity Rush/Daze

Gravity Rush (as it's called here, so I'll refer to it as such from now on) was probably the game I was most looking forward to since I got the Vita. Since its release, the Vita hasn't had a whole lot of great games and the only other game I've bought retail is Disgaea 3 (which is amazing by the way). Since the Vita's unveiling at E3 last year, this was probably the game I was looking forward to the most.

For those who don't know, Gravity Rush lets you play as 'Kat', a young girl who falls from the sky and can't remember who she is and what she's doing in this place. She soon finds that out with the help of a cat that she found when she first woke, she can control gravity and she's not the only one. Because of her power, she's practically forced to protect the floating city of Hekseville as well as trying to recover her memory and discover the secrets of the city and her mysterious past.

In short, this game is wonderful. Truly wonderful. Not long after the game starts, you're given a small portion of the city to roam freely with your newly acquired gravity powers; and yes, gravity means you can fly. I spent a good hour or two just running around the first town of Auldnoir, admiring every detail that went into building this. Sure, you can fly everywhere but if you want, you can walk around, up and down stairs, underneath arches and through beautiful parks. If you so choose, you can collect gems that are floating around everywhere (even underneath the city) and use them to level up different abilities and stats (including health, attack power and gravity power regenerate speed) which adds that RPG element to the game, or to 'repair' the city, which adds mini-game time attacks and challenges which gives you the chance to win back more gems.

The art style is so beautiful, cel shaded and ICO/Shadow of the Colossus-esque in that hair-and-scarf-whipping-around-violently kind of way. It's also extremely easy just to lose yourself into the game when you're travelling, fighting, searching or exploring; many a time I've given myself headaches trying to figure out which way was the actual way gravity went (when you stop though, Kat's hair and scarf falls in that direction which is quite handy indeed). And the music? Absolutely stunning. For a portable game, the entire soundtrack is orchestrated and beautiful. When I first started roaming, the music that plays while in Auldnoir just made my heart leap, plus the sassy and jazzy number that plays in the Entertainment District is just awesome.

The controls weren't difficult to understand but controlling gravity? Tricky to get the hang of. Fighting enemies became tedious and repetitive over time as the enemies got bigger and the attacks weren't exactly varied. You have two primary and three secondary attacks; Kick, throw item and gravity-kick (though normal kicking became rather redundant as there was never any point of fighting on the ground if you could do triple the damage in the air) were the primary attacks and the ones I used most. As for secondary, you were given the choice out of three; spinny attack, rock-throwy attack and black hole thing. Once you used one, you had to wait a minute or two before you could use any of the three again. Admittedly, the secondary attacks were rather overpowered and you could easily knock a bosses health down by a third or a half but to aim attacks was annoying; it was so easy to miss, thrown off course and be tumbling in the wrong direction with not much gravity power left. Like I said, it wasn't hard, just tedious. Some of the enemies which were clearly meant to be small fry took me 15 or 20 minutes as I tried to dodge counter attacks and aim correctly.

It's hard to die though; if you're low on health, you can fly off, grab a health gem and come back. I haven't died once yet.

Despite the free roam element, the game is a little lacking in stuff to do other than the main story, those challenges or exploring. There could have been so much more; side quests with secondary characters, perhaps? I wouldn't have minded a 'multiplayer' feature where you can join friends to do challenges or explore together (a create a character feature would fit nicely in there). There just wasn't enough to do other than the main story. That being said, I was never bored with the game.

The storyline is rather engaging and hard to pull yourself away from. As Kat learns about Hekseville and all the secrets behind in, the complexity of the story gets extreme and more questions are raised than answered at the end of each cut scene. I've only pulled myself away from it now as my Vita charges and I wish my lunch breaks at work were three hours instead of half an hour. I can't even tell where I am in the story anymore; it kind of feels like I'm reaching the end but a new mystery is unveiled soon after I feel like the next boss is the last boss. Of course, I haven't finished yet. I suspect an amazing finale though. I'll keep you posted.

So, if you've got a Vita, definitely grab this game any way you can. It's so wonderful and unique, I've found myself comparing it's pull-in effect to The World Ends With You (which still remains to be my favourite DS game of all time). I'm already on Amazon, trying to find the soundtrack and art book. I just want everything to do with this game.
Today's song; Discovery of Gravitation - Kohei Tanaka

Friday, 8 June 2012

University: Weeks 11-14

MAN. What a tiring couple of weeks it's been! Honest to god, I've had my fair share of crazy and I've practically done nothing but work on assignments and work at work and very little time roleplaying. But now, it's all over. As of today, I have officially finished my first semester of university! Yeah!! And now, I can slip into 7 weeks of holiday bliss where I can do nothing but game, hang with friends and play more games (and probably work too). Yeah, it's gonna be fantastic.

So, let me just recap everything!

First's first, my Animation Methodologies essay is all handed in. There's not much really to say about that without boring you with theory, so pressing on...

Burned to a CD and 500 words later, Digital Media is also all handed in! If you haven't been reading, that one was where we had to make our own video of anything (which was annoying). Of course, I won't include the 500 words but you can check out my awesome video below! Okay, maybe not completely awesome and perhaps a little quirky but I definitely liked the finish product!

Drawing for Design was ... phew! Though I had a lot of the drawings down, I had to draw about a million and a half bikes, which was INCREDIBLY PAINFUL. Drawing one bike is hard enough, but to draw twenty?! Thirty?! No thank you. I did it anyway and some of the things, including the animation, just... I was almost crying because how well it turned out despite my crappy light box (it was seriously my laptop light with paper over it).

That wasn't all of my drawings, but I think if I included them all, I'd probably kill everyone's bandwidth.

And Visual Communication? Well, I had to create a booklet for that and honestly, it turned out so awesome. If printing it didn't cost $16, I would have printed out like 4 or 5. Because I loved how it turned out so much and how the girl at Officeworks thermally bound it and how the whole layout just... worked! It was just awesome.

If I can, I may try to upload the full PDF later. For now, let's just stick with some cool sneak peeks from it;

Yeah! There was more, like nets of my packaging and actual layout but this is the stuff worth showing for the time being. I actually really like the vector of the glasses and the device, I was a little sad I forgot to save it in Illustrator (I still have a lame low-res raster in inDesign, which is what this is. Though, when I look at it, the quality seems pretty alright!).

So, now this is all over, I've bought Diablo 3. So I can play that and see what all the fuss is about.

You know, something I've never shared is my gamertags and details, so I'll do that now and stick them in my 'about me' section. I've got a few, but I'm mainly PSN based thanks to my Vita.
PSN: Maddaye
XBLA: Maddaye
Steam: psn_maddaye Skymin#6323
If you do happen to add me, make sure you attach a message of some kind saying who you are because I will most likely decline if you don't! I've also got Minecraft as well!

Today's song; Over the Hill - Bearhug