Sunday, February 24, 2013

A note to my fellow film geeks

I usually don't do posts like this, but as a 3D and Visual Effects geek I thought this was an important issue.

Today is the Oscars, and of course there are lots of films being nominated, one of which is Life of Pi.  Now, all I know about this film is that it's an adaptation of the book by the same name, which I've never read.  The point is that Pi sold over $500million in tickets worldwide.  The studio behind the apparently amazing visual effects is Rythm & Hues - it's one of the big, well known studios in California.

If you take a look at their Wikipedia page (link) under Filmography, they've worked on a lot of big films - many of which I've seen and like: the X-Men films (except for Origins: Wolverine, thankfully - haha), Lord of the Rings, Night at the Museum, The Chronicles of Narnia - The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, and many others.
However, they've had to declare bankruptcy and around (maybe over) 200 visual effects artists lost their jobs.  This is after a Oscar-nominated film - for which they created the VFX - has made over 500million bucks in ticket sales worldwide.  And according to my reading, more and more studios are having financial trouble even after their films make tonnes of $$, and the studios and artists involved aren't getting paid as well as they should.

So my point is, today I found out about a protest being held by VFX pros and artists, and after reading up on it I thought I should share the news with my fellow geeks.  I grew up watching VFX-laden films like Jurassic Park, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, or animated marvels like Toy Story, Shrek, or The Incredibles, and I've spent hours watching bonuses and behind-the-scenes footage on how they make a 2-tonne mecha smash through a digital wall, or how they created the amazing character that is Gollum.
So, if you're on Twitter (the hashtag is #vfxprotest) and care about VFX and its future, let those artists down in L.A., Vancouver, and other cities know that we're behind them as well :)

Well, that's all I have to say for now.  Thanks for reading!

Anime verdict - Steins;Gate

Let me start off by pointing out that this particular anime isn't for younger audiences - it's definitely a more serious story, and there's some language, questionable jokes (mostly Daru's fault) and a bit of fan-service mixed in.
Also, please be warned that although I did my very best, some spoilers have slipped in just the same.

...and I also might talk your ears off.  This is a looong post, guys.

Steins;Gate was dubbed by Funimation in two parts last year, and I started watching it soon after the first twelve episodes were dubbed and released.  This series dives into a popular sci-fi subject - time-travel - by a rather interesting method.  Rather than physically travelling through time like a 900-year-old Time Lord in a blue phone box (which the show makes references to a few times), they change events already passed and alter their future by sending text messages back in time using a cell-phone.  This also involves one of the strangest time-machine discoveries I've seen yet - microwaved bananas, which turn fluorescent-green and their molecular structure pretty much breaks down.  They eventually stop nuking bananas to send their text messages since it was both getting expensive and they didn't actually need the bananas as a catalyst or fuel source.

In a nutshell, if you take a look at my currently non-existent list of anime favourites, you would see that the top spots are now occupied by three different series, all of which are on an equal footing.  These three would be the The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya series - which only recently joined the top ranks as I've sort-of rediscovered the series* recently, if that makes any sense; the short, 13-episode Angel Beats!, which I've talked about before; and now Steins;Gate.

Thanks to Funimation for uploading the trailer

The story is quite mind-bending and lengthy as well, spanning a full 25 episodes and going through two major, interconnected arcs - which Funimation conveniently released in two parts, giving us the big unexpected cliff-hanger at the end of episode 12, which in my opinion is also one of the funniest episodes of the whole series.  It's rather ironic too, considering said cliff-hanger, but I can't say anything more about that cliff-hanger without risking giving away its cliff-hanger-ness.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

New Audi A5 update

I've already fallen behind with my blog posts - I originally had planned to do a post every ten days or so, since I wanted to have double the number of posts in 2013 as I did in 2012.  However, I've been quite busy and haven't had much time to think about new posts or subjects.
However, I do already have one subject to post about, I just have to get around to it.  Last week I (finally) finished watching sci-fi anime series Steins;Gate, so I'll definitely be doing a post about that.  In the mean time, I'm happy to say it has happy ending - I had my doubts during the last few episodes.

For today, I'll be posting all the new updates on the Audi A5 project.  I've mostly been posting about it on, so the last image I posted here was of the new bumper panel.  I've made quite a few changes to it since then.
These images start from August 21st last year up to present day - on a side note the HTML has messed up and not all the images are 100% centred, but I can't figure out how to fix it :|

A new bumper and front wing.