Adventures and thinkings and other things
Reminiscing

Oct 12, 2014.

I decided to recall events from elementary school. This reads like a shitty autobiography.

I switched to a different elementary school in second grade. I remember having a conference with who was going to be my teacher (or was this after school had already started?). I was upset about something. I said that I missed my friends at my old school. I’m not sure if that was completely true, I believe I was upset about the change. I didn’t really understand why at the time. Apparently I got into the gifted education program and my previous school didn’t have it. I don’t exactly remember taking a test to get in, but perhaps I did.

Throughout that time school was easy, despite being in a better educational program. At some point I was known for consistently getting 100% on all my math tests, and I was proud of that. I couldn’t see how anyone could miss these problems as I thought they were really easy. There was more than enough time to do the test then go over it and check your work. I really only had problems with anything involving literature or writing which I kinda hated.

I remember the first day of what I think was 3rd grade, perhaps 2nd, before school started. Instead of going out to the playground, I instead sat near the front of the classroom, to make sure I got the room right. My mom put me in boy scouts which met Saturday (or Sunday?) morning. There were a bunch of bullies in the group, which really made it unenjoyable to come, so I eventually stopped going. I looked back on this at some point and thought that this made me shy. In fact, it was because I was shy that they bullied me.

I remember being different socially, and I didn’t know why. I thought I was weird. I would spend time wondering around alone at recess, but not always. This never really changed, and only in high school did I find out what introversion was.

Outside of school  I didn’t have many friends to play with. Mostly stuck to video games. Now these games are my childhood. I also took piano classes, which I eventually lost interest in. I didn’t like practicing. Now I understand the importance of practice, and know enough to play mildly complex pieces if I have the time.

One of those years our class rehearsed for a musical. I don’t remember exactly how it went. Probably the play was done and the class would sing at the end. We never rehearsed without having the teacher cue us in. I noticed this, and took note of the cue, which was like 8 bars in or something. In the performance the class completely skipped the intro, including me; I was afraid of looking silly. I believe I started on the next verse and the class followed. We did have another performance at least.

One year I was on a math team. This was for a specific grade, I don’t remember which. They would have to meet before school for practice or training or something. Those who wanted in had to take a test. It was voluntary, and only a group of four would be selected. I didn’t want to do it; I did not want the commitment, but the class pressured me to do it. Naturally, I did make a spot on the team. I missed several meetings though due to either forgetting to remind mom or mom not waking me or whatever. Schools should consider starting class later. We won a few medals at the competition. Wonder what happened to them.

Many of the students from my elementary school class in the gifted education program went on to prestigious colleges and STEM majors. I’d like some stats on this.

I had two big regrets in sixth grade. The first was that I didn’t join outdoor education. I was addicted to MapleStory at the time and thought someone would play with me. And I thought $100 was a lot. That feels like pocket change now, compared to college tuition. Those couple of days were miserable. We had to do book reports that year. I hated reading. I believe there were 3 in total. Now in elementary school I wasn’t accustomed to there being consequences for not doing something. I don’t think was even warned. Grades weren’t really a thing. Most homework was easy and could be finished in less than an hour. But these actually took time. The final one I decided not to do. At the end of the year,  the school hosted a bunch of fun things for sixth graders. Thing is, if you misbehaved they would take them away, starting with the best ones first. Teacher saw I didn’t do the book report and decided to take away an event for each day I didn’t have it done, something I didn’t believe. She took away recess from me so I would work on it then. At home I would play games and totally not do the report. By the time it was done I only had three lame things left.

I suppose one could take away from this is that you should let kids have fun, because some things stop being fun as they grow older. Some memories last forever, perhaps allow the older ones should be more enjoyable. I probably should dwell on the bad things in the past. I have way too much to worry about now.

Changed my profile icon

8/15/2014 ~1:30 am

It’s no longer an old selfie and rather something I made for my Steam avatar. While anyone who knows me won’t immediately recognize me if they come across my blog, I think I like it better this way. I wouldn’t expect many of them to try to find my blog.

In other news, I’ve taken up modding Dota 2 with the release of the Dota 2 Workshop tools. However the documentation is rather sparse so it make things difficult to figure out.

I finally beat Link to the Past. Yay. The game must have been really frustrating without save states.

Guardians of the Galaxy is a great movie.

Staying inside all day is boring. Fortunately I have a multitude of things to keep me occupied.

I arranged Toothless Found from the HTTYD2 soundtrack in Sibelius. For some context, this is the part where

SPOILER SPOILER

Hiccup confronts Drago riding Toothless and manages to get through to him, and then they separate Drago from the Alpha with the blindfold.

END SPOILER SPOILER

Since I don’t play every instrument proficiently, I don’t know whether some parts are actually playable (or necessarily correct). I had fun doing this.

The Sibelius sounds don’t actually do the original track justice. Crescendos and decrescendos are not very dynamic (or I haven’t figured out how to make it so).

UPDATE SEPTEMBER 13, 2014:

Felt like publishing. I’d like to note that the percussion part should really be at least 2 separate parts, having it all on one part looks really messy. Also, switching from Percussion to the Vibraphone makes Sibelius use the bowed vibraphone sounds for whatever reason, and I don’t know how to fix that.

Sibelius file: http://www.mediafire.com/download/ukqoq7jnu2sqnmt/Toothless_Found.sib
PDF: http://www.mediafire.com/view/4cmfb1q8xg6myb4/Toothless_Found_score.pdf

kidcitizencosplay:

Latest Ratchet update. I finally have moved on, I’m not happy with it but I’ve let it go (sorta) and got some real work done. I re-did the ears much bigger and I’ve taped off the mask, ready to make the pattern to stick the fur on.
Slow Kid Citizen is slow…

kidcitizencosplay:

Latest Ratchet update. I finally have moved on, I’m not happy with it but I’ve let it go (sorta) and got some real work done. I re-did the ears much bigger and I’ve taped off the mask, ready to make the pattern to stick the fur on.

Slow Kid Citizen is slow…

HTTYD2 Thoughts

7/13/2014

Spoiler warning: If you haven’t seen HTTYD2 you might not want to read this.

Saw HTTYD2 on release day and again more recently. Simply put, I loved it, but there are some bits I disliked. I wish I had a chance to see it in 3D.

Some thoughts and criticisms I’d like to share:

Read More

Hello I read your article about the ratchet and clank movie and it's really awesome, really interesting! And i read that it said that it didn't even show the Omniwrench. Maybe you know this now or maybe don't but it shows the wrench in 00:31. It looks like it's clank but it isn't :3

Ah wow, hard to see with the motion blur. Nice catch.

Over analyzing the Ratchet and Clank trailer

image

Alright so, I was filled with much joy when I saw the new trailer. It was the only reason I was watching the Playstation press conference. Thankfully the trailer played right before I had to take my last final. Being the huge fan I am of Ratchet and Clank, I’m going to look at every little bit of it and speculate the plot. Potential future spoilers maybe? Mostly just nerding out here.

I’d like to note the music in the trailer first. It’s the theme from All 4 One with different segments put together. I thought it was an original composition based on the theme at first but it fits perfectly so I guess there isn’t a need for new music. Oh well, but at least it’s cool knowing Michael Bross’s music has a dual purpose. Still a little disappointed they didn’t use a new composition. Bross does not appear to be composing for the movie.

In the game Ratchet comes off as a bit of a brat, which prompted a change in character and voice actors for the later games. Ratchet doesn’t even start off thinking about or wanting to save the universe, unlike how it appears to be in the film.

We also see Clank escaping from the factory and being shot down, crash landing on Veldin which more or less happens the same way in the game, although appears to get shot down by rockets instead of ships who then look for him. We also see Ratchet repairing Clank in a small segment. Supposedly Ratchet recovers him from the crash then fixes him.

Quark retains his narcissistic character, no surprise. Appearing with him in the “Cue montage” bit appears to be a Fongoid child. Fongoids aren’t even introduced in the game series until ACiT, but we’ll roll with that.

Ratchet appears to be taking driving/piloting lessons, with an instructor who looks like Frumpus Croid who appears in All 4 One and plays an entirely different role. Or maybe he’s escorting Croid and stuff goes wrong. The idea of Ratchet having a license isn’t really shown in the games. I believe the comic subtly reveals he doesn’t have one.

The swingshot is shown a few times. Nice to see that implemented. It appears to function as a grappling hook and doesn’t appear to require the versa-targets used in the games.

Here’s how I think the plot rolls out. Ratchet wants to be a hero, He goes to Quark and is rejected, does his driving thing which goes wrong, probably does a few more things not shown in the trailer. At the end of the day, he lays on the crane, sees Clank crash down, retrieves him and Clank encourages him to do hero stuff after revealing whatever information he has. After this the plot somehow incorporates Drek and Nefarious and of course Ratchet beats their asses. Keep in mind this is all pure speculation.

This differs a fair amount from the game’s plot. Ratchet’s first goal in the game was to complete his ship to get off Veldin. Clank in a deal with Ratchet powers up his ship if Ratchet takes him to find Quark. He never wanted to be a hero until a change of heart much later in the game.

No weapons are shown, not even the Omniwrench. We’ll probably get a glimpse of them later. I can imagine Ratchet going to a vendor and being briefed on some of them, with some comedic bits thrown in.

I’d like to point out some of the finer details. Ratchet’s fur looks really nice. There’s also some focus shifting. The lighting is beautiful. The texture quality of the gloves when he connects the wires together (Probably my favorite frame of the trailer)

image

It appears for a split-second and it looks amazing. Of course these are all things animated movies should have. If nothing else, it shows that the animators are putting a lot of attention to detail. The film looks very promising.

I’ve been craving for a new trailer for quite a while and they’ve delivered. Almost none of the plot is spoiled. Well I guess most fans already know how it’s going to go anyway. I bring this up because all of the HTTYD2 trailers and clips have pretty much spoiled the entire movie such that I’ve had to refrain from watching the newer clips. We’ll probably get more spoilery trailers though, hopefully not to the extent HTTYD did.

When this hits it’s going to be the first video game movie that’s actually great. That’s the expectation I believe everyone is looking forward to. I sincerely hope it will live up to its expectations.

Looks to be a good week

6/9/2014

The new Ratchet and Clank trailer looks amazing. Literally the only thing to excite me while watching E3 (although I was really only watching for the trailer). As with the previous one I took a bunch of screenshots of Ratchet to add to my slide show desktop background. Had three finals today and now I’m gone for summer. New game for the PS4 also announced, both the film and the game coming out next year. 

Also released today was the soundtrack for HTTYD2 which is also pretty awesome. I’ve yet to listen to all of it due to finals today. The first track introduces all of the previous themes. It’s great to see a refreshing take on them after listening to them over and over the last month or so. I’m almost reluctant to listen to the rest of it as I can almost guess the plot of the story the way the music reacts. The movie’s out this Friday; I hope to see it on release day.

I also have a bunch of screenshots of Toothless being cute from HTTYD in my desktop slideshow. I might upload them some time.

I’ve tried out School of Dragons, a browser game related to HTTYD made by Jumpstart. Actually, the only reason I tried is because I wanted to see how James Arnold Taylor sounded as Hiccup. Yeah I can tell it’s him. Good impression, maybe not good enough? Haven’t heard much of the dialogue. Either way, the game is complete ass. Looks like it was made a decade ago

Next post overanalyzes the Ratchet and Clank trailer.

Freaking DRAGONS

4/28/2014

I’ve developed a love for 3D animation over the past year or so, despite never being the artistic type. I haven’t been able to go to the movies much during my teen years, so I’ve missed out on a few many big hits. I’ve tried compiling a list of films to watch, but it also comes down finding the time to watch them, and finding out how to watch them.

Anyway, I really wish I had been able to see How To Train Your Dragon back when it released in 2010. This is now my favorite movie. Maybe I would be a different person if I were able to be invested in the franchise over the past four years.

Toy Story 3 came out the same year. I remember seeing it theaters, but I don’t remember it to be as grasping as HTTYD. Maybe I should watch the trilogy again. I don’t recall seeing the other 2 properly, only when they aired on Disney channel. Maybe I’ll see them differently now that I’m older.

I’ve seen all of the Marvel movies, yet I was never a big fan of Marvel heroes, probably since I didn’t grow up on comic books. I like how all of the films tie into the same universe. I read Wikipedia to see how they integrated all of the characters from the comics into the film universe. It’s pretty great.

But HTTYD has me launched into a [descriptive way of describing my joy following the franchise].

Animated films tend to be aimed towards kids. They don’t have to be, though, and I think HTTYD shows this very well. I saw Rio 2 the weekend it was released. I have a thing for anthropomorphic animals, but I’m a little old to enjoy movies sticking songs at every opportunity. The voice actress for Jewel has a sweet singing voice though. HTTYD presents an exciting and compelling story without doing the things kid’s movies are generally known for. Not only that, it looks beautiful.

Unfortunately the level of polish the film had did not transition into the TV series following the events of the movie. I’m through most of the first season and it sticks out to me that the episodes are pretty much all written individually rather than all of it having a connected storyline, like Avatar. The visual quality is a bit lower but I can see why. If the TV show had the quality of the film it would probably be the best cartoon ever.

Also the score. I’ve been listening to it every day for the last few weeks. I’m starting to learn arrangements for flute and piano. Maybe I’ll learn to play violin decently. I love it. No other movie score has had me this attached. John Powell created a set of themes that repeat throughout the score. I really love this as it gives a franchise a musical identity rather than just a visual one. I suppose this can be compared to Koji Kondo, who composed many identifiable tracks of Nintendo’s games.

As with all other things, I start to lose hype for them after a while. So maybe in a few more months (after HTTYD2 is released) I won’t be so hyped about dragons. Something usually replaces it. My last “favorite thing” was Legend of Zelda with ALBW, which made me look up how all of the Zelda music evolved through all of the games.

But for now, I would very much like to ride a dragon.

Hey a blood moon’s out

4/15 

I’ve been much less angsty and philosophical, so there’s less for me to really post about. The ongoing struggle for me right now is waiting to get my license back again. I don’t know why I have to wait so long between appointments. I should have had it back by now if the hospital didn’t have problems with their EEG department. Despite the three month delay in getting the results, my neurologist wants to wait another three months for me to do a blood test and then give me my license back. It feels very likely for something else to go wrong during the wait times. Assuming all goes well I’ll probably have to wait for the DMV to do its shit and repair the car. It’s a demotivating situation, having to rely on my family to get my places and also discouraging me from working over the summer.

Beat Phantom Hourglass and Wind Waker a while ago. Currently on Spirit Tracks for the DS and got to the Dark World on ALTTP, the same part I left off as a kid. I let that sit there for a month or two until I recently got around to beating the first dungeon.

Class scheduling for ECE students here sucks. There are very few sections for each class and the times are not very convenient much of the time. I had mostly waitlisted classes until the end of the add/drop period, in which I managed to get 15 units. I should study more.

Watched the entirety of Yugioh Abridged. Great stuff. It’s too bad I ran out of episodes to watch. King of games, bitch!

A few friends and I made a Dota team and played in CEVO for a little while. Turns out we don’t really have the time or commitment to be really really good at this game. But we’re all right.

I recently watched How To Train Your Dragon. Very good movie. Amazing score. I’m going to indulge myself into its related media and shows over the next few weeks, including listening to the soundtrack on Spotify. I’d like to produce and score an animated short film some time in my life.

Watched Captain America and Rio 2 in theaters. I’m not a huge fan of Marvel heroes but I enjoy the Marvel movies. I enjoyed Rio 2 as well, even though it might be aimed at a younger audience.

I guess that’s it for now.

Well there’s this one girl in one of my classes I find myself attracted to, but I can’t figure out how to say “Hi.”

animalcrackersmovie:

This is where everything came together…

In April 2013, after 2 years of rejection over my script for Animal Crackers from all studios, I asked my friends Jaime Maestro and Nathalie Martinez from Frameover Studios to help me put together a short that would help people see what I had in mind for the film.

Though I had NO budget, they said that they believed in the project…and more so… believed in me.

I then set out to write a SCRIPT for this. I wanted something AMAZING. Something powerful. Something that told the WHOLE STORY.

I wrote an elaborate 9 page script that had all of the elements of the film crammed into one action-packed trailer.

I’m pretty sure Jaime printed the 9 pages out JUST so he could call me on Skype so I can hear him CRUMBLE it up and throw it in the trash.

"We are doing this for free" he explained "You need to think smaller"

Okay. Back to the drawing board.

I wrote another script. Then another. And 5 more.

Still too elaborate.

Finally, Jaime sent me a link.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eU6Djgf0gNo

The genius of Pixar. A single character. A single room.

But you get it.

The rest was easy. I had the script done that night.

I next called my friend Tony Bancroft. Tony and I had worked on some projects together in the past, and he and I had always talked about directing a film together. Tony was one of the lead animators on Lion King and Beauty and the Beast as well as co-director of Mulan.

Next, I asked my friend Jamie Thomason if he could help me round up some talent for voices. Jamie also has been a long time friend who also happens to be one of the premiere voice directors in animation.

Jamie knew exactly who to call for this. Tara Strong (Harley Quinn from Batman the Animated Series) and James Arnold Taylor (Obi Wan Kenobi from Clone Wars).

Jamie had set up a meeting with James and my family one year in Disney World (During Star Wars Weekend) and my boys THRILLED at the chance to “meet Obi Wan”. James couldn’t have been nicer and I was so happy to work with him.

James also brought his daughter, Lydia, to do AMAZING work for Mackenzie (Adorable).

While Jamie Thomason had set up auditions with several actors for me to choose from… we always knew we wanted Tara and James.

Tim Hodge (Mulan/Brother Bear) came on to help out with story. We would hang out at Panera Bread and discuss the boards and he would doodle notes and such.

It all took place in just 6 weeks. SIX WEEKS.

Friends, family, left over parts from unused projects. Everyone joining in to help me see my vision through.

It’s not perfect. But it works.

I wasn’t able to give any real notes on animation. Everything you see is is FIRST PASS animation done in Spain.

I’ve always said this is 50% of the quality the film would be.

But it works. It got us a studio deal. It got us our investors. And we’re making a movie.

Because my friends believed in me.

We’re making a movie. Can you believe that?

kidcitizencosplay:

Done, done, and done. Ratchet now has a wrench! The main ingredients here are wooden dowel, scrap plastic, epoxy putty, SuperSculpey and spray paint/gloss. This was a really great build and I’m rather happy with how it came out. Special thanks to my boyfriend and friend for helping me with some parts :D

I would like to see some more original creations posted on here :3 like in addition to your models! perhaps short stories you dream up, songs you put together, etc. Maybe focusing on those things will give you something to strive for again.
Anonymous

I’ve like to create more content, but it would have to take time out of school and stuff.

What I’ve been up to lately

1/30/2014

Eat, sleep, class, homework, Dota sums up most of my day. I feel like I’m busy enough with classes that I don’t really need a job but some income would be nice. (Or I just don’t manage my time well enough that having a job would be feasible for me.)

In December I beat A Link Between Worlds in two days and being a fan of The Legend of Zelda, enjoyed the entire thing. I cannot stop thinking about the music, much of which are remasters of the soundtrack from A Link to the Past. I remember messing around a lot in ALttP as a kid and after getting to the Dark World, had no idea what to do. So I never beat it. ALBW kept the map mostly intact, and improved on every ALttP was, and adds a fair bit of nostalgia as well.

With that, I’ve been looking up the soundtrack of ALBW, comparing it to ALttP, and also listened to pats of the 25th Anniversary Orchestra CD over and over. I’ve also decided to try and complete more Zelda games, starting with Wind Waker and ALttP. Emulators are awesome.

My birthday was yesterday. Can’t say I’m really thrilled to be older. Can’t celebrate it just yet due to not being home and stuff. So it just felt like another boring day for me. We’ll probably do something this weekend.

A Sly Cooper movie was announced, made by the same people doing the Ratchet and Clank movie, which I’ve been following the development of through Twitter. I’m not as hyped for it as I haven’t played the Sly series, but I also hope it turns out good as well.

I’m actually now thinking of getting the HD collection for Sly Cooper, although I have already built up a decent backlog of games. I still need to complete Jak 3 as well. I regret having missed out on playing these games during their time. I’m pretty sure we still have the old consoles and games somewhere in the house. I should search the attic one day.

I still want to learn the 3D modeling stuff, I just need the time and resources for it.

Dota released a big patch today too. So that’ll soak up my time too.