2008 – A reflection

December 31, 2008 •

Well……. it’s the last day of 2008 today. Damn that was quick!! O_O
I’m always a little saddened when the current year ends, but I’m also looking forward to the new year around the corner.

In any case, I figured I probably should do a little reflecting on the stuff that’s happened.
-This is the first year I’ve spent doing one constant full time job for the entire length of the year.
-Thanks to my job, I’ve picked up many new skills including better web design, introduction to MOSS, not to mention a lot of office lifestyle.
-Production of RPG-X2 wound down with 2 patch releases.
-The UberGames site was made live after 4 months of work.
-I set up and starting writing in this blog.
-UberGames releases SteamerCard onto blogs and Facebook.
-I got an iPhone and haranged everyone at work about it. XD
-I finally relented and bought a Wii and an Xbox 360 next-gen console.
-I volunteered to help work on a small scifi TV production.
-I joined a Perth community of Japanese language/culture exchange.
-I undertook the JLPT 2 exam to help bolster my Japanese.
-2 of my cousins got married (One older than me, one younger xD )
-My grandmother passed away after a pretty long fight with cancer. I miss her terribly.

There have certainly been some very good highs in this year, and some very terrible lows… some of which I will not forget quickly. Thankfully, I can say that everything that happened, probably happened in the best possible way it could have, and so I try not to let those bother me.

I had a pretty simple new year’s resolution for 2008: Get better at Japanese. At this point, more or less… I think I managed to get that far hehe.

And now for the next year…. I think I have a new one in mind, one which seems fitting given the current circumstances: Make myself more employable.
It’s a pretty vague resolution I know, but then that makes it very flexible. In any case, this will probably mean more Japanese study, not to mention starting to study the latest computer technologies and their languages coming out as well.

All in all, I’d say 2008 was a good year. At the very least, I can only hope 2009 will be just as good, if not better.

Happy New Year everyone!

Merry Christmas Everyone!

December 25, 2008 •

Our tree.Well, Merry Christmas everyone! I know it’s only halfway over for most of the world still, but it’s pretty much over here!
I’m reeeally tired, so I won’t go into what happened today too much, just… I think it went quite well. ๐Ÿ™‚
We had a great time over a Christmas breakfast and a Christmas lunch, and then had the relatives over for a nice Christmas feast for dinner. ๐Ÿ™‚

The spirit of Christmas was truely here today, and I was glad to be with my family to spend it.

P.S Also, an Xbox 360 in the stocking went pretty nicely as well. XD

Holidays and Japan!

December 24, 2008 •

Red Flag LAN #24Hello again! I’m already 2 days into my holidays and enjoying it very much! It’s been pretty busy so far, so I thought I’d post a bit of an update on what’s going on.

Last weekend was RFLan #24. As far as RFLans have gone, I think this was quite possibly the best one yet. Thankfully, we toned it down a bit since last time, and only roughly 230 people came instead of over 300! We thoroughly planned to power and networking systems this time, and as a result, we had absolutely no issues whatsoever. Because of this, I was luckily able to get a lot of quality game time down! I played mostly Left 4 Dead and TF2, as well as made a few new Steam buddies.

The revised version of the shot

Next up, I’ve spent a bit more time working on my main shot for Cosmos. It’s taken a day or so of work, but it’s definitely taking shape now! Since my last update, I’ve refined the animation much better, remodeled some bits of the patrol ship, changed some of the colours, as well as added some more visual effects. It shouldn’t be too much longer before I can lock this in for a final render!

If I get time after this, I’ll see about writing up a bit of a brief of how I’m doing all of it. ๐Ÿ™‚

Finally, I figured I probably should announce this on my blog now, it’s one of the main reasons I made it hehe.

I’m going back to Japan again!! ๐Ÿ˜€

It’s all my father’s crazy planning, he wants to go check out the town I worked in last year since he loved the photos I have of it. So we’re going back for 2 weeks, one of them being a ski trip, and the other being a week of playing around the country… mainly Tokyo. I’m very happy about this since it’s already been more than a year since I last went to Japan.
I’m also trying to see how feasible/expensive it would be to travel down to Osaka from Tokyo so I might be able to catch up with all of the friends I have down there. ๐Ÿ™‚

In any case, when I go, I intend to ramp up the number of blog posts I do here to document everything I do over here hehe.

Should be good. Gotta start packing!

Lights, Camera, Render!

December 19, 2008 •

w00t! And so the holidays begin now! ๐Ÿ˜€
Over the past 2 or so weeks, I’ve been pretty much solidified on getting SteamerCard to work properly so it would stop cramming my email inbox with thrown exception errors, which thankfully… I’ve succeeded. Moreso, SteamerCard just hit 100 users on Facebook! Gratz to my friend Stephen’s hard marketing work no doubt. XD

Anyway, so with that totally out of mind (for now), I’m migrating to a new project. I’ve known of this project for 2 years… but it’s only recently started to come to fruition.

‘Welcome to the Cosmos’ is a science fiction television series that will be released over the internet. It basically revolves around how 4 normal humans are accidentally swept aboard an intergalactic space ship that was passing over Earth during a botched mission. It is currently being shot in Melbourne, and will be released in full 1080p HD. There is also an official production blog online which can be viewed from http://www.welcometothecosmos.com/

I became a good acquaintence of the director of WTTC a few years back when I volunteered to do some animation work for another of his projects, and so this time around, he asked me back to see if I could help out with some of the computer generated sequences. Naturally, I jumped at the chance. ^_^

So now, I’m a CG artist for an online television series… cool. From the looks of it, the stuff I’ll be doing is mainly animation and compositing work, and quite possibly a little bit of 3D modeling. Naturally, it’s all going to be done in my platform of choice, LightWave 3D. ^_^

Thankfully, the majority of the 3D assets have already been created, so I don’t really have to stress over those. The two major elements are a ‘scout ship’ and a ‘patrol ship’. The production quality of these 2 assets is ridiculously high, as they have both been made by very high-end LightWave artists who have previously had work featured in such prominent shows as the new ‘Battlestar Galactica’.

Scout ship by Alain Rivard

Patrol ship by Fabio Passaro

So… starting from these holidays, I’ve been assigned the task to create several fully CG shots involving these ships. The shots will need to be in 1080p and will need to be able to stand under heavy scrutiny hehe. Sounds somewhat tricky, but I’m down for the challenge. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve already started work on the first shot, which I’ll post a little tidbit here. ๐Ÿ™‚

At this point, I’m still working on refining the motion of the scout ship, so I don’t think this shot is anywhere near complete yet hehe.

In any case, I’m very glad to have been given this chance to contribute. I’ve always wanted to put my 3D skills towards a professional production of this magnitude, and so I’m going to try my very best!

It’s over!

December 7, 2008 •

The exam is over.

It was hard.

There was lots of kanji.

And there were lots of really complex words.

I need to practice this crazy language more.

But… I’m remaining cautiously optimistic that I did alright. XP

T-minus 15 hours

December 6, 2008 •

Yup, here we go. The time’s finally come haha. The JLPT level 2 exam for 2008 is on at 12:00pm tomorrow!!

Studying for this exam has been pretty damn weird. I don’t really know if there is a clear-cut way of trying to cram one’s head with 1000 Chinese symbols and 3000 words in just under a year, and if anyone knows of a really good way for next time, please tell me hehe.

I spent the majority of today pouring over my kanji chart updating it with the kanji that I learnt from Kumon in the interim, the practice exams and from my iPhone’s kanji trainer. All in all, I know roughly 350 symbols now, so we’ll see how that goes.

At the moment, I’m feeling very ambivalent towards this. Not really nervous… but not excited either. That’ll probably change tomorrow, but here’s hoping my feelings are the right ones for this kinda thing.

Either way, I think I attained what I wanted out of this exam, and that was motivate myself to improve my Japanese ability, even if it was a little. Because of this exam, I went to town with my Kumon lessons, I sat down and watched tonnes more Japanese TV than I normally do, I took part in several interesting Japanese events around Perth and made some new friends, as well as I just sat down and wrote stuff… which I usually don’t do… ever. I’m hoping this is becoming apparent in the Japanese entries I’ve written on this blog as well hehe.

That being said, passing it would be icing on the cake, but I won’t be very disappointed if I don’t.

Well… apart from the fact that I’d probably have to go through all of this again next year as well. XD

To all of my friends I know who is doing the JLPT exam as well this year (especially the crazy hardcore ones doing JLPT1!!!), I wish you the very best of luck!

Here we go!! ๐Ÿ˜€