Closing of Asahiya Bookstore

Late last month I got an e-mail from a friend that the Asahiya Bookstore is closing it’s one and only flagship store here in New York City , over between 5th ave and Madison.

October 1st was the first day of the Asahiya closeout sale, so I tried to buy as much as I could. I wanted to get some Japanese language books that I had my eye on for a few years, but they were all sold out, It seemed.

But this is what I managed to get :

MahoKurohime vol.15

Majical Girls Rirical Strikers Visual Collection Top and Bottom ( Megami Magazine Special Selection )

How to draw Manga book

Nagasarete Airantō ( Cast Away…Airan Island )

Replicant Vol.35

WWII German Missle Graphic Action Series

Gothic Lolita Punk Brand Catalogue Magazine ( July and August )

and

Figure King Magazine ( A fantastic magazine for collectors of all kinds of toys, figures )

I spent a total of $104.67 that time – which , on my meager budget, was the maximum money for entertainment expenses for the rest of the month ( Or so I thought… )
But they were clearing out the store, and slashing prices. Alot of books I had put off getting in the past were now in my price range.
I then decided that I was going to make an effort to get to the store before it closed completely and for good by the end of the month.

I managed to return on the 27th…And the prices for most of the remaining books were reduced even futhrer..

On this trip, I got:

The Comic Artists Pose Book Vol. 1 ( Girl home poses ) Originally 2500 Yen, now $3.00.

Comickers Art Style ( ” Color Technique book Issued Semiannually Visual Supporter ” ) magazine, Issue # 2 – 5 ( origianlly 1800 yen, Closeout sale price, now $2.00 ) Quarterly.

Hisashi Hirai Illustration Works 2 ( ” hh2 ” ) Roman Album . He was the Chara Designer for Gundum Seed, I think. ( Originally 1905 Yen, before the sale, now $2.00! )

And Hiderou Horibe Colors Art Works 2 ( Originally 2480 Yen, now $3.00 ). He did art mostly for PC Hentai Games. I think that the first Art works book was called ” Yours “. I read that he is now unfortunately deceased…..He was a promising illustrator and character designer in the Japanese PC scene ( was mostly known for illustrating the covers of the adult oriented magazine PC Angel between 1993 and 2006 ), who died a tragic death of a heart attack at age 36 back in 2006.Too bad, he was a great artist… As one can tell from the image below from one of his previous Artworks books…


You can see a cache of his homepage here.

Anyway….Expenditure this trip :$ 19.58

Now, on my third and last trip was on the 29th. I bought:

8 mangas of Ikkitosen( aka “Battle Vixens: ).

10 mangas of Shikabane Hime ( “Corpse Princess” )

3 imangas of Gantz.

2 mangas of Tenjo Tenghe ( “Heaven and Earth” ).

Total expediture this last trip to Asahiya :$84.11 total.

I’ve been going to Asahiya Bookstore since 1993, when a friend took me there to get U-Jin manga. Back then, it was in a different location, just two blocks east of where it was now. It moved to the present location in 2003, I think it had a ten year lease or something.
Below is a picture of the site of the original store ( which once was home to the New York Savings Bank ), at 45th and Vanderbelt, across from Grand Central Station :


( You can still see the outline of the old Asahiya sign that was once there. )

And thus a passing of an age. The Japanese bookstore count in NYC is now down by one. A victim of these tough economic times…
Now it looks like I’ll have to make trips to Bookoff ( A famouse Japanese Used Bookstore ) and Kinokunya now……Both on or near 42ns street, and so they are pretty out of the way from my path home from work.
Oh well, I’ll probably be able save alot of money now ( I was often dropping about $60 average at Asahiya weekly! ).

Goodbye… Asahiya….I’ll miss you… : (

Japanese Idol Group AKB48 American Premiere concert at Webster Hall NYC

I haven’t written anything here all summer. I have no excuse – I’ve been lazy! :)

Anyway, It’s fall now, and It was the time of year for The New York AnimeFest. I had to work part of that weekend, so I was trying to figure out whether or not I could go on the last day of the con, that Sunday. I figured I could swing by Javitts Center and check it out.
Then I found out that on the same weekend of the Animefest Con, there was the Octoberfest at the Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden in Astoria (aka Archiebunkerland), Queens.

About three weeks or so before that weekend, I got an e-mail from my friend Taeko , who does American promotion for her NYC – based event media production and marketing communications company, “newyork-tokyo” that there was going to be a concert at Webster Hall featuring some sort of a Japanese Girl Group that I never heard of before, called “AKB48

The only Japanese Idol Supergroup that I am remotely familiar with is Morning Musume. I never heard of this AKB48. But then again, I don’t follow the Japanese Pop Music scene.

But Cute Japanese Girls + free event?
Definite WIN all around!

Here is the info from newyork-tokyo.com…

AKB48
U.S. DEBUT CONCERT IN NYC
SUPPORTED BY SKY PerfecTV! HD

SEPTEMBER 27 (SUN) 5:00PM
WEBSTER HALL NEW YORK CITY
GRAND BALLROOM
125 E. 11TH ST.
FREE 18+ EVENT WITH RSVP:
www.newyork-tokyo.com/wp/akb48

” We are happy to announce the US debut of Japan’s popular music group AKB48. AKB48 will perform at a full concert at Webster Hall in NYC on Sunday, September 27.

AKB48 is a very unique, theater based, all-female music group created by famed songwriter/producer Yasushi Akimoto in 2005. AKB48 consists of 66 female members ranging from ages 14 to 26 (as of Sep. 2009). The group is divided into four groups – A, K, B, and Trainee. With the concept of “Idols you can meet everyday”, the group practically performs almost every day at their own exclusive AKB48 Theater in Akihabara, Tokyo. Their stage presence is an eye candy to the fans due to their multiple costume changes throughout the show. These busy pop stars take on diverse challenging work by hosting their own TV show and appearing in movies and commercials. Not to mention their multiple collaboration work with artist Takashi Murakami. (Their recent single CD cover was illustrated by Murakami).

AKB48′s first international appearance was at the Japan Expo in Paris this past July. Now they are set to arrive in NYC with select members preparing for the best possible US debut! They will show what Tokyo girls are about in show business. In addition you will get to experience their cute fashion and full smile power. ”

“SEP. 27 (SUN)
Full Concert at
WEBSTER HALL NEW YORK CITY
GRAND BALLROOM
125 E. 11th St., NYC
Doors open at 4:00 PM
Concert starts at 5:00 PM”

Free 18+ event with RSVP

I sent in my RSVP, and I also told my friend Adamonkey about it as well – he also like Japanese stuff, even went to Japan ( Unlike me.. :( ). I sent him the AKB48 link too.

I did manage to go to the Octoberfest at Bohemian Beer Hall event that Sunday when It opened at noon, and it was raining, so there was not very many people there. I was supposed to meet up with my boss from work there, but he was running late. I passed the time talking to a friendly old Irish guy for a while. After I had my second pitcher of some nice tasting dark Czech beer ( that I didn’t get the name of, unfortunately… ), my boss finally showed up. But it was nearly time for me to leave to go to the AKB48 concert ( it was 3:30 PM, and the doors officially would open at 4:00 PM ). I didn’t want to leave my boss high and dry at the Beerfest, considering that he wasn’t feeling well that morning ( he ate some bad food at some street festival the day before, so he wasn’t up to drinking any beer ). But then I remembered that on my e-mail confirmation for the concert, it said that I could bring one guest.
All I had to say was ” Japanese girls”, and my boss said, “Yes”!
Hehehe..

We managed to get to the Webster Hall around 4:20 pm, but it seemed that they didn’t let anyone in yet. I saw my friend Adamonkey on line, and I introduced him to my Boss.
The show was supposed to start at around 5:00 pm, but they didn’t start to let people in until almost that time.
Right before we went upstairs to the Grand Ballroom, where the event was going to take place, I had to go to the bathroom (all that beer I drank earlier!). Afterwards, I checked the merchandise at the AKB48 sales table – lot of the stuff was just too expensive and the ir posters were $16 dollars ( something like $ 6.oo for a picture of each girl or something… ). Their CD music was like 35 dollars apiece ( must be Japan prices! ).
But I did like the big Webster Hall Promotional Posters of the event, I would have bought them.
I think.
Anyway, I went upstairs to the Grand Ball room, and talked to my Boss and Adamonkey. We three seemed to be the oldest people there, the rest seemed to be mostly people in their 20′s. Alot of them seemed to have come from the NY Animefest over at Jacob Javits center that was just finishing that day. The hall was not as filled as capacity, but they were pretty enthusiastic – They looked like dedicated Japanese Idol fans. They are more known in the industry as “Wotas“, which is another name for “Otaku”, but to differentiate themselves from them, they altered the spelling somewhat.
My Boss was chatting with a Japanese girl for a while, before her friends dragged her away (hahaha ).
The concert itself was interesting, I later found out that the sixteen girls that came to America were combined members from two of of AKB48 three component “Teams”, “A” and “K”. I personally liked the opening number when they were all in their Schoolgirl uniforms costumes ( Because I like that… :) ). My Boss wasn’t feeling well, and had to leave a half an hour in, and my friend Adamonkey left a half an hour after that ( He’s married, so I was surprised that he managed to stay as long as he did…LOL! ).
Before Adamonkey left, I ran into one of my old Metro Anime friends there, so I hung out with him for the rest of the concert, which had one or two encores, I think.
The girls were cute, in a Japanese kawaii sort of way, but the one that really stood out for me ( I mean, not acting or looking typically Japnesese ) , was a girl from “Team K”, named Sayaka Akimoto. Not only was she the tallest , oldest, and most-in-charge girl there (frontwoman?) at the show, she had the best command of English out of all the girls there. And she was the sexiest….( besides, I’d feel far more comfortable drooling over her, than AKB38′s other mostly underaged Moe-type team members – hey, this isn’t Japan! LOL! )
Nevertheless, I think Akimoto-san made another American fan that evening…. As you can see below.. :)

( Unfortunately, she didn’t wear this at the American concert….. :( )

Now, as for AKB48 itself, personally, I think they would do very well in the American Anime convention circuit ( Time out New York referred to them as kind of the ” Japanese Spice Girls (!) ) , but I don’t think they would make a dent in the greater American music market. But there are some talk of opening an American branch of AKB48 girl group here in America ( “Team C” ?.
If this ever happens, I don’t know if they will have imported Japanese girls, or will use local talent and do some sort of “High – School Musical” thingy for American tastes.

Here is a video of the concert:

AKB48 NY WEBSTER HALL

And here is another….

AKB48 @ Webster Hall – Member Introductions

I would have taken my own video ( let alone pictures ) but the e-mail from newyork-tokyo said that no recording devices were allowed. But at the concert, almost everyone had a camera or videocamera.
So much for me followig the rules… :P

After the concert, I hung out in the basement concert events for a while, There was a really nice local New York City “Japanese horror-comical freak” punk metal(!) band called GELATINE ( I needed an antidote to all the mostly sugary goodness of AKB48 hahaha ). the lead singer, Seiko is pretty intense! I bet she could / would eat the AKB48 girls for breakfast! ( no double entendre intended… :) )
I would definitely check this group out in the future!

After their set ended, I stuck around for a while, then my age started to show, and I was getting pretty tired ( I just cant hang out at concerts like I used to when I was younger.. ). While exiting Webster Hall, I had to go past these huge bouncer type security guys on the steps ( they seemed to be more concerned about people coming in, than going out hahaha ) and I saw the huge white tour bus outside the place, on the street. Must have been AKB48′s bus. If I was twenty, or even ten years younger, I would have stayed, and waited around to take a picture of the girls leave and stuff, but I was tired, not to mention hungry (and just simply not in the mood to be a Wota stalker LOL! )
That was basically it. I liked the event ( considering that it was free, and I would have had to pay a pretty penny to see them in Akihabara in Tokyo ) and I was not creeped out at all going to a Japanese pop Idol group concert which half consisting girls under the Age of Consent in NY state.
But that’s just me…. :)

AKB48 seems to be pretty popular in the Japanese Idol world – There is even an internet forum for English speaking AKB48 fans :

The STAGE48 Forum

The Webster Hall event thread at The STAGE48 Forum is here :
AKB48 LIVE IN NEW YORK

Those Stage48 forum people seem to be / are pretty hard core WOTAs It seems. Maybe I’m just too old, and / or not that fanatical, ( I don’t think I’ll end up like these Japanese guys…I hope… ) but I’d rather stick with Anime and Manga stuff, personally. and the only Japanese Idols I be interested in would be the Gravure kind… :)

Original Poser Figure “Deco” and “Decoco”

Here is a free Poser Character called “Decoo” by a Japanese Poser Artist named Akatora at his site here.

It comes in two versions, a thin, regular version, and a more voluptuous model, as seen below…

There are clothes made for the Thin Version, but I have not found anything yet for the bombshell body version.
There is also a younger poser charcter that he has called “Decoco” located on that same page.

My First Autodesk Mudbox Model!

I haven’t posted anything here in weeks……I have to admit, I’ve been busy doing other things…Namely fiddling with POSER. I learned lots of new stuff in just these past weeks, considering that I have had the software for more than a year now..
I’ll try post some nice renders that I did here soon.

Anyway, I used most of my tax refund money to get Autodesk Mudbox 2009. It’s pretty good!
I’ve always wanted to get in to sculpting – even went as far as getting sculpting tools and clay, etc. But just have not really done anything with them yet. But now there is software that emulates sculpting and even painting models now.
I was originally going to get Zbrush, I saw heard of it before , the first well known and quite popular digital sculpting and painting program that many people in the CG world works with.
But I read that Mudbox has better features ( I’m not sure what they are right now ). But it is a little bit more expensive – Mudbox is $745.00, while Zbrush is $595.

I really haven’t had a chance to really work with it in depth, but I have been fiddling with it for a bit. The first model that I created in Mudbox is , like I did with the Lightwave and 3ds Max software, a simple cube, as seen in the picture above.
Well, it’s a start!

Here is a very good instructional Mudbox video off of Youtube, if you are interested..

Mudbox 2009 Tutorial 1- Wacom Stylus Pen & Tablet – 3D training series

First 3ds Max Object

I’m finally getting around to learning the 3ds Max CG software I have. So far, it’s pretty similar to Lightwave, but the interface is a little more complicated.

As in my previous post regarding Lightwave, I also started of by first creating a primitive base cube.
I hope to make some more complex objects soon. Stay tuned…

My First Creation in Lightwave!

If you been following this blog, you know that I bought Lightwave 9.3 nearly a year ago. I really haven’t done much with it since then, with the exception of upgrading it to version 9.5.
But as one of my New Years resolutions, I wanted to actually learn the thing, or else it’s just an expensive piece of software taking up space on my hard drive. I figured that I would start off learning Lightwave, since it seems , according to many in the CG industry, to be easier to master, and has a lower learning curve than Maya or 3ds max ( which, I hear is around two years, on average.)
After buckling down and actually beginning the reading the Lightwave Manual that came with the software, I was confident enough to fiddle around in the Lightwave Modeling interface, and actually begin to create something.
In Lightwave Modeler, under the “Create ” tab menu, I clicked the “Square” option and created a simple “cube” .

Yes, I know it’s nothing to look at, but it’s a start.

There are some good Lightwave tutorials out there. Lightwave 3D Tutorials seems like a good site for me to check out for a newbie like me.

Given enough time, I hope to be going from simple primitive cube shapes to this:

Hopefully….

Battlestar Galactica vs. Star Wars video!

While surfing recently, Youtube, I found this gem…

Battlestar Galactica vs. Star Wars

This video was originally created by a user named “starmaster115” at SpaceBattles.com site. The video was made in Lightwave CG software! Amazing!
When I was a boy back in the late ’70′s, I used to draw scenarios of what would happen if the ships in Star Wars and Battlestar Galactica got into a big space battle.
And to think that someone managed to do it in video!
I wished that the video was longer, but knowing how long it takes to render and compost in Lightwave, I understand why it wasn’t.
It does look like the Battlestars are completely overwhelmed by the forces of the Empire, but I think that liberties were taken though. In a *Real* fight between the two forces, the Battlestars would be definitely be using Nuclear Missiles against the Imperial Star Destroyers, which I don’t think that even deflector screens would be much protection against .
And I am pretty sure that Star destroyers used their turbo – Lasers, instead on Macross – Style Homing missles. But those are small nitpicks. I give this video , to use the language of the Gen Y kids today, a big WIN!

Sexy 3D animation made with Autodesk MAYA!!

Here is a set of amazing Youtube videos of 3D computer generated animations made with the Autodesk MAYA software by a Youtube member by the name of nori98765432. He works at school of design in Japan.

His Maya model is named “MINAKO“,and has been working on her for about about 10 years!
Yes, I know, she is built pretty extreme ( for a Japanese girl! ), but hey, one has to admit, it’s amazing rigging!

The Minako Maya model uses Nucleus nCloth technology, which is a built – in cloth simulation tool for use in modeling in Maya. It gives realistic cloth dynamics to animation models wearing clothes.
Minako’s shorts look like they are created by bound/skinned/enveloped geometry (which means being deformed by the bones and not any sort of cloth simulations) .

Maya nCloth

Maya nCloth dance

Maya nCloth dance 2

Maya nCloth dance 3

Maya 3D jiggle

I like this one, of course…Hehhehe..
( I wonder, Is that the Maya Muscle tool being used here ? )

Maya muscleJiggle2 (HD)

I like this video as well..Hehehe…
According to nori98765432 the deformation of the boobs in the shirt were not created using nCloth , this is Maya’s built in “MuscleJiggle” tool.

Here, nori98765432 shows the process in which he sets up his MAYA interface on his PC:

My Maya 3D workspace

Seems like the Japanese guy has a site called Metadoll.com. WARNING! – Not safe to lok at while at work! Part of the site has some “free” pictures ( “pictures for guest” ), but most of the site is pay. But all one has to do is purchase the MetaDoll 3D CG collection 1 that is on sale there, and you get the password to the pay sections.

I really have to learn Maya software….This really gives me inspiration!
Now , wouldn’t you rather see CG animation like this, instead of CG pile of talking Jello?

Excuse me, I have to order the collection and do some…Err…”Research“….

Reni-chan!

Back at the New York Comicon in February, met an incredibly cute Japanese woman named Reni.

She is a Japanese Cosplay Singer – She does Karaoke Cosplay and Akihabara style singing and dancing. She told me that she is going to have a Japaneses “Maid” show the following month, on March 1st, in the City, and gave me one of the cards that she had been giving out to the other Con-goers.
I told her I’ll be there!
( She’s so Kawaii! )

Reni-chan performs at Top Tunes Karaoke the first Sunday of
each month — doors open at 4:30 p.m., show is from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m.
TOP TUNES KARAOKE BAR
303-305 E 53rd St, Manhattan
(near Second Avenue)
No cover charge/one drink minimum

From her promos:
“The adorable, multitalented Reni-chan performs a wide variety of anime
songs — including requests — in authentic Akihabara cosplay style.
She possess versatile vocal stylings (from energetic J-pop to sweet ballads), dynamic dancing,
and sparkling, charismatic personality. ”

Here are some pics I took at her March 1st performance:

Her blog is here.

If you haven’t yet seen Reni’s show,
you are in for a treat!
She will have another Performance on sunday, April 5th.
I’m planning on being there as well, hopefully!

P.S. She is super cute and very friendly to talk to – and bonus points if you can speak to her in Japanese too!

I’ve Upgraded to Carrara 7 Pro..

DAZ 3D was having a sale this February.

I managed to get an upgrade from Carrara 6 Pro to 7 Pro for just under $90 using the platinum club price.
I wanted to take advantage of
the 50% Platinum Club discount before it ended on 2/28/09. Since I was a member, Platinum Club members get 50% off in addition to the original sale discount
The listed sale price of the items would last until the date indicated on the product page, but the Platinum Club benefit price on all the DAZ Original products would change from 50% to 30% on March 1. So I had to act fast!

The regular price of the upgrade after the original sale discount of 30 % (?) was $181.12 ( now, as of 3/20 it is $ 169.95 ), and with my Platinum Club membership, 30% (or 50%) Discount it was $90.55. And with the $5.00 voucher the price was now $85.55.

They also had a free update for Carrara 7 owners , Carrara 7.1 , so that was also another good incentive to get the upgrade.

So what’s new?

Well, according to the product page :
“Carrara 7 Pro augments already impressive animation, landscape, modeling, and rendering capabilities with a strong set of new features. The significant enhancements to Carrara 7 help deliver a professional 3D solution at a price that fits into almost any budget. Carrara 7 will stimulate professional users toward greater creativity and help them to stay competitive, while providing incredible ease-of-use and unbelievable results.”

Not only does Carrara 7 include robust new features such as Multi-pass Rendering, 3D Paint, Vertex Modeling in the Assembly Room, UV Editing/Unfolding and NLA Grouping, version 7 also has many enhancements to previous features.

DAZ Studio Content Support Improvements
Better capabilities in bringing DAZ 3D products into Carrara.

We have enhanced the handling of DAZ scene files being loaded into Carrara 7. This will require an updated version of DAZ Studio (build 2.3.3.146) in order to see the full effect of the updates.

3D Paint
Adds capabilities for painting directly on the model.
Carrara 7 includes a new 3D Paint Tool that enables textures to be selected, edited and “painted” directly onto an object.

UV Editing/Unfolding
Create better 3D painting and textures with better UV’s.
Carrara 7 includes a new UV Editor that shows a 3D view of the polygon mesh, a 2D display of the UV values on the polygon mesh vertices, and a set of tools to manipulate them.

VERTEX MODELING
The Vertex Modeling capabilities that were previously only available in the “Modeling” room are now available in the “Assembly” room. This enhancement saves time by allowing you to perform modeling functions in the assembly room where other objects can also be seen.

Multi-pass Rendering
Image retouching/editing, without having to re-render. Another huge time saver!
The Multi-pass Rendering tool new in Carrara 7 enables you to render multiple passes and save these off to separate image files. These render passes or layers (multi-pass render layers) can be edited in another application such as Photoshop to increase contrast in the rendered image, change a reflection color, make an edit to a shadow map, or even swap out a background color.
This tool will make it faster to make changes to a rendering, instead of re-rendering for hours and hours. The edits to layers can be changed in minutes.

COLLADA Export (WIN OS)
You can now export a figure or scene into COLLADA format.
COLLADA is becoming a new standard for transferring content. In this new release of Carrara, you will be able to export your models in this new format.

Rendering Optimizations for Transparency
Improvements in memory management of the computer/software.
Carrara 7 now provides better and faster results by optimizing previously time consuming and complex transparency rendering operations.

Support larger texture sizes in the OGL display
Visual improvements in how textures are viewed in the OpenGL display.
Carrara 7 provides you the ability to increase the texture size that is displayed in the Open Graphics Library (OGL) or viewport. The settings will be based on what texture size your graphics board will support and can be adjusted for performance or quality (up to 4096×4096).

Overall, this new upgrade looks good. But I hear that it is aimed for mostly the amateur CG artists, not professionals ( they use Lightwave, Maya, 3ds Max, Cinema 4D, etc. ) But hey, that sound like me to a “T”!

“Octobrianna” – in DAZ Studio

Recently over at Warren Ellis’s Whitechapel Forum , there was a Remake / Remodel thread reimagining an re-interpreting old and little used comic book characters that were in the public domain. The last one that was done involved a creation of Peter Sadecky and other members of a Soviet underground movement called the Progressive Political Pornography Party. (??)
According to Mr Sadecky :

“They looked for a new hero, who would represent what they believed in and would be willing to fight for their ideals. Since this saviour did not seem to be forthcoming, PPP created their own, and called her Octobriana.”

( There have been stories that this was all a lie, and that this Peter Sadecky stole the artwork and concepts of the original Character, fled to the West, and re named her “Octobriana” )

Anyway, I had some ideas on doing this, but by the time I started to do some sketches, Warren Ellis closed the thread suddenly, due to some members not following rules or something.

I still thought that this was an interesting character to do, and I had also noticed that everyone was doing 2d art on the thread, so I decided to do something different, using the 3D application, software, Daz Studio.
I am still going to do some 2D traditional artwork of Octobriana, eventually…

Anyway, I titled the pictures collectively , ” The Komarovskiy Incident “.

In this picture, we see that Octobrianna on a mission to an abandoned Soviet “Secret City” or PGT ( Posyolok Gorodskogo Tipa [PGT] or “Urban-Type Settlement” ) …… When she runs into a little trouble…

For the creation of these renders, I was inspired by something I remembered a while ago that Mr. Ellis talked about Abandoned Russian Nuclear Polar Lighthouses and it got me thinking about what might still be lurking in some of those forgotten secret Soviet Nuclear Research Facilities. And what Bizarre Soviet Experiments may have been conducted during the 70 year reign of the Union. I found out that During WW II and the Cold War, the Russians had whole secret cities and factory-towns entirely devoted to chemical, biological and nuclear weapons research and manufacturing.
Google “zakrytye administrativno-territorial’nye obrazovaniia (ZATO)”, it’s quite interesting reading.

This render is called “The Komarovskiy Incident : Two ” . Now I wish that I could have figured out how to make the left pistol grip pose look better, otherwise, I think this is good picture!

Below is a “Pasty” of all the Octobriana renders I uploaded at my DeviantArts site so far. I’ll see if I can do more of Octobriana pictures – I ‘ll see if I can do some in Poser as well…


New York Comicon 2009!

I went to The New York Comicon last weekend, here in New York ( of course! ) on Sunday 2/8/09. I didn’t have any money to spend there – the most i bought was a $ 4.00 issue of the first ANNA MERCURY comic. Despite that, I really had a good time there, being to a con like that gives me the inspiration to work hard on my own artwork. Hopefully, I’ll be able to go to the 2010 con the whole weekend, and with more money!

Missed my chance to post some of my artwork on a forum….

Actually, I had plenty of time to do it, I just wasn’t able to do it.

I was going to submit a picture to Warren Ellis’s REMAKE/REMODEL: Rex Dexter Of Mars Thread over at his Whitechapel forum. it started January 12th, and was just closed today , the 31st.

I did the initial sketches on the 18th, a week after the thread started , and I was glad that it was extended past that week, but I got the flu this past week, which put me out of commision, so I was not able to finish it by today.
I still have to scan it in, maybe either use Manga Studio , Photoshop or the new Sai graphic software I just bought online recently to finish it.
When I do ( and I hope that its soon ) I’ll post it here, and over at my DeviantArt Site.
Wow, January is over already…

I am now on DeviantArt!!

Yes, after giving it much thought, I decided to finally join the DeviantArt website site!

My page over there is called
Shadamachaeon
on DeviantArt .

I’ve often checked out the place now and then, looking at all the cool artwork people have done there. It seems to be a nice community of folks there.
I haven’t uploaded anything there yet, but I will in the coming weeks, if not days.
While I don’t yet have a dedicated website for my art , in the meantime, I’m thinking of linking this blog to my Shadamacheon DeviantArt , so I may even get some traffic here!
Anyway…
Stay tuned!

Custom Girl 3D….Oh MY!!


( my first Custom 3D Girl creation. You can tell I have a kyonyu / Meganekko / Sailor Fuku / Zettai Ryouiki fetish.. )

3Dカスタム少女 ( 3D Custom Girl )

While looking up information about anime shading on Youtube, I ran into this during my research….Honest!

Custom Girl 3D

On further googling , I found even more info, and how to get it, if you are not in Japan:

The Hongfire Anime Network forum has alot of good information regarding Custom Girl 3D:

Here, Here, Here and
Here….

The torrent is here, and the uncensor patch is here, if you are interested….

Here are some videos of Custom 3D Girl in “action”….

3D Custom Girl

3D Custom Girl Basic Functions

Some outfit options for Custom Girl 3D

I installed the “game”, and the uncensored patch – the software seems to have a small RAM footprint, compared to something like “Artificial Girl ” Hentai / Eroge ” build your own girl software.

I even tried my hand in creating a girl, as you can see from the picture above. I haven’t really played with it, but It looks like something I’ll be tinkering with alot more when I get a chance!

The process of doing CG Sexy Anime Artwork – Step by Step!

I found this while surfing the internet last night…..I learned about the Super talented CG artist Ino Makoto ( 猪野誠, or “Ino” for short ), (whose works are more known for and familiar in the Hentai and eroge field of Japanese PC
” H – Games ” ), has put out a fascinating video of himself creating an illustration from scratch, in this case of the “Vocaloid” character Meiko, one of the earlier virtual idols that eventually culminated in the very popular Hatsune Miku.

The end result is a really sexy, but well done picture. Don’t you think?

Player 1

All of the videos in this post are from the Nico video site.

I like looking at videos of CG artists at work, and there are quite a few of these on the Nico website..There you can see some of the best, and of course I would imagine of great interest to CG art fans and artists alike ( as well as / or artist that are CG art fans ..).

Some of the subjects for these illustrations for the videos from the site that I have here are Hatsune Miku, Nagato Yuki and a Headphone Musume.

The software used for these types of pictures is one that’s called SAI,which is used predominantly, and some Photoshop.
easy paint tool sai is an art program that focuses on mainly anime style artists, and is very user friendly and can be learned in a single day, as opposed to Photoshop and other programs that take a college level course to fully use.
it seems to be a favorite program of Japanese 2D artist that specialize in this type of artwork, and is becoming steadily more well known outside of the Asian countries.
The first link is an english site where you can download the trial version the second is the actual japanese site where you can by the full version, its pretty cheap ( about $56 US Dollars ) compared to Photoshop (which I have ), and looks very good for the price, if you are not out for full digital manipulation stuff.
http://sai.detstwo.com/sai/
http://www.systemax.jp/en/sai/
Even though these videos were from the Japanese Nico website, I first saw them at this cool English Language Anime / Manga place ( that leans more toward echhi and Hentai stuff ) called sankakucomplex anime/manga Otaku .

Hatsune Miku.( Miku Hatsune )

Player 2

Hatsune Miku Plus Alpha (naked).

Player 3

. Nagato Yuki ( or Yuki Nagato ).

Player 4


And the video of the creation of a Headphone Musume Picture.
Looks like I better fire up the ol’ Photoshop……And get to it!

More 3D generated Anime/Manga Characters and other stuff!

While surfing the internet ( at work! ) I found a really talented anime – style artist from Malaysia called XenoAisam.

He has a really nice page at Deviantarts , and a great blog at wordpress .

He has a cool instuctional video over at youtube, showing how he created his main character, called,
Mess-ing with Naluri in 3ds max

Mess-ing with Naluri in 3ds max

And here is a nice animated gif of the Naluri Chracter…

This looks amazing! One can do almost anything with CGI software nowadays!

Looks like I also have to learn and work more with 3ds Max software this year….

Welcome to 2009!!

Welcome to the New Year!!

Wow!
It’s now 2009!
Nine years after the turn of the millennium!!

One of my main goals for this new year is to finally get around to not only doing some artwork, but to learn how to use all the Cool CGI software that I bought in 2008.

I was thinking about getting a DeviantArt account as well.

I really hope to do a lot more artwork than I did in 2008!

Stay tuned!

New Years Eve! And New Years Resolutions!

Wow, another year has come and gone!
So Fast!

One of my new years resolutions and goals are to learn how to use , and master, all the 3D applications I bought this year.
In addition to the ones I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I now have:
Quidam 2 Studio
Maya 8.5 2008
3DX MAX 2009
Cinema 4D
And I upgraded to Lightwave 9.5 from 9.3.

I now have a ton of stuff for Poser – half of which is cataloged.

I also want to go back to doing 2d type artwork, like drawing on paper, as well as learn how to use Photoshop (I still have version 7.0, I want to learn how to use it before I upgrade up to CS )

I am not planning on getting any new 3D software this year, maybe Terrigen 3D terrain software, Upgrade to GeoControl 2
Maybe Adobe Aftereffects and some other Adobe movie making software. I’ll have to see…

Anyway, now that I have most of the bugs worked out of this blog, I expect to post more offten here, and hopefully show some of the stuff I’m doing art-wise.

So, to everyone reading this ( all two people! ) I wish you a Very Happy New Year!

คลิกๆๆ รูปสวยๆน่ารักๆไว้ส่งต่อเพียบ...

Doing Anime via Lightwave!

While browsing though the Lightwave instructional videos during my late night shift work , I stumbled on a channel by a Japanese CGI artist named Maguro0147 who useds Flash and Lightwave 3D software to do Anime videos… I think they’re amazing, it makes me want to learn how to use lightwave and the other 3D applications I have even more……..

こんな銅像はいやだ ( A good Bronze Statue )

Here is another one..

Lightwave「こんな銅像はいやだ-その後-」プレビュー動画
( A good Bronze Statue : Aftermath – Preview Animated pictures in Lightwave )

And Another one….

「こんな銅像はいやだ」-その後- ( A good Bronze Statue : Aftermath )

And Another one….

新学期 ( New term )

And Another one….

Lightwave test 「プール掃除」 ( Pool cleaning )

And Another one….

プール掃除 ( Pool cleaning )

He even has his own website here ….
Could this be the future of Japanese anime?

I’m Like Witchcraft…..

You walk a mystical path, and are a creature of the spiritual and the supernatural. You are introspective and self-reliant, but nobody will ever question your bravery or commitment to justice.

Take the quiz!

Now let’s start doing some Interesting stuff witth this WordPress blog!

Ok, I’ve had this WordPress blog for about ten months, and I really haven’t done anything with it.
But that is soon going to change – expect alot of interesting stuff here for 2009!
I’m going to try to add goodies here every day!

Here is a Trailer for the Anime Rahxephon. I haven’t really seen the series, I thought that it was a rip-off of Neon Genesis Evangelion

Rahxehon Trailer

It looks good – I ‘ll see if I can track down the DVD collection ( when I have the extra cash!

For the new year, I *really* want to do more artwork, ( which I barely attempted this year of 2008 ).
Especially using all the expensive 3-D software that I aquired this year – It’s not going to do anything by itself!

I downloaded DAZ Studio about six months ago, and I never really got around to learning how to use it – Same case with the other 3d rendering an animation program that I have – Poser. I instead amassed a pretty good sized 3d content library for use in those programs in the meantime.
I finally did my first render picture using the DAZ Studio application, in which I created the image by followed the instructions on the beginner’s section in DAZ instruction manual. I think it came out pretty well…..

I think it came out pretty good, composition – wise. I could figure out how to fix the problem with nipple “Poke Though” But you really can’t see it from this distance and angle. I know that many artist that do this sort of thing do post render fixing of the pictures in Photoshop or some other image manipulation software. I also think there is some sort of controversy on whether or not to perform post rendering on pictures. that one should do all the fixing of the pix within the 3d application, before doing the final render.
I like the way the picture came out. As soon as I learn how to add a back ground, and manipulate lights, It would most likely look even better!

Just the first of many many more!

Welcome to the first Day of Winter!

Wow! It’s been a while since I updated this thing. For the first day of winter, it was pretty brutal! There was a huge blast of coldness hitting most of the country, and New York City was just one of the many city affected. There was a big ice storm last Friday, and I would not have stayed home, and not have gone into the city, but not for the fact that I had to get my ID renewed for the new year, and also go to a Christmas party at a former department that I used to work for.
Afterwards, I hung out in the city for a while , trying to take pictures of the city in Christmastime.

It was cold and sleeting / rainy, so I was surprised that most of my pics that I took turned out so well.

Well, I finally got around to updating the K2 Sidebar Manager system. I had to go into my wordpress directory theme folder, and fix the K2 directory folder name, by removing the spaces between the words in the directory title ( “K2 Release Candidate 6″ had to be changed to “K2_Release_Candidate_6 ” ). I then tried to rename the folder in the directory, but for some reason or another, it would not take. I then had to upload a new copy of the “K2 Release Candidate 6″ folder into the directory, this time I renamed it , “K2_Release_Candidate_6 ” . once I did that, I deleted the old “K2 Release Candidate 6″ with the spaces, and after doing so, the problem was fixed. Now I am able to put all sorts of widgets and things on the sidebar(s). I still have some problems doing so, but it is mostly little inconsequential stuff.
I now have a message in my Worpress Admin control panel that I should update to wordpress 2.7 now… Like I said before, I am in no rush to upgrade right now, I can wait until version 3.0 comes out…

Happy First Day of Fall!

It’s the 21st of September as of this writing…First Day of FALL!
Where has all the time gone?

I’m still having problems properly configuration this web blog.
The K2 interface is giving me problems… When I try to use the K2 Sidebar Manager system , I keep seeing an error window saying:

The K2 directory: /““““““““/webdocs/wordpress/wp-content/themes/K2 Release Candidate 6/k2, contains spaces. For K2 to function properly, you will need to remove the spaces from the directory name.

I have to take a look at this – not to mention that I also keep seeing a notice on top that says:

WordPress 2.6.2 is available! Please update now.

I really need some time to fix this, but It’s hard to gather up the time to do it… Once It get most of the bugs fixed at this blog, I will then focus more on it. That is the plan….

I have a You Tube channel now – presenting……….. “Shadamacheon”!!!

Hey everyone! ( or anyone reading this blog… which is most like no one… )

I now have my very own Youtube channel! It’s called…..

Shadamachaeon

There isn’t anything there at the moment, but ( hopefully ) soon I will put up my CGI Animation videos and 3D art there.

Don’t worry, I’ll tell you all when I have something up …..

I may even get a Veoh and a Dailymotion Channel as well……

Stay Tuned!!

I Fixed My Artcomputer PC!!

It all started two weeks back, when I retarted my Artcomputer PC into safe mode, in order to run norton antivirus software to get rid off a pesky adware/trojan virus that somehow lodges into the registry. So with all my drivers disabled, and window restore turned off ( in order that the windows restore program won’t automatically back up the virus ) I ran the antivirus program, which after a while finished, and told me that I was in the clear.
So then I rebooted my computer. And walked away to do something.

When I came back, I was confronted with the Blue Screen of Death!!!

At first, I didn’t panic, usually when this happens, I just restart the computer again…..But when I did, I was stil looking at the horrible Blue Screen. After several more reboots, I started to panic. Stupid me didn’t back up any of my files that was on the hard drive, I kept on putting off getting a secondary back up hard drive for one reason or another.
I tried using the Windows XP installation CD, to see if I could repair the drive, first by going into the Bios to choose the option to boot from the CD itself
But when the time came to choose the “Repair” option, I did not see it at all.. Instead, it was asking for me if I wanted to install XP on the partition ( which I did not want to do, since in doing so would erase all my files on that drive! )
I hit “F3″ to get out of that, and restarted the PC, then going into the recovery console option of the XP disk now.
I remembered some of the commmands ( I used to do this every day when I was a PC technician ) and tired to copy the System 32 files from the XP disk to my non-working hard drive. But for some reason , I kept on getting “file not found” .
At this point, I though it would be best to just get a new hard drive, set it up as my new boot drive, and then transfer my old files to it. So I got a new drive same type of 500 GB Seagate drive as the old one, and set up windows on it. But then I thought, it will be easy to transfer my files, but the application will be a real pain to re-install and set up again. So why don’t I just copy the working System32 folder from the new working XP drive to the hard drive that was not working, so that it would be able to boot up again?
After several hours trying to do just that, I finally succeeded in copy and repairing that windows folder, and was able to boot up that old hard drive again! I was so happy, I really dreaded losing all those files that I had on that drive.
Many of my applications still work, but many, like my Norton Antivirus and Systemworks , my 3dsMax, etc. are not working, or nor able to run ( their windows settings were replaced / erased when I replaced the old system32 folder with a new one ), so I stil need a few more days to fix those problems until everything is running almost as it was before the Blue Screen of Death struck. I’m going to leave the PC turned off,and disconnected from the internet, since the XP / Norton firewall is not completely set up at the moment.
I’m going to reformat the new drive, and use it as a backup one, something that I really needed to do, which this event stressed enough….
Well, it’s good that that A+ Certification training came in handy this time! A huge disaster averted!

I am happy now….
…Well..That is….Until the next disaster strikes……

Galactamaeon finally enters the 3D realm!

( Here is a post that I did back in April or May, I believe, but forgot to publish it…… I saw it hanging out in my draft folder, so , here it is! )

I was lurking in a friends forum a few weeks ago, when he posted a link to two videos :

Dead Fantasy 1 and Dead Fantasy 2

In the first Dead Fantasy video , there is a matchup between Advent Children’s Tifa and FFX-2 ‘s Rikku and Yuna versus DOA‘s Kasumi, Hitomi and Ayame in a Super Video Catfight.

Dead Fantasy I

In the sequel, Ninja Gaiden’s Rachel joins the DOA team, with FFVIII‘s Rinoa—complete with wings and Squall’s gunblade ( to correct her original uselessness ) – and helps out her fellow FF girls.

Dead Fantasy II:

The videos were done by an amateur 3D animator called ” Montyoum “.

I have to say, that this videos has really inpired me to create my own 3D video. I have researched the current 3D programs used today , and I think I can do stuff like the above video. Now that I have my powerful art PC up and running, it’s time to put it to good use!

Poser 7
DAZ Studio
Lightwave 9.2
Softimage XSI Mod Tool Geocontrol Worldbuilder
Maya ( Personal Learning Edition – will get the Unlimited version soon …That is, when I get the money to be able to get it… )
Bryce 6
Carrara 6

And here is a list of the software I plan to get in the future ( and when I have money )

Softimage XSI
Zbrush
Silo

( Addendum: As of 8/25/2008, my Art PC just recently crashed ( Blue Screen of Death ) , so I’m now in the process of trying to fix it…. More on that later… )

Hello Again!

Yes, I haven’t posted since May.
I’ve been lazy.
I don’t have the motivation to Blog every day like most people, maybe I would if I was younger.
It’s been a good two or so months since I last posted here, and the time seems to fly so fast. As I posted before, I had already and WordPress 2.5 back in April, so now here in August, I already have a notice from the software wanting me to upgrade to WordPress 2.6.1!
It was a big pain to upgrade from 2.3 to 2.5, so I think I’ll wait until version 3.0 comes out.
There really is no rush, I think.
What’s going on with me now….Let me see….
Well, I was planning to go up to my family summer house up on the Island of Martha’s Vineyard ( off of Cape Cod, Mass. ), but I Just recently check my work schedule, and lo and behold, I now seem to have been added an extra day!
Now it looks like I’ll have to do it sometime next month.
Same week as my 40th Birthday.
I’m going to be 40 soon…..Boy, am I getting depressed now…..

Welcome to the Upgrade! ( Part 2 )

Wow, it’s been like a whole month since I last wrote anything here?
Time flies…..
Anyway…
The update for the K2 Theme was finally released for the WordPress version 2.5. I uploaded it, along with some other themes that I might use, along with some-plug ins. that was some two or more weeks ago, about two weeks after I udated to WordPress 2.5, and found out that the K2 Theme front page template was screwing up this new blog of mine.
The new K2 theme has nice components buillt into it, but It seems that the plug – ins that I uploaded don’t seem to be working, or can be activated in the new Blog template…
I wanted to add Flash Video, calendar and the LiveJournal Cross Poster plug ins…But alas….It’s all for Naught…
Now it’s asking me to upgrade to WordPress 2.5.1!I think I’ll wait until version 3.0….I really don’t need all the bells and whistles now…

Well, at least it’s working now……
Time for me to stop talking about the WordPress software itself, and get down to business of actually writing a Blog….

Welcome to the Upgrade!

Hi everyone ( or who ever happens to be reading this… )
Sorry I haven’t been doing anything here lately – I had to get time to upgrade this WordPress edition, and since it was such a task to just configure it at my own personal website in the first place, I knew that it would take alot of my time to get it to work one I did.
As soon as the new version came out, I got a message to upgrade from 2.33 ( if I’d known, I probably would have waited until 2.5 came out to set up my WordPress blog. While working on my night shift, I had alot of free time, so I downloaded the new version in a Zip file, and followed the instructions on upgrade. I won’t bother you all with the details, but I followed the instructions pretty well , ( unlike the first time I set up this blog here ). I did have problems once I did finish – I could get to my blog all right, but I could not access my Admin panel, and Once I managed to do so, and visited / viewed my blog again, I again would not be able to get back to the Admin panel. It would just take me to a “white page”. After fruitlessly trying to find the solution to my problem on the WordPress forums, I finally managed to find out that the problem was with my K2 theme front end that I used with my blog – it was causing the problems! Apparently, the version of K2 that I was running was not compatible with the new WordPress 2.5 yet. So regrettfully, I had to disable the K2 theme, and go baclk to the WordPress default. I’ll have to wait until they make a compatible K2 for the new version of WordPress.
Also, on my upgrades, I had to diable / deactivate the WordPress Blog plugins. I only had the two default plugins, a anti-spam and a back up database one. There was a plugin that I tried to activate, something called ” Livejournal crossposter “, which would post / copy blogs that I do here on my WordPress blog to my Livejournal blog, but I guess it too has not been upgraded to use WordPress 2.5.

I’m still learning and fiddling around with this WordPress thing, so far it look and feels far more flexible that Livejournal. There looks to be so many things I can do here… : )

Here is another of Shunya Yamashita girls…. I really have to learn how to use Adobe Photoshop !