Missing 3D Animation

If I were still in college right now, I'd be too busy to blog given the graduation requirements and show reel panel presentation jitters. It was around this time that I was working so hard to get my reel just right - not too girlish but not masculine either - and when you're a student who takes pride in your grades and receiving honors, the pressure doubles.

Almost two years later, I'm missing those moments. The panic over the PC not working properly, the stress over Zbrush not "cooperating" with how you want your model to look, the frustration over syncing your imagination with your current skill level - it's BULL. I've gone over to graphic design and web design, but it doesn't mean my hands aren't itching to animate or model another character in Maya.

The Show Reel

I'd like to show you my graduation reel for the course BS Digital Illustration and Animation (BS DIA). While it's not much, I'm proud of it. I even pushed myself to model a guy. Sheesh. (Watch in HD if you can. It'll be worth it, I promise.)

Why look back on this now?

Now that I'm thinking more clearly and not under the pressure of professors and academic reputation, I've come to realize that although it's important to perform well at school, it's also a priority to take a breather and focus on the future. Now, I wasn't thinking about any of this at the time and my goals were a bit too ambitious (haha), but again, it was 2015 me. After graduation, the medal/honors I got just sat on the shelf. Works well with my resume, but in real life, not so much. Ultimately, it's the skill that matters, and oh how I WISH I could go back to UNI and focus on animation again.

The Process

Show reels aren't magic. Animators and artists go through lengthy brainstorming sessions, sleepless nights, and dead hours (rendering time sucks). This is the reason why when I watch 3D animated or stop-motion films, I appreciate it as much as possible, no matter how boring or unpleasing the story itself is.

Model topography. Used to properly map out textures and place controls for animation (rigging).

There are times when your computer just gives up and shuts down right in the middle of rendering an image or a video. There are times when it won't open at all and you have to rely on the PCs at school instead and pull and stay overnight. I'm grateful these have not happened to me, but when the deadlines are around the corner, you get incredibly tense and agitated. People panic. Relationships get affected. All for the perfect reel.

My favorites, Shannon and Beatrice. I modeled Beatrice after one of my SIMS characters.

I see people commenting on 3D or 2D films and talking bull over how the story isn't good and how the animation sucks, and while there may be truth in some of them, you can't throw the whole film out the window.

You stick to it, no matter how boring or infuriating it can get. You have to get the mouths working right, the rig or "skeleton" of the model right so it won't look awkward when animated, you've got to make sure the texture works for your model, the lighting should be on point - it's an endless checklist of should be's.

In the world of animation, you can create just about any world you want, but at the same time, you have t make your audience believe it can exist. That starts with the environment, the textures, the model, and other technical aspects about it. Sometimes, the story isn't enough to sell a movie. As you can see from my amateurish texturing and modelling, it will take someone with passion and love for crafting to make the models believable. The first two models didn't make it to my show reel because it wasn't textured well. I couldn't have industry panels see that.

What you see in animation isn't as easy as it looks. You think all we do is push buttons and draw and click stuff? We pour our hearts into what we do (and so do other creative, passionate people) and we consider outputs as our "babies".

I had recently watched The Angry Birds Movie and it was well-animated, textured, and was visually appealing. The story may not have been great, but it hurt me to see so many critics not appreciating the effort put into animating the whole thing. Yeah, rate the story, but don't think no other effort was given to complete it.

I'm really just frustrated. Everyone thinks that all animators do are play around and model or draw. Just because we aren't doctors or businessmen, doesn't mean we're less serious about our careers and life in general.

Umaru and the Daily Journal

Hi guys! How's 2017 treating you so far? Awesome. Wherever you are now, expect better, greater things. We haven't made it past the first month yet, so there's still time to start planning your year (or if you're like me, planning them and just letting go in the middle of the year to catch the waves).

As for me, I'm already feeling 2017 will be incredibly busy (um, haven't posted in days), but I can't just give up. I've been putting off writing articles for the blog since I'm more focused on my job, but I'm trying. Really. This will be a short post as I've got a gazillion stuff to do tomorrow and commitments to fulfill, but don't think I have no plans for the blog! It's just taking up more time than expected, so hang in there!


If you've read my post about this animé (Read: Anime of The Week: Himouto! Umaru-Chan), then you'd know how crazy I am for Umaru and Ebina (cuteness overload not even 10 minutes into the first episode). I'd become so invested that while I was browsing Lazada and happened upon some Nendoroids (a brand of plastic figurines by the Japanese Good Smile Company), one model caught my eye in a heartbeat:

Bought it from here.

This Nendoroid is just so adorable! It's brightened up my workspace at home and when I bring it to the office, it makes my area a little bit more personal. It comes with a stand, an assortment of expressions, props, different limbs, and just plain good fun. This is my first Nendoroid purchase and I already have two to three more PVC's in line (hint: one is a bald dude with a yellow costume and red gloves with the incredible ability to punch people to another planet).

Also made a DIY washi holder using twine and some clips. :) 

Lazada has already sent me a text regarding another figurine I ordered at the same time as this one, and soon, Umaru will be accompanied by Hatsune Miku (just google her and everything will just pop up, haha). SO. GOOD. I've taken more photos of her for my Facebook Stories log.

Not my best spread, but it'll have to do, haha.

Daily Journaling

Work is tiring, and when I get home in the evening, I'd like to take a short break from the digital, online world and go back to basics. In this case, I turn my attention to filling in my planner and daily journal.

I got the ABC Daily Journal thanks to our company's exchange gift portion of the Christmas party last December, and luckily, my secret santa had business in Manila, giving her an opportunity to grab one of these for me (no stock in Naga anywhere). I could NOT wait for January 1 when I got it!

I didn't really know where to start, but in my mind, it was as simple as logging in my day and sticking in receipts if I had purchased anything that day. I eventually realized that sticking receipts everyday would be an added hassle so I just went for doodling and lettering instead. As a first timer to daily journaling, I can say it's pretty much the perfect stress reliever for me in terms of working with my hands. I normally just tuned in to Spotify or iTunes, but journaling has added to my list of solutions in combating stress.

See more pages on my Instagram or Facebook Page.

How about you? What do you do to relieve yourself of stress? Do you journal or listen to music, or have you found a better way for you?

Book Reviews: All Good Deeds, Find The Lady

If there's a good reason for being cut off from the internet and being hit by a storm that causes days and days of blackouts, it's being able to pick a book and becoming 10 times more immersed than ever. With nothing to take your attention, no sudden notification for a new message or email, there's little distraction left.

The past week, I've been on an adventure to two different worlds, both involving illegal activity, the law, and an engrossing story.  (Plus, both were quite short as you could finish each within a day or two if you're feeling off.)

All Good Deeds by Stacy Green

I've never heard of the author before, but the title seemed a little familiar so I gave it a go. Besides the fact that I am biased towards female leads, it was part of a series, and I love reading series. (Which also depends on the story line and how mainstream it is. I tend to avoid mainstream titles.)

The Plot

"She's no killer. She's just taking out the trash. Don’t call Lucy Kendall a serial killer. She’s fighting for the innocent, and she’ll do whatever it takes to bring justice. When a child disappears, Lucy quickly discovers the link to a predator she’s faced before–a man the state of Pennsylvania decided to turn loose on the streets. Determined to find the little girl and put a criminal behind bars for good, Lucy forces her way onto the case. As the search for the kidnapped child pulls Lucy into a web of evil beyond her darkest imagination, she’ll have to face her own dark truths to save the little girl–and herself." - source

Lucy, the heroine of the series, has a twisted sense of justice. Without giving too much away, I can say she feels that whatever wicked she's doing will make a specific group of people - kids - much safer.

My Thoughts

To be frank, the first few pages didn't really pique my interest. I felt like I was just reading a regular novel thrown together in hopes of turning bestseller. It was around the time I began getting to know the protagonist that I really got immersed.

I've always believed that a good book will leave your heart palpitating after the novel is done, but a great book leaves you in a trance for a good week. As much as the story was okay with twists you'd be well aware of by the middle of the book, it was a good book. Not great, but good enough to pass the time. There was a point I couldn't relate to Lucy at all.

Final Rating

This is more a 3 out of 5. I was entertained so I can't say it was boring, but I guess it was just a little too fast paced in a way that the author crammed every answer to every loophole in the last 2 chapters of the book. Would I recommend it? Sure, if only to pass the time. Like I said, it's a good book, but not something I'd find joy in reading over and over.

Find The Lady by Travis McKinney

I had recently just discovered Inkitt when it was suggested to me on the app, and as I had a weak spot for thriller/mystery novels, I bit the bait. Inkitt allows you to download stories for offline reading and that's what I did with this one. Stories on there are made by indie authors, so you'll never know what to expect. I figured it would be worth the read.

The Plot

Connor Donnelly is a low-operating pick-pocket turned major thief (and target of a curse involving a particular type of insect) who partners with a beautiful, blonde woman named Leyla who life had also turned its back against. Together, they make a great team, until a huge heist made Connor consider his options about Leyla, life, and everything else on the stakes.

My Thoughts

I had an inkling on how it would play out, given that this is an indie novel. I usually have a different mindset when reviewing independent authors and this was no exception. It was entertaining, though I found some portions of the novel a bit of a drag. The chapter order wasn't linear, something I was okay with as it's always interesting to see how one connects all of them together.

This, like All Good Deeds, was a good book. It doesn't stay in your mind very long, but for its purpose and its kind, I kind of expected it. It's a short story with I think around 30 plus chapters, also very readable in under a day.

Final Rating

This also gets a 3 out of 5. Connelly seemed a little off to me at times, and the way Leyla was described... Maybe I just felt it should've been prolonged a little more to one more chapter.