Monday, January 26, 2009

Damm lazy :(


I've been lazy lately.

Only when it comes to updating these blog entries though. Archon Defender is almost done. Primary filming that is. 59:26 done to be exact, which leaves retouching some screw-ups, adding some shots to improve flow and continuity, music and sound fx. But more done than not. Plus I'm already working on previs for the next film (and I might actually write the whole script before I start shooting this one, for a change)

If you're itching to see the latest and greatest shots, here's a bit from the climactic end fight scene, without giving away too much in the way of spoilers:

Monday, January 12, 2009

Archon Defender Glossary

Some of the main concepts in Archon Defender.

The Shard.
The shard is the remnant energy from the creation of the universe, which flows through all matter and motion, and which leads back to the origin at the point of creation. The shard can be thought of as the individual creative intents of the creator which in combination create all that we see and experience, like how the individual brush strokes on a painting combine to create the whole image. In a similar way each consciousness is a fragment of the creative consciousness of the origin, so that those who are in tune, or resonant, with the shard can guide this energy to manifest their will.

Black Shard.
Mastery of shard requires a focus of mind and will free from emotional coloration. The subconscious mind reacts to stimulus and situations, and to the shard sensitive, this can affect the intent of their Aum. Love, Hatred, Anger, emotion can all lead to the black shard, black crystals which grow explosively and unstoppably outwards and in proportion to the strength of the influencing emotion.

This is the reason why (ex.) fighter aircraft, weaponry, or vehicles which use the Shard must have both a pilot and a resonator, so that the emotional intent of the pilot can be separated from the source of Shard.

The black shard can only be counteracted with the Silent Aum.

Shard Sensitive
Someone who has the talent or ability to link to the shard. Not all people are shard sensitive, despite the fact that all people have the same potential (being fragments of the conscious intent of the Origin)

A shard sensitive who has undergone training to focus their mind and isolate the reactive, emotional part of their mind through meditations is called an Adept.

The unborn and newly born have the highest potential, having never experienced the full extent of experiences which we accumulate over a lifetime. These are the Resonant, linked to the shard at birth, before their own individuality and will can develop. This is considered the highest betrayal of innocence, and a forbidden practice.

The meditations which focus the will of the Adept and manifest the desired effect. Aum are named after the effect they produce, such as Levitation Aum, Illumination Aum, the Silent Aum, etc.

The Silent Aum
An Aum which silence the ability to link to the shard, to temporarily silence someone's ability to link to the Shard, or to counteract the effect of other aum (such as the black shard).

Resonators are used to hold and sustain Shard and remove the need to constantly maintain meditation in order to continue a manifestation. Resonators come in all sizes and shapes, and are designed for the particular aum or series of aum they are to sustain. Resonators can store, magnify, and amplify energy as well. The most effective of these are resonators in which the adept sits, or is completely surrounded by.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Characters pt.3: Lucia

Yup. It's been a while since I updated this series of posts about the characters and concepts in Archon Defender. Now that I'm getting closer to being finished, It's time to look at some of the important elements, background, and characters that make up the story:


When Lucia's not too busy being the villain of the film, she spends the rest of her time as the Empress of the city state of Echelon. Fortunately for her, these two jobs have rather similar skill sets, at which she excels. Now all kidding aside, with the character Lucia I wanted to explore the choices and circumstances that lead an otherwise regular person to become a tyrant. In the film we are introduced to Lucia at the height of her power. The film then casts-back to her younger days as a shard adept, and the circumstances and intrigue surrounding the Ascention Ceremony, centered around her friend Avi, which leads to her rise to power. Lucia's path culminates in the final moment of choice where she must decide between redemption or forever giving herself in to her feelings of betrayal and hatred.

One of the underlying themes through Archon Defender is the betrayal of innocence, and Lucia's youthful innocence is betrayed, by both events which carry her forward without her knowledge, then through her response: a gathering momentum of darkness, betrayal which manifests as the Imperial Nation of Echelon, and her War of Despair

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Musical Interruption #3

I was poking around on one of my friend's blogs today and eventually found my way to this page Ah the internet. You can run from it, but you can't hide. I made this cd back in 1997 (apparently) and released it on my friend's record label. This was before the internet had really taken off (in fact I think I was still using my amiga 2000, on dialup, back then.) and mp3's didn't even exist yet, and the record industry still held the world firmly in their iron talons. So, once this all miserably failed, it was onwards and upwards. Of course I continued making music since then, until I got my hands on Bryce 3D and 3D max. Well, I still sort of make music. Whenever I need music for my films.

Download the whole album here. Some of the tracks are even still good.

Pointless Cartoon Intermission #2

Exciting stuff

Making a 3D animated film is exciting stuff. Explosions, gun fights, space wars, rockets, robots, magic, dragons, deadly tarantulas and radioactive squirrels. All these thrilling elements are painstakingly squeezed out the rear orifice of the 3D max rendering window:

Yup. Hours of fun.

Which brings me to my next rant about movie quality in general, and the increasing lack of attention span that movies and media seems to get. Back in 'the day' people were lined up around the block for months to see the original star wars, and it wasn't uncommon for a number 1 movie to be top dog for weeks or months on end. Nowadays, there's hardly time to download the lousy cam version off bittorrent before it's out of the cinemas and the next cookie cutter action blockbuster or chick flick comedy is rolled through.

Even with my own films, the Rocketmen series, I've noticed the audience attention and appreciation is far in deficit of the actual amount of time and effort put into it. Now this doesn't mean that everyone should be so excited about your film that they go through a whole month's worth of clean underwear in two days, it just illustrates that people are not going to assign the same level of intense devotion and loyalty to the project that you just spent the last 2 or so years living eating and breathing. And it's their loss, really, because as I've said in earlier postings, it's the actual act of creativity that is the driving force behind any art, not the end result. (As George Lucas said, movies are never really finished, just 'abandoned')

Also, it's really sad when a movie totally sucks, knowing the amount of actual effort and devotion that went into the production. Luckily, the movie industry some times gets their act together.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

2009 first post

Firstly, a happy new year to everyone, and 2009 is going to be a great year (because Archon Defender will be finally done... sometime...)

Now that Archon Defender is pretty much 'in the bag', which is to say all I have to do is animate and render the final hundred or so shots, do all the sound effects and remaining music, get voice actors to dub the computer voices, master, comp, encode and release it.


Which means I'm already thinking of the next film. Originally, I hadn't planned any sequels , however once you start working on a film eventually you finish it. Then you have a bunch of computers sitting around, and nothing to do. You show your friends the film, they tell you how cool it is, then the next day it's either drink beer and go back to your job with a bunch of computers sitting idle at home. Or. Make another film.

It's not the finished film that matters, as much as the process of making the film. It's the same with any creative art: It is the act of creating which supersedes the finished product. True, the artist is acting in a creative capacity with a goal in mind: a finished product of their intellect and vision which represents some aspect of their identity. However, the finished work is only a shadow or a remnant of the active, living process of creation flows through and from the artist during the creative process. I have always considered the greatest works of art to be the unfinished masterpieces of those respective artists who have passed away before completing their works, because it contains the essence of the raw creative ability of that artist at their peak of creativity, unblemished in the art of creation. (of course, the most recent thing that you ever do is always the best....)

Now, with all that in mind, I have been busy doing concept art for the next film, which will follow after Archon Defender:

Enjoy, and happy new year ;D