Rhinctus<<< Go back home

04 // Semester 1 of 6 Posted: 29JUN2018

It’s been some time since i’ve posted anything to this blog, or any other places i usually post to for that matter. February the 18th was the day I moved cities and got going with university which completely destroyed any semblance of rhythm in my postings. The almost daily sketches stopped, the Neocities updates stopped, and my personal work in general came to a complete standstill. University, on the other hand, took off. I met heaps of new people, all with similar interests in film, animation, VFX, game design, sound, music, and more. It’s been amazing, but it’s also been a hell of a lot of work. Semester 1 just wrapped on the 1st of June, and it was massive, and since the start of it there’s been a bunch i’ve wanted to write about on here. Transitioning from high school to university, returning to after effects and the gauntlets project after far too long, Newgrounds and Neocities and the things happening over there. Then going into sketches (and the lack thereof) on rhinctus2.

The first topic I wanted to cover was going from high school to university. It’s something I didn’t end up talking about much on post 3 because i was focusing on lightning vfx and i still hadn’t left home. By the end of the 2017 high school year I felt so ready to leave. Not having to stay in school during break times and having study blocks was the saving grace of the year. After a mad rush with a broken enrolment system I was accepted into uni just over two weeks before I was due to go there. It was one hell of a relief. Moving into the student hall was a breeze. Both the hall and uni had their own orientation activities for the entire first week. Then, they just launched us into classes. It was such a welcome change from the slow and arduous introductions for each year of high school.

I took three courses for this first semester. Time based editing, digital video production, and computer animation. We were forced to take media studies as a fourth. The editing course was really interesting. It dealt in the story telling power of editing in the production of not only film, but animations and games as well. We mostly focused on the film side of things for the assessments which, contrary to what I thought before starting the course, were actually not as much to my liking. That passed on into the digital video production course. We were making formatted reality style TV content which wasn’t wholly bad, as was none of the course, but i would’ve preferred making whacky as fuck short films rather than TV content. Part of the lectures was talking about how TV is fucking dead as we know it, but online platforms are becoming huge. So there were improvements to be made to the course there. Media was only made interesting by the lecturer, it was otherwise fucking boring. Computer animation was the opposite, I absolutely loved it. It was disappointing that the other subjects took up so much time because i would’ve loved to spend hours upon hours in the computer labs listening to music and animating. We’re supposed to pick a pathway next year out of animation, games, video & sound, vfx, or web & interactive. I’m yet to see what the VFX course is like, as it is next semester, but so far i’m keen to keep on with the animation pathway into next year.

Something which we ended up using in the animation course was after effects. It felt great getting back onto it again. When I was writing post 3 I hadn’t thought about that I would be able to use it at the uni but here we are. I don’t have anything near as much as I had to say on the 22 of January, only that the aep’s still work and I still have the gauntlets on the list of projects i’m doing.

Newgrounds received an interface update to a number of key pages on the site. It was sceptical as hell before it dropped but seeing it in action has changed my mind. I’m still not personally a fan on circular user icons, despite Tom’s argument that it separated the users from the content.

As of writing this paragraph (7th of June) the summer animation jams have been under way on NG for 5 days NZ time, with the first jam having the theme “bad dream” I want to do something for it but with an exam on the 18th i’ve kept it fairly low on the list of priorities. The next theme is something to do with robots though so i’m looking forward to that.

A project which i want to get onto some time soon is to create my own redesign of NG, probably using something like Stylish or even just downloading the NG homepage html and creating my own CSS. There’s also some navigational things i’d like to change so it may become quite a large project. Chances are that i’ll be creating a page on the neocities site for it soon.

Speaking of Neocities, i’ve begun to update the KDRK page with more info and further refinements. There’s still some rambling i left on rhinctus2 which i haven’t yet carried over there. I’ve been experimenting with a new home page design for the site but it’s still a work in progress. I think the current home page is just a bit boring, even this blog with its fairly dated theme design looks more alive. I’ve considered doing some really dark turquoise theme with bright red highlights with a pixel retro thing going on but that just sounds cheesy in text, i’ll see what happens there. It may look something like an old FM Yamaha synth crossed with a Simon Stålenhag painting, or, it may look like shit. It’ll take some experimentation.

On the 16th of February the so called daily sketches on rhinctus2 completely stopped with some shitty low effort scribbles of one of the KDRK characters, Bart. Two days later i moved cities and nothing has been posted there since. My drawing completely stopped around that point but as time has gone on i’ve picked up drawing here and there. A friend I met down here, called Anton, and I are ever so slowly drawing up sketches for a comic we’re making. We both tend to trawl through art in our spare time so I created the ArtShit page on Neocities so that we had a quick reference to all of our inspirations. I have drawn a couple of things but nowhere near as many as i’d hoped.


Just some beast silhouette, i really like how it turned out despite the strange looking hands and feet. May revise it later.

Some time really early into the semester I, along with a big bunch of friends, went to our first game jam called “OpenJam” and it was heaps of fun! I always meant to contend in Ludum Dare but never ended up having the time. Luckily there weren’t too many projects on at the time, so for three days we sat in one of the blocks at uni and made a truly beautiful game themed around soup called Souper Kingdom Adventure. We didn’t have any naming conventions, shared networked drives, or any prior experience but it was heaps of fun overall. Since then i’ve joined the GDOW and have gone to only one talk so far. There have been a couple since that one but the projects were mounting up at that point. I also ended up helping some friends doing the CMP game course. It’s been interesting using unity again after 4 years and i can’t say i’ve missed it. Looking forward to diving back into UE4 soon.

As for upcoming projects, nothing is going to happen anytime soon. I hope to participate in at least one animation jam on NG, or at least post some more music and/or art there. I’m hopeful that Anton and I will make progress on the comic but nothing is certain at this point in time. After the 18th of June my time is finally mine for the first time in a while, so i’ll have more time and mental space to work with, which i’m really looking forward to. I plan to write up a bunch of D&D stuff on paper, on here, and on Neocities soon. I’ve only just started to write stuff down and there is so much more to do there. I’ll keep whittling away at KDRK over time, and i may end up writing about other worlds on Neocities some time later too. Finally, I have made rhinctus3 where i put reblogs and reference for art. I’ll start putting more stuff there soon.

So that’s it. This break i’ve been really pushing my discipline in daily routine and practise. As of completing this post it is the 29th of June and i can’t say there will be another post here for a long time. The next semester looks like heaps of fun, and i’m looking forward to the many opportunities which pop up. If there’s something particularly interesting I may post about it here, but i wouldn’t count on it!


03 // The Quest for 3D Lightning Posted: 22JAN2018

So, this is going to be really long and possibly really boring so heads up for that. This project is still unfinished despite starting all the way back around the new years period between the end of 2016 and the beginning of 2017. Regardless of all that though, i’ve wanted to do a writeup on it for absolutely ages now so… here it is!

In the sunny New Zealand summer of 2016 i was holed up in my cavernous dark room, my big green computer whirring away with its bright and loud LED fans, and my shitty fan blowing chilly air onto my face which was solely being illuminated by the scenes of green lightning leaping forth from pixelated gloved hands unto flying red imps. Heretic had me captivated at the time with its fantasy bent scenes of violence built upon the foundations of Doom’s engine. This appealed to me at the time because i was so used to seeing sci fi mods for doom and doom 2 but fantasy was a place less explored. If The Adventures of Square count as fantasy then it is my most memorable fantasy doom mod out of all the mods I have played since i started modding Doom in 2012.

When the new year hit, I was due to get new carpet to replace the disgusting rotting stuff which was in my room prior. So, i moved out of there into the adjoining rumpus room. I set up my laptop there and kept playing Heretic. It was around this time that I thought the Gauntlets of the Necromancer would make a fun VFX project. So I recorded some reference footage, got screenshots of anything to do with them, cracked open a new AE project and got going.

It was heaps of fun at this point. Trying to nail down what the lightning would look like, and what artistic liberty I could take whilst keeping it accurate to the original but also to my own style. In retrospect I didn’t make massive progress, but it felt great at the time. I had a solid look for the lightning, but not necessarily a good setup for the lightning to interact with a scene, or with animated characters. I definitely had in mind what I wanted these things to look like, but i hadn’t done it yet.

I decided that this was a good time to document my progress on the project through a video, so I recorded myself talking over AE and some Heretic gameplay. I reviewed the footage only to learn that it was Heretic talking over me. I had messed up the audio levels on the game and OBS, neither of which I could hear. So, instead of redoing everything which I had just done, I recorded a bad dub over the bad audio, edited it in and added some on screen warnings about the bad audio. By now I had moved into the garage which was adjoined to the rumpus room, and I was pulling late nights doing this project.

After I had done editing the video, I just stopped. I couldn’t bring myself to upload the video for whatever strange reason, and not long after I launched into the final year of high school. The project stalled for the entire year. I would only come across the files accidentally, and see the export of the progress video but still didn’t upload it.

In the space of most of a year from when I completed the video, to just before finally uploading it, my computer situation completely changed more than once. At first, it was work on my big whirring computer and beefy laptop. Then, I moved over only to my laptop, as the GPU on the big computer died, then Windows 7 kept on freezing on the beefy laptop, so I backed up everything and installed Arch Linux, which brings us to stage 2.

It’s around October/November of 2017 where this point starts. I had a fabulous linux setup with XFCE and a bunch of great programs for doing all kinds of stuff, but I also had no Creative Suite. No After Effects. And now, a bunch of useless files which I can’t open on any computer I own. However, what I did find was the export from the beginning of the year. Upon reviewing the video, it was a piece of shit, but I felt as though I should upload it with a short disclaimer at the start of it. I opened up a new KdenLive project and added in the necessary titles to the video’s intro, and uploaded unlisted to my main Rhinctus YT channel. It was around this time that I realised I wanted to write about the project, but I felt too ashamed to put the video on here, the main blog, so I just quietly slipped it onto the second blog and made no distinct further mention of it or the project for a short while.

At this point it is December. It’s coming up on around a year since I started the project, and i’m at what feels like a dead end.

No programs on linux which I could use had the ability to create the lightning I wanted. On Nuke, you had to buy an expensive plugin package (Sapphire) to create a single “Zap” node, and then duplicating it a bunch of times to create a burst of lightning. I would’ve done this if I had the package. On blender, there was nothing clear cut to doing it. I could’ve used curves or tree gen to create it but it seemed too complicated. What this would’ve offered though is fully 3D lightning, which did sound appealing. It’s something i’m definitely going to revisit somehow. Natron, as far as I could see, had absolutely nothing for creating lightning. Possibly there was some lengthy workaround to making it, but I couldn’t figure it out if there was one.

Not long after, the computer situation changed again with the selling off of the big laptop. I still have a defunct big green computer, and now a laptop with macOS and… the creative suite.

I love the open source software which is being developed at the moment, and lots of the software I experimented with but didn’t list here whilst on linux was made within the last 3 years, if not just last year, and it’s fascinating learning about all of it. Despite this, I love the creative suite. It comes with its fair share of problems, but generally it fulfils my needs better than the FOSS alternatives.

In late December, i decided to revisit Video Copilot after what has probably been 4 years. To my delight, Andrew Kramer had made an “Advanced Lightning Tutorial” which completely ticked all of my boxes mentally of what I wanted to see in the lightning I was trying to create. It’s just so exciting watching it.

That brings us to the present day. I still haven’t touched the project. I’ve learnt a bunch along the way which in one way or another aids the project, but the .aeps have remained on my various computers since then. I fully intend to return to the project soon, but with university starting in late February time is running short. This post is almost a “Part 1″ progress thing towards the resulting video, because as soon as I get back into it i’m going to be making another progress video documenting my progress. It’s been a long journey so far, and I can already see that the road ahead is looking longer. It’ll be fun though!

Of course, I haven’t been doing nothing in lieu of this project. I completed high school with a satisfying result. I have started sketching daily (or as close to daily as possible) and am really trying to push my drawing skill. I’ve made rhinctus.neocities.org, rhinctus2.tumblr.com, rhinctustunes.tumblr.com, and updated wscfood.neocities.org. I have figured out compositing 3D elements over live footage with blender, something I previously thought needed custom python programming to achieve.

Alongside this project, for the future i’m going to keep on sketching, starting doing musical sketches as well, and just playing more music and improvising more. I’ve also been slowly starting with animation alongside my sketches, but nothing will surface of that for a long time.


02 // 48HOURS Posted: 15SEP2017

Yeah, so much for weekly updates! Based off previous attempts to do weekly content on youtube and tumblr, it’s not at all easy to keep up with. Also, i haven’t touched on gamedev much at all, everything to do with school changed within probably two weeks after posting that so nothing to say in that regard. Something which did happen recently (on August 25th) was the 48HOURS Furious Filmmaking Challenge, which is probably one of the biggest events of the year. It’s always a huge buildup to the event and it turned out to be heaps of fun this year, so I want to put my experience on here.

So every year around May we check on 48hours.co.nz to check if any new updates are posted. As of last year that hasn’t so much been the case as the dates got moved towards the end of the year due to sponsorship issues. After checking multiple times the registration finally opened near the arse end of term two, sometime after I posted the first post just below this one. For a while we had been desperately trying to figure out what on earth the team name should be, as we didn’t like the old one and no one was coming up with a good one to replace it. After holding a proper set of polls we nailed down the new team name. Mach One. Which we thought could possibly be mispronounced as mack one, but we decided it didn’t matter. We were making films at the speed of sound.

Our first meeting was with a small group of people, the writers and directors, which helped us boil down what we wanted to do over the weekend. The big white table was set out at the bottom bock of Max’s house, an area which became known as “The Pit”. As lunch approached we continued the discussions over lunch at the international food court.

Ruby, Max in the distance, Felix, and Donald with some hearty meals. We can all agree that Wave is still the best chocolate milk in nz.

The man in the distance

That pretty much concluded our meeting for the day, not too much else happened other than writing up a timeline for the weekend. The next meeting was scheduled for the Friday before 48HOURS, on the 18th.

This year was our first year inviting Eamonn onto the team, which rounded off the team member number from 9 to 10. It was a huge meeting, held again in The Pit, we discussed ideas, roles, and went through the entire timeline which had been written previously. People were falling asleep towards the end of the night, which was a bit of a worry in light of the upcoming weekend! Despite this, the meeting was a success and put us in good step for the weekend.

Welcome to the pit! In this shot, going clockwise from the bottom left, is Oscar P, Ruby (face obscured by fatt hed), Joe, James, Eamonn, Max, Sharn, Donald, and Felix.

Max holding the talking stick

Sunglasses for everyone!

Here we see Doggie tapping away at organisational documents

Things get silly with the now broken talking stick


Making a point

Oscar appears

Impromptu drum jam sessions are in order, and are tradition for us with 48HOURS at this point

Sleepy boi Sharn

Grandpa Max reading out his genius 15 minute ideas


Sleepy Oscar towards the end of the meeting

Oh no

Max evaluating his choices

Quick escape!

James and Donald are not impressed

So that wraps up our meeting. Everyone headed home on their own merry way. The next event was on the Thursday before 48HOURS, the 24th of August.

I actually didn’t hear this was happening while I was at the meeting, just a bit of oversight on my part. The gear test was a small thing held with only a handful of people, even less than the initial meeting. We set up computers, talked gear and equipment, and were out of there in no time at all. We were so close to starting!

Macbook for writing, Duck computer for doing any audio, editing, or VFX

The table is moved out of the pit

Co-director doggie at his last supper. Wait…who is that on the poster above him?

And with that, I left. I left my duck laptop there and had to wait just one more day.

The big night arrives. There’s always the usual excitement of getting all the gear out of various cars and into the house. There was also something about Ned’s Declassified?

Ned! NED!

In the background there you can see all the gear which Donald brought in, and off camera is Oscar’s electronic drum kit which he brought in as well, which turned into the drum kit of choice for the weekend. It was a total blast to use.

There’s heaps!

After everyone piled in, we sat down at the big table, sending Joe and Sharn off to pick up the genre from Hollywood cinema in Avondale. We all waited in anticipation, with the livestream of the event up on the big TV. While we waited Max and I finished off the team intro clip which goes at the beginning of a 48HOURS submission, we had actually been working on it for some time and only on the night had we actually gotten the time to finish it off. We had that done and exported pretty quickly and we got back to the big table. Ant Timpson, big boss of 48, had been teasing about changes to the required elements of the film. They were pretty different from last year. No required line, no required prop. This year there was a selection of 20 different narrative themes which you had to pick one of. Our details for the weekend were:

GENRE: Action

THEME: Transformation (which we eventually came to pick)

CHARACTER: A female

PHYSICAL ELEMENT: A collision

TECHNICAL ELEMENT: A smash cut

SOUND EFFECT: The Wilhelm scream

The required sound effect was new too, and we all groaned when we found out it was the fucken Wilhelm scream. Once we had all the required elements we set off for 10 minutes to think of as many ideas as possible. When we came back we all sat around the big table and in a circle went around everyone’s ideas. After hearing many ideas we came down to two main ideas. The 18 Dollar Man and Reaction Woman. The 18 dollar man is about a powerful android being created my a master engineer, only to have the powerful android best the engineer. With only 18 dollars left in pocket, the engineer creates the 18 dollar man, who must train his arse off to beat the powerful android. Reaction Woman was about a world where everyone is fighting, except for this one person. We eventually went on with the latter. We had meter long pizzas for dinner, then while Max, Felix, and I went into Max’s room to write the film in separation from the noise, Ruby, Donald and Sharn figured out cinematography, and everyone else figured out choreography for fight scenes in the film, as it was going to have a bunch of hand to hand combat. They figured out an awesome looking fight, choreographed entirely in The Pit, and the camera people figured out some brilliant shots despite only having random snippets of the script and story to go off of. Us three writers actually managed to produce a full script by our deadline of 3am on Saturday. It looked pretty solid, and had everything we were required to have. Shortly after we all found places to sleep and got ready to wake up by 6am.

Figuring out story beats

These shots are only from 11pm on Friday, we had a long night ahead of us.

6AM came fast, and we got up feeling peppy and ready for shooting. Donald and Sharn had completed the shot list, and the choreography was nailed down. After a classic breakfast of eggs, bacon, hash browns, and bread pretty much everyone got ready to go out and shoot. This included the two directors, Sharn the camera man, Max as the on set editor advisor dude, Zarina as our main character, Joe the supporting role, and the parent which took them, which I remember to be either James G. or Ruth. That was the longest shoot of the day, and the whole time Felix, James, Oscar, Harry, and I were back at the house. Hereafter Felix and I are the “Resident Editors”, and to prepare for the first batch of footage to come in we made our master premiere project with the team intro we had completed on Friday evening, our team’s title card, a blank video with a length of 5 minutes to show the maximum time allowed, and then 5 seconds of black. It was up to the competition’s standards in no time at all, so the rest of the time was just milling around for us.

James on the other hand had been tasked with making music composition ideas despite not having any idea of what he was meant to be scoring for at that point. It more so provided the opportunity for his gear to come out, my bagful of gear to come out, and also to dig out some of Max’s instruments which he had hiding in his closet so that people wouldn’t get audibly abused by everyone during the weekend. We didn’t clearing off any of the writing guff from the previous night, we just set laptops, keyboards, synths, audio interfaces, and a bunch of cables onto the big table alongside pens and refill pads. It was chaotic but it worked! We also moved Oscar’s drum kit over from beside a couch in The Pit to beside the big table. It was a musical banquet! It also proved to be an opportunity to test out the gear which I hadn’t gotten around to using. Us playing music continued until around 12:50PM when everyone got back from filming the office scene.

A text from the Big Cheese, with a bunch of strange hieroglyphics littered between mangled text

Harry at the Casio, Oscar in the back at the drums. James on the Microkorg, which was plugged into the Scarlett, which was plugged into the macbook through logic 9, out to a tinny burger speaker which turned out to be useful for making loud noises.

The full music table, taken shortly after everyone left to film the next scene.

When the office crew got back, everyone started rushing around getting ready to go shoot the big opening scene up the road. James, Oscar, and Harry gapped it too so it was just the resident editors at home. While we imported footage I took a bit of time to rearrange the desk, then Felix and I got going. There were three scenes shot at the office, a short fight scene between Sharn and Max, which was part of a montage, a dialogue scene between Joe and Zarina, and a short scene of Zarina and Sharn. We reviewed the footage, and were super happy with the amount of footage and coverage which had been taken. It didn’t take us long to cut together a rough edit for the three scenes. After a bit more milling around, people began to make their way back to the house. Felix and I started importing the footage once it arrived, and we got to work. This scene was fun, and because it was only roughly 6 shots it didn’t need that much editing out. The coverage was fantastic, and only a small reshoot for a shot of a phone was needed. It was more a case of what we wanted to put where.

By this point the crew had gone off to another shoot, this time down by Wynyard quarter. Problem being that it was starting to get dark. By now James had some pretty solid ideas about what to do music wise, so we locked the edit on the opening scene and made a low quality video export of the scene. James got to work making music along to the beats of the opening, while I dug into sound effects. In the opening scene alone there were a fucken tonne of sound effects. Most of them I found on the spot from freesound.org, which is a fantastic website. The crew got back with the Wynyard Quarter footage and Felix mostly dug into that after importing it, I kept going with SFX, and James kept going with music. By this time it was around 7PM. Things started mellowing down, some people had gone to sleep. James had pretty much done the composition for the first scene, we bounced that in 3 separate parts to use in the opening and eventually in the outro. At what was probably 10pm a small collection of non-sleepers had gathered in Max’s room, and I was looking to record some actual sound with a microphone. Felix had gone up the road to his house to get his mic and audio interface, the latter of which turned out not to work with the duck computer. So, we grabbed the M-audio from the back room and for the first time I got to press the phantom power button, which was just super exciting. It glows orange! I was fucking stoked, and a blue light turned on upon Felix’s mic too. We got multiple hilarious recordings of people making grunting noises, a bunch of which got used in the final piece. We then started finding objects to use for foley, one of which was a nerf sword. Oscar tried swinging it but we weren’t quite getting the noise we wanted. A bunch of people tried, inching it carefully closer and closer to the mic. Then, Donald volunteered, and with one fell swoop he topped the microphone off onto the floor. He was thenceforth banned from swinging near anything significant. I don’t have any photos of this, but Oscar did have the brilliant foresight to take a fast one of us in the room:

In this photo of Oscar’s is myself, Max behind James, James, Felix, and Sharn. This was when we were bouncing James’ tracks, before we got into audio recording

As the night went on past 12AM on Sunday, more people began to fall asleep, and eventually Max went to sleep and requested I vacate his room, so I quietly took all of my shit into the back room to find the big table had been filled with extra cables and game controllers from people playing smash to pass the time. It felt like some kind of stealth mission trying to move loose game cube controllers off the table. One of them fell of at one point, that caused me to freeze up. At this point it is probably around 2:00AM on Sunday, i’m the one person awake as I was determined to make it until 3:00AM without sleeping. We were out of V at this point as well, as we had somehow managed to drink it all by Saturday at sunset.

In previous years we always had a surplus of V, but not this year. As a matter of fact, there came a point I think on Saturday where we were running out of drinks. We had slammed down all of the Lift, both cans and bottles, most of the cola bottles were gone, especially the vanilla stuff. There was also the odd drink out, like a single bottle of iced tea or bottles of juice, but even they got drunk at some point. Donald, Ruby, and possibly Max had to go on a quick drink run at the local countdown to refresh the supplies. Everyone was doing something at all times, and it really showed in the quota of drinks consumed over the weekend.

So I actually made it past 3AM doing the audio, but by that point the smallest delay in doing literally anything caused me to lower my head and close my eyes, and I was lucky the ridiculous grunting recordings got so loud at parts, because I would quickly scuttle though the 50 or so different sounds we had to find a certain one, often to be awakened by one of Donald’s fucking loud noises. Hootin’ and Hollerin’. The opening was mostly done, and the need to sleep was gnawing at me without the caffeine, so I mindlessly climbed onto the nearest unoccupied couch, which was a single leather sofa was Donald has taken up post on the double, and fell asleep for 4 hours.

By the time I woke up Eamonn had come back from being at home, and had just snuck inside at 6am when everyone was failing to wake up on time. He mentioned just how uncomfortable my sleeping position looked, which was completely true. Nonetheless, we all got going pretty quickly. William arrived not long after we had woken up, and we couldn’t afford to wait around for long at all to people just scoffed down some bread pull aparts and were off to Wynyard Quarter to shoot the next major scene. I got back into audio work in Max’s room after transferring most of the equipment back there from the big table. Joe and I to record radio announcements, and not long after that the crew got back from Wynyard Quarter dripping with rain.

Joe recording his radio announcement, also this is the best view of the VO and recording setup. I didn’t get a good look at the phantom power light which is a bummer. Duck computer really pulled through during this 48HOURS

Felix once again imported the footage, I was somewhat distant from editing at this point as I was completely immersed in sound editing. After Felix got that scene together, we had a segment without any good sound to use, so he sent over the edited scene and a copy of the room tone. That was a pretty quick job and I got back to fine tuning the first scene’s audio. By now the crew had gone off to record the final piece of the montage over at Browns Reserve.

Photo credit to Donald, a shot of smooth operator Sharn holding both camera and boom whilst donning the HD-201′s and slick shades. Meanwhile, Zarina is psyching herself up for the next shot of hooligans launching kicks at thin air.

We got Joe to figure out some music for the montage earlier, and now that James was back he was able to refine it. We kept on making small edits to what we had and added in music and sound where we could. The crew got back from Browns and we imported the footage again. This meant we had all the footage for the montage and we were able to refine that further. The only footage left to do was the ending and the pickup shot of the phone. We completed the montage fairly quickly while the crew left to do those last shots.

Turns out that Donald had been putting in our name for the text-in sweepstakes which had been going for the entire weekend, and we finally managed to score a prize of a chicken lunch from Bird on a Wire, thing being that they didn’t get back to us about it until after Donald had already made an arse of himself in the cafe. Then we ended up having lunch from the house which consisted of chicken. Then an HP rep got back to us saying that we could go and pick up our lunch from the place under his name, so that was just ridiculous. We had it for dinner in the end.

It was around now that this beautiful image arose, credit to Oscar for the photo

After we had the last scene completely filmed it was approaching crunch time. Things were tending to become a little bit more tense, stakes were rising. We quickly got the final scene cut together so I could do some fast audio done on it. Then we all went through it to make some changes to the sound, and adjust things we needed to do. We placed all of our sub sequences into the master sequence, made more changes, then people began to be kicked out of the room. I was one of the last to go before Max and Felix got down to the knitty gritty and did the final checks on the cut. Max was the last person to come out and say that it was all done. So, we quickly got onto exporting it which didn’t take too long. Despite things going so smoothly, it was still slightly stressful if literally anything messed up. People stopped playing smash out the back when we were done, and we quickly transferred the film to two different USBs. One which we bought and the one HP gave to us in our goodie bag. With the films on the USBs, we jetted off from the house over to Hollywood cinema for the hand in. We left shortly after 6PM.

A view of the pit just before we left to Hollywood Cinema. Looks like a battle happened in here

The chip packets had returned to the music table once more

My last photo from the weekend, standing outside the house as we’re about to leave

We raced off the Avondale, and despite our car leaving second we actually made it to Hollywood Cinema first. Got there at around 6:30, only a small crowd had gathered there at that point. Got the usual applause as we walked up and handed in our film. Hooray! Always such a rewarding feeling being able to walk up to the tables and have your name ticked off. Mach One had done it. Once the others got there we set up shop on the second floor and amongst giving people signature seal pup congratulations, we were screaming, shouting, clapping, and overall just having a great time. When the countdown to 7:00PM was done, we headed off back to the house to watch the film and have dinner. We ate our bird on a wire lunch, watched the film a couple of times, then the frantic rush to pack up and charge out the door began. We all said our farewells to each other, many sweaty bro hugs were in order. I was one of the last to leave as I had brought so much shit in my bag. And just like that, it was done! I had lost my voice from screaming, and I could see that I had a long sleep ahead of me. However, this year’s 48HOURS had been absolutely heaps of fun.

So that’s it. We came third in our heat and didn’t win any significant prizes. We were proud of the film though, as it had been our most solid 48HOURS production to date. In retrospect we thought that the world we had to set up in less than 5 minutes may have been a bit far fetched, but the story was clear and everything else about it was fabulous. The acting from Zarina and Joe was super solid, all the supporting roles were funny and really added to the film. Sharn’s camera work, with the help of both Donald and Ruby, was absolutely fantastic. All the work done in post was heaps of fun to do. As always I loved the musical efforts from James, and even though Oscar didn’t have as much involvement in the actual compositions this year, I really valued his input too, as with Joe’s help on drums for the montage. I think the one thing I regretted the most from the weekend was not taking enough photos and videos. I absolutely love looking at them, and there are large parts of this write up which are lacking photos entirely as I didn’t get around to thinking about them. If Ruby uploads her photos from her 35mm I wouldn’t mind crediting her on those in this post.

Finally, looking back upon the weekend, I never realised how much fun 18 dollar man would be to make. I wouldn’t say I regret not going with it, as both of the ideas were fantastic. Eamonn was the genius behind 18 dollar man, so sometime these summer holidays him and I are going to write it, and from writing this post I realised that I would really like to nab Sharn to do cinematography again. The idea has absolutely HUGE potential and i’m slowly going to get things in order for that to happen during the summer summer holidays. I have to hold myself back from getting too excited about it!


01 // Gamedev Posted: 2JUN2017

Been a while since I posted anything on here, I want to start regularly posting on here after running a school project blog at cookiestdt.tumblr.com, it’s heaps of fun to post on there even when the work is so laborious.

16JUN2019: I want to point out here, this was before Notch showed the shitty side of himself to the public

Just tonight I’ve found out that Notch on twitch.tv has a bunch of old archived streams which have come back with the acquisition of twitch by amazon, and among those past streams are videos from previous Ludum Dare compos which he participated in, which previously I could only see on his nizzotch channel on youtube as a collection of timelapses. It’s just him talking to people in the chat with music in the background and his progress on developing his game from simple dart libraries. As said, I’ve looked through these before in a timelapse format but to see it happening in real time is kind of thrilling in a way. There aren’t many people who program live on stream, or at least so i’ve seen.

I’ve always held an interest in programming, and i’ve constantly been putting it further down my list of things I want to do, as other things seemingly had more instant gratification, like drawing, animation, or VFX. All three of which I also have an absolute crap-ton of stuff to learn about. However, programming, and more specifically game development, is something I haven’t properly applied myself to, ever. So I looked around for the classic thing which I was asking myself back in 2012 and even earlier in 2010. Where do I start? I don’t want to use something like GameMaker or a ‘coding-free’ game engine/development platform as I love the technical aspect of seeing lines of text which correspond to something in the game. Through looking around google I came across Tommy Refenes’s blog on Gamasutra which I think is fantastic. Visualising making a game as blocks of lego was a good image to add to my head. As of writing this I haven’t even finished reading it but I feel enthralled while reading through it. Really enjoyed Indie Game: The Movie back in 2013 so it’s great to read stuff from the people it focused on.

Anyway, I’ve started to look into Superpowers, which uses HTML5, Javascript, JSON, and i think WebGL to work everything out, and their website and goals interest me, so next time I’ll hopefully have a decent update on that despite how mad everything else in my life is at the moment.

Also I should point out that this is not going to be the only post type on this blog, I’ll filter these with the words tag which I’ve seen other people on this website use, while also posting drawings i’m happy with or have been completed here. All going well i’ll have a post like this a week but it’s looking manic at the moment so I’m keeping my expectations low. As said before, writing like this has been fun on cookiestdt so I thought I would apply it here. Nothing amazing or revolutionary of course, but it could be interesting none the less. I’m just doing it because I find it fun, i’m not expecting anything out of it.


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