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calm, pastoral ambience
Posted by tai on Apr 3, 2009 under Audio, Commentary, Featured, Special

You have most likely heard of the popular Korean MMORPG Ragnarok Online, and many of you have probably played it at some point or another. I would like to bring attention to the sequel of that game, Ragnarok Online 2. Also produced by Gravity, Ragnarok Online 2 was to be another of their flagship games. It features the world of Ragnarok in full 3d, with new monsters, multiple playable races, but most importantly for this review, an OST composed by Yoko Kanno. She composed about 90 tracks for this game, which was first released to the public in 2006 in the Korean closed beta.

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RO² Prontera 2

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a step-by-step photoshop image guide
Posted by tai on Jan 14, 2009 under Special

In the process of collecting 1.07GB (1270 files) of high-quality animanga scans, wallpapers, and drawings, you come across a lot of junk. I don’t save the things I don’t like, but I’ve seen enough to be able to distinguish a Bad Wallpaper from a decent one. After a quick study, I discovered some common formulae used in the creation of a Bad Wallpaper, and now I present to you a step-by-step guided tutorial on how not to make an animanga wallpaper. Afterwards I’ll treat you to a (somewhat more decent) wallpaper I made for myself. So let’s get that Photoshop open and start cranking. (or just scroll to the bottom if you just want to see/download mine, cheapskate~)
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asdf

Hardcover, 244 pages.

My second artbook review will be for Studio Ghibli’s Spirited Away. This book was a nice grab from amazon.ca, $25 shipping included (I added it to my friend’s order so she could get the free shipping quota). Compared to my Clannad Visual Fan Book it’s not as in-depth, but there are a lot of early development sketches, rough line art and unedited watercolour backgrounds which I was really looking forwards to, especially for a production from Mr. Hayao Miyazaki. There’s a certain beauty that is expressed through draft-quality hand-drawn watercolour paintings, I expect Ponyo on a Cliff is following through with that logic.Because this book is in English I can understand all of the captions, however there isn’t nearly as much text as the Clannad Visual Fan Book.

“Most people panic and collapse while shouting, “It can’t be true.” Those people will be erased or eaten up in the situation in which Chihiro finds herself. In fact, Chihiro’s being strong enough not to be eaten up is just what makes her a heroine. She is a heroine not because she is beautiful or because she possesses a unique mind. This is the key characteristic of this work.”

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if only I knew how to read it...
Posted by tai on Jan 5, 2009 under Commentary, Print, Special

Finally, three months after placing my order, I received my Clannad Visual Fan Book yesterday, shipped all the way from Nippon. And so it is about time I revive TsundereStorm, I’ve been on “hiatus” for more than a month (though occasionally I was finalizing my design for TsundereStorm 1.0 in my sketchbook on the subway).

Yeah, working in retail is busy, especially before the Christmas season. I finally got back into the animanga business after the New Year. Good timing for the arrival of my Clannad book!

The first page of the book is a delicious Kyou Fujibayashi conveniently locked in the gym equipment storage room.

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a new approach to online team collaborative projects
Posted by tai on Nov 19, 2008 under Discourse, Research, Special

Every person, group, company, territory, has a particular way of doing things. Most of us have our own system on how to handle things. Leaving post-it notes, keeping a PDA of daily to-do lists, putting an elastic band around our wrist, setting random alarms, and so forth, are all ways of getting things done, and help fight against forgetfulness and procrastination. Most likely we don’t even think twice about our personal procedures, but when different people with different methodology start collaborating with each other it is necessary to set guidelines on the exact procedures and protocols for all the tasks involved in the projects at hand.

I’m being hosted under BWYS, a scanlation group: They take Japanese manga (comics), translate it into English, and release it online. My friend is the leader of the group and since they would be animanga fans like I am, I joined their IRC channel for some social while closeting away on my computer. However, I was (and still am) much more into audio/video than illustration; I didn’t really have that much background in manga, especially compared to the members of BWYS who work with manga on a daily basis. But I knew Photoshop well and soon I started typesetting and editing for them, and with that I started learning the specific procedure we go through to prepare a raw file into a final release. Most members, having practiced this methodology for quite some time, don’t have much criticism on the system, but I being newer to the scene have a lot of thoughts on the system we use, from both general-workplace and scanlation viewpoints.
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