Saturday, January 14, 2012

Computer Generated Videos

This is slightly off from my main interests, but recently I've picked up an interest in computer animation. I've started using Blender to sculpt characters and put bones, or armatures, into those characters. I haven't started animating these characters yet, but you can view some animations that one of my friends has made using Blender here:

I have also been using a program called Miku Miku Dance, or MMD for short. It is a free promotional program to try to get more people interested in buying the Vocaloid software, which uses computer generated voices to sing to your own music. Unfortunately, the only computer I have that MMD works on runs really slowly when I'm trying to use MMD. Currently I am trying to figure out how to import the character files from MMD, pmd files, into a format that is usable in Blender so I can more easily animate the Vocaloid characters.

If you are interested in using either Blender or Miku Miku Dance, here are the download links. Both programs are free to download and use and many resources can be found for them on the web.


Miku Miku Dance:


Saturday, January 7, 2012

My new Cloud Cosplay

For those of you who are Final Fantasy VII fans, you will most likely recognize Cloud as the main character in the series. For those of you who aren't Final Fantasy VII fans here is a description of the character:
 Cloud is the main character in the Final Fantasy VII series. He is a former member of SOLDIER, the army in the game, and now works as a mercenary who works about any job. At the beginning of the game Cloud is hired by a rebel group called AVALANCHE that works to undermine a large corporation called Shinra Inc. that is monopolizing all of the power in the world. As the game progresses, Cloud is caught up in a struggle to prevent all of the energy being sucked out of their planet. Cloud's weapon, usually called a buster sword, is a giant sword taller than he is, and he must use it to battle many enemies during his adventure.

For those of you familiar with the series and those of you who have looked up pictures, you are probably expecting an epic soldier-like cosplay. I will admit, it is pretty good, but it's not Cloud's usual outfit. For my Cloud cosplay I chose to do his outfit from Wall Market when he was infiltrating Don Corneo's mansion. For those unfamiliar with the game, at one point fairly early in the game Cloud has to dress up like a girl to get into the mansion of Don Corneo's, the mayor or equivalent in that area, to rescue his childhood friend Tifa and gain information that is crucial to Cloud's quest. Cloud was all for just breaking in, but Aeris, a flower girl he met earlier in the game, suggested that Cloud dress up as a girl so that the two of them could get in and rescue Tifa. Before they could do this though, Cloud has to talk to multiple characters to obtain items such as a dress and a wig to be able to dress up as a convincing girl.

So I've posted some pictures of my outfit at the end of the post so you can see how it turned out. I made all of the outfit except for the boots and that is my real hair, not  a wig. The Cloud face isn't my real face. Finding references for this outfit was a little difficult since the graphics in the game are not the greatest, but I was able to modify and combine patterns that I have to make the dress look the way I wanted it to. I had to come up with a pattern for the sash and the flared part of the sleeves on this outfit and am very pleased with how they turned out. The puffed sleeves look adorable and the skirt turned out to be just the length I wanted it to be. The sword in the last picture was made by one of my friends out of cardboard and duct tape. Please tell me what you think of my new cosplay!