* My Neighbor Totoro

* Moominpappa at Sea

* Please Save My Earth!

* Steven Universe

* Avril Lavigne's Make 5 Wishes Graphic Novels

* this dream I had back in August

* Cold Comfort Farm

Feb. 18th, 2015 12:24 pm
If we ectobiologically combined the ASOIAF fandom with the Fifty Shades fandom, we would get a large and active Kushiel fandom, but it would be unbelievably awful.
The characters from Game of Thrones are able to come and go from an area, removed from ordinary time and space, in which no violence takes place. They don't know why, and the place itself confuses and unsettles them. There are reasons for that other than the obvious one.

The place seems to be the inside of an old hospital or school, but it is slightly off - everything, even the exposed pipes and windows, is painted heavily with the same shade of white latex paint. There are so many coats that the walls are soft, and you can peel it off with your fingernails.

This place contains various promotional materials for the show, like posters and ads clipped from magazines. They are the only colorful things within the building, and they confuse the characters. They can't figure out who made all these pictures of them. Ned Stark doesn't like how grouchy he always looks; Cersei Lannister's all like, "Ehhh, this is fine."


Jul. 7th, 2011 12:43 am
1) On Monday there was a little pageant about the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Some slightly anachronistic terminology was used. Apparently the colonies seceded, in part, due to regulation creating a hostile environment for business.

Guess who was in the pageant, reading all his lines with a bizarre inflection that he insists is a British accent, but in fact bears no similarity to any dialect known to mankind? Also, kept waving at us in the crowd and making faces while the other actors were talking?

2) Read George R. R. Martin's Dying of the Light. If he sticks to the narrative pattern presented by this book, then Song of Ice and Fire will end with everybody either dead or desirous of that state.

3) The puppy has chewed up all the things. There are no things left.

4) And I don't actually think this is related, but I can't find the elastic strap that holds my bento set together. My life is pretty harrowing.

5) Some idol group put a CG girl into an ad without telling anyone beforehand that she was CG. Some fans of the group apparently worked out that she wasn't real, not because of any evidence in the commercial itself, but because of some hints in the biographical information the group released about her.

Because the animation in the ad is very good; the only giveaway, I think, is that she's a little too close to the Japanese ideal of beauty. If they'd made her a little heavier or her skin a little rougher, I wouldn't have been able to tell which one wasn't real. She's basically a comp of the facial features and movements of several of the other actresses. They just made models of the features in question, then attached little sensors to their faces and recorded them talking.

The comments on that article are pretty hilarious:

Her mouth and head movements were a dead giveaway… looks extremely artificial.

Uh-huh. Again, if I understand the video correctly, the mouth movements were essentially copied directly from one of the other group members.

In the third video, she blinks oddly at the beginning and her head movement looks a little jerky (the wave at the end too, but that could be attributed to nervousness if she were human).

I think an awful lot of people must fail this individual's Turing test. Seriously, I doubt anyone who wasn't alert to the possibility would even suspect that CG had been used there. (And the wave is just how Japanese teenaged girls wave when they're trying to be cute. I can't see anything at all weird about it.)

What's interesting about this to me is that, judging by the making-of video, what was done was about 75% an engineering thing. As in, it looks like the input from artists was mainly just in assembling the comp. Which probably means that in six years, the hardware and software used to make the facial meshes and capture the expressions will be available to consumers for $79.95 at the six-years-from-now-equivalent of Best Buy, for use in rendering your six-years-from-now-equivalent of WoW avatar more expressive. (Six-years-from-now-equivalent of Second Life will still be four years behind.) Teleconferencing may get pretty weird in the future.
In spite of all the total jerks who think he's great, he really is pretty great.

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