BHS Blogress Report: 2017, Week 17 – Tech Support

Sorry, but this week’s Report will be short and unpleasant. I’m writing this from my laptop because my desktop decided to fail last night. I’m having to replace my hard drive and graphics card… the new HD will be in tomorrow, but the graphics card make take several weeks to get here. That means Silent InvenTOYry Episode 4 is on hold for now; I can’t run VEGAS with what I have built into my machine.

During my downtime, I’ll do my best to get some writing done, but this has thrown a wrench into pretty much everything…

– BHS

(Original post on DA: http://tasakeru828.deviantart.com/journal/BHS-Blogress-Report-2017-Week-17-Tech-Support-676911720)

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BHS Blogress Report: 2017, Week 16 – *Crickets*

This is going to be another boring Blogress Report, sorry. Three of my usual petsitting clients went out of town for Spring Break within days of each other, so I’ve been running all over my neighborhood multiple times a day since last Wednesday. This is my Job job at the moment, so it’s got to come before anything else. I got a little bit written in both Tasakeru and Shattered Skies, but until I’m through with my last one I won’t be able to focus on much else.

The upside is, the pay from these three jobs plus another recurring one every week are going to cover all the expenses for my next episode of Silent InvenTOYry. The next item is a big one… it’s not out yet, but it should be in my hands in early May. I’m planning on giving it the full unboxing treatment.

So how about that trailer for The Last Jedi, huh? I’ve seen a lot of reports of people blowing their stacks over Luke’s “It’s time for the Jedi to end” line. While I understand why people are upset, having just rewatched the OT again, I understand where he’s coming from. Consider what’s happened to him since the start of A New Hope: he lost his home on Tatooine, his Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru, his first mentor, who knows how many of his friends who died in two different wars, his hand, his image of who he and his father were, his second mentor, his father, arguably his nephew, his Jedi pupils, and most recently Han, his best friend. Luke’s gone full-on Season 5 Samurai Jack. It’s no wonder he sounds so tired.

Anyway. That’s it from me. Next week should be more productive.

– BHS

(Originally posted on DA: )

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BHS Blogress Report: 2017, Week 15 – Chan-Chanbara

I’ve got an extremely busy week coming up, which prompted me to get as many long-term projects as I could done this weekend. Chapter 25 of Shattered Skies was first… yet again, this one was supposed to go on longer and cover a few more scenes, but I decided it would be better to push them to Chapter 26. The Lucky Star 10th anniversary tribute pic was the second project. I think I’m getting faster and faster at editing in Photoshop, as I was able to do the majority of the work on this picture done on Saturday.

For the next day or two, though, my schedule is clear. I’m going to take some downtime while I have it, and perhaps go through a few series I’ve been meaning to finish.

God help me, I think I may be back in to the Super Sentai franchise. Some friends of mine got back into the original Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers hard thanks to the reboot movie, and entertaining/boring them with factoids about the original Japanese source material got me curious about the new series, Uchu Sentai Kyuranger. I always try to be at least somewhat aware of what’s going on in the world of Sentai each year, and this one being so weird and so different from the past five or so convinced me to give it a shot. Kyuranger is still early in the series, but it’s got a good mix of goofy, cheesy, and awesome to it, and I like it so far. Recent catalog scans have revealed that there will be twelve Rangers on the team in the near future, so seeing just how they’ll manage such a huge cast will be reason enough to keep watching.

Of course, that got me itching to watch my beloved Shinkenger again… but this time I convinced VDrake to watch it with me. I was worried that after eight years it might not hold up, but I’ve been thrilled to learn that the superb writing, character work, fight choreography, and style are just as wonderful as I remember them. (In the interest of full disclosure: rewatching Shinkenger has also reawakened my dormant crush on Tori Matsuzaka/Takeru Shiba/ShinkenRed. Call me crazy if you will, but the man is still the best Sentai Red I’ve ever seen, and I can’t in good faith claim that he isn’t one of the reasons I love the series so much.)

Expect something Tasakeru-related to be done in the next ten days or so.

– BHS

(Originally posted on DA: http://tasakeru828.deviantart.com/journal/BHS-Blogress-Report-2017-Week-15-Chan-Chanbara-674162028)

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BHS Blogress Report: 2017, Week 14 – AAAAAAAAA

I tell you, this was a hell of a weekend.

So first of all, Silent InvenTOYry Episode 03 is up and posted.

As with the last one, I had to futz with the music in order to monetize it on YouTube, hence the silence over the clips from the anime… The uncut version is up on OpenLoad, but please watch the YouTube version first so I can get revenue from it.

So anyway, imagine the noise I made when not ten minutes after I posted this on Saturday morning, Hiroe Suga of freakin’ GAINAX saw it on Twitter and retweeted it to her followers! An actual employee of the studio that made Gurren Lagann, and the wife of one of its founders… she saw my video and liked it enough to share it!

As you might imagine, that pretty much made my year. It also made for a pretty decent burst of inspiration, so I’m now back on track with Shattered Skies Chapter 25. Still no progress on the Book II Appendix, dammit, but the next SI episode’s most likely not going to be for at least a month, so I’ll be shifting focus to my writing projects.

Speaking of which: I also made some significant changes to my Patreon this weekend. I’ve lowered the entry level (“Ashigaru”) reward tier to $2 per chapter, and lowered the Samurai and Daimyo Tiers to $30 and $60 per chapter. All rewards are still there, but they’re now a bit more accessible to potential supporters, I think.

So this year’s April Fools Day started strong and ended stellar with the completely out-of-the-blue return of Rick and Morty on Adult Swim. After 18 months of near-total silence from the R&M creative team, aside from the occasional short or storyboard, they showcased their particular brand of demented genius with possibly the best April Fools “prank” ever. I put “prank” in quotation marks because I’m not even sure it is one, since the word implies fakery or deception of some kind… and this wasn’t that. No, this was just one of the most anticipated single episodes in the network’s history, in its entirety, being dropped on the channel and on streaming with no publicity, no scheduling, no nothing. Good thing the episode was great enough to justify the year-and-a-half-long wait, too, because if anything could take the sting out of preempting this week’s Samurai Jack, it’s this. Rick and Morty has been sorely missed, but if this premiere was anything to go by, the writers haven’t lost a step. I can’t wait for more.

Oh yeah, and a little thing called Attack on Titan also returned on Saturday. I’m not the biggest AoT fan, but the story is gripping enough that sheer curiosity is keeping me watching.

In celebration of Sakura’s birthday, MADHOUSE revealed a new Cardcaptor Sakura OVA, set to be bundled with the release of one of the volumes of The Clear Card Arc in September, and serving as a prelude to the new anime. There’s not much to say about it yet, but if the teaser footage is any indication of what the Clear Card anime is going to look like… holy crap is it going to be gorgeous.

And Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid finishes this week. If I can survive the knowledge that it’ll likely take a year before we see new episodes, I’ll probably do a write-up and review following the finale. Spoiler alert: it’s going to be a glowing recommendation.

– BHS

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Not an April Fools Joke: Patreon Reward Tiers Updated

From my Patreon:

Not an April Fool’s Joke: Reward Tiers Updated

I’ve made some much-needed adjustments to the Reward Tiers. Admittedly, I think the entry level was too high, so now the Ashigaru Tier starts at a $2 per chapter pledge.

The Samurai and Daimyo Tiers have also been adjusted, to $30 and $60 per chapter. All rewards are still the same. The price gets you FREE merchandise, shipping included, with personal messages and/or autographs available for the Daimyo Tier.

– BHS

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BHS Blogress Report: 2017, Week 13 – Wipeout

Ugh. I don’t know what’s going on today, but I’ve just been wiped out. Barely any energy at all. Therefore, this is going to be a very brief Report, sorry.

I think I’ve shot all the footage I need for Silent InvenTOYry Episode 03. If all goes as planned, it’ll go up on Sunday.

There are some logistical difficulties with getting certain characters where they need to be in Shattered Skies, so Chapter 25 is a bit stalled at the moment. I may try to go on ahead and write scenes after the point where I’m stuck.

I’ve started watching KonoSuba, a recent comedy anime that parodies the “trapped in an MMO” genre popularized by Sword Art Online, et al. The full title, Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo!, or “God’s Blessings on This Wonderful World!” is one of those absurdly long ones that every third light novel uses these days, which may or may not have had something to do with my indifference to it up until now. A glowing recommendation by Pat of Super Best Friends Play convinced me to check it out, and I’m quite glad I did. Its cast, comprised of a scumbag otaku, an idiotic former goddess, a delusional mage, and a masochistic crusader, plays off each other in brilliant ways. The genre is now widespread enough that it’s rife for parody, so if Kirito and his many, many clones in other isekai series get on your nerves, I can pretty much guarantee that you’ll love this.

And that’s all the energy I can expend tonight. See you next week.

– BHS

(Originally posted on DA: http://tasakeru828.deviantart.com/journal/BHS-Blogress-Report-2017-Week-13-Wipeout-671472800)

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BHS Blogress Report: 2017, Week 12 – Hi-Jacked

Well, after the auto-flagging debacle with YouTube, the last thing I expected to work on this past week was another InvenTOYry episode. However it happened, I had some good ideas for my next one, so I decided to get a jump on it. This time, I think I have some ways around the problems with the music/footage, so working on it should be less stressful this time.

I pushed myself to get Chapter 3 of Soulsnatcher out this past week, as part of my effort to finish it by July at the latest. Chapter 3 was the halfway point in the last draft, but with all the additions and expansions I’m making in the revision, this one was double the length of the old one. I think I picked a really good place to cut it off, though.

Not much else to report, other than holy crap if you’re not watching the new Samurai Jack, you’re missing out. The original SJ was one of the best things Cartoon Network has ever aired; it was no surprise that I and so many other people loved it so much. Its cancellation was a travesty, but now it’s back and it’s better than ever. AND DARKER. Oh man, is it ever darker.

By next week I plan on having Chapter 25 of Shattered Skies done. And I should probably work on the Book II Appendix, too… busy busy busy.

– BHS

(Originally posted on DA: http://tasakeru828.deviantart.com/journal/BHS-Blogress-Report-2017-Week-12-Hi-Jacked-670205204)

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BHS Blogress Report: 2017, Week 11 – Flagged

Shouldn’t have spoken so soon last week. I thought at the time that my work on Silent InvenTOYry was mostly done… and then on Tuesday night after I uploaded, I ran afoul of YouTube’s auto copyright flagging software. In case you weren’t aware: if a company’s copyright claim triggers a flag on your YouTube video, you can’t monetize it, which means no money for you, bucko. You can attempt to dispute the claim, and in fact VDrake said that reviews should be covered under Fair Use, but all evidence leads me to believe that one amateur YouTuber trying to take on DreamWorks, etc., would be a gigantic waste of time and effort. Another fun detail is that some footage and music apparently triggers claim flags immediately after your video is published. And for the trifecta: YouTube doesn’t allow you to simply replace your raw video file with a different or updated one. No, you have to delete your video altogether and resubmit it. Which also meant that to make the edits that would make Episode 02 monetizeable, I had to go back into Vegas, recut, retime, and rerender the entire fifteen minute video (which took upwards of an hour), go through the entire YouTube submission process again, then wait another hour for the video to process.

It’s worth mentioning that this happened four times before Episode 02 finally passed with no flags, so altogether that’s at least eight hours of time wasted… not counting the time it took to find public domain music that sounded similar enough to the Voltron soundtrack to replace the stuff I had to cut. If any of you were wondering why there was an upsurge in smartassed comments in the captions of this episode… well, that was why. By attempt number 5 I was supremely pissed-off and dead tired and it was 2:30 AM, factors which brought out the worst in me.

At least Attempt 5 finally, finally satisfied whatever algorithm immediately runs off and tattles to the poor corporate Goliaths who insist on going after Davids with the equivalent of the Death Star.

I’d be lying if I said I was totally happy with the final version, but this is the one that’s making me money, so I have to live with it. For what it’s worth, I was able to upload the unmolested version on another hosting site. http://tinyurl.com/SI02uncut Check it out if you’re curious to see what I originally had in mind, but please watch the YouTube version first if you haven’t already, so I can get revenue from it.

So that ordeal combined with another one on Friday with PayPal more or less wiped me out for the week. I ended up getting much less done than I’d planned, and spent a lot of time watching Star Wars: The Clone Wars on Netflix. There was also the Sailor Moon anniversary project (pic and MIDI), and an NSFW, astonishingly stupid thing (DON’T WATCH THIS, MOM) I put together for fun on Saturday, in time for the return of Samurai Jack on Adult Swim.

My plans for this week are up in the air. I did make some progress on both Tasakeru and Skies, but I may just take a couple days to crash. I do not want to burn myself out again.

– BHS

(Originally posted on DA: http://tasakeru828.deviantart.com/journal/BHS-Blogress-Report-2017-Week-11-Flagged-668852496)

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BHS Blogress Report 2017, Week 10: [Insert Pun Here]

This was probably the single busiest weekend I’ve had in ages. Much of it was spent putting Episode 2 of Silent InvenTOYry together. For a number of reasons, this one is far more ambitious than the first episode, which means double the work at half the pace. I now have a whole new respect for people who put YouTube shows out on a weekly basis; I’m still having fun, but good lord does putting footage together eat up time! The next toy I review will be something far easier to cover, I think. I’m not even going to attempt to guess when the finished version of ep 2 will go up, but I can at least promise it’ll be in-depth.

Another ~40% of my workload was for a project that’s going up tomorrow, so I won’t take up space yakking about it. I just finished it less than an hour ago, but considering that I started the whole thing from scratch on Saturday, I think I made damned good progress.

What little time was left over was spent on Tasakeru. I think I’ve reached the halfway point in Chapter 3 of Soulsnatcher, so that should go up sooner rather than later.

Everything else I’m too tired to write about, so I’m going to relax with some pizza, a Sierra Mist, and the Deadpool movie. See you next week.

– BHS

(Originally posted on DA: http://tasakeru828.deviantart.com/journal/BHS-Blogress-Report-2017-Week-10-Insert-Pun-667538691)

  • Tasakeru Book III: Soulsnatcher, Chapter 3: 5 pages done
  • Tasakeru Patreon: 2 Patrons
  • Book II Appendix: 0.5 pages done
  • Shattered Skies Chapter 25: 0.5 pages done
  • Silent InvenTOYry: Episode 02 ~35% complete

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BHS Blogress Report, Week 9 – Vegas, Baby, Vegas!

By a stroke of luck, I got a great deal on the full version of VEGAS Movie Studio Platinum, so now I’m officially in business! I had some new ideas and shot footage for the second episode of Silent InvenTOYry yesterday, and I’ll continue to work on that this week. There’s still a lot I have to learn about using the program, but now I’ve got time to experiment and teach myself new stuff.

As you can see, I also got a bit more written for Tasakeru, but there’s going to need to be some adjustment done on the next scene I have in mind. I mentioned several times before that I’m doing some things with Soulsnatcher very differently than I did in the first draft, so that’s requiring extra tweaking. All in all, though, I think I’m decently on track.

Probably the biggest geek news of the coming week is the launch of the Nintendo Switch. After all the hype and speculation, it’ll finally be here come Friday. Though I love the concept and I’m certainly planning on buying one eventually, I’ve made it a policy to never buy a new game system in its first year. Getting one near launch is never worth it, I think. Not only because of the expense, but game releases typically dry up for months afterward, and there’s always bugs and hardware problems with the first run of any new console. And then of course there’s the fact that the one time I saved up for months to buy a shiny new console in its first year, it was the Dreamcast. I loved that system, being a die-hard Sega fanboy back in the day, and I had the rotten luck to buy one roughly four months before Sega decided to pull out of the hardware market. That’s the kind of experience that tends to make one a lot more cautious. Good luck to those of you going for the Switch now, though. You’re braver than I am.

Nothing much else of note this week, so I’ll sign off and get back to work.

– BHS

(Originally posted on DA: http://tasakeru828.deviantart.com/journal/BHS-Blogress-Report-2017-Week-9-Vegas-Baby-666187470)

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