Sunday, January 18, 2015

TRIP TO CHINA + JAPAN

Wow. Where to even start?

From December 22, 2014 to January 2, 2015, I spent overseas - one week roughly in China with family, one week roughly in Japan with Charles. It's been 10+ years since I've been back to China, and it was my first time in Japan. I pretty much underwent a mix of culture shock and sensory overload the entire time. (And then on the way back, a sort of reverse culture shock coming back into the states, haha)

The trip became more than just a family reunion, more than just a tourist's trip. It was a welcome break from the life back in Boston, a welcome change with a different perspective, and I wanted to share some of the stories I have of the places I had gone.

Warning: This will be an extremely long post!

TL;DR:

  • I attended a huge birthday party for my 80 year old grandfather (on my mother's side), and visited my other grandparents (on my father's side) in the countryside!
  • I rode the high speed rail from Beijing for the first time!
  • I visited Todai (Tokyo University) for the first time!
  • I attended Comiket for the first time! (Only the last day though)
  • I went up Tokyo Sky Tree for the first time!
  • Other places I visited in Japan: Akihabara, Meiji Shrine, Harajuku
For all the details though, read on! The post will be divided into the following sections:




China

I
Dec 22-28, 2014
High-speed rail
Visiting Grandparents on both sides of the family

The view outside my Hotel window in Beijing.

Picture taken at my grandpa's 80th birthday party-
Over a hundred attended!

The panorama from the roof of my Grandparent's (on my dad's side) house.
Yep, the roof. I climbed up with one of my Uncles. 8D



Tokyo

II
Dec 29, 2014
Todai
DMM.Make
Akihabara

AKIHABARAAAAAAAAA.

Yoshihiro-sensei demo-ing some very awesome circuitry magic.
Draw a circuit on a piece of photo paper with a special marker...and PRESTO.
Instant working circuit. Check the video out below!

video
TA-DA.
It's AWESOME.

Other projects the Todai students are working on!



III
Dec 30, 2014
Comiket

Tokyo Big Sight is in sight!

Titan spotted!

My favoraite Itasha spotted during the trip. : >
Zenbonsakura Miku!


A video compiled from smartphone recordings
I made during the Tokyo trip.
(Excuse the shakiness!)


IV
Dec 31, 2014
Tokyo Sky Tree

Tokyo Sky Tree, at 634m, or 2080ft, tall!
The tallest tower in the world and the 2nd tallest structure in the world!

The view from the Tembo deck of the tower.


V
Jan 1, 2015
Meiji Shrine
Harajuku
Kinokuniya

Meiji Shrine on New Years day afternoon-
(Still packed with lots of people, haha.)
Located in a beautiful park!

While walking through Harajuku, I noticed Pepper!
Of course I had to go in and try and say 'hi', hehe.

The famous Takeshita Street in Harajuku!
Charles and I bought some clothing here, hehe...


VI
1-2
Tokyu Hands
Homeward bound!

The view from our AirBnB room.
Last day in Tokyo!

Browsing through the megastore of Tokyu Hands.
Charles and I wanted to buy a lot of things here, haha.
They have a whole floor dedicated to DIY!

DRAGON 2020 MIKU FIGURE!
One of the things I bought in Tokyo!


CAUTION: LONG POST AHEAD!
Click below to read more about my trip!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

RWBY SCYTHE V2 + DRAGON CON 2014

Wherein I talk about how I built RWBY transforming scythe version 2 and other Dragon Con 2014 shenanigans! There's quite a bit I want to share in this blogpost, so bear with me, this post is going to be really long!



l
RWBY Scythe V2




Above is a video of RWBY scythe deploying.




ll
Dragon Con 2014 fun



Ruby and her male counterpart!



Shenanigans!
Left to right: Me (Ruby), Alison (Blake),
Charles (Charles on a little electric bike), Jamo (Jayce).



CAUTION: LONG POST AHEAD!
Click below to read more!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

BUILDING RWBY SCYTHE PART 3 + ANIME BOSTON 2014

So last I left off (in the previous post that I forgot to name 'Part 2' in the 'Building-RWBY-scythe-series-of-posts'), I was in the middle of prototyping. That version was unfortunately scrapped (though not entirely) for the con. In hindsight though, the size was a good reference for the next version. But! For now, let me tell you about the RWBY scythe I build for Anime Boston.

TL;DR:
  • RWBY unfolding scythe unfolded manually, but broke before and during the con.
  • This version was made of MDF (hardboard from Home Depot), aluminum tubes, two pairs of 3D printed parts, and two commercial steel drawer slides. It weighed ~22.5lbs.
  • Next version is already in the works.
  • I had fun at the con! Despite being sick and exhausted. Thank you, friends, for your support!


This is going to be a very very long post, divided into the following parts:

I
RWBY scythe build (Part 3)

Folded all together. (Minus the Tail pieces)

Unfolded. (Minus the Tail pieces)

Size comparison. This thing was too heavy for the size to be practical!

video
How the front mechanism was supposed to work, shown in my CAD.


II
Anime Boston 2014 report

My cosplay group! Thank you guys for being troopers!

Me unfolding it at the Con panel. Thanks for holding it stable for me, Tony! Er-- Brian!

The 18in lasercut MDF scythes I made for Charles and me for the Con on Sunday.


CAUTION: LONG POST AHEAD! 
Click below to read more!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

SOLDER IRON ART

What could you do with a roll of receipt paper and a soldering iron? Make art!

The finished piece!

Receipt paper is usually 'thermal paper', which means one side of it is coated with a chemical (including the dye) that reacts to heat, providing a way to print text and images without ink.

Taking a heat gun with the right setting...

video
Finding the right heat setting to make the strokes I wanted took a few tries...

And then taking a soldering iron on the right setting...

video
Higher temperatures create thicker lines, lower temperatures create thin lines...

And voila! A drawing made without a pencil, pen, brush, etc, but with applied heat!

I also made a quick rose for Charles, hehe, in return for the 3D printed rose (using the Form 1) he gave me. ( ´ ▽ ` )οΎ‰ Happy belated Valentines Day!




And then here's some random things I carved into leftover pieces of foam from work:



This was just a quick interlude post- I'll be back to more RWBY updates in a few days!


Monday, February 3, 2014

SUN + RWBY + OTHER ARTS



Last December, after more than a year of not visiting family, I flew down to Florida for a week to meet up with the ol' crew again - mom and dad, along with some of my cousins and friends and families of friends. They had driven down to meet me there, ready for beaches and a Christmas without snow and cold, which Florida readily gave. The trip had been a long time coming, and seeing family again really brought back memories. I took the opportunity to catch up, to soak in the presence of the people who I had lived without for the past few years, to breathe in a salty air that was so unlike the air up north, to drink in the scenery of sky, water, and sand. A week's worth of family and sun rejuvenated me. It was more than enough - I was ready to go back and tackle the new year.

Happy 2014! Happy year of the horse!

There's a full lineup of things-to-happen this year - but I'll start with just updating on the things I've already worked on so far. This is a LONG and PICTURE-HEAVY post! Contents are below, click the 'Read more!' to read more!

In order of appearance:

I
An update on RWBY scythe


II
A recap of my week in Florida


III
A living-hinge book cover I designed


IV
Some speedpaints I did



Click below to read more!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

RWBY SCYTHE PROTOTYPE PART 1

A year ago, I saw the trailer for RWBY, fell in love, and vowed to make a working, movable scythe. One year later, after months of not working on this, and going back between idea after idea of how to start and what to do, consulting with friends, getting cold and hot feet and becoming busy with work and life in general, I finally got around to starting!

Hurrah!

I just wanted to update on what I've made so far, and where everything is headed in the next few weeks/months. Keep in mind this is all still in the prototyping stage (as you'll read), and there's still a bit of figuring out all the various mechanisms that needs to happen. It's getting exciting though! :D

Messy workspace omg!

Here's what I've done so far:





Here's a video of the blade sprung extension in action:

video
(Excuse my giggle at the very end.)

Eventually, the blade actions will be triggered from one motion, biased to open. And as of right now, I still have yet to figure out a closing mechanism I like, so that'll be manual until version 2+. Plus, all the prototyping material will be replaced with nicer cut metal/wood/other, and there will be the right sized bolts and nuts, etc etc etc. But the ball has been tipped over the hill now, and it won't stop rolling, hehe- :D

CLICK BELOW TO READ ON!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

ROUGH ANIMATION + PAINTING DRAPERY

Just a quick update on some arts! I had done a rough animation yesterday just to take my mind off things. Nothing fancy, just an original character of mine getting wind-blown. I'm going to be trying out more animations in the future - it was rather relaxing, working on it, and I definitely learned a few lessons from it.



The following piece below came about from a desire to practice digitally painting drapery. Though most of the piece was spent focusing on her coloring, I actually spent an inordinate amount of time trying to fix her slanted anatomy and legs. After enough time though, I called it, and just went on to finish painting, haha. Next time, I'll work on anatomy more!



I didn't manage to capture all the WIPs, but click "Read more" to see some of the early work in progress shots!