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Thursday, December 30, 2010

YOKO LITTNER POSTER [GURREN LAGAAN]

Sexy Anime Art Gallery!

      

 
Fan art [inked and colored images] of Yoko Littner, from the Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagaan anime. And the Third image of Yoko above is by a DA artist named MZ09.
And here are other beautiful / hot pics of Yoko from the Web, with her 50-caliber sniper rifle along with Simon [another male protagonist]


 

    

Anime characters [cartoons created in Japan] tend to be drawn with certain facial styles and often exaggerated proportions. I strive to stay true to that genre, whenever I create fan art posters that are linked to the anime / manga series. It does fall into the "Cheesecake style", a western terminology that describes beautiful pinup/glamor models that have hour-glass figures.

The main blog article with Yoko and an overview of the Gurren Lagaan anime is over Here

And Cheetara [Thundercats] fanart is over Here

Monday, December 27, 2010

YOKO, AND GURREN LAGANN!

Reaching for the heavens!

She is probably one of the most alluring femme fatales in anime history. And although the series with her as a co-star is no longer ongoing, there is still something intriguing about a sexy girl who carries a really big gun. Yoko was part of the cast of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, which was a sci fi mecha anime series, drafted by Gainax Studios and co-produced by Aniplex and Konami.


[Yoko Littner, from Gurren Lagann]

Launched in 2007 over in Japan, it ran for 27 episodes [two explosive seasons] and aired on TV Tokyo. In 2008 it came to the west and was aired on Sci Fi Network [ Now the Sy Fy Channel] and also Animax and Super Channel. Featuring a 14-year-old gifted boy named Simon [pronounced as "See-mone"] and his "big brother" Kamina, Gurren Lagann takes place in a fictional future in which human beings have been forced under Earth's surface and live in isolated subterranean civilizations.



[Simon and Yoko, from Gurren Lagann]


Gurren Lagann Brief Series Review

In this series, buried habitats have been the dwelling of the human race for over a century, thus the people really don't know anything outside of their hive-like underground existence. The surface of the planet [an alternate Earth] is a mysterious feared place, where mechanical monsters and Beastmen roam. One day, young Simon finds a small drill and this special glowing drill is the key to a compact drilling robot, buried elsewhere in his village. And this is a discovery that changes Simon's life forever.
Turns out the small drilling robot is the head for a giant mecha robot, later named Gurren Lagann.

Link to Opening Theme of this anime: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IS0yOYqragk&NR=1

Simon is a young orphan, whose parents died during an earthquake that resulted in a cave collapse. He struggles with inferiority and fears, but he is still a diligent boy with buried talents; for within his timid persona is the heart of a roaring lion, and this later manifests in the series. And his mecha reacts to his swirling courage, drawing strength from his own physical heart and channelling it into the mechanical limbs of the combat robot.

Early in the series after the main heroes are introduced, the bad guys soon attack the subterranean hideout of Simon and his village. And with the help of a mysterious female who appears with a giant sniper rifle, Simon and Kamina [along with their cool little robot that has transformable drill-like weapons] are able to escape their underground habitat, and they breach the surface for the first time in their lives, to behold a bold new world, with an actual blue sky and a distant radiant sun.

Yoko comes from a surface clan of rebels who have been battling the evil Beastmen for a while, so the intriguing surface sights are not new to her. Eventually, the robot body unit of Gurren Lagann is discovered - and Kamina gets to pilot that mech. Later, the two mecha units combine and become a mighty robot. Now this anime series trailer will make more sense to you:





Animated evolution!

This series grows on you. And the characters actually grow and mature as well. The breaching of the surface is only the beginning of the true adventure of Simon, Kamina and Yoko... as they keep meeting new associates on the face of the Earth, and eventually rise into the sky. Their high-tech mecha robot unit, Gurren Lagann, evolves as well; it gains wings from an enemy robot and undergoes a peculiar metamorphosis, acquiring the ability to fly.

    

[Yoko and Gurren Lagaan. The other giant robot in the background is the  Dai Gurren: a "heavily armed walking battle ship" commandeered from the bad guys, and it becomes the armored transport of the heroes]

Perhaps it the inherent cybernetic upgrades tied to heuristic algorithms, or the presence of a "ghost in the machine"..... I'm not certain of the true origins of Gurren Lagann's advanced adaptive robotic interface, but he has the ability to transform, expand, stretch, and project a wide diversity of drill-like weapons. Some of these can be projected as missiles, while others become similar to the spikes of a porcupine upon the robot's entire outer hull. And he can even generate sword-like weapons from his arms, contrived from sharp custom drills as well. I don't have any explanations for that ability. Yet only the creators of this series truly know the "how and whys" of their robot machines.

A heuristic algorithm is a code programing style for an adaptive machine system, which allows the embedded computer to virtually learn from past mistakes.

Remember Pacman, and the way the ghost drones seemingly got smarter over time, learning what you had done in the past as they strived to corner you? That's the core manifestation of a light heuristic algorithm within the gaming system's mainframe, where elementary motives are aligned like layered programs, similar to the levels in a multistory building. At the basic level, the system's output goes easy on you, and it acts naive/dumb while it observes your user inputs. But at higher levels, it becomes faster and more incisive, and acts in counteractive ways tied to what the system has learned from your own playing tactics.

You often have to reboot or restart the gaming program before you observe what it has learned from interacting with you. But this is the sign of an adaptive system, a near trait of an attentive machine mind. I use this and other concepts in writing about the adventures that unfold in the DSNG sci fi series, where mortal men interact with sentient AIs on a regular basis amidst a futuristic neo-industrial world.



Sexy Redhead

As the anime continued into its second season, Yoko also grew as well. She got bustier :) and most fanboys were delighted at that development.
[Yoko is shown on the left, Playboy bunny style]

She also became a brave commander, having her own giant mecha to pilot. And she was also the crush of a few male characters in the series. But Yoko eventually faces some competition from Princess Nia, a new character who is actually suffering from slight amnesia.

And it turns out that Nia is the daughter of an evil dictator [the King of the Beastmen], who wants to destroy all the "inferior humans".

I don't want to give away too much, but this series also pulls at you emotionally, because some beloved characters die along the way. And that sort of thing really gives Gurren Lagann a realistic appeal, as you watch the main characters struggle to cope with the tragic loss of their dependable comrades.


Not to worry, for those that pass on leave an intangible essence that continually motivates and encourages the living characters to press on and reach for the heavens!

The sci fi anime adventure ends in deep-space in Season 2, with some sort of intergalactic confrontation between the good guys [led by Simon, Yoko and some others] and the Anti-Spirals, an ancient alien race that preceded the humans, who have vile plans for initiating mass genocide per a diabolical plot that involves the moon...
                                                                
[From left to right, Simon, Kamina and Yoko -->]


Whenever you have the time, visit http://www.veoh.com/ or http://www.animeshippuuden.com/tengen-toppa-gurren-lagann/tengen-toppa-gurren-lagann-1/  and browse around for Gurren Lagann. Trust me, if you enjoy dynamic animes, you won't be disappointed...

More sexy Yoko fanart by DSNG is Here: HERE!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010

TRON: LEGACY REVIEW, AND OTHER THINGS...

Brief Movie Review
TRON: Legacy was advertised by Disney for the past 2 years.... and the rumor is, it cost them about 100 million dollars to advertise it globally, in diverse media outlets [even ESPN got in on the Tron movement, and Marvel Comics had a set of about 6 comic book covers featuring their characters wearing Tron-styled costumes]. This strong publicity effort, for a movie that cost over 170 million dollars to create, was a daring feat.
   




[Cool Promo artwork by Marvel artist, Mark Brooks]


But now that we've seen it, it appears that the new movie had phenomenal CGI graphics, yet it lacked a sound intriguing plot. Those familiar with the original Tron movie released back in 1982 will remember that it was staged as a live video game, featuring human sprites dashing about.

And this new movie tries to push the envelope even further, inserting vehicles with neon-lighted outlines that create cool streaks in the rear wake of their zooming path. The scale of some of the gigantic machinery and the layout of this techno world are stunningly epic. And there is a visible futuristic fabric engrafted into the dwellings and modeling style of the environments shown throughout the movie.

For the original articles I did on TRON: Legacy, check out these links:
LINK 1 [where an overview of the original 1982 movie is presented, along with teasers of the sequel]
and LINK 2 [where cool screenshots of TRON: Legacy are shown]

In the new movie, the character named Kevin [played by Garret Hedlund] was actually portrayed quite well. You could watch his facial expressions and sense the true emotions he was attempting to convey, while engulfed in the arduous task of rescuing his father and escaping from the computer game world of Tron.

Some people don't realize it, but Garret [who plays Sam, the lead star in TRON] also co-stared in a movie called TROY. He was Brad Pitt's cousin, who got killed by Hector while impersonating Achilles [Brad's character].

In this Tron movie sequel, Clu [the leader of the bad guys, who often wears a cape with golden glows on his black suit] has betrayed Sam's father, and taken over the Grid [the virtual domain system that powers the Tron world]. And now, Sam must rescue his dad, Kevin, and escape together from the Grid, with the help of several characters like Quorra [shown in the pic below]. Simultaneously, a plot by Clu that could lead to the destruction of the human world is discovered, thus the three heroes have some tough choices to make.




Being set in a video game world, this movie did have a host of terminologies that made it rather unique, giving alternate names to various things/issues commonly observed in the real world.

For example:
De-rezzing - Killing
Sea of simulation - A deep ocean
Rectified - Brain washed
Programs - "People" in the game world


There is a faint flashback to the classic TV series American Gladiators, which some observant fans will notice in the first act of the movie [when Sam first enters the gaming world of Tron and has to go through a "rite of passage"].

Additionally, there appears to be a slight struggle between presenting the movie as a live video game vs. showcasing it as an imaginative sci fi feature. You can notice it when you observe the full de-rezzing sequences [when the characters die, they actually shatter, almost like glass. I found that occurrence a bit hard to swallow].

At certain stages the characters appeared to undergo fusor-like transformations, using customized rectangular shafts to generate video game vehicles [like the cool jets and light cycles]. It was very imaginative, and there is an aerial dog fight scene in the third act that is extremely fascinating. I also had flashbacks to a cartoon series viewed in my childhood called Pole Position, during some of the racing scenarios. This is definitely the kind of movie that has to be seen in 3D, in order to fully appreciate its visionary presentation.


Inspirational Nostalgia Bite:



And at the very end of Tron 2, the heroes triumph, but not without a sacrifice. And there may even be room for a sequel...

Overall, this movie was very good, not great; since the writers could have done a better job on the script. Everything seemed to be set on fast-forward from the start. And Sam literally knew how to do every task presented to him perfectly in the game world, with no training. It almost seemed like the good guys could have been victorious a lot sooner, if Kevin had just "reintegrated himself" with Clu, the main villain.

But I still recommend this movie. If you enjoy high-speed chases and sci fi worlds, you'll enjoy it.



As if SKYLINE wasn't enough...
Although I previewed it last month, I did not see Skyline. But I heard a few incisive remarks about it from various blogs:

"It sucked like a vacuum"
"It was basically a movie about aliens, with a few humans in it"
"A boring waste of money"
"Cool special effects, but they should have hired better writers"


Apparently, Hydraulx, the CGI production firm in charge of the special effects in that movie, were also hired by Sony Pictures to create another alien invasion feature called "Battle: Los Angeles", which was filmed late last year.

And this year, Sony was contemplating suing Hydraulx for creating Skyline, claiming that they used "ideas, supplied equipment and resources they had gained" from working on the Sony feature to make their own personal sci fi alien feature.
No formal lawsuit has been filed up to this day. Apparently Sony execs were laughing their asses off when they saw Skyline [since they probably believe that their own alien invasion movie is 10-times better].

But per the trailers that were released about a month ago, Battle LA may really not be worth checking out either...




It does star Michelle Rodriguez, who is famously known for her role in The Fast and Furious movie franchise, and she also played a military pilot in the 3D blockbuster Avatar.

Maybe she'll be the sole reason people will want to check out "Skyline 2" in movie theaters next year, on 03/11/2011...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

THUNDERCATS REMIX - CHEETARA 2

Here are the inked and two colored versions:

                 



Since she's a sprinter, I gave her strong legs... along with ample curves. This is the second colored pic of Cheetara I've done.


I avoided the classic spots on her upper arms; just didn't want to add it. Most fans aren't aware that she always wore dull-orange tights in the animated series [and that same fabric covered one of her arms]. In the 3rd pic, her enduring skin tone is shown, per the sexy outfit I gave her. And there are several other Thundercat remix pics in this blog:

1.  Cheetara Pic1
2.  Pumyra Pic1
3.  Liono Pic1
4.  Panthro Pic1
5.  Tygra Pic1

Initial blog article on the Thundercats: http://dsngsfm.blogspot.com/2010/10/cats-from-thundera.html



Classic Cheetara images, from the Thundercats animated series [1985 - 1990]:



Monday, December 13, 2010

THUNDERCATS 2011 REMIX - PUMYRA!

Those familiar with the animated series will probably agree that Pumyra was one of the most gifted and under-utilized characters of all.

She was presented as a calm-natured female Thundercat based on the puma. She was a healer and medic for the team, and rarely called upon for the most arduous battles. Yet she was extremely agile and swift, capable of acrobatic maneuvers that rivaled those of the talented Thunderkittens, WilyKat and WilyKit.


    
At the onset of Season 2 of the animated series, she and two other protagonists were introduced [Ben-Gali and Lynx-O] and those two male characters actually got a lot more screen-time than she did [especially Ben-Gali].          

When creating live-action/animated series, sometimes writers overlook certain characters not out of spite, resentment or contemptuous intent, but merely out of a lack of ideas and strict time constraints.
I've done animation writing in the past. And those of you that are familiar with that genre of writing know that each 24 to 28-minute feature has to fit into a certain amount of script pages, on average. And you generally have time for an A-story [the main theme of the episode] and a minor B-story [which may be comedic, or an interlude type of presentation].

Also, writers tend to group certain characters as weak/supportive/dependents, while others are independents. The dependents get captured and the independents are usually the ones who come to the rescue [remember Heman and Teela, Superman and Lois etc]. The supportive characters may be spunky and gifted, bu they generally are not capable of overthrowing the supreme villain.

Lion-O was an independent, who despite his youthful persona had the courage and fortitude to lead his wolf pack... or his pride, if you want to get technical.
But Pumyra was definitely tagged as a dependent... in fact, in the later seasons, she was left behind in their old base with Tygra, while the other Thundercats moved to a new planet and set up a new Cats Lair. And the writers literally left her out of the future adventures.




[Screenshots of Pumyra, from the Thundercats Cartoon Series, 1987 - 1990]

In the series, she was known for utilizing a whip/sling as her weapon of choice. But in my remix above, she is more fierce and she is an independent, utilizing modified nightsticks that have blades replacing steel shafts. I also gave her a sexy outfit, and a tight miniskirt with an engineered fabric that gives her freedom to flex her legs.

Perhaps the series writers/creators ought to have utilized her more. And maybe she'll be back in the forthcoming Thundercats cartoon, slated for release next year [The article I wrote about that reboot is over here: http://dsngsfm.blogspot.com/2010/10/cats-from-thundera.html ]

Yet Pumyra will always have a special place in the hearts of all true Thundercat fans. And I'll do my part to ensure that premise:


         

The second poster of Pumyra is over HERE!

Blog Home Page: HERE

Thursday, December 9, 2010

CLASSIC MARVEL CHARACTERS

Two pencil posters I did some time ago: Wolverine and the Incredible Hulk, two characters that are synonymous with the Marvel banner. Wish they'd both be in the upcoming Avengers movie...
Currently Joss Whedon [creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer] has been tagged as the director for the future Avengers film [rumored to be a 3D feature]. It is slated to happen somewhere down the road, after the Thor and Captain America flicks.



      

It almost looks like they're set for a battle... these two pics are part of a much larger banner image, which I did several months ago. I was just starting out this blog back then: http://dsngsfm.blogspot.com/2010/09/x-men.html

If you're a long-time Marvel fan, you should be able to identify all the characters in that X-men poster.

Monday, December 6, 2010

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 4 MOVIE [2012] & SPIDERMAN POSTERS

Digital Coloring Sequences

First I'll show some step-by-step artwork, then we'll delve into current movie developments for the reboot of the New Amazing Spiderman Movie debuting in the summer of 2012.

I presented the inked version of this poster previously Here, in the DSNG facebook fan page. And over the weekend, I've completed the colored version. If you take a closer look at the colored sequence, you will see an evolution of the image in four stages.


         


          

The colored version of the second Spider-man poster above is archived HERE.

I've noticed that concept artists tend to create what I've tagged as visual illusions, by integrating numerous layers into a picture, thus presenting a digital collaboration that yields a lot of depth to the work.
They go the extra mile when they color, in order to ensure that there are several layers exploding out of the canvas, almost transforming it from a 2D to a 3D image.


Consider this Spider-man speed painting by freelance illustrator/animator Nico Di Matta:




Very impressive work...

It always helps to showcase realistic environments when drawing a character based in a known city. But even when fictitious/futuristic locations are presented, as long as the greenery, landscape, buildings, roads and other constructed elements are expertly done, the pic will be readily accepted by fans.



Spider-man 4 / New Amazing Spider-man Movie Reboot

By now everyone should be aware that there's a new Peter Parker in the upcoming 2012 Amazing Spider-Man movie. The popular role is set to be filled by Andrew Garfield, shown below:

He is an American-British actor who stared in  The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus [in 2009] and The Social Network [in 2010]. Not too sure if he'll be undergoing some sort of training camp to buff-up slightly for the Spidey role... but on the other hand, no one is truly certain of what direction this forthcoming movie reboot is going to take.

A few days ago, via the hollywoodreporter.com, it was stated that Campbell Scott and Julianne Nicholson have joined the cast as Peter's parents [who will be shown in flashbacks].

And there is a new villain, played by Rhys Ifans, who is joining the cast of bad guys [he'll be playing playing Dr. Curt Connors, a.k.a. the Lizard]. Rumors of another Green Goblin character are also circulating, but details are still sketchy.

The role of Gwen Stacy, Spidey's love interest, will be played by actress Emma Stone [she recently starred in Easy A, Crazy Stupid Love, and Friends With Benefits].




 

Now lets clear up the cobwebs: Sony has officially Cancelled Spider-man 4, so no more Toby Maguire and Kristen Dunst. This forthcoming movie staring Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone [slated for a 2012 summer release] is designed to relaunch the franchise, and have sequels of its own. Many fans have already said that the Amazing Spider-man costume shown above is really not that cool, but of course it will always be a matter of personal opinion.

Marvel execs are on board for this, yet I'm not sure why. They did this with the Incredible Hulk, giving us two strikingly different movie interpretations based on diverse origin stories, back in 2003 and 2008. Both of those movies grossed over 240 million dollars in profit, so apparently Marvel is more interested in producing lucrative franchises as opposed to constant chronological feature films.


[Above: The Classic Spider-man Costume, Digital Painting / Concept art]



[Spiderman vs lizard poster by Marvel artist Mark Brooks]


And here is the second trailer for the Amazing Spider-man Movie, which debuted over the past Superbowl weekend:



Personally, I would push for a different direction in this new "Spiderman Reboot" movie. We all know his origins, so just skip the origins and do a completely dynamic story; one which kicks off with Spidey already having his powers and struggling with his life as a college student. From that springboard, an extremely dynamic arc can be presented, involving a lot of classic characters and villains, along with critical flashbacks that show why the antagonists at this particular stage have got lethal vendettas against the web slinger.

I'm thinking out loud. You can leave a comment with the direction you'd prefer for the movie's plot to take. Anyway, director Marc Webb and his team have got over a year to work on this reboot. Lets hope they get it right...
_______________________________________________________________

Wonder Woman poster:  http://dsngsfm.blogspot.com/2010/11/wonder-woman.html
Mighty Thor poster: http://dsngsfm.blogspot.com/2010/11/mighty-thor.html
Power Girl poster: http://dsngsfm.blogspot.com/2010/11/power-girl.html
Superman and Supergirl: http://dsngsfm.blogspot.com/2011/02/superman-and-supergirl-poster.html
The Blackcat: http://dsngsfm.blogspot.com/2011/01/black-cat.html
Pencil artwork: http://dsngsfm.blogspot.com/2010/10/dsng-portfolio-pencil-samples-1.html
More pencil art: http://dsngsfm.blogspot.com/2010/11/dsng-portfolio-samples-7.html
Article on the classic Cheesecake art style: http://dsngsfm.blogspot.com/2011/04/fanart-of-elena-eden-and-article-on.html

And for a brief review of Terry Dodson's Bombshells sketchbook, head over here:  http://dsngsfm.blogspot.com/2010/09/terry-dodsons-bombshells-sketchbook.html

Sunday, December 5, 2010

THUNDERCATS - CHEETARA & PUMYRA [WIP]

Teaser Image, for a Work In Progress. These are commission pics of Cheetara and Pumyra.

I think they were cousins in the original Thundercats series. Word is, there's a new Thundercats cartoon currently in the works. Japanese animation studio Studio 4°C has been producing the show, slated to run as 30 minute episodes that will commence sometime in 2011.
Per press releases, the original voice actor for Liono [Larry Kenney] will be returning to reprise his classic role in the 3-part premier episodes.


The first Cheetara concept was done Here.
Stay tuned for the completed images...


By the way, I came across a clip from a cartoon series called Sym-Bionic Titan, which apparently airs on Cartoon Network. it was created by animation director Genndy Tartakovsky, the guy behind Dexter's Laboratory and Samurai Jack.

Sym-Bionic Titan is a cartoon featuring 3 aliens that crash land on earth, while attempting to escape their war-torn world. And per its core concepts, it focuses on high-school drama and giant robot battles. The first episode premiered on Sept. 17, 2010. It commonly airs between 8:00pm and 9:00pm, Eastern time.

In the following clip, one of the 3 heroes, the geek named Octus [who is actually a bio-cybernetic robot], is being seduced by a cheerleader chick named Kimmy. My guess is, she was trying to persuade him to do her homework for her... at least I hope that was her intention.

Behold what innocent kids are viewing these days:


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All I said after seeing this was...... LMAO!

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