Posts Tagged ‘Youtube’

VTubers

August 30, 2021

About five years ago, people were getting tired of webcams. Let me explain. For over a decade, people have been playing video games online and either recording or streaming them. People (including me) who watch these people watch because of the video game being played but also because of the personality on display. These streamers are one part gameplay footage showcase and one part vlog. The ones who do it live are in direct communication with a chat room full of fans who help guide conversation. The standard practice is for the streamer to put their webcam image near the bottom of the screen showing their gameplay.

A digital production company in Japan named Activ8 created Kizuna AI, a young anime girl who played video games for an audience. She was voice acted by veteran anime voice actress Nozumi Kasuga. AI would play video games, talk, and even curse when the game got too hard. The combination of a real person performing an animated character was not exactly new but technology had advanced well past tech demos. Her videos were not live but it was a start. AI became super popular and was even “hired” by Japan’s National Tourism Organization as a cultural ambassador.

The trend started to pick up momentum in Japan and people jumped on the bandwagon. Production collectives sprouted up to support these new streamers and their colorful characters. It feels like they were created based off of the idol system Japan already had in place where companies create characters and cast people in the roles. They are totally sponsored and protected by these larger companies. The popularity of these “Virtual YouTubers” expanded beyond YouTube and into Twitch, the main platform for live-streaming games. Japanese companies decided to use this new phenomenon for advertising.

In the United States, VTubers are more organic and homegrown. Lacking the power of larger companies, VTubers either create their own avatars or commission them. Lately, the practice has started to creep more into my viewing habits. While I thought Japanese and other Asian VTubers were cute, I do not speak their language. English-speaking VTubers weirded me out at first but I have come to really enjoy them. One of the artists I follow on Twitch (DeerBits) creates VTuber avatars for their friends and for commissions.

How it works is similar to the technology that brought us the “I’m Not a Cat” Lawyer. Basically, an artist creates pieces of an avatar and forms then into a humanoid shape. This can either be a 2D or 3D model. They them “rig” the model for animation sort of like a digital marionette. The avatar is then bound to the performer through a program that translates their movement into the movement of the avatar. When they speak, the mouth moves. When they move around, the avatar moves around. When they blink, the avatar blinks. It is really marvelous technology. I am interested to see where it goes in the US and beyond.

Media Update 7/29/21

July 29, 2021

HBomberguy

His real name Harris Brewis and he is a video essayist on YouTube. My favorite video that he does is called “: A Measured Response”. They are longer videos responding to some strange point of view in an increasingly unhinged nature as the ignorance he is facing drives him mad. He has recently tackled anti-vaxxers, flat earthers, the war against Christmas, and more. He also does deep dives into television, movies, and video games, explaining how he feels and analyzing them. At this point, he is also famous for being one of AOC’s guides to the Internet and the world of livestreaming. He once hosted a stream that resulted in AOC and many other celebrities saying “Trans Rights”. I recommend this channel.

Lindsay Ellis

I have been a fan of Lindsay’s for a long time but I kind of lost touch with her stuff until more recently. She was great back when I first found her but she has developed into someone even more entertaining and educational to watch. She does a lot of deep dives into how media works and comes from a film studies direction. She breaks down a lot of entertainment and is so well-researched. She is an author so she is also well-equipped to view things from both a creator view point and a consumer view point. She breaks both simple and complicated topics down in a very digestible form. She is also really funny. I recommend this channel.

Sarah Z

I found this channel very recently when I was curious about one of her topics. Sarah mostly does essays and deep dives about fandom and fanfiction topics. She feels quite a bit like an anthropologist explaining a world that I have never really been involved with. Although, I have gotten into writing a lot of fanfiction lately and I am fascinated to hear her takes on that. She comes from a place of experience with both fandom and fanfiction and has a past that excites her but also sometimes embarrasses her but she never pulls her punches. She has a writing partner who helps to balance out her research and gives her another set of eyes to look at her topic. On top of that, she is Canadian and some of her pronunciations make me smile. I recommend this channel.

Jenny Nicholson

It is hard to pin down what Jenny does. The answer is that Jenny does what Jenny wants to do. She does beat by beat movie reviews where she breaks down the problems she has with the writing. She reads bad fanfiction out loud and comments on it. She does deep dives into franchises like The Land Before Time or The Vampire Diaries. She does a random crafting video where she makes a stuffed fur-bearing trout. She does videos talking about theme park experiences. Through it all, she is wonderfully weird and delightful to listen to. I recommend this channel.

Music of the Week:


Post Nebbia – La Mia Bolla

Zane – SIMMER

Wooze – Witch Slap

Luis Ake – Liebe

Mashup of the Week:

Rev Jragon – Mighty Morphin Jewel Runners

Weekly Update:
This week’s theme is “YouTube Video Essays”
I watched more Watcher videos
I watched a lot of Twitch and YouTube
I watched more Forensic Files
I watched more SGDQ 2021
I watched more Nancy Drew Season 2
I watched more Doom Patrol Season 2
I watched Heist Season 1
I started watching Catch and Kill: The Podcast Tapes

Playlists

April 18, 2019

Over four months ago, my good friend Joe passed away in his sleep. As I had previously stated, one of the things that we shared was a love for music. Though we sometimes argued over what constituted “good” music, we agreed that music was good. One of the things he did was curate playlists on YouTube like people used to make mixtapes. This year I decided to start making my own playlists of my favorite music. I add to them from time to time but I also go on music binges trying to pump them up so I can put them on in the background sometimes. Below are three of them that I have worked on the most but I have so many more I want to create.


Rap


Pop Music


Hard Rock

So what do you think I am missing? What other playlists should I create?

(Written on 4/13/19)

Media Update 6/11/2015

June 11, 2015


The Amazing Spider-Man 2

 

I really liked The Amazing Spider-Man as I thought that everyone involved did a really good job at establishing a well-balanced and grounded Spider-Man movie. The sequel brought a lot of what I liked back. The visuals are amazing and fun and really give you a feel of what it’s like to be Spider-Man. A lot of the dialogue is really great and I especially enjoy the Spider-Man quips just like he did in the comics and cartoon shows from my childhood. I really wanted to like this movie and I guess I liked it well enough. However, the pacing was off and it didn’t feel like there was any dramatic tension. Nothing looked especially difficult for the hero to overcome at least in my opinion. It also felt like they tried to cram too much in as Green Goblin and Rhino could have been cut out and they could have simplified the Gwen Stacy romance a bit. Still worth watching though.

 


Daredevil

 

Alright. I see you looking at me funny for posting a trailer for 2003’s Daredevil instead of the awesome Daredevil TV show that I’ve already raved about. Don’t worry, I have a point. I finished watching Season One the night before last and it was an awesome end to an awesome season. I can’t wait for Season 2.

 

But I’ve already praised the Netflix show so what was my point again? Oh right. I’ve said it before (and gotten death glares for it) but I like the 2003 Daredevil movie. It’s written down now and entered into the ledger forever. Is the Netflix show better? Yes. Is it a better adaptation? Yes, of course. Does that mean that Daredevil (2003) sucks? No. In all seriousness, I do like the movie but I insist on only watching the Director’s cut which is much more watchable. I was actually shocked when people started to rip the movie apart because I didn’t think it was that bad.

 

The movie is actually well acted in its quieter moments. I thought that Ben Affleck did a good job at playing a character struggling with internal conflict while trying to protect a city. I really like the concept behind the visualization of the sonar abilities. The action and story arc fit the kind of popcorn movie this should have been.

 

I think that’s the major problem with the movie that people can’t get past. The movie has tone problems and can’t decide what it wants to be. One minute Matt Murdock is draped in shadow and dealing with shadows of Catholic guilt and then the next he’s wire fighting with Elektra in broad daylight out of costume. The movie tried to straddle the line between Batman Forever and The Dark Knight and failed. Also, because it was the early 2000’s it suffered from a horrible overuse of CGI and wirefighting. Still, I enjoy it for the deeply flawed movie it is. It definitely deserved to be better but it doesn’t deserve the epic pile of hate that is usually shoveled onto it.

 

Trailers on Youtube (Update)

 

Last time I broached this subject I ranted about having two different trailers for Pitch Perfect 2 rammed down my throat. It pissed me off but I might have been a little hasty. I’ve since spoken with people who liked the movie and they confirmed the trailers were awful. Was I going to see the movie? Probably not. However, that probably not turned into definitely not when the trailers annoyed me. I’m sure Pitch Perfect and Pitch Perfect 2 have their audiences just like Melissa McCarthy films have their audience. Now they’re doing it again with Ted 2 and with each trailer I want to see it less and less. I don’t mind seeing ads on videos online but not the same one over and over and over.


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