STGCC 2010 Day 2

Greetings everyone and here’s the second update to the Singapore Toy Games & Comic Convention. Apologies for being unable to deliver this update to you all earlier as I was busy freeing up some memory space in my computer as well as adjusting to my recent change in shift of my holiday job. However on the bright side this should also give me more time to write my posts, so be sure to check back for updates!

First up after returning to the venue was to head towards the theatre to look at some sneak peaks at the making of Iron Man 1 and 2 by Lucasfilm. While having watched only the first and not the latter, it was still intriguing to look at the processes in developing films which rely heavily on CGI and special effects.

Before moving on to any film presentation, a representative from Lucasfilm Singapore went on to describe how the company had first started out, from the humble beginnings of developing the first few Star Wars films to creating even more awesome works. The ‘Jedi Masters Program’ and ‘Jedi Academy’ were then introduced for both young and old enthusiasts to take courses in order to learn the skills of making animation, after which they could eventually be directly employed into Lucasfilm as one of their staff members.

Audience were then treated to some scenes from both the two Avatars: one with everyone’s favourite blue guys as well as Avatar: The Last Airbender. In those few minutes we were shown eyepopping special effects and how they were created, to make CGI plants and water appear so realistic that one would never be able to tell the difference between the two.

Next was the main meat of the session: showing the makings of Iron Man 1 and 2. Each and every aspect of the film was indeed taken into consideration to ensure that fans of Iron Man would get maximum satisfaction. In the first Iron Man, we see the makings of the suit, which moved from a real-life suit to one that was made in CGI. Considerations had to be made such as where the weapons would be located on the suit and its practilality along with its mobility. Even the Iron Man suit Mark II gave problems to the creators, as the silvery surface of the suit meant taking the surrounding lightings and shadows into consideration

In Iron Man 2, a new film didn’t mean an easier job, as designers had to recreate each wear and tear in Iron Man’s suit as he battles against the new foe Whiplash. CGI had more trust from the director, however, which meant more battles in those high-tech suits also meant more CGI-intensive work. Want to create a scene where cars blow up in a chain? No problem, says the director, telling the crew to blow up real cars before adding the bridge and other miscellaneous stuff using CGI.

After that long session which lasted an hour or so, it was a preview of Nurarihyon no Mago (Nura – Rise of the Youkai Clan) which will soon air on Animax. Watching the first two episodes from this preview, it has certainly caught my interest in some sense with some of the classic demons that was derived from Japanese horror stories. Favourite character would definitely be Yuki-Onna, although I have to see more from her. May consider watching this series once I have the time, as long as it can be assured that there is at least some form of drama or romance in it.

With that, that was pretty much all of the events that I had attended on Saturday. While I didn’t stay around for group category of the cosplay competition, I did went around to take some pictures of the hall to show you some of the attractions they had there.

Over here is the Artist Alley, when illustrators from all over Asia and perhaps even futher come together to showcase and sell some of their artworks. While manga-styled art is fewer in this sort of convention, it was still a chance to have a more refreshing view to look at new inspiring artists from different countries.

Kinect provides a new way for people to embarass themselves...

Game stations are situated in one corner of the hall, where visitors can try out new games that they might not have themselves. This also includes some newer add-ons that had just been released, including Xbox’s Kinect and Playstation 3’s own Playstation Move.

In the middle of the hall is also a place where Gashapon machines are available. While the system of placing in some coins and cranking a level to receive your random toy is familiar to most of us, be sure to check what they have to offer as some of these machines provide better quality toys than most of their Singaporean cousins.

Nearby we have game booths set up by Asiasoft Online…

… And also a team competition for the FPS game Sudden Attack. With prizes, of course.

A delicious Katsura Hinagiku towel hanging for people to admire.

Next we have a stall set up by Kareshi Kanojo no Mise, one of the few decent booths that sell the latest anime goods from Japan. While providing anime T-shirts from Cospa, there are also things to look forward to such as dakimuras, tapestry and stationary. As you can see due to the nature of the convention, these stalls often have fewer customers and as such less variety of goods as compared to Anime Festival Asia, which would have queues that reach over 10m long.

Here we have a booth set up by The Card Geeks, which specialises in card games produced by Bushiroad. These games include Weiss Schwarz, Chaos TCG and Victory Spark, using anime characters to battle against others. Do not belittle this as a minor game however, as the gameplay of each of them is unique and original.

While a few games have been produced thus far, the one that remains the most popular is Weiss Schwarz, the first that was ever released and which had even spawned a short anime series Weiss Survive produced by the very same company Bushiroad. Even Tantei Opera Milky Holmes, an anime released this season, is also produced and owned by this company and have already appeared with their very own deck in the Weiss Schwarz series, with a PSP game also set to be released.

Of course, no convention is ever complete without the figures. Here we have figures, nendoroids and nendoroid-petits from some of the top companies such as Good Smile Company and Alter. Each of them is displayed nicely in a case while endless snaps of pictures are taken of them.

Even if the convention sells what its title suggests, it is still possible to get other items for sale and to have other booths set up. Some booths sell tools such as a drawing tablet or a ‘pencil brush’, while others promote their art courses and programmes in their respective universities.

While the convention does not sell much Japanese goods as one would have intended, this is in fact a double-edged sword. For the reasons that fewer people come down to buy such merchandise and items, they are mostly sold at a lower price, and as the day progresses you may just find the price of your desired item dropping (provided that it does not get sold out before that). Thus, this convention is also a good place to get you items at good bargains.

Finally, a picture to relieve your heart with the knowledge that you can always come back for more stuff (and freebies) in the future.

Last but not least, some cosplayers to greet you before you leave the event.

With this, I have finally concluded this lengthy post. While I will not be covering Day 3 considering that I never had the time to go for it, next time will be a post to wrap up some of the highlights that had missed out, which includes the cosplay competition and some of the loot from the event. Look forward to it!

Photos from Day 2: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=13433&id=100001790925698&l=191be9699f

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