I added a little update with some new info and clarification to my blog article http://dowlphin.blogspot.de/2015/01/living-tombstone-and-shadyvox-dishonor.html
I added a little update with some new info and clarification to my blog article http://dowlphin.blogspot.de/2015/01/living-tombstone-and-shadyvox-dishonor.html
I was browsing through my video project resource files to see how much I can delete to save harddisk space. When I came upon After Effects project files, I thought about how well it manages to rediscover all connected files even after a renaming extravaganza and how impressed I was by that.
But I wanted to see in more detail how file names and paths were saved in those files. So I opened one project file from one of my Twilight Sparkle videos in a hex editor, and this is what I saw:
And no, I never use that derogative term for her in any file or project names.
I then figured out that it's in the header of every project file, but it was pretty funny because of the unconventional idea to hex-edit that file and to do it with a Twily project.
And tried my best to transcribe.
Who knew Trixie speaks Welsh?
Someone pointed out a snippet of Pinkie Apple Pie to me, and I realize it's worth commenting:
In case you were wondering, this is about the "leap of faith" theme.
And it's often used in a popculture-like way, claiming that if you overcome your fear of the leap, you will not fall; fear preventing you from succeeding.
But here's the thing: It also prevents you from failing.
Encouraging people like that can actually (if not succeed by pure chance) backfire. For success to ensue, optimism needs to be paired with skillfulness. And even skillfulness can be of little use if luck is bad.
To me, based on my life experiences and observations of other people's walks of life, the more reality-based version of leap-of-faith is that in order to not be afraid of making that leap, one has to be ready to fail (and continue nevertheless). Only then can one continue to try and fail until success is achieved. And if there's even the slightest remnant of expectation that following exactly that philosophy will yield success, you better grab a cushion. Also, success doesn't have to last/repeat, so you better have no expectations at all, which is probably easiest when doing what you love.
Don't think "If I overcome the fear, I will succeed!", because then you might make a very painful experience.
Be ready to fail and continue. If it's the right thing to do for you, then sooner or later you have to do it anyway. Doing what you love makes this easiest, but it still might not feel easy at all.
That being said ... If there's time for a parachute to open,...
...it really IS deep!
His real mane... I mean name... is William Steele. He used to use the stage name of Will Steel, but then he fell out with his business partner John Cole, and as you know, steel without coal is just iron. That's how he ended up being known as Iron Will, and this change in his career made him become stronger than ever.
Maybe it was the irony.
"Hate to break it to you, Pinkie, but you're just a fictional character from a TV series. I hope you're not too shocked. You're still awesome."
- Well, yes and no.
"Y... wait, what?! Huh?!?"
- Yeah, we kiiinda made you believe that to ease the process of realizing you are just a figment of our imagination. It's a crazy new idea some writers had and introduced to the canon. ... I had a hoof in that, too.
"It's awesome that you're handling it so well that you still feel like joking. ... I mean, you're obviously trying to mess with my head here."
- Suit yourself. But you started it. ... You're made up.
"Nice try, but your world is just a TV series in our world, and our world is nowhere to be found in your world."
- Oh silly! That's just the TV show! Not the real Equestia! Of course it has to make sense in your world or it wouldn't work at all. And I really must say that I'm at an unfair advantage here because stuff doesn't always have to make sense to me.
"Uh... well ... well then why do you look just like in that TV show? All simple lines and such. You have so little detail, and our world is much more complex, so it's pretty clear that that with less depth and detail is the product of that with more depth and detail."
- Aand... again you're basing this on the TV show. But in a way you're still right! Your world might have less of some things, but more of others. Ponies wrote fiction that is different from what we usually experience in our world, because - duh! - it's more interesting! Your world is more interesting because it is less interesting. ... Does that make sense? ... Ah, never mind.
"You still didn't answer my question about the detail."
- Well, as I said, the pony life is quite awesome regarding what's happening and all, so ponies started imagining how it must be to not have that. Some call it grimdark, but that's just some grumpypants. But then phantasy fiction needs something higher, better, different than our world, so ponies came up with this idea of more inner detail, like, everything has more of the same in it, but not quite like that. I like it! I myself once imagined a 100 grams chocolate cupcake that had one pound of chocolate in it and tasted like a kilo! Mmmmmm!
So we have this weird idea of a world where things that happen are less pleasant or interesting, but it is happening in awesome detail, like, more intense! It's so crazy, but I see right now why the idea is so appealing. You look ...SO...DEEP! Hihihi!
And here I am, checking out this fictional work for myself, jumping right in. Hah! I think I'm the only pony who can actually do that!
"Uuuhh... I don't... feel so well. I think I have to throw up."
- See?! You had WAY more chocolate than you thought!
A MAN'S GOTTA DO WHAT A MAN'S GOTTA DO.
I GOTTA WATCH PONIES.
First a little warmup...
aaaaand ... BAM! - Wet Mane Celestia...
( https://twitter.com/Dowlphin/status/610113682018861057if you'd like to give the tweet a fav )
I practically am Pinkie Pie.
But Pinkie Pie claims she is Pinkie Pie.
So now we're fighting over the identity rights.
That's why I'm goofing off whenever I can.
We might eventually settle for a merger though.
Hostile takeovers aren't FUN. (unless it involves pirates)
(Who said that?!)
Today at the drugstore I noticed some MLP merch. There were what looked like Kinder egg knockoffs in Twily, Dashie or Pinkie theme, a bit bigger than the real thing and with air holes at the top, so I don't even know whether there was chocolate in them, and the label was too small to read.
I hope Dashie doesn't get her egghead worries over these, haha.
But the really odd thing was something I at first thought was a Pez dispenser. But on closer examination it was a Rainbow Dash extendable lollipop!
I couldn't make a photo at the time, but imagine a Pez dispenser with a slightly bigger head. You push a lever on the grip and Dashie's head splits in half and the lollipop goodness emerges from it.
I found that slightly disturbing.
Also, that's a lot of effort put into one lollipop - for 1.50€. I guess the empty shell is for keeping once you've licked Dashie's brain away. (I didn't see any refills offered.)
EDIT: Now I realize this is probably so that you can keep it from making things sticky and don't have to consume the whole thing in one go. Arguably this might be even worse for the teeth, giving them sugar in small spread-out doses.
I hereby challenge you to a duel of wits!
P.S.: I win.
This is how Pinkie Pie will drive you crazy:
Pinkie Pie is awesome and fun, so you can't stop thinking of her.
When you think of her, you can't stop smiling.
One cannot fall asleep while still smiling.
If you can't sleep, you will eventually go crazy.
That's why crazy people tend to smile and laugh so much.
...While you can!
Here is something I wanted to share with you.
Pinkie Pie is very dear to me. In a way she is representing a part of me that needs more expression. I embrace her spirit and welcome her nature into my being.
Lately I have made many animated GIFs and some caption pictures from the show. Half of the time I didn't look for specific scenes, but did other stuff and noticed them in the process.
That one time the idea came to be to make an aniGIF out of Pinkie Pie's final twitchatwitch scene. In the process, I got the idea to make a caption pic out of it.
The animation consisted of merely two frames. Free picture space was scarce, so I arranged the caption text around Pinkie Pie. Eventually, the text was all one vector layer. Now all I did was to copy that whole vector layer into the other animation frame, which naturally has identical dimensions. I saved both and when I loaded them into the animation program and did a preview, I saw this:
Now my initial reaction was:
"WHAT THE HAY?! WHY?? THIS-IS-NOT-SUPPOSED-TO-HAPPEN! THIS WAS A SIMPLE COPY&PASTE!!!"
And indeed how could this happen? Every one of the three text segments had been misaligned in a completely different direction, resulting in that slight text jitter.
A few moments later, a second thought occured:
"Oh hello Pinkie Pie! Sorry I didn't recognize you at first!"
Because I suddenly realized that this 'happy accident' had made the whole caption pic so much better! It now truly reflected Pinkie Pie's spirit and habit of fourth-wall-breaking: She is so on edge that she even makes the caption text jitter!
Pinkie Pie, you are so random!
Not only does the final result DEPICT her breaking the fourth wall in an unusual way (as usual, haha), but the very fact that this picture came to be like that constitutes her breaking of the fourth wall into this reality, too! By giving that caption text a little nudge, she made it perfect in a way my limited mind could not have conceived.
Well played, Pinkie!
Later some doubts crept in about whether I should have taken the idea further and made that text jitter a lot more, but I quickly realized that this would lessen the effect and reduce the 'depth' of the whole thing, the depiction of how the text is supposed to be still, since it's not in the same layer of reality, but how Pinkie Pie has that habit of having a more or less subtle effect on other layers.
She's jumping all over the place, not caring for that boooring! idea of "reality".
I think it's no coincidence either that this whole AniGIF thing was about Pinkie Pie's twitchatwitch sense and how Twilight Sparkle kept resisting the idea and eventually had to give up.
Dear Princess Celestia,
today my good friend Pinkie Pie made me realize that friendship can not only transcend time and space, but whatever artificial barrier we make up in our minds, because true friendship comes from the heart.
Your faithful student
P.S.: I DON'T EVEN LIKE COFFEE!
Today I'd like to try and inspire you a bit. It might be somewhat lenghty, but I will come to the point. If many people read this, it would make me very happy.
Feel the Magic!
We see what we want to see. We see what we are looking for.
Curiosity enables us to see more and more.
I realized that MLPFiM is very much like what spiritual masters tend to say about sacred texts: It is all in there. It is a complete guide. You just have to see.
I encourage all bronies to take the show as a guide for self-betterment, because I frequently see bronies act contrary to what the show conveys, forgetting lessons or maybe never having noticed them in the first place. Many still maintain a good distance to parts of that show that they love. It's almost ironic. This show is awesome, but then again, it's "just a show"? Well, that depends on YOU. We are the creators, the deciders, the inspirers.
MLPFiM contains everything you need. Take as much as you can handle!
The show says "Friendship Is Magic". Here's a little mind game: How can you believe in the magic of friendship if you don't believe in magic?
Here's another irony: Sceptical people might discount magic as "You're fooling yourself. It only works if you believe in it.", thereby completely missing the amazingness in that - because something that works MERELY by believing in it is ... truly magical, haha.
The drive to explain phenomena through rational and empirical examination is a reality-manifesting belief system just as magic is. It is a choice of a personal path.
Imagine three mysterious things happen in a row that seem unexplainable. They, together, help someone solve a problem they have been hoping to resolve, with perfect timing.
Now, even if you manage to find an empirical explanation for how those events came to happen, then you're still faced with why three in a row. Strange coincidence. Then you might want to use the help of statistical probability and such, and it gets more vague and imprecise. Then, if you are satisfied with the explanation you found, you are still facing the reality of those events having happened with the right timing to solve a problem. You can go after these things farther and farther, and it gets more and more difficult to find waterproof explanations. At some point, when it comes to the big questions about life, the universe and everything, when you are confronted with things like eternity or time, it will bring your rational mind to its knees.
Now if you trace this back, you might wonder whether there is any objective middle ground at all for how far it is worth tracking these things.
When the mind gives up obsessing over attaining answers that are based on its beliefs about reality, ... magic is allowed to happen. Because our deeply rooted, unconscious beliefs are manifesting reality.
OK, so let's get more practical.
I love to make animated GIFs, caption pics, videos and other stuff from the show. A while ago I made an animated GIF, as described in an earlier blog entry:
As described there, some amount of chaos was unexpectedly introduced into the making of that picture, and it turned out to be the most popular aniGIF I had ever made. Note that I absolutely identify with Pinkie Pie at my core, that the picture was about her and that it was taken from the episode "Feeling Pinkie Keen". You see where this is going? Pinkie Pie's unexplainable premonition and Twilight Sparkle eventually giving up her denial?
But hey, this is just a TV show right? It's not real!
Haha, OK, if that's what you choose to believe and manifest. If you don't want that awesomeness to be part of reality, go ahead.
Some time after that, I had an idea about a crossover video between Game of Thrones and MLPFiM.
The idea was just to edit together two scenes. That was what my mind came up with. But in the process of making that, it evolved. I realized how perfectly I could use Spike's voice for the GoT dragon, and the video material was just enough to make it happen. There were also some other synchronicities involved; stuff that just fit with uncanny millisecond accuracy as if designed just for this.
And it became by far the most successful video I have ever made. It got 17000 views in the first five days! And from the feedback it became clear that the popularity stemmed mainly from the dragon lipsync part, which apparently was entertainingly unexpected.
So in a way I feel thankful and blessed to be given experiential feedback like this; that I come up with a basic idea, just an initial impulse, and then I keep the reigns loose and allow the magic to happen.
I once experienced my meager musical skills multiply when I found someone who provided a musical lead.
Get your mind out of the way and let it flow!
(This, as a brief sidenote, is also how zero point energy generators work and why mainstream scientists have trouble wrapping their head around the concept.)
Taking the Daoist principle of Yin and Yang as a model, the world is currently still in a phase of Yang dominance. Control rules, actively influencing things, pushing things into motion, not very able to let things develop on their own.
Let me point out that profound mind-freeing spiritual realizations are usually accompanied by uncontrollable laughter. And Pinkie Pie with her non-caring for reality and playful breaking of the fourth wall represents the element of laughter.
Twilight Sparkle clearly is a wizard - a well-read one - and her expertise is 'thunder magic'.
Pinkie Pie is a wizard, too, but not really well-read, which is an advantage for her subtle but profound branch of magic. Her expertise is the influencing of reality by willing things to be. She's a bit like one of those long-bearded masters in the mountains who smile all the time, because they see no reason to take life so seriously. ... Well, except when she has her Pinkamena phase, haha. Nobody's perfect.
So ... how much are you ready to believe in? Can you let go, free up a part in yourself and allow the values of the show to become an integral and guiding part of your being?
Here's a basic magical training exercise:
Next time you see a rainbow, find the point where it touches the ground. If you can do that, you have become better at practicing magic.
I'm still at the very beginning of this exciting and difficult journey, but wanted to share with you the humble experiences of success I had and give you some background info on what fuels me.
Thanks for reading!
Please feel free to comment and tell me what's on your mind!
WINP = work in no progress. Hah!
♫ Sweetie Bell, Sweetie Bell, Sweetie's all the neigh! ♫
♫ Oh what pun it is to ride in a one-mare open sleigh! ♫
Inspired by a vector graphic here:
I just realized, among thoughts about equality movements and depiction in media and how by now it's nothing special to have women and blacks and all kinds of people as protagonists in computer games ... is there any game where the protagonist is wheelchair-bound? If not, I would find this very interesting to explore. Could be a point&click-like adventure game maybe... or something more daring.
I could hardly believe if no one already did that, but at the same time, I guess it would make sense, since society evolves step by step.
I made this a couple of months ago, but I was today reminded of video-related synchronicities, and compared to some of the relatively well-known stuff on the net (like "The Dark Side of the Rainbow"), this one is quite an intense example.
I'll copy&paste the video description below, since it explains everything. Feel free to comment on the video and give thumbs up - It would make me very happy. (I could really use a strong positive side to counter the negative influences in my life so that I can shift my focus.)
I was terribly bored, so I started working on a boring/bored/boredom compilation (seemed like the thing to do, LOL), and by accident, when I had opened one episode while still having another episode's audio track loaded and searched for the next piece, I noticed the uncanny degree of sync(hronicity) between the two in vocals, effects, emotions, scene transitions, behavior, so I let it play out for as long as it matched so well.
I love it when I receive help from the Realm of Random.
I consider this my typical life art. When I'm too bored for anything, the only thing left to do is creatively expressing it. Blabla. Some meaningful life lesson in it I'm sure. I'll just do stuff (or not) and see where it leads.
Man, it has been so long since my last pony upload.
Just an hour before I started doing this, I browsed through my project files and unfinished compilations and felt even less motivated to work on any of them. Life really makes no sense. And I don't care. Meaning trumps sense.
I've been very active on my brand new Cheezburger account (mylittlebrony.com) lately and they have a feature to create a "site" in addition to the regular account profile. Based on recommendations in the help section, I sent a support ticket:
I (user name Dowlphin) registered today and at first didn’t know how to add favorites to my profile, so I unnecessarily created a site. I have copied all pictures from there to my favorites now, so it can be deleted:
Thanks for getting in touch. We have deleted your Cheezburger account and profile as requested. We are sorry to see you leave! We hope that you'll continue to visit Cheezburger http://www.cheezburger.com for your daily dose of laughs and fun
daily dose of laughs and fun
daily dose of laughs and fun
daily dose of laughs and fun
This caused a little inner disharmony.
When I told someone in the PM section of another forum, it made me break the fourth wall. ... If that gives you any indication.
I calmed down relatively quickly though. ... Because ponies.
I hope they can restore it.
I think they can.
The alternative would be too mindboggling.
She holds the record for most homeruns.
When she was in Manehattan with all those tall buildings, she learned to appreciate elevators.
She'd really have hated it if she had been forced to use
It was an odd dream though, and I wish I had the energy and skill to draw comics from my dreams sometimes.
From what I can tell, a villain was on the loose. There was a scene in a dark castle hallway or something, but I don't remember anything from there. Then there was an icy lake, I was running along the outer rim where there were sheets of ice, and I grabbed Applejack out of the water. A moment later I see Twilight Sparkle ahead, with her back to the lake, acting like she was being threatened by something, defensive and somewhat scared. But when I came closer, I noticed her colors were lighter, and somehow I immediately knew it's not the real Twilight. Without having to think, I swung my katana and somehow mananged to - in a frontal attack - cut off her tail. LOL WTF, why did I do that?! Well, in any case, when I did that, she assumed a slight white-glow and had a wicked-evil grin on her face and that's when I thrust my katana straight through her from top to bottom, leaving a white-glowing line through her still grinning (holographic?) body.
That's when the dream ended.
Or did it?!
There's currently something going on in the Star Citizen community that fits so very well into that episode's theme (S7E14 - Fame and Misfortune), namely overly critical attitude bordering on the absurd and detached from reality, an explosion of confirmation bias.
There was a demo event at Gamescom and game testers were playing the demo, which followed a certain script. And they were roleplaying their characters with some relaxed banter. I found it pretty OK, almost background filler like, and most of it conveying practical information based on the situation at hand. They had to redo the first part of it due to a crash, hurried through that and just did their usual thing.
And so many people went nuts with RP hate. They were complaining about the quality of RP, about the very presence of RP, about the woman's voice, about the woman playing a male avatar (there are no female ones in the game yet), about them not just talking out of character instead, about their RP being done bad, wrong, cringeworthy, unrealistic, too scripted, bad timing, repeating lines etc. Anything you can think of.
I was just like: What the hell? Did I watch a different demo? How detached from reality do people have to be to be this super-nitpicky, intolerant and grumpy about game devs going out of their way working overtime at a convention event to deliver a demo (after having already done it a couple times to the press earlier and the whole event having had a delayed start at late evening) while they're in a crunch phase to get the next version out, as passionate as the fans, giving their best. So cold. And at that point it reminded me so much of Fame and Misfortune.
For reference, here the demo in question, with jump mark to where the main RP part begins. The context I mentioned might be missing to a degree, but again, this was a tech demo for a game and not an entertainment show event, nor a movie.
P.S.: Obligatory recruit referral page. ^^ http://starcitizen.dowlphin.de/
I just had an epiphany. Finally I am able to put this into words.
Things happen for a reason, people are influenced greatly by their surroundings. A chain of events caused Luna to become Nightmare Moon, and the forces of love and empathy weren't powerful enough back then to stop it from happening, and neither could it be defused.
During "Luna Eclipsed", you could notice from her manners that things were different back then.
A thousand years later she returned, and her return coincided with a most fortunate chain of events that put the Elements of Harmony to a very different use ... actual harmony. Oh my, Celestia might have put discrace on those magical sacraments in the past, by creating a great and painful division. This becomes clear when you consider that Luna didn't return as Luna, but as the same she was when she was banished.
So it was actually Equestria that had to change, that needed a thousand years to grow into a state of being able to mend that old wound. Luna had the role of the somewhat involuntary teacher (basically a nemesis), and Celestia seems at least to some degree unaware of how she should have shown more humility upon their re-uniting. That fateful act of banishing her beloved sister surely influenced her rule deeply in the following millennium, allowing her to turn Equestria into a place where love and compassion has grown strong enough to be able to right the shortcomings of the past.
Luna's strong yin energy facilitated this passive approach. We can fight certain difficulties, but at some point, everypony is at their limit, and when Luna reached that limit, she allowed herself to succumb to weakness, staying true to herself by making a great but necessary sacrifice in order to teach a world the hard way; a world where there was no feasible alternative for its betterment.
You know that wherever the sun shines, the night retreats effortlessly ... and it has to. This so easily invites exploitation.
You think Nightmare Moon was the aggressive, offensive pole in this conflict? Wasn't she to some degree a mere reflection of Celestia's approach of that nature? Her active, burning sun within - attacking problems upfront? Might she have neglected to offer Luna the space she needed for fulfillment? Did she become too full of herself without noticing and thus influenced pony society towards neglecting the night? ... Life tends to show you on the outside what is deep within yourself that you don't want to see.
Nightmare Moon was a corruption; the result of imposing the energy of the sun onto the silent beauty of the night.
This mistake shall never be repeated.
Thus, I am writing these words
as an homage to Luna's elusive greatness.
UPDATE 2015-09-17: And this might be why there's that odd contradiction in the sisters' theme and personality: Celestia likes to rule by not ruling, to just support and nourish and instill confidence and let ponies figure things out within their own potential, while Luna is surprisingly forward and active. This might have been different long time ago, with Luna being very yin and Celestia being very yang and that having been the cause for the crisis, so the sisters have now moved closer to each other and that works.
- The remixed intro theme doesn't sound very elegant to me. The voice glitching a bit 'hacky'. Although it seemed to be heavily inspired by brony music. Same with the nice intro animations. A lot of abstract playing with shapes and colors.
- When Celestia mentioned that Sunset Shimmer might bring harm to the other world using the crown, one of the elements of harmony, I was amused by the pun... HARMony.
- Spike following Twilight was pretty reckless considering what Celestia expressed a moment before.
- Fluttershy's encounter with Twily and Spike is clearly a redo of the original one, but it seemed too mixed regarding Fluttershy's shyness level. First she's moderately shy, then totally, then back to moderate.
- Trixie could at least have tried to cover up the inserting of the coin into the vending machine. She's purely imagining, not even trying to put on a show. Extremely lame, haha.
- Getting the crown ... first extremely complex, then boiling down to ridicuously simple measures deciding the result. But that's not uncommon in the movie world, and I'm not saying it's diappointing, just that it's a bit old.
- At roughly 1h1m25s they decided to cram a Wilhelm scream into the movie that totally didn't fit the teenage crowd there. Hommages should be done with respect.
- Sunset shimmer called it a high school, although the school's name says it's a college (if I'm not mistaken. It might be that the college was actually a slipup.). I can only assume it was meant in a demeaning way, but that would be quie a lame way. Otherwise it was a slipup in the script. Is she really that pathetic that she tries to insult a college by calling it a high school?
Generally, only few details bugged me in the beginning and it got better and better over time, and if you've watched that one extract with the mensa musical on Youtube, you're missing all the context. It's much more powerful when part of the whole plot. I was almost moved to tears by it.
This movie is an invaluable influence for people of all type. It successfully conveys and lovingly celebrates the original message of MLPFIM.
This humanized version also helps to make it even clearer that you can find people like the mane 6 in this world, too. This seems to be kinda unrealized when I hear people equaling Equestria to a land of eternal bliss or something... because it's obviously not. They have many of the same mundane problems that we have.
The writing, especially the dialogue writing, is done very well. All characters act and react quite naturally and believable to events around them, and with that I mean based on the circumstances of the MLPFIM universe. After all, it's still supposed to be wacky, fun and magical. ... Well, OK, maybe with one exception where there was a somewhat forced misunderstanding, but it's nothing that couldn't happen in real life, too.
I'd almost say this is a quality of writing I'd love to see in the show, because it's at least a tiny bit above that.
P.S.: My impession becomes clearer and clearer that Pinkie Pie wields very powerful but subtle magic. Or is wielded by it, haha. Her character carries a profound message, almost an ambassador of what laughing and not taking life too serious can accomplish. In short: I just love her more and more!
P.P.S.: Here's my favorite screen from the whole movie. Not really a strong spoiler, but a moderate one, and maybe you want to see the beauty in context, too: