5月18日集英社の相談

5月18日に白井研究室の全員を日本で最も有名マンガ雑誌「ジャンプ」の「集英社」本社にてとあるプロジェクトの打ち合わせをするために向かいました。集英社の場所は神保町駅付近です。その日私と白井先生と山口と浅野は神奈川県工科大学前のバス停をバスで出発して、本厚木駅で電車を乗って、新宿駅でもう一回電車を乗り換えて、そして神保町駅で他にのメンバーと合流して、一緒に集英社へ行きました。

集英社の入り口が様々な漫画についての製品がありました。例えば:ワンピースとナルトのポスター、そして夕崎梨子の等身大プラモデルです。集英社の中の廊下もたくさんのマンガプロダクトがありました。記念にお土産までいただいてしまいました。好きなマンガのキャラクターグッズを1つ選んでくださいと言いました。私選んだの製品はナルトのジャケットです。

その後、大きな会議室で、プロジェクトの提案を行いました。会議中に皆、色々な話題を喋りました。例えば集英社海外のマンガ展示、アメリカでの市場の可能性、それにVRとマンガの可能性。最後に、私達は近くにのレストランへ行って、遅くまで、関連の分野の仲間と喋ったりしました。後に私と浅野は一緒に電車で本厚木駅へ着いて、歩いてアパートへ帰りました。

This Thursday on May the 18th, me and the rest of Shirai-lab went to Shueisha. inc, the most famous manga magazine “JUMP” and its company . As a big manga fan myself, I am naturally very excited to have the opportunity to go on this pilgrim as Shueisha can easily be considered as the holy place not just for Japanese comic fans, but for any Japanese pop-culture enthusiasts.

Shueisha is located near Jimbocho station in Tokyo. At the entrance are various manga related products such as One Piece, Naruto, and Bleach’s posters, a life sized anime character wearing a two piece swimsuit, as well as many other goods. What’s more, the entire Shueisha is filled with manga posters, anime character board cut outs, and more life sized Jump characters. At the end of our tour we are all allowed to pick one Jump Anime merchandise and the one I picked is a Naruto Jacket.

Afterwards we went inside a large meeting room to discuss possible collaboration between Shirai-lab and Jump. Some of the topics we discussed include Shueisha’s exhibitions in England, France, America, and other countries as well as future opportunities abroad. After the meeting the entire crew went to a nearby restaurant and partied till well over midnight. Me and Asano left the place around 11:30 PM where we traveled by train back to Hon-Atsugi and then walked on foot back to our apartments.

集英社ライツ事業のエリアにて。
等身大のアニメキャラクターpaper cut out

ロータリー米山団体鎌倉市の旅行

5月13日に僕はロータリー米山の団員と一緒に鎌倉市へ旅行に行きました。私は11時に本厚木駅から出発して、海老名駅で列車を乗り換えて、鎌倉駅で団体員と合流して、鎌倉市へ観光しに行きました。その日は雨が降っていたので、僕はあそこへ行った唯一の学生でした。しかしそのおかげで、僕が他にの団員を沢山話せました。

この旅行のガイドさんは鎌倉市市役所で35年に働いたの磯崎さんです。彼は今は幼稚園の先生です。それに私のロータリー米山団体の連絡者、高木先生も鎌倉市出身です。今回の旅行中に彼らと鎌倉市の歴史を話ました。

最初に僕たちは鎌倉文学館へ向かいました。あの文学館は丘上にあり、大きくて、綺麗な洋式な建物です。文学館の中に色々な鎌倉市出身の作家と美術家についての紹介があり、鎌倉市の歴史も沢山がありました。文学館を参加した後に、私達を晩御飯へ食べに行きました。晩御飯を食べたの場所は和食と洋食があるレストランです。後に近くの道路を散歩して、うちに帰りました。

On May 13th 2017, me and the other members of Rotary Yoneyama Scholarship Foundations member went over to Kamakura City for a sightseeing trip. Since it was raining heavily on Saturday, I was the only student who can make it to the meeting but because of it, I get to talk to many Rotary Yoneyama officials. Overall I had a lot of fun with the exception of getting myself all wet from the rain.

Our tour guide for that day used to work for the Kamakura City government for 35 years before retiring and becoming a kindergarten teacher. What’s more, my contact person, Takagi-sensei also came from Kamakura. Together the two of them kept on telling us all sorts of stories and lore about Kamakura the ancient city.

Our first destination was the Kamakura Cultural Center which is a western styled house on top of a hill. The cultural center exhibits all sorts of culture related documents about Kamakura ranging from historical scripts to art works and books done by authors and artists from Kamakura. Afterwards we ate out at a restaurant serving both Japanese and Western styled food. Since I do not have to pay for any of the food I had a good feast and during the dinner gets to know the officials a lot more.

鎌倉文学館前に彫刻。
この洋式の建物が鎌倉文化館です。
私はレストランで沢山食べ物を食べました。

ゴールデンウィーク

先週の水曜日から(5月3日)日曜日(5月7日)までは日本のゴールデンウィークです。ゴールデンウィーク他に名は黄金週間(おうごんしゅうかん)と大型連休(おおがたれんきゅう)です。ゴールデンウィークは以下の記念日を含有するです:昭和の日(昭和の日)、憲法記念日(けんぽうきねんび)、緑の日(みどりのひ)、と子供の日(こどものひ)です。この休みは五日間ぐらいなので、日本の家族はこの休み中に海外旅行したり、家族旅行したり、しています。

私は先週、沢山自分のアパートで眠たり、研究室でプログラミングしたり、Book Offで漫画を読んだり、そして厚木市の至る所で散歩したり、しました。先週の土曜日に白井研究室は厚木市の山で野営ゼミが催されました。白井研究室の卒業生、現役四年生、他に研究室からの四年生、それに白井研究室に入る志望の学生を、三十人の学生が野営に出席しました。火を焚いて、肉と野菜を焼いて、バーベキューを食べて、ハンドヘルドゲームを遊んで、そして野営隣の川中に水で遊びました。皆は午前十時から、午後五時まで無休に遊びました。あの日の天気はとても暑いですが、全員はとても楽しそうでした。それに私は日本人の友達と日本で沢山話し合いました。概ね、野営は良いし、楽しいのイベントなので、とても満足です。

Hello everyone, Rex here, I just got back from the Japan Golden week, which is a long vacation resulted from combining several national holidays together. The holidays that were packed together to form golden week include the Showa Day, Constitution Memorial Day, Green Day (environmental protection day), and the children’s day. This is one of the most important and longest vacations in Japan and because of this Japanese people tend to take their entire family out on long vacations within Japan or abroad. As for me I didn’t go anywhere, simply slept a lot, went to comic shops to read manga, did some programming in my lab, and walked all over the Atsugi city. I actually walked around the city so much that I got bored of it.

On Saturday, May 6th, Shirai lab held a big picnic up on the mountains of Atsugi city. That morning me and a couple of my lab friends met at the Hon-Atsugi station, purchased all the meat we need for the party, and then drove back to the university to organize our supplies before taking off for the camping ground. In total around 30 students attended the event as not only are current lab members invited, but also students who graduated from the lab, other 4th year students, as well as students aspire to join Shirai-lab. We had a lot of fun at the camping ground and I got the unique chance to practice my Japanese with other Japanese students. It was also a joy to meet previous graduates of Shirai-lab and ask them how they are doing now that their job has started.

Lastly this time my Japanese was checked by Takeda, I am surprised by how little mistake I made this time! Overall I made only about three of them.

皆は山中にの川の水で遊びました。

4月28日三笠公園三浦海岸

4月29日(土曜日)私三浦海岸と横須賀市の三笠公園へ観光に行きました。この日は、本厚木駅から電車に乗って、海老名駅で乗り換えて、横浜駅でもう一回電車を乗り換えて、三浦海岸駅に着きました。三浦海岸までは、電車で一時間と四十分かかりました。

三浦海岸は神奈川県の南部の浜です。私が到着した後に駅から、海岸線の道路沿いを南に向かって歩きました。この海岸の浜の砂は白いし、海は美しい青い色を成し、そして港があります。しかし浜の中に少しゴミがあるので、あまり綺麗ではないです。それに歩いているときに、鷹が私のポテトチップスを取っていきました。二時間半後に小さい丘の上に到着し、そこから海の上のクルーズ船を見て、駅へ戻りました。

厚木市に戻る途中、横須賀中央駅で降りて、三笠公園へ行って、有名な三笠軍艦を見ました。三笠軍艦は1904年(明治37年)に日露戦争中に大活躍した軍艦です。軍艦の上には沢山大砲があります。軍艦を見た後に神奈川歯科大学を参観し、地元のラーメン屋で晩御飯を食べて、本厚木駅へ戻ってきました。

So what’s happening fellow bloggers. Rex again. Just yesterday on April 29th I went to the Miura Beach located at Southern Kanagawa prefecture and on my trip home stopped by Mikasa Park to admire the famous Mikasa battleship. Also people may find it surprising that the above Japanese version has no correction marks on it. That doesn’t mean I wrote a perfect Japanese blog on my first try, it’s just that I had different people checking my Japanese this time. My lab mates Yuya and Shou are nice enough to spend their time reviewing my Japanese post.

So back to the main topic, after spending 2 full weeks inside Atsugi city, I decided that I need a long trip to refresh my mind. Thus I decided to travel to one of the southernmost beaches in Kanagawa prefecture. After roughly 1 hour and 40 minutes of train ride as well as switching the train 3 times in between, I finally arrived at Miura beach. Surprisingly there aren’t a lot of people on the beach at this time, I can only suppose the weather is still too cold for most people as aside from some random surfers and families it is mostly empty. As usual, once I arrived at a new location I started walking aimlessly around, which is a very effective way to get to know a place actually as I ended up discovering many docks, new beaches, as well as some military like structures along the coast. Eventually I arrived on top of a small hill overlooking the surrounding oceans and that’s when I decided to turn back. After coming back to my apartment and looking at google map I found out that I had almost arrived at the south side of the beach (I started at the north side) .

On my way back I stopped at Yokosukachuo Station to check out a famous battleship. Upon arrival at Mikasa park I found out that the battleship is infact Mikasa battleship, a famous war ship that fought in the Russo-Japanese war in 1904. The ship is surprisingly well preserved and most of the cannons are still intact. Also worth noting is that there is a big American naval base right on the north side of Mikasa park and much of Yokosuka city is full of American and Japanese sailors. I also suspect there is a Japanese naval officer academy somewhere nearby as there are students dressed in officer clothing all over the place.

This concludes my very productive Saturday, which took over 8 hours despite of me only visiting two places.

電車中の風景です。/View inside the train.
三浦海岸の海の色は美しい青。/Beach at Miura.
三浦海岸にある軍事構造の建物です。/A strange military like structure at Miura beach.
明治時代からある有名な軍艦です。The famous Mikasa Battleship from the Meiji Era.
三笠軍艦の船長の像です。/The statue of captain of Mikasa Battleship.

ロータリー米山とSIGGRAPHの提出など

先回このブログの更新から、多くのことが完了しましたをやりました。

今月の7日に私と白井先生は日本科学未来館中で開催されているディズニー美術展示 「ディズニー・アート展《いのちを吹き込む魔法》」 の開催会展覧会参加するために、東京へ向かいました。あのこの展覧会ディズニーからの色々な珍しい画像がありました。そして多くの歴史情報も展示しありました。しかしながらPixarの作品ぜんぜんありません。実の理由はわからないですが、ディズニーとPixarの関係はあまり良くないと思いました

8日と9日に私ロータリー米山奨学生に正式ななっていますになりました。二日の間に沢山新入生挨拶したり、ロータリー米山公益財団法人ロータリー米山記念奨学会の役員を会ったりとお会いしたり、色々な資料を交換したりしました。新入生中に他に台湾人が二人ですおりました彼達彼らは神奈川歯科大学の院生だし、来年卒業する予定です。別々に国からの学生も沢山ですそれぞれの国からもたくさんおりました。例えば韓国、中国、ベトナム、タイ、モンゴル、ネパールなどです。

最後に白井研究室の四年生はたった今SIGGRAPHにの提出投稿を完了していましたしました。フランスラヴァルLaval Virtual展示時にもう既にSIGGRAPH賞を受賞しましたが、今再びSIGGRAPHに提出投稿しています。この研究室の学生はとても盛んだ熱心と思います。私もより頑張る必要だとがあると思います。

Revised by Akihiko SHIRAI (2017/4/26, 71/100)

Hello folks, sorry for the lack of updates since last time. Things have been very busy and my PhD program at Kanagawa Institute of Technology actually officially started some two weeks ago. Also you can see, there are a good amount of correction marks in the Japanese version of my blog, this is because my supervisor Akihiko Shirai helped me proof read through my draft and gave me a grade. Hopefully as time goes on I will make fewer mistakes. Now onto the main topic.

On April 7th 2017, me and my supervisor Shirai-sensei went to Miraikan at Odaiba Tokyo to see ”The Art of Disney – The Magic of Animation” exhibition’s opening ceremony. Because this is a preview of the exhibition, only people with special invitations are allowed to come. Since this is an official licensed Disney exhibition, there are a lot of concept artworks, demo animations, photographs, and even old animation machines at the exhibition. If anything it sure is good to be re-acquainted with the old Disney classics and overall I had quite a lot of fun. I do find it strange however, that none of the Pixar works were being exhibited here. Although I do not know the exact cause, I can only imagine it is because Disney and Pixar are more or less rivals at this stage and wouldn’t want to include works from their rival company (although Disney owns Pixar, I still suspect there are some rivalry going on there).

On April 8th and 9th I attended the “Rotary Yoneyama Memorial Foundation” Scholarship Students ceremony and officially became a member of the Yoneyama club. During the ceremony I got to meet with a lot of students of different nationalities including Korean, Chinese, Mongolian, Vietnamese,  Thai, Nepalese, and so forth.  I also got to know some of the Rotary Yoneyama staff. All in all I was impressed with the kinds of people involved with the foundation and would really like to get more involved with the club.

Lastly the 4th year students at Shirai-lab has just finished submitting their paper to SIGGRAPH. Although they have already won the SIGGRAPH award and will be going to the upcoming SIGGRAPH conference for sure, these people still want to add more stuff to the conference. I am quite surprised by their desire to submit materials to conferences.

展示の場所中に写真を撮れないので、外にのポスターだけ撮りました。/Since visitors are forbidden from taking photographs inside the exhibition hall, I can only take some photos of posters outside the exhibition.
ロータリー米山奨学金新入生パーティーの中に他に学生と挨拶しました。/Chatting with other scholarship recipients.

2017 France Trip Continued (Laval)

第五日から、先発組と大樹我妻と白井先生を合流しました。私達一緒に電車でLAVAL展示の参加するために、LAVALへ向かいました。LAVALはフランスのとても古い町です。今の人口は二十万ぐらいです。町の中に至る所が古代な城と修道院があります。都心には古代から住民の生活を支援したマイエンヌ川が流れています。

展示の五日間で赤ちゃんチームは四百以上のお客さんに体験してもらいました。主な評価はよいものでした。お客さんはこのプロジェクトは楽しいし、教育にも向いているし、そして革新的ですと話したり、twitterで赤ちゃんについての文章を書きました。それに記者が私達のプロジェクトを新聞に報道しました。

最終的に、赤ちゃんチームがSIGGRAPH賞を受賞しました。皆がSIGGRAPH賞を受賞した時、とても驚きましたし、嬉しかったです。賞があるので、今年のSIGGRAPHへ参加できます。

展示を完了した後に、フランスの最大乳製品会社Lactalisへ見学しに行きました。最後の日にレンヌへ電車で行って、古代な城モンサンミッシェルを見学しました。

On the fifth full day the advance team was joined by the last team member of Real Baby – Real Family Daiki Agatsuma, as well as team supervisor Akihiko Shirai-sensei. We made our way to Laval VR exhibition located at the ancient city of Laval and spent the entire day setting up the exhibition. Laval itself is a city of over 900 years old and is the French city with the highest castle concentration ratio. The entire town is full of ancient fortresses, churches, and structures. Right at the center lies the Mayenne River which has supported the Laval population since ancient times.

In the next five days from March 22nd to March 26th our team would entertain over 400 guests and eventually won the SIGGRAPH award during the Laval Award ceremony. When it was announced that our team would receive the SIGGRAPH award I was extremely emotional and somewhat embarrassed by standing beside my other teammates during the award ceremony as I was just an English translator and onsite support. Winning the SIGGRAPH award also means the team will be heading to California for the SIGGRAPH conference later this year. As for me it is undecided whether I will get to go or not due to the limited budget but if my submission in SIGGRAPH gets accepted I will be able to join the team.

The reception to our exhibition was in general positive with most players saying the project is ground breaking, innovative, and fun to play. There are some negative feedback of course such as how the system functions more as a working demo rather than a full blown game and that the baby could have more facial expressions. During this time I was also able to meet with many VR enthusiasts from all around the world. We had party almost every single night and at the end of the five day marathon I was dead tired but feeling extremely fulfilled.

After the Laval exhibition we visited Lactalis, the largest French diary company founded in Laval back in 1933 as well  as went to Rennes to tour the Mount Saint-Michel, an ancient French fortress situated on an island. I have had a lot of fun and am looking forward to my next journey.

LAVALの修道院が美しく、古い窓があります。/The old churches of LAVAL has some very beautiful windows.
赤ちゃんチームを展示の準備しています。/Team Baby preparing for the exhibition.
400以上の体験者が赤ちゃんを体験しました。/Over 400 players experimented with our project.
毎晩パーティーがありました。沢山海鮮料理を食べました。/There are parties everyday and we all ate a lot of seafood.
モンサンミッシェルは古代時の重要な要塞です。/Mount-Saint Michel Abbey is an important stronghold in Normandy.

2017 France Trip (Paris Sightseeing)!

3月16日から同月28日まで、白井研究室の赤ちゃんチームはフランスへLaval Virtual 2017の展示に参加するためにフランスへ行きました。私がフランスに旅行に行くのはこれで2回目になります。

三月16日の夜に、フランスのシャルルドゴール空港に到着しました。先発組の望月と浅野の助けを借りて、二時間後にパリのホテルに着きました。私達のホテルはアパートの八階です。このビルはとても高い建物だったので、窓からエッフェル塔を見えました。旅行はとても疲れたので、晩御飯を食べてすぐに寝ました。

パリの旅行の第一日に私達歩いて有名なルーブル美術館へ行くことを決めしました。この美術館は昔のフランスの王様の宮殿なので、とても大きく、美しく、そして時々部屋の壁と天井の中にも美術作品があります。建物のサイズは大きいすぎるので、一日で全て展示を見るのは無理です。展示されている作品は昔の城壁と城の堀や、ヨーロッパからの色々な絵や、そしてギリシャの彫刻などです。美術館を見学した後に、皆がとても疲れたので、電車でホテルへ帰りました。

二日目と三日目は赤ちゃんチームは主としてSIGGRAPHとLAVALについて仕事を働きました、ただし二日目に私達ホテルの近くの朝市へ向かいました。この朝市は毎週の土曜日だけ開いている市場です。

第四日に先発組は凱旋門とエッフェル塔へ参観することを決めしました。浅野はLAVALについて仕事を完了するために、一緒に行けませんでした。凱旋門は二百年前に、ナポレオンが戦争の勝利を祝うために、建築家に依頼させてできました。建物のいたるところにきれな彫刻があります。私達を凱旋門の最上階へ上がるために、切符を買いました。最上階からは、パリ全体を見下ろすことができます。美しい彫刻の他に、第一回世界戦時の戦士の服もがあります。私の考えでは、凱旋門はエッフェル塔よりとても面白いです。

From March 16th to March 28th, the Real Baby – Real Family team from Shirai-lab embarked on a journey to France where the team participated in the 19th Laval Virtual Reality exhibition. This is my second time in France and first time in Laval and Rennes.

I landed on Paris`s Charles Du Gaulles Airport on the evening of March 16th and after some navigation arrived at our hotel in Paris thanks to my other lab mates Yuya Mochizuki and Takaya Asano. At our flat we are joined by the 4th member of the expedition team Marika Higashida. After some very quick dinner the team quickly fell asleep.

On the first full day the entire team walked to Louvre Art Museum for some sight seeing. The Louvre Art Museum used to be a fortress for the French King Philip Augustus and is later converted into an imperial palace and finally to an art museum. The museum is the undisputed biggest art museum I have seem to date and that is saying a lot as being a professional artist I made it my priority to visit as many art museums as I can. There are probably over five floors inside the art museum and at times an entire room from the floor up to the ceiling are covered with art pieces. The pieces exhibited there ranges from old fortress wall sections and castle moats (yes actual entire fortress sections the sizes of 3 story building), to European art master pieces and Greek statues. At the end of the day the entire team is dead tired and resorted to taking the train back to our hotel.

We toured the French Morning market on the second day which while doesn’t seem like much is a street market open only on Saturday. There the team practiced our English and very limited French skills. The third day is mainly a working day where we didn’t finish our SIGGRAPH VR Village submission till late at night.

On the forth day three of the expedition team, Marika, Yuya, and I went to the Arc de Triomphe and Eiffel Tower. Takaya Asano had to stay behind due to some unfinished works for the Laval Exhibition that is yet to come. Before our visit to Arc de Triomphe there were some initial debates as to whether we should even visit the structure due to our limited time but I was and am very glad I had went there as it would prove to be the highlight of my trip. The arc was commissioned by Napolean at the height of his power where the emperor wanted an arc for soldiers to march under after returning from a successful military campaign. It stands at the heart of Paris and is connected by 12 other streets, forming a star like geography with the arc right at the middle. It is 50 meters, or roughly 15 floors tall and is much bigger than I originally anticipated (I thought it was just a small arc roughly 4 stories tall). The entire arc is covered by stone relief sculptures featuring soldiers and angels. Our small team of three actually paid an entrance fee to go up to the arc (yes you can actually walk up there) where we gets to see the entire city of Paris. The arc also functions as a small art and history museum where soldiers’ uniforms are stored inside. After the arc we went to the Eiffel Tower which proves to be somewhat of a let down as it is just a giant steel structure. The team decided not to go up the arc due to the long waiting time (45 minutes) and expensive ticket.

ホテルの窓から、エッフェル塔。/You can see the Eiffel Tower from the hotel’s window.
ルーブル美術館のギリシャの彫刻。/Greek Statue in Louvre Museum.
ルーブル美術館は昔のフランスの王様の宮殿/Louvre Museum used to be the living quarter of the French Monarch.
パリの朝市で色々な食べ物が買えます。/At the Paris Morning Market, you can buy many different kinds of food.
凱旋門でナポレオンの銃器を買えますが、日本に持って帰れないので、買いません。/Since I couldn’t take the Napoleon pistol back to Japan, I didn’t buy it.
凱旋門で展示しているの第一次世界戦の戦士の服。/Various World War 1 Soldiers’ uniforms on display at the Arc de Triomphe.

特別だし、忙しいしの週

This week is a very unique way in many ways. One of which is that our supervisor Shirai-sensei is absent due to having to go to America to take care of students at Seattle. The second reason being the number of visitors and visits conducted within a one week period.

On March 9th, 2017, a professor from a Finland University named Junnila Miika decided to visit KAIT because he was recommended by some of his friends to talk to Nakamura-sensei. Around noon I was asked by Nakamura-sensei to attend the meeting.

After some pleasant chit chats Nakamura-sensei began his presentation was then I realized the impressive game industry resume Nakamura-sensei has. According to Nakamura-sensei, he has worked in Bandai Namco for more than a decade and has even collaborated with the creator of Pac Man. After the presentation our Finland visitor began his master program in games introduction. Apparently the program in Finland is an international program that attracts students from all corners of the world. The program is also very competitive and only accepts around 7 students per year. Because of Finland’s education system students of Finland national gets to attend it for free.  Afterwards we were given the chance to play the many mobile games his students and past alumni have created.

On March 10th, 2017, me and the majority of Shirai-lab members visited the Fujitsu Advanced Engineering company stationed on the west side of Shinjuku station.

The company is one branch of Fujitsu company with the other one being SSL. We were greeted by company employees at the reception area and after some self introductions inside a meeting room led back to the reception area to study the construction and dimension of their lobby. My fellow lab mates all took out retractable rulers and laser measurement equipment and began recording the width, length, and height of the room. We were even given blue prints and concept art pieces of the lobby. While this may appear to be dumb or even unnecessary by outside standard, the Japanese training and educational system has always been very strict which I believe is what leads to their successes world wide.

During the exhibition I was approached by Uehara-san, a veteran comployee of Fujitsu AE who has been working at the company for 16 years. Uehara-san, knowing I am not a native Japanese speaker, offered to introduce me to their many different projects. One such project is the construction of fifty meter telescopes out on the mountains of South America which won the company an award. Because of the high altitude the telescopes were constructed in, the team cannot afford use much software so the entire telescope was built using hardware alone with no software. Other projects Fujitsu AE was involved with include the manufacturing of space satellite hardware.

今週は本当に特別な週です。今週は、白井先生はアメリカのシアトルで日本学生を支援しています。それに私はフィンランドからのお客さんに会って、富士通株式会社へ企業訪問しました。

3月9日にフィンランドからの大学教授Junnila Miikaさんが神奈川工科大学に来ました。Junnila Miikaさんは十年前に日本で短期交換留学をしていました。彼が働いている学校はゲームを研究するし、作るし、それに国際留学生が多い学校です。沢山の卒業生は大きなゲーム会社で働いていたり、自分の会社をやったりします。神奈川工科大学へ来た理由はこの学校の中村先生に会うためです。中村先生はゲームを作る経験が十年以上あり、そして有名なゲームの開発者と一緒に働きました。会議後にMiikaさんの学生が作った携帯電話ゲームを紹介していました。

3月10日に白井研究室の学生と一緒に新宿駅の近くの富士通株式会社を見学しました。会社は西新宿に高いブルの17と18階があります。自己紹介後にロビー室のサイズを測量機で測定しました。見学中に上原さんに会社の製品を聞きました。上原さんは富士通で十六年間働いているので、それで沢山の製品を知っていました。

富士通は17階にあるので、窓から西新宿を見えました。/You can see the entire west side of Shinjuku from Fujitsu FAE.
富士通受付うえにのロボット。/Robot on the reception desk.
富士通の綺麗だし、親切だし、よく飾られたのロビー。/Well decorated display of Fujitsu FAE.

Media Ambition Tokyo

On Sunday March 5th, 2017, I went to Roppongi Hills in Tokyo for the Media Ambition Tokyo show. The exhibition was located at the 52th floor of the tallest building in Roppongi Hills called the Tokyo sky view where one can see the entire Tokyo city. The works exhibited there are a mixture of digital art, technical innovation, projection technology, and 3D printed works.

Among the many projects exhibited there, the work that caught my attention the most is called “Levitrope” by Dr. Ochiai. “Levitrope” is composed of nearly ten metal spheres floating on top of a metal desk without any strings or supporting materials attached them. What’s more, the spheres appear to be travelling in circular motion around the circular desk at a constant speed without ever going off track.

After the exhibition I considered going to Gundam Front to take one last peek at the Gundam statue before it got taken down but due to the lack of money had to cancel the trip. I only hope the Gundam statue will be moved to some other parts in Japan as it wasn’t always in Tokyo.

3月5日に、第五回のMedia Ambition Tokyoに参加するために、六本木ヒルズへ向かいました。チケットは佐藤先生にいただきました。三週間前に、同じ展示へ行くつもりでしたが、地図を持っていたのに、展覧会のビルをみつけられませんでした。それで、別の美術館へ行きました。今回は、前回より詳細な地図をもらいましたので、展覧場所を見つけることができました。

この展示の展示物は3D印刷物とデジタルアートと技術開発です。展示の中でも一番凄いと思った作品は落合先生の”Levitrope”です。”Levitrope”は金属球を磁気で浮遊させる作品です。

展示会の後ガンダムフロントへ向かいたかったのですが、手持ちが少なかったので、行けませんでした。

Media Ambition 東京で展示していた飛行機。
落合先生の”Levitrope”は金属球を磁気で浮遊させる作品です。
東京 Sky Viewから、見下ろすと東京都全体が見えます。

 

 

秋葉原でのVR展覧会

On Feburary 24th, 2017, me and the baby team went to Akihabara(秋葉原), the world famous anime and manga culture center in Tokyo, to exhibit the latest project of the baby team. Our team departed from our Sensei’s lab at 5 am in the morning and arrived at the exhibition hall around 9 am.

During the exhibition I was able to enjoy many different VR experiences as I was only a support member of the team and not an essential team member. Although the exhibition was only a hobbyist exhibition there exists many works of high caliber. One such high quality work is Shodo (書道)VR simulator that lets players paint beautiful calligraphy using pressure sensitive brushes. One can paint one’s own names and even draw pictures with this program.

One other VR project that impresses me a lot is a rescue the princess game which has the player fending off a grim reaper like creature while carrying the princess in his/her arms. The creature will fire various projectiles at the player and after successfully dodging a certain number of bullets the princess will bestow a magical sword upon the players so as to kill the creature with it. While the gaming concept is hardly unique and doesn’t deserve much attention from the sounds of it what amazes me the most is that although this game has no written instructions to it, the game play and in game options available to the players is easily understandable even for someone like me with limited Japanese language ability. The dodging mechanic and hit box of the player is also very well done, creating a challenging and yet very believable and beatable game experience. Nowhere during the game will you feel like you are not in control of the situation and should you get hit by the projectiles you know it is entirely your fault for not dodging well. What’s more, although the VR experience takes place is a very confined place, neither me nor any player I saw ever bumped into the walls, indicating the level of planning the developer has putted into this game.

At the end of the day I played roughly 7 or more VR games and had a lot of fun. The baby team gets visited by more than 50 players by the end of the day despite of a slow start and having a rather unattractive booth they have compare to other booths. One thing I believe that will help out the team getting more audiences is to set up a monitor of some sort showcasing the actual gameplay to visitors. Currently only those (1 or 2 players) playing the game gets to see the gameplay so it’s rather hard to get people’s attention who doesn’t know the level of fun they can have with this project.

2月24日、私と明るい家族計画チームメンバーは一緒に展覧会に参加するために秋葉原へ向かいました。朝5時に研究室に来て、9時ぐらいに開催地に到着しました。秋葉原は東京都で一番有名なアニメと漫画の聖地です。毎日外国からの客がたくさん来ます。

この展覧会はアマチュア中心のVR展覧会ですが、沢山のVRゲームがあったり、面白い人が居たり、私は良い日を過ごしました。展覧会の中にとても良いゲームが2つがあったと思います。その2つのゲームは「VR書道」とお姫様を守るゲームでした。VR書道はバーチャルリアリティーで書道することを実現したシステムです。このバーチャルリアリティーで体験者は言葉を書けるし、絵を描けるし、色々な画像を描けます。

お姫様を守るゲームはお姫様を守るために、死神を倒すVRゲームです。ゲームの中で、お姫様を自分の腕を運んで、死神から発射される物を避けて、お姫様に魔法の剣をもらって、死神を剣で倒します。このゲームの背景はとても美しいし、説明は簡単ですが効果的だし、それにとても楽しいので、私は一番好きです。