Wednesday, May 25, 2005


I’ve completed the post work on pages 4 and 5. However, I didn’t work on the comic at all last night. Considering I’m already behind, this brings up an interest point for me: Guilt!

Contrary to what my wife thinks, people do indeed check my site for updates and actually seem to show an interest in the story. This is why I take seriously trying to get each new chapter done in a timely manner. This is also why I sometimes feel pressure to work on the comic even when I don’t particularly “feel” like it. And when I don’t work on it, I feel a twinge of guilt for those who are waiting on me. From the stats on the website, I can see when people (although I don’t know who exactly) check the final page of the previous chapter or the preview pages, apparently to see if a new chapter has been added. Every time I see that I think “D’oh – it’s coming, it’s coming!” This is not a bad thing, mind you, and in fact it motivates me a lot. Still, I try not to stress myself out about it either, even though I do anyway. ;-)

Monday, May 23, 2005

Dueling Poses

Although I got the renders done for pages 4 and 5, I found myself having difficulty with the dueling poses. I had hoped to use some pre-made ones either from or, but neither had any that were suitable. So, I had to do them by scratch, which is time consuming. Since the rest of the chapter IS just a big sword fight, this is going to delay me even more. Nevertheless, I hope to get the chapter out only a week behind schedule (June 12th instead of 6th).

On the bright side, I’ve added trees to the background so at least that’s looking better. For the renders I already did, I had to go back and add the trees in Photoshop. This was a little tricky, but not too bad. It made me feel good to be able to do it in the first place, since it made me feel like I was actually able to use the software “well.” It’s even possible I’ve actually learned a few things since I started using the software. :-)

I was also plagued by doubts about the dialogue. I went back to my original unfinished novel to see what I had written for this scene. Although I don’t intend to use all of it, or even most, I can at least pick and choose a bit. Basically, as Rupert and Alexander are fighting, they are also sparing verbally. As their debate goes back and forth, so too does the duel itself. I’m hoping to duplicate this in the comic if possible.

Friday, May 20, 2005


The setup work took a hit when I tried to do my first render: basically I realized that there were too many trees in the garden, which slowed each render time to a snail’s pace. Since I will need to do a lot of extra renders due to the action that will be taking place (the sword duel), I realized that I must removed some of the trees or I would never get this chapter done in time. As it is, I still may need to delay the release a week or so (currently scheduled for June 6th).

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Setup Continuing

The setup I talked about last time is taking a little longer than expected, but I am happy with how it’s turning out. The rest of the chapter takes place in a walled garden, but the original models I bought were a little sparse, so I’ve been filling it out a bit. Using a program called Bryce, I’ve also created an image for the backdrop. The garden came with one already, but I didn’t like it. I had hoped to use the same backdrop I used for the first part of the chapter, but that didn’t look good either.

Anyway, the setup is now almost complete: I just need to finish up a few things. I’m hopeful that I can get at least one or two renders done tonight then, if I’m not too tired.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Back from Vacation

I’ve returned safely from my vacation, so I can now get back to working on chapter 4. Pages 1-3 are done, and the rest of the chapter is a prolonged sword duel between Alexander and Rupert. I will need to do some setup tonight and download some sword models. Hopefully I can get started on some actual renders by tomorrow night. ;-)

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

The Benefits of Stepping Back

I finished pages 1 and 2, and I hope to get page 3 done before the weekend when I leave for a week-long vacation. I had been taking a long time completing the post-work for the last two renders on page 2 due to the complexity of the composition. Basically, Master Shakkar is talking about when the Imperium invaded his home planet and these two renders show scenes from that invasion. After finishing the second render, I decided to trash the first one. It just looked bad compared to the second one once I was done with it. However, I was able to redo the first render in only an hour by completely reworking it (ie: showing something completely different). In short, I backed away from my original vision of that render and went about it a new way, which I think looked better. Perhaps it’s ironic that I can work very hard on something over a long time and then, after stepping back from it so to speak, I can redo it completing very quickly.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Chapter 4 Started

The renders for page 1 of chapter 4 are done, as well as several renders for page 2. There are a lot of items in this first scene so each render is taking a long time to complete. On the other hand, the renders themselves look very nice, if I do say so myself. :-)

Due to a lack of interest, I have removed the Forums from the site. Since there is no forum, there is no need for the contest I had planned either. In short, both the forum and the contest were more of a distraction than anything. However, I am keeping the Store since that requires no interaction by me. It basically runs itself.

When I published chapter 3, I put an ad under Drama on the site. Normally I put the ad under Science Fiction, but I wanted to see what kind of response I would get with something else. Although I had expected the results to be somewhat less, I must say the traffic to the site has been much less than I envisioned. Moving forward, I will probably just stick with Sci-Fi instead.