Monday, November 28, 2005

Chapter 9 Started

Over the four day Thanksgiving holiday, I was able to finish the first three pages of chapter 9. The beginning takes place on the bridge of the Provocateur, which was first shown at the very end of chapter 6. However, for the current chapter, I actually reduced the overall size of the set so I could remove some extra figures (instrumentation, etc.) that might slow down render times. Since none of that was shown in the chapter 6 render, I have the luxury of making the changes now.

I also did enough renders for a preview for chapter 9, which I uploaded to the website. I put the estimated publish date for January 8th, although I’m hopeful I can get it done sooner. However, since I’ll be out of town due to the Christmas holiday at the end of December, I wanted to hedge my bets a little and give myself more time if necessary.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Nav Bar Changes

I finished making the changes I had planned for the website. On the surface, it doesn’t look like there was much to the changes (new nav bar and a couple new pages), but it actually took me quite a while due to an early design choice I had made. Now, after these changes, I will be able to make additional changes (at least as far as the nav bar is concerned) much more easily.

I also finished one of the sets for the next chapter, namely Katherine’s stateroom on the Provocateur. The next chapter is called Durant Blixx and, not surprisingly, all the action takes place on his command ship. Creating Katherine’s room led my wife to comment that it’s like I’m playing with Barbies. And what’s wrong with that? Can’t a grown man play with virtual Barbies?? Anyway . . . I plan to work on a script for the beginning of the chapter today so I can get started on renders ASAP. I have this Thursday and Friday off due to the Thanksgiving holiday, so if I don’t pass out due to too much turkey, I’ll have extra time to work on the chapter. :-)

Friday, November 18, 2005

Chapter 8 Online!

I was able to finish up and publish the new chapter last night. It looks like I’m going to be working this weekend on my day job, so it was important that I get everything done before then (since I didn’t know if I’d have time).

Within the next week or so, I plan to upgrade the website slightly by redoing the navigation bar. I’ve never been very happy with it actually: although it looks fine using Internet Explorer, the bar moves out of place using Firefox (my personal browser of choice). So, when I have time, I’m simply put in a more conventional one that will function better.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Almost Done w/ Ch 8

I finished the last renders for chapter 8 last night, although I still have the post-work (Photoshop) to do. I hope to complete most of that tonight and perhaps tomorrow, depending on my day-job schedule which has been a little hectic of late. Don’t you hate it when the job that earns you money interferes with the stuff that doesn’t pay you anything? ;-)

By the way, the other night while I lay awake, I came up with some ideas that will help tie things together later in the story. I don’t want to go into the details too much, but they involve the new character Maal-Bok and Lady Sophia in a later chapter. Another idea involves the little robot from chapter 8 (named Squirt) and the Magna Ambassador (again, in a later chapter). Although I didn’t necessarily need any of these to tell the story, by adding them I will make the story more believable and interesting.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Enter Maal-Bok

I completed page 11 and the renders on 12 over the weekend. I should only have one more page before being done with the chapter. This means I should publish chapter 8 within the next few days (the weekend at the latest).

For pages 11 and 12, I was using the third set of the chapter (inside Lord Tycho’s manor). I used Stonemason’s gothic construction kit with one of the additional skins that you can get with it. When I started doing the renders however (after the set was finished), I was not happy with how it looked, so I went back to the original textures. I’m still not 100% happy with how the walls react to the lighting, but it’s close enough.

Page 11 also introduces a new character, Maal-Bok. He is important, because of what he could represent in the plot (a possible escalation?). He’s also bad-ass looking which always helps.

Monday, November 07, 2005


Today I was looking at stuff for the second set featured in chapter 8: the interior for Lord Tycho’s manor. It’s actually two sets, one for an exterior shot and another main one for the interior. As originally envisioned, it will have a gothic feel, so lots of stone, etc. I plan to use Stonemason’s Gothic Construction Kit featured on Daz3d for the interior, with some additional furniture that I hope to scrap up from wherever I can find it.

Over the weekend I finished pages 8 and 9, although I think I could’ve done more if I hadn’t procrastinated as much. For the sake of full disclosure, I’ve been playing the City of Villains online game a lot since it was launched last week (and I was playing it in beta testing as well). It doesn’t really impact my work on the comic too much, but whenever I feel stuck, I end up playing the game instead of working on the comic. At the same time, I’ve been procrastinating on the role-playing game for many weeks as well. I have plenty of notes, but I can’t seem to get myself to type any of it up formally. In some ways it’s writer’s block, but in other ways I’m just afraid that it’s all for nothing and nobody would buy the game once it’s done anyway (thus wasting all that time and effort). The fear of failure (or perhaps even the fear of success) is generally my worst enemy when it comes to procrastination.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Andromeda Galaxy

I’ve completed the renders for page 8, and I’ll try to finish the post work tonight, or perhaps start on page 9. I have two vacation days next week that I hope to use for the comic unless my wife wants us to go somewhere (yes, it’s all her fault!).

Speaking of my wife, awhile back she asked me where the humans featured in the story actually come from (and how they relate to Earth). This is the sort of question people like me dread because I hadn’t really thought about it. I preferred to think of them as totally separate from us, sort of in their own parallel universe. Although I’m still leaning that way, I decide this morning that the Imperium is located in the Andromeda Galaxy (approximately 2.9 million light years from the Milky Way). I really don’t know if I’ll even mention that in the story (now or ever), but at least it opens the door to ideas that maybe the humans of the Imperium were taken from Earth at some point (or vise versa) and moved to that far away galaxy, for reasons unknown.