Thursday, September 28, 2006

Black's Mother

I worked on page 9 for the last couple of days. Again, if you look at the page itself, it doesn’t look like much, but putting it all together took a long time, mostly because I wasn’t satisfied with it for much of the time. First, I didn’t like the text that I wrote, so I rewrote it several times. Then, I wasn’t happy with the images themselves and redid about 80% of that. However, I finally got done with it last night so that’s done with. The irony of course is that readers will spent maybe 30 seconds on the page and then go on to the next one.

Anyway, here is one of the images: it’s of Black’s mother (pregnant) and imitates a frame from a video – apparently found by Magnus at some point.

Monday, September 25, 2006

"Awful, but Good"

That's how my wife described page 8. It looks like a pretty simple page, but it actually took me several hours of tinkering before I was done. In Poser, I did two renders of Tokai (one with the goggles and one without). I then took a render of the goggles by themselves, because I needed to turn the lenses around to give the illusion that it had been cut in half. Finally, I did some other renders of what would become the blast mark, but in retrospect, I should’ve just done that part in Photoshop. Speaking of which, I created the flowing blood with a simple wet brush in PS, but I wasn’t satisfied with how the blood looked. Basically, it lacked texture. After reading a tutorial online, I used one of the steps (using the cloud filter) to create a pattern that I then applied to the blood in the shot. Doing that really turned it from something mediocre to something that I could be “proud” of – keeping in mind, of course, that I had created a picture of a bleeding dead guy. ;-)

Saturday, September 23, 2006

End of the Beginning

Last week I only managed one page, but this time I think I’ll have two ready by Sunday night. Page 7 and 8 will be the end of the so-called Prologue of the Born in the Grave story where I more or less introduce the world to Magnus Black. Where on page 6 I include some graphic violence, on page 7 I throw in some swearing to set the mood. Nothing too much – nothing you wouldn’t hear during an episode of NYPD Blue.

PS: Since I never seem to put any images in my blog from my comic, I’m going to try and get into the habit of doing that. Thus . . .

Monday, September 18, 2006

Bloody Sunday!

I posted only one page yesterday (number six), but it was by far the bloodiest page so far. As promised, the Magnus Black stories were going to be gory, and I followed through by showing a guy’s head getting blown out by a plasma bolt. Of course, in the Alexander story, such a blast would just have been shown as a nifty little explosion (small and lacking blood), but not so anymore. Although what I showed was no worse (perhaps even less) than what other comics have, I’m still not sure how people might react (if at all). As for the process of creating the effect, I looked at some blood splatter tutorials online and then did a few things of my own (using a gauss filter on one blood layer). I also used the clone feature to elongate the victim’s hair to imitate the blast. Anyway, this is my first real attempt at this so hopefully I will improve with practice.

As for the fact that I only got one page done last week is due to my work schedule again. I really only had one or two evenings to get stuff done at home. The rest of the time I was either working too late or I was too tired (or both). Not sure how this week will go but we’ll see . . .

Monday, September 11, 2006

Change to Page Nav

I added pages four and five to the site last night. I also redid the navigation a bit for the story. Before I had the words Previous and Next listed predominately on either side of the list of page numbers. Since the list of numbers was mostly empty this early in the story, the Previous/Next seemed to just hang there. To make things look a little crisper, I removed them and simply added a <> sign next to the actual page number (for whatever page you happened to be on).

By the way, I got my new Dell and I spent Friday moving my files over from my old computer. As for the new computer and Poser, I think scenes load faster, but I don’t think the increased RAM has increased the speed of rendering much. Perhaps I shouldn’t have expected that, but it would’ve been nice. On the other hand, I now have lots and lots of space (250 Gig worth) to save my files! ;-)

Monday, September 04, 2006

Born in the Grave Now Online

After more than a month, I was able to get pages two and three done over the weekend, which was the minimum number I wanted before posting the story to the website. So, last night I added Born in the Grave to the site, updating the main page as well as the Nav Bar. I’m still hopeful that I can update the story with two or three new pages each week (on Mondays). I’m told my work schedule will be a little more sane now (yeah right!), so I might even be able to follow through on my promises!

Friday, September 01, 2006

"Labor Day"

I’ve worked eleven 12-hour days in a row, but I will have tomorrow off. I then start another 6 days on Sunday, including Monday which is the ironically named Labor Day holiday.

I will do my best to work on the new story tomorrow since I don’t know when I’ll be able to do any work after that (perhaps next Saturday).

Yesterday I was day dreaming about working on a computer game again. I imagined having an office with some cubicles filled with programmers, artists, and testers. Nothing too big of course – maybe 20 or so – but I know that will never happen. Of course, the same could be said for becoming a millionaire etc. It’s part of adulthood to know that not all dreams can be realistically achieved. Not to be depressing, but that is the way of life.