Mr Berkley

Nov. 2nd, 2013 03:24 pm
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I just made the last new character for the next two parts:

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The character is a modified Bothan Male 01 free Version 1 avatar. The Bothans are a species from the Star Wars universe, but I knew when I saw this AV that was just right for the character of "Mr Berkley" (pronounced BARK-LEE) who's in charge of security at Buggles Trading. When I first tried the avatar I found there was a problem with the jaw (which moves when you chat in SL) and sent a screenshot to the creator. It happened that it'd been rotated the wrong way in the market place version and he sent me a revised version (and also the female Bothan AV as well). I'm also temped to use the Farghul and Giant Besalisk AVs as well (also from the Star Wars universe). The latter'd make a great warehouse labourer, but might have trouble fitting in the lift!

As for Mr Berkley, imagine someone the rougher side of wolverine but with a sense of "pack pride" and very protective about his charges. I made him shorter and changed his colouring to emphasize maturity (though Bothans are supposed to be 1.5m tall).

I start shooting new scenes tomorrow (weather permitting).
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Finished working on a new set of characters called the "Wah-Lees" who are sort of gassy podling aliens who create images of expressions on their head (rather than actually have them). This too a bit of thinking and a LOT of help from the Scription community at the Second Life Forums. At a touch I can change the colour, eye and mouth expressions on each, and also change their hands to match.
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Finished the main build of the "Main Buggles Hanger" set (my name for changes daily). There was still a LOT that could be done to it, but this is a set rather than a permanent structure - it gets rezzed when it's needed for a scene rather than sitting there forever.

Over 1500 prims in this, and 11 linksets (groups of prims). I might have been able to cut this down by 100 prims with use of sculpties and meshes but I would have had to invest in the right tools and learn them first - something that would have added a lot to the construction time. Next time, maybe.

The linksets were: Front Top Deck; Back Top Deck, Middle Top Deck (divied up to circumvent 64m limits); Crane Section, Mezzanine Level, Lower Deck, Stores, Office, Garage, and Basement.

And best of all it's portable and modifiable. I used the "Builder's Buddy" free scripts to make a rezzer. Copies of the linksets are stored in the box in the foreground, and when you touch it you can build them (and other options). Best of all when they're built they are all in the same relative position as when they were copied. You can easily change the position by moving the box, including rotating it! Very cool.

Mostly, the whole thing would be rezzed for long shots where the exterior is seen. But if I'm shooting a scene in the garage only, I only need to rezz that linset, so it's the best of both worlds. This was quite a learning experience for me. I was delayed today in making the rezzer because the Office linkset had something that wasn't copyable. It took me a while to find it, turned out to be a couple of chairs and the texture on the backplate of a sink! Deleted the chairs and replaced the texture and all was fine.
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This is an annual event/project to go with the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR, November 20th).

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Participating contributors draw and publish a relevant webcomic or image for the day (or equivalent date, depending on schedule) with links to other contributors and/or the archive. The main thing is to educate the readership of each person's webcomic or blog about the issues related to TDOR. It doesn't only have to be a webcomic page - it can be an illustration on DeviantArt (or equivalent site), a video, or a prose/poetry piece.The main thing is to increase awareness of TDOR. Afterwards, if you've made a contribution to the Project, please send a copy (with details) to the Archive. See Submission Guidelines for details.

There's also a Event Page for this year so you can remind yourself while using Facebook.
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Been working hard at refining and building things. Today Optimum discovered the right sliding door script (one that doesn't make a door frame go phantom and make you fall to to your death), and decided to salvage some transport and make a control tower out of it (as shown here)! Finicky stuff, and sometimes mistakes can be opportunities. Believe it or not what I've been doing for fun during a short break on the Masters. Loving this.

If you use SL and want to check out the current state of the set (I rebuilt it at least once) go to Vault of Souls (and you might check out the SIM itself, though it is a Mature one). It's all in several layers, because when I do shoots there it will be a lot easier to have the roof off!
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Participating contributors draw and publish a relevant webcomic or image for the day (20th November or equivalent date, depending on schedule) with links to other contributors and/or the archive. Participants don't have to be transgendered to join, just appreciating the tragedy of the lives lost that are memorialized by TDOR is enough. What they do need is a suitable visual artwork that appears on a site (webcomic, blog, Deviant Art type site, Facebook, Live Journal et cetera) read by others. What matters is sharing your concerns in an artistic fashion, so that others can hear of the Transgender Day of Remembrance. Don't forget to send your contributions to the Webcomic Archive as well!

Venus Envy

Jul. 16th, 2012 12:27 pm
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Posted before about Venus Envy, but I thought it was worth repeating. I always liked what the creator did with the webcomic, which focussed on a teenaged trans girl in transition, coping with school and lots of other stuff. But in 2008 it just sort of... ...stopped. Well it was eventually continued, at least the last story was. Here's the links:
Maybe one day it will get continued. Mind you, it is the nature of webcomics that most don't.

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After a night of getting drunk, here's the rest:

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Four more pages under the cut )
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Today I intend to sew up a few loose ends, have a date in Second Life, and get stuck into doing stuff for the Confirmation. This time next week I'll re-start work on Tales of the Galli. It's become obvious to me that I'm actually more productive with the masters stuff, when I do something creative unrelated to it on the weekends. Rather than hinder me, creating my webcomics on Saturday actually helps!

Not sure why this would be, but it's like the difference between me sitting by myself drawing, to my drawing stuff in front of the TV with something I've already seen on in the background (e.g. Daria, Next Generation). I'm happier and more productive doing the latter.

Besides, I have one chapter left in the current story (plus epilogue) and I want to see it through.

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An idea that came up a week ago was changing how I'll be doing two graphic novels for my Masters in Fine Art. One graphic novel is autobiographical and includes five trips I've taken in my life (showing how things have changed in my life over a period of time). The other is an examination of the process of Gender Transition and the issues that surround it, done in a detached and semi academic manor (with a style inspired by the Scott McCloud graphic novels on comic).

At the moment the scheme has been: script them, then draw them, and present the final result in printed form at the end of studies (along with my research paper and exhibition based on the work).

The revised idea is: script them; draw them; upload them as instalments in webcomic format, get reader feedback (and make revisions if need be); and then present the final webcomic version instead of the printed version (along with my research paper and exhibition based on the work).

I rather like the idea of making a webcomic version first, because I already have production skills in that area, and it would integrate it into what I do anyway. Also, it would be something I could show people as a work in progress. Now I fully intend to publish both graphic novels in paper version after the masters is completed (in fact the whole point of the Masters is to get them done). But this brings up issues surrounding them being presented as web comics in the first place. The firs of which is, making sure that one format does not detract from the other, and that I'm not doubling up on work. One solution I think is is produce each webcomic page as a 1/2 landscape part of a full portrait print page:

This is a scheme similar to that used in Asterix and Tin Tin albums, where the originals appeared as 1/2 pages in magazine before being collected in albums. Of course that will only work with panel grids that are even numbered horizontally. Otherwise I may as well just do a full print page per web page. Cutting and pasting two pages into one is a process I'm doing with webcomics that first appeared in Stuff Happens, and are now being reprinted in Seconds. It's very easy to do.

The original artwork is going to be hand drawn in black and white mostly, then converted to vector in Illustrator and probably coloured there. I've been exploring the techniques to do this most of this year. My last artwork, Cutting Edge, was done this way. The net advantage of doing that is better colour control for printing, and rescaling the artwork.

The other issue is access. The biographical work is fairly person and that won't need too much feedback. However the examination of gender transition needs to be accurate, at least as far as our current understanding goes. Some of that will need to be medical, political, academic, and practical. It would work better if I had an audience that could give me feedback as I go, and help correct blunders and gaffs that may come about. I'd want constructive feedback rather than potential flame wars. I'd also rather not have the whole thing open unrestricted to the public until it was properly published. The issue then becomes where to host the webcomic version, so that I can have those controls in place?


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Each year I am keen on both of these events. The following is copied from the relevant websites, and is open to anyone regardless of geographical location.
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Drawing Day - June 4, 2011
One day a year, the world stops to remember that joy we had when we first picked up a pencil and created our first piece of art - that's what Drawing Day is all about. The goal for Drawing Day is simple - to create enough drawings to make some noise worldwide for the sake of art. 2008 was the first year of this initiative. Our goal is definitely a long-shot, but we continue to aim for 1 million drawings worldwide. We have no precise measure to know if we reach this goal. If we come close we will all definitely know. Even if we reach 10% of our goal in the first year of this initiative, it will be a great achievement but we will continue aiming for the magic million. Simply draw, then submit drawings to our website or any of our participating websites.

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Comikazi Challenge 2011 - weekend of 11th June (a long weekend in most of Australia)
The Challenge is to create a comic in 24 hours, in whatever medium you're comfortable in. Use ink, computer graphics, paint, magazine photos, crayons; use paper, bristol board, wacom tablets - it doesn't matter. Every year we have around 60-80 participants and some absolutely amazing stories keep coming out of the challenge. No. Seriously. Have a look for yourself! The site hosting the challenge (Pulp Faction) takes in anywhere from 170,000 to 200,000 page hits during the challenge period every year (sponsors, that means your banners were viewed approximately 22,000+ times during a normal event)!
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I've just created 30 initial pages for Return to Second Life and finished off 7 of them for upload. This is even more than I did for the previous sequence. In both cases I had the help of another person (THANK YOU BARNEY!) and their avatars, and it made a big difference. This time around most of it takes place in a different virtual world, one that isn't as as versatile as Second Life, and I was exhausted and a little frustrated by the end of a 5 hour virtual photo shoot. But - the right images got shot, and because I had (more or less) the story outline in my head, it was easy to put together. New pages get uploaded tomorrow, with a publication rate of one a day.

The remaining 23 pages need text and effects, which I might do after lunch, but for now I need to get off the PC (and eat).

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The Webcomics Tarot Project

Not run by me, just plugging it.

However, that said - I've applied to join with Tales of the Galli, and have picked the cards The Empress (Cybele) and King of Swords (Constantine).

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A screenshot from Firefox, showing the current list of webcomics that I currently read.

I make sure I read them all, I initially sort the list alphabetically and then move the "===============" to the top. Then, after I read a bit of the webcomic, I update the link using the Update Bookmark add-on, and move it to above the line. I don't read any webcomic more than once until all the bookmarks are above the line (and then I reset it again).

Why do it this way? I found when I had an unsorted list, some would get read kmore than once, and some neglected, even though I really liked them. This gives me an even spread of reading regularly updated webcomics.

The OTHER folder has a whole heap of other webcomics that I'll start reading - one day!

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Finally, I may have found an application which is just right for what I want - Sweet Home 3D. Don't get me wrong about the previous applications - they are very powerful when used properly, but Blender has a very steep learning curve, and Sketchup drives me crazy when I discover the bench I thought was on the ground is actually a metre above it! I like to create 3D versions of the buildings and locations that I set my web comics in, so that when I draw the scenes everything is in the "right location". But - most every application I've used is a nightmare to learn. I've tried Blender, Sketchup, and a few home design apps that turned up in the local libraries (and of course when I create comics using Second Life, I try to use the in-world building if I can't scout a location).

Since I mostly want interiors, Sweet Home seems to work well. It's a java app, and can import heaps of extra models from existing websites (including the Google 3D Warehouse). It seems very easy to use. I'm giving it a try, to design a two story tavern in Ancient Rome.

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Afterlife Blues is produced by the same folk that did A MIRACLE OF SCIENCE - yay!
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From Awkward Zombie.

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Didn't go to a counselor, read web comics in the Huxley basement instead. Like Stolen Pixels:

Still don't know about going home. Apart from unresolved stuff, my body aches and I want to fall asleep.

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