< Piro >
Saturday - April 12, 2008
Sorry about the 2 comic week, I was pretty sick last weekend and it's amazing how that can throw you even more than usual :) I was actually supposed to travel somewhere next week, but given the fact that the flight was with American Airlines and it was on MD-80s with a stop in Chicago... i figured it might be a good idea to postpone that trip for a while.
Oh, and i really should have taken that Danny Choo rant down once April 1st was over - I think some people have been taking it seriously. ^^;; I've been reading Choo's site for a while, and got in touch with him after giving him a cameo in a recent comic. It was a somewhat last minute thing - Danny contacted me about doing it the night before, I said "sure!' and i JUST missed him the next morning after finishing my end of it, which made it a little messed up (it showed up on April 2nd in Japan) but it was fun. Danny's a fun guy, and his site is full of all sorts of interesting... stuff, as well as a lot of good general interest otaku japan stormtrooper weird kinda things. That and he seems to have a thing for excessively dynamic website designs. :P
In case you are really bored and the past four comics just haven't been doing it for you, how about some randomness? :P First off, as i mentioned a few weeks ago, i've actually been working on Warmth to the point where i'm actually producing pages (including re-doing the pages I had originally done back in 2004 - it's disturbing just how bad my old art is) Art issues aside, one thing i've never been happy about with Megatokyo is the way English and Japanese dialogue is handled. The < and > brackets work, but they aren't really an ideal solution. Since warmth also contains a mix of English and Japanese dialogue, i've developed a new approach to showing the difference. English dialogue is shown using ComiCraft's WildWords font in eliptical word bubbles, while Japanese text is shown using ComiCraft's TimSaleLower with rectangular bubbles. The challenge with making something like this work is making things different enough so the reader can easily tell the difference as he/she is reading, yet similar enough so that it's not visually jarring. WildWords is an all capitals font, while TimSaleLower has lowercase letters. This, combined with the different feel of the characters, similar weights, and the bubble shape i think works. The only problem i have with it is the question mark in the TimSale font... it's a little weird, stylized. The solution may be to just change the question mark to the Wildwords one, which seems to work. I COULD go in and modify the font itself, but investing in a font editing program just to change a single character in a single font seems kinda silly. ^^;;
I have been doing some color studies for the warmth characters, and i posted one of Saeko on fredart this morning. I'm getting spoiled - the new Megatokyo site is such a pleasure to work with, and the Wordpress backend on fredart is similarly wonderful... updating the fredart page itself, posting artwork is... horrible. Given the fact that *I* programmed it myself years ago (back in 2000 i think) and given the fact that i was just learning PHP, the fact that my brain does NOT work in logical ways, and that i was not using any sort of database to store data... i can't complain too much. It's amazing that it still works as well as it does. Most of the funtionality of the site is based on using folders with each image controled by a text file. When you access the site, the structure of the galleries and other elements of the site are based on functions that count the .txt files in the data directories, and each data file gives the appropriate information to form the art page itself. Here's an example of the one i created for today's post, in a file called co000041.txt in the co_data folder:
41 co co_graphics/sakeo2008-color.png co_graphics/s-sakeo2008-color.jpg 650 937 april 12.08 saeko  One of several color studies i've done recently
on a newer version of Saeko for this years
Warmth production. Yes, the project is finally
actually underway. ^^;; The colors are actually
fairly bland here, i was working more on the
dynamic color of the hair, still not really there
yet. There are five or six colors in there. COPIC marker on Kodak Premium Matte Photo
Paper, lines printed via HP B1980 printer warmth fred-rin 12_author_url 13_button_url 14_button_size_h 15_button_size_w 7 no
Works great, unless you type something in wrong, which happens a lot. It can also be borked if you forget to upload something, or put something in the wrong place. It's a pain, and gives me a headache just thinking about it sometimes. Thankfully, the Webmonk33z (or should i call them 'core'? i need to ask them about that) are working with me to redesign and rebuild the site. Given how well Megatokyo is working, i'm looking forward to it. Oh, there will be a few rants here and there from them regarding the site and other things related to it, so don't be suprised if you see a new name or two show up in the rant columns from time to time.