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< Piro >

hair color layering...

"studies and tweaks"

Saturday - April 12, 2008

[Piro] - 13:00:00 - [link here]

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 [08]
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.

< Dom >

"Gaming in the Now"

Friday - May 2, 2008

[Dom] - 18:58:37 - [link here]

Over the past 4 days, I've been asked various flavors of the question "Have you played GTA yet?" at least twice a day.  The answer was, and will continue to be, no.  But I feel like I should explain this with more than just "I don't like playing Grand Theft Auto games," since it's as much a matter of philosophy as it is a matter of not being as big a fan of the sandbox game as the other 6 million of you who've bought the game already.

Back when I was a college student and regularly had 18 hours of free time a day, yeah I spent a lot of time playing the newest and best games.  I had the time to finish games within a week and move on to the next (or, in some cases, spend 120 hours playing Blitzball because I'm a sucker for fake sports).

Now I'm "old," (yeah, yeah, I'm 26, that's old compared to my other point of reference at 17) and I only get a few hours of gaming a day at most, so my gaming schedule has become a lot more loose and languid.  I need to finish games or abandon them completely before I start a new game, and this process takes a horribly long time in some cases.

Do you know when I started playing Devil May Cry 4?  Mid-March, a month and a half after it came out.  It took me that long partially because the game came out while I was in Germany on a business trip, but also because it was part of The Pile of games I still haven't finished.  I wanted to finish Culdcept Saga and Advance Wars: Days of Ruin before devoting my time to DMC 4, and while I felt a little bad about leaving a game I adored so much on the shelf, it was no less fun when I finally pulled it out of The Pile and played it from beginning to end without other games interrupting.  I didn't lose anything by waiting those 6 weeks, and it was just as enjoyable on March 24th as it would have been on February 5th.

Do you know what I'm playing right now?  Disgaea 3. That's another game that came out two months ago, but I didn't get around to it until now.  It is most likely going to eat the next three weeks or so, and when that's done, I'll move on to another game.

After The Pile has finally dwindled down to nothing, I may find some time to pick up Grand Theft Auto 4 and spend some quality time with it to see if I like it (the last GTA I played for any significant amount of time was GTA2, before the driving controls made me seasick).

Anyway, ramblings over.  The point is, I haven't played GTA4 yet, and even if I owned the game I wouldn't have started it yet.  Please stop asking me what I think of it - I'll get there in my own time.  Maybe.  If Gears of War 2 hasn't come out by that time...

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