< Piro >
Tuesday - September 3, 2002
(quick note: the interview over at the pulse is now up. Thanks Jen.)
The other day i finished writing up some answers for an interview for The Pulse, and one of the questions had to do with what artwork I am currently 'digging'. :) Ah, what a great term. It's actually very descriptive of what I am currently doing with a much of the artwork i've been collecting recently.
I've been using the time between the end of Chapter 2 and the start of chapter 3 for several things. First off, I've been working on scripts, outlines and organizational stuff for chapter 3. The hardest part about doing MT is the scripting - writing is hard work - but this work will effect what I do over the next few months, so it is worth the effort to try to get things in order before i start. I know where Megatokyo is going and I allow the story to take its natural paths, but sometimes I feel like i just didn't spend enough time hammering out the details, and a lot of Megatokyo is a little sloppy. Chalk it down to growing pains, hopefully things will get better.
The other thing i've been doing is trying desperately to figure out just what my color rendering style is going to be. Right now, i don't feel like i have a style. I've colored a lot of images, some more successfully than others, but none of them really seem to be 'rendered' - most are just 'my pencil sketches in color'. Why is this a problem suddenly? Remember that book that's coming out in December? I have to come up with a cover for it (the one you see on the Ironcat site is just filler - the real cover for Volume 1 is still in my head) The cover art for the Megatokyo book has to be as well done as i can possibly do it, and i have to say, I'm a little nervous about it.
Part of doing this involves trying to figure out why i like some of the pieces i like. Delving into the coloring of a piece means that you have to look past the drawing itself, and see if there is something about the coloring method that makes the image better than if it was just a sketch. A lot of coloring efforts are pretty non-eventful - merely fleshing out a drawing in the established colors (anime cell coloring tends to be like this - kind of a 'paint by numbers' approach). While this can make for great peices of artwork, it isnt the effect i am after.
Most of the work that falls into this category tends to be CG events in Ren'ai games ('ren'ai games' = dating sims / visual novels) where these images are pretty much the 'rewards' or 'special scenes' you get by getting to particular points in the game. Since players are supposed to have worked hard to get to these points, it's pretty important that these peices be more than just simple cell colorings, and in good games they are.
The game i am anticipating the most right now (big suprise) is a game called 'Clannad' from Key. Key is, of course, the company behind the Kanon and Air games that i'm sure all of you are sick of hearing about by now. Yes, i know, 'Clannad' is the name of a music group, but the game has nothing to do with that. Now that we are getting closer to the release date for the game, a lot of CG art is starting to pop up in various gaming magazines (the image in my rant header comes from one such image - that's Furukawa Sanae, Nagisa's mom. Ok, so i like girls that are more in my age bracket, so sue me :P) Cuteness of the character design aside, there's a level of detail and 'rendering' of the CG images for Clannad that impresses me to a great extent.
Looking at an existing piece of artwork for clues on how to attain somewhat of the same effect can be both frustrating and depressing. Just seeing the end result doesn't show you any technique, and you can only make up your own ways to get there. There is also the added difficulty of the fact that my technique is so... sketchy. I've struggled with ways of solidifying the lines and boundaries of things, but so often i feel like the drawing looses something when i refine it...
So, my efforts to develop some sort of coloring style that does what i want it to do is still in the research stages. Frustrating? Yes, but if i can figure this out, it will be worth it.
Of course, there are fantastic CG pieces in games by other companies. Games by Leaf, Studio E-go, F&C, Alice Soft, Neko Neko Soft, etc - there are more than i can list (note, all of these sites contain adult content, so don't visit if you are under 18 - i'll have Dom and Ed hunt you down and wash your eyes out with soap if you do).
Oh, Jennifer tells me that part one of the interview will go live Tuesday, so check it out. I was my usual verbose self, unfortunately. Poor Jen - thanks for your patience with my inability to shut the hell up. :)
A few things coming in the next few days include the launch of the new Megatokyo store - which if everything goes well will go live on Wednesday, so save your pennies, these new shirts are pretty cool (I honestly think they are - I'm very happy with the t-shirt designs and how they came out)
I am still trying to pull together a decent con report for Otakon, including such things as lining up pictures and whatnot... promise that will be worth it.
Speaking of cons, i've had some disturbing reports from our felid operatives in New York that there was a sighting of a Piro cosplayer at AXNY... These photos here and here have surfaced over at Fansview.com.
Ok, i'm officially scared. Some young lady is cosplaying as me cosplaying as my character who is cosplaying as ruri who is cosplaying as... some kinda cat. I'm sorry, even just the gender issues here are more than i want to think about...
My god, what would all my family back in New York think... thank god they don't know anything about all this stuff...
(all kidding aside, a big thank you to the cosplayer pictured there - i'm honored that you would spend the time to go to the effort of making and wearing that outfit, never mind the, er, embarrassment. Trust me, i know. :)