Saturday, November 4, 2017

Why I Stopped Drawing


It's not like I intended to, but in practice, that is what happened. There are zero drawings I've published this year, and what I have drawn, has been of no significance.

I guess a partial reason would be my accumulating wrist injuries, but while pain may train me not to draw, in a Pavlovian sense, it's not the primary reason.

At some point, I started tracking how much time I was taking, while drawing. It was a surprising amount. When drawing, I often entered the flow state, lost my sense of time, and often found I had puttered around with a particular drawing for hours, often past midnight.

Now, this is obviously a good, if not a great thing, for an artist, in some sense. Not in a business-sense, perhaps, but creatively. However, I didn't realize that.

Back when I tried to do a comic on a regular weekly schedule, I began tracking my time-use, mainly to make sure I was actually putting in some hours. This had an unfortunate side effect of me noticing a single panel might take me about 8 hours to draw, plus whatever time was required to edit it later on. Considering a single page has on average five panels, this was basically... not unsustainable, but I was also trying to study at the time.

Heh.

I will graduate one of these years. But, I digress.

Now, I'm not saying that you shouldn't track your work, it's just... be aware of potential unintended consequences, and don't aim for the wrong goal.

Lesson learned: Don't try to be efficient in doing something you love. Just be effective, and enjoy.

Some declarations:
Best free traditional animation application for Windows is Plastic Animation Paper 4.0 Pro. Although, Blender's Grease Pencil comes close. Blender's Grease Pencil is also pretty decent, and it has an integrated dope sheet and all. Blender should be great on zooms and pans and such. Also, Blender's 2.8 is due to have some hefty improvements on the 2d side of things.

Best sprite animation application is ASEprite. The thing that comes closest is Piskel. You can work with GraphicsGale, but I don't think it comes close.

Beyond that, humble Paint.Net is decent for a lot of pixel work. I have three versions of OpenCanvas for painting. (Thanks, Ben!)

Krita is still under evaluation. Synfig... it's rendering seems, bad, basically.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

I Got Science in my Eastern Fantasy!

You wanna know what ruined my night's sleep? I'm going to tell you!

So, of late I've gotten to reading Xianxia novels, and I've been a fan of the idea of ascending through sheer effort for a long time. Also, stories about gods and immortals have always been intriguing.

I've also been doing some research on nutrition and longevity, of late, running into the legend of Li Ching-Yuen. Add to this the various revelations about the dangers of gluten and whatnot, and what came to mind was, as follows:

Someone goes to hermitage on a forested mountain top. What do they eat?
They wouldn't have access to grains, and they'd likely scavenge. So they'd live on a diet of mushrooms, roots, berries, herbs, as well as hunted meat. Basically, a diet consisting of superfoods, adaptogens and such.

In addition, they'd be in a rather cold environment, meaning they'd have a lot of brown adipose tissue, participating in altutuide training, and if they happen on a hot spring ( a favourite of your wandering martial artist training on the mountains ) they might also gain the benefits of hyperthermia, such as increased HGH and EPO.

Not to mention, that come spring, they'd be getting access to a seasonal testosterone dosing - pine pollen is basically testosterone - effectively having nature's own hormone replacement therapy, which would benefit them greatly after passing sixty. It may not be a coincidence that the white pine is a symbol of longevity in China.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Doodling something.

Mm... Paper's from a pile of way old print-outs. Might as well use it for something.
There is a definite weakness when using printer paper, when it comes to rendering with pencil, but it doesn't matter much for my purposes right now. I need to do a bunch of studies, to get some modicum of competence and confidence back.

...

Huh. Went through a lot of my old drawings, and I had the strangest thought:
"I can do better than this."

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Dungeons & Dragons.

So. I splurged.

Sure, I could get the PDFs for free, but it's just not the same.
I saved about 35€ over buying locally, so I got them from the Amazon, Dungeon Master's Guide, Player's Handbook, and the Monster Manual.



I tried to participate in the beta test, but I couldn't get a group together because of reason, but I did peruse the playtest packages.

All in all, this is much improved. It's only less fun on a meta-level, because you could utterly wreck the old 3.x games by outscaling anything reasonable, as well as getting specific blanket immunities. However, for actual gameplay, this is much improved. I'll report more once I actually get the books from Amazon.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Creator Existence Failure

So.

Monty Oum, the creator of Haloid, Dead Fantasy and RWBY is dead.

All I knew of him was his name. I had no idea of his character or life.
Yet, his death had an emotional impact. I found that strange, and it took me some thought to figure out why - I mean, it's not like all the things he did also vanished.

Creative people dying... hurts.  They will never make anything more.
As long as they're here, the... potential range of things they might create, still exists.

News like this underline my own character flaws.

There's a great volume of works within me, enough that I am easily paralyzed by just trying to decide what to focus on.

I'm not saying that any of it is any good, or that it's... coherent enough to be easy to get out, or that I have the ability to do so to my satisfaction.

It's the "Poof, gone" which I find unacceptable.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Will it blend?

I think I used this title before.

I am learning new tricks.

It still has it's flaws, but I think it would be usable Firmly in the uncanny valley, though.

So. Blender modelling... check? Some extra work involved with going low poly, although we've covered making bumpmaps from high poly models.
Still need to get animations grokked --- I have a decent idea about texturing by now. After that, Unity.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Getting back into the habit of blogging.

So, I'm participating in a gamedev class. Peachy keen. I'll be learning Blender + Unity3d.

There's a limited, but expanding list of things made with Unity, biggest name I recognized was Wasteland 2.

Blender skills increasing:
Modeling the character took something like two hours, and was completely painless, so that was fun. No hands or head, since I feel I should do those in separate files. Learned how to port meshes between different .blend files, so no problem there.

New monitor, new apartment, old new city.