Friday, May 31, 2013

It's All My Brother's Fault

He's a great distraction. I'm not saying that just because he's taller than me. Although it adds to the amusement factor.

Um, so. My brother has three entrance exams around here - I moved to Tuusula, which is near Helsinki, a bit over a year ago. He's been living with me for a week. It's felt expensive, although I'm not sure if that's factually true. I've bought him some food, and there's been a few extra trips made to Helsinki, and it all adds up.

If my monetary situation was a bit different, I wouldn't really care, but... things changed for me a while back. I'm in a bad place mentally, slipping slightly towards depression. That being said, even when I've failed in my blogging or writing, I have managed to go to the gym or the pool every day.

So, a bunch of bad news. I'm not completely apathetic yet, though.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Thinking Positive

...On the upside, I've found out the limits of my endurance, as they currently stand.
I wrote two pages today, sketched a little, so in a way I'm only behind by one page in writing... but that's not the same. I didn't really write anything for two days, and I didn't really draw anything yesteday. I did draw and write today, but nothing bloggable .Yet.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

This will not do. But it must.

Good news, I'm expermenting and learning as much as I can, in regards to drawing.
Bad news, some days, it feels like a chore.

Today's drawing was most likely inspired by my brother watching Tiger and Bunny, or...Mm, not sure. I do like something about the whole high contrast rough look thing. Also, Matei's drawings in this video.

That being said, I still feel Sargent's paintings are gorgeous too. I'm also quite fond of Niklas Janssen's style - as well as a fan of his tutorials.

There's something of a pattern, alternating with digital and pencil. I think it may be a good idea. Maybe I should also drop animation clips there every x days? Hm.

I failed in writing yesterday. I write extra today, but it's not the same thing.

So, my brother is visiting. He's gotten through Tenchi, Isekai no Seikishi Monogatari, and is just starting on Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann.

Hm. I feel like designing more characters, suddenly.

Monday, May 27, 2013

I Fight On! // This is definitely something I don't even


So, I was out and about all of today, so getting something drawn got... a mite challenging. So...
Okay, drawing this was easy enough, but the end result is too workmanlike for my taste. Still, it's something. I have no idea what's going on in there, though. Some sort of a crossing guide for tentacle insect things?

I still have today's writing to do. I didn't transcribe it today, either. I've averaged about one page per day, so that's... okay. Yes.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

A Tiny Pointless Animation.

There are two parts to an animation: The motion, and the image. This is just the motion, clearly. Toolchain was PAP - Export individual frames - Paint.Net with GIF plugin.

A total of 37 frames, which is about 3 seconds in twos. One of my bigger problems is doing consistency and camera pans. My timings are far from perfect, but I can do them, if necessary.

If this doesn't work, I'll have to go and put it up in Youtube, I guess. Or try Blogger's embedded video thingy. AVI created with Virtualdub, although from the GIF. My toolchain is not all the way there, yet.

Youtube has some interesting things, naturally, such as Animator's Survival Kit clips, as well as plenty of Glen Keane clips.

Zero no Tsukaima has god-awful animation, by the way. The character designs are fine and such, but I really noticed the low quality when watching Princess no Rondo.

John Singer Sargent and OpenCanvas.

John Singer Sargent is one of my favourites. I'm also very out of touch with OpenCanvas. Tragically, I started painting with a resolution that was way too low, so this ended up being pretty much pixel painting later on.

I initially wanted to study Sargent's pencils, but this turned up, and since I did intend to do it with OpenCanvas, I though I'd try just painting it.

It... didn't end up being that good a practice, due to the too low resolution.

The source was a painting called "Louise Burckhardt aka Lady With a Rose". Is it just me, or does she totally look like someone who could be the Doctor's companion?

I was happy with today's writing; I will need to start transcribing  the initial drafts to computer. The writing itself is completely horrible, but that's what editing is for, right.

Today failed, scheduling-wise, really.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Worm Fanart: Skitter

Meet Skitter. 
She can control every single arthropod within half a mile radius, perfectly. 
She can make wasps sting your eyes, spiders crawl into your lungs, and spin webs. 
She can see and hear through the insect eyes, and sense what they touch. 
She breeds black widows, 
She made her costume out of Darwin's bark spider's silk, which is the toughest biological material ever studied, making her somewhat bulletproof. Even when she's not hit in the armor. 

I wasn't quite satisfied with the fan art I've seen of Skitter - none of it displays how terrifying she can be from an objective point of view. 
The skirt and mantle were originally an improvised costume made out of scraps of spider silk, but since it offers an extra layer of protection, it seem she's taken to wearing them into potentially dangerous situations.
Overqall, Im satisfied. Still messy, but I have some interesting things going material-wise. Shoes are just thrown in there, though.

Also: Hey, I'm on time! It's still two and a half hours to midnight!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Early to sleep. Also, I like writing in cafés.

I gotta get to bed early, and I was somewhat satisfied with this, so this is what I'm posting. Um.

I've found out that I can get much more written with a pencil, in a notebook, preferrably in a café somewhere. The output is very first-drafty, but I have to transcribe it to a computer at some point anywhere, so I get a minor edit step at that point. I'm not writing a whole lot, yet - I think I average about a page per day - but it's still something more-or-less consistent.

I have one story idea.
Wait, I lie. I have, um, five-ish, I think, at this point, but there's one in particular that I think has a beginning and an end.

I want to get it written down - it'll be about, ten-ish pages when done, I think. Less than twenty, in any case. Point is getting something done relatively fast - I'll do at least a couple of edit cycles on it, too. Still, it's not my favourite idea. I'll start working on something full-length after I'm done. I'm not entirely sure yet, what... but I'll make it painfully honest. It's the only way an inept writer such as myself can create something compelling.

I was thinking about the parallels between drawing and writing, or the lack thereof... but there is one - an that is coming up with stuff. While writing, you think of an item, character quirk, name, something you want to use. Similarily you come up with things while drawing - outfit, accessory, shape.

So, basically, coming up with story elements has similarities with concept art. So... story concepts to concept art parallels?

Shikkari, Shikkari. Also, a Punch Line, of Sorts.

I was looking at "On Writing" and this popped up from the early parts:
     But there is a simple rule of thumb to help you decide that. Viewpoints belong to the characters who are the most deeply, emotionally involved in whatever is at stake in the scene. When you're wondering which character should have the viewpoint in any given scene, all you have to do is to pick the character who has the most to lose. THAT person is the one who is going to have the strongest goal, and his pursuit of the goal will be fertile ground for the best conflic
I ended up playing Diablo III during the afternoon, and then I went to the gym, so that took a lot of my time and energy for today - that is,

I really need to get a grip here. Meaning, get my commitment for drawing & writing done daily, as well as physical exercise. Apparently my cholesterol is wildly high. Thus, gym.

So, let's talk about today's drawing.

It's clearly some sort of a fighting.... person, wearing a clothy type vest and fistguards. The hair shine is too glaring, I do like the picture-right side shoulder, though. Body is too messy, needs flattening.

I also need some reference for drawing toned bodies. Something of a issue, as right now I'm choosing to draw in a location away from my computer. Well, except when working with OpenCanvas, naturally... but I don't really have anything to show for that, yet.

The head was interesting - the current version is HUGE compared to what I initially pencilled down, but it's looking much better than what I had there initially. I'm not sure if the angle reads properly, though.
Maybe I should draw some still situations from some sort of a fighting match, if I want to put some more work into this specific theme.

My all around goal right now is improving and regaining my skills.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

No inspiration today.

well, not exactly true. This drawing was basically random lines, which I followed to make forms and trying to end up with something not nonsensical.
Also, I sometimes draw really skinny bodies for characters.

This is pretty much junk, but there IS something I like about this drawing, otherwise I wouldn't have posted it. It has... some  energy and a bit of three-dimensionality which I find somewhat compelling. The silhouette isn't all that strong,though.

I played a bit of Diablo III and then ended up chatting afterwards, so I didn't have much time to draw or write today. I did give OpenCanvas a spin, but that produced nothing I could approve of. I did consider posting some of my old Oekakis, but the point isn't in posting something - It's in working my skills.

So, um. I guess I'm trying to write 'sufficiently' here, too. However, blogging or chatting is very different from storycrafting.

I have this whole big thing about the Silver Millennium I've -- I've actually written, but into a notebook, with a pencil. I do intend to post it at some point. Well, probably.

I may have to rely on drawing some fan arts. In the off chance that I get more than one image done per day, I'll create a backlog so that the images come out in sequential days. I'm trying to use the Seinfield method here. In this blog. Now.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Maharis, The Witch in the Tower [3.x]

Whether it was something in her blood, or the circumstances of her power awakening, Maharis was bound to Death ever since she climbed out of the plague burial pit. 
As her arcane powers grew, her lifeforce waned, replaced by an unnatural vitality. Yet, she remained alive. Seeing an inevitable doom approaching, when all of her lifeforce would be gone, she desperately sought ancient lore to combat the grip of unlife. Whichever realm of death had made a claim for her, she had no desire to enter.
Her doom couldnt' be stopped. Seeking knowledge, she became more powerful, and more able to see uses for the unnatural energy within her. 
For a time, she despaired. 
She widened her search, learning everything and anything of her condition. If she could not remain alive, at the very least, she could anchor herself to the world, forever escaping wherever the fell force was trying to drag her.
Eventually, she found a way to cling to a semblance of life by fashioning a locket, which she made nigh-indestructible, layering magics upon magics unto it. Within, she hid her soul. 
Eventually, what little life remained in her body was lost. Yet, she didn't stop. Her soul safely hidden within a phylactery, within a locket, the reaper did not come for her. 
Her arcane might ever growing, she now resides in a tomb of her own making - a spire of black stone; A cyclopean needle within the city of Necropolis. 
Female Lich Dread Necromancer 20/Mage of the Arcane Order 7 (CR 27)
LE Medium Undead (human)
Init 9; Senses darkvision 60 ft., See Invisibility, Detect Magic, Arcane Sight ;
Languages whatevr
AC 41, touch 24, flat-footed 34
(+7 Dex, +7 Armor, +10 natural, +5 deflection, +2 Foresight)
hp 290 (27 HD); DR 15/Bludgeoning and Magic Half Damage(shielded)
Immune poison, cold, electricity, sonic, polymorph, mind, sleep, stun, paralysis, critical hits, disease, death, nonlethal, ability drain, energy drain, breathe, eat, sleep
Resist fire 30; Foresight
Fort 10, Ref 24, Will 18 (+1 from luckstone)
Speed 30 ft. (6 squares)
Melee Touch +13, 1d8+5 + Paralysis(DC 32)
Ranged +21 for spells
Space 5ft., Reach 5 ft.
Base Atk 13, Grapple 13
Atk Options Charnel Touch, Scabrous Touch, Enervating Touch(swift, Fear Aura vs. panic. Will for shaken, Metamagic(empower, quicken)
Special Actions: Contingency, Draw from Spellpool, Multispell X2
Combat Gear: Belt of Battle, Bracers of Arcane Freedom
Dread Necromancer Spells Known (CL 28th):
Base DC: 22, 23 Necromancy
9th(5/day)—Energy Drain, Imprison Soul, Mass Harm, Plague of Undead, Wail of the Banshee
8th(7/day)—Create greater undead, Horrid wilting, Mass inflict critical wounds, Symbol of death, Blackfire
7th(8/day)—Avasculate, Control Undead, Destruction, Finger of Death, Greater harm, Mass inflict serious wounds, Song of discord, Vile Death
6th(6/day)—Acid fog, circle of death, create undead, eyebite, geas/quest, Harm, mass inflict moderate wounds, planar binding, waves of exhaustion, Aura of terror
5th(7/day)—Blight, Cloudkill, Fire in the Blood, Greater dispel magic, Insect plague, Lesser planar binding, Magic jar, Mass inflict light wounds, Nightmare, Oath of blood, Slay living, Summon undead V, Undeath to death, Unhallow, Waves of fatigue,
4th(8/day)—Consumptive Field, Animate dead, bestow curse, contagion, death ward, dispel magic, enervation, Evard's black tentacles, fear, giant vermin, inflict critical wounds, phantasmal killer, poison, summon undead IV
3th(8/day)—Crushing despair, death ward, halt undead, inflict serious wounds, ray of exhaustion, speak with dead, summon undead III, Vampiric touch
2th(9/day)—Blindness/deafness, command undead, darkness, death knell, false life, gentle repose, ghoul touch, inflict moderate wounds, scare, spectral hand, summon swarm, summon undead II
1th(9/day)—bane, bestow wound, cause fear, chill touch, detect magic, detect undead, doom, hide from undead, inflict light wounds, ray of enfeeblement, summon undead I, undetectable alignment, chill of the grave
Abilities Str 10, Dex 24, Con -, Int 16, Wis 14, Cha 34
Special Qualities undead traits, , familiar, scry on familiar,
share spells
Feats 2x Multispell, Corpsecrafter(+4 str, +2HP/HD undead), Rapid Metamagic, Empower, Quicken, Cooperative, SF:Necromancy, Undead Leadership, Eschew Materials, Ignore Material Components, Destruction Retribution(undead explode 1d6/1d6per2HD 10ft burst, Ref 15 half)
Skills (roughly 53/390 points) Concentration +42, knowledge(arcana) +33,
knowledge(religion) +33, spellcraft +33, Hide +45
Possessions Combat Gear plus +5 tome, +5 manual (read), Haversack, Luckstone, Ioun Stone, Orange Prism, +5 Anchoring Leather Armor of easy travel, improved agility, masking and fire resistance, greater, Belt of Battle, Bracers of Arcane Freedom, +5 Ring of Protection, Amulet of nat. armor +5, Broom of flying roughly 70K GP
Advancement by class levels; Favored Class Dread Necromancer
Death Throes: 28d8 burst, 30ft,
Spellcasting Short Range 165 ft. Medium Range 380 ft. Long Range 1520 ft.
Daily Spells Death Throes, Energy Immunity(Sonic, Acid), Foresight, Death Ward on Imp
Contingency If HP drops below 100, Ghostform
Permanency Arcane Sight, Detect Magic, See Invisibility, Tongues, Read Magic
Belt of Battle: +2 init, 3 charges renewed at dawn
Activation: Swift
1 charge = 1 Move action
2 charges = 1 Standard Action
3 charges = 1 Full-round action
Bracers of Arcane Freedom Activation: Swift. 2/day automatic still spell

Tactics: Hang back, nuke. Blackfire on self and undead allies. Avasculate, Exhaustion, Acid Fog.
Phylactery: Hidden within the Amulet of Natural Armor. A kernel of Hardened Adamantite, with permanent Nondetection and a fake Magic Aura on it.

Cohort: Shield Other:
Human Vampire Cleric 5/Crusader 1/Ruby Knight Vindicator 7

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Hair Today. Also, Eyes.

Elder Venus, Incognita and, uh, some random character.

My post titles are annoyingly apropos.
I'm getting some of my skill back, but I've found that I want to learn some specific techniques, when it comes to depicting materials, textures and such. I may do some studies next, perhaps.

One interesting thing I've noticed - especially with pencil - is to use somewhat cartoony level of realism, but to draw details such as reflections and texures very realistically, albeit with rough enough style that you can see the pencil strokes.

So, on my drawing craft queue:

  • Fan arts
  • Animating a bit
  • Learning new techniques.
I'm also looking for a RPG gaming group locally. It's been a year since the last time I had a chance to play, more or less.

I'm, uh, also trying my hand at writing fiction. I'm not completely awful, but I am pretty bad. It's another thing I just kind of want to take a stab at, at this point. There are strong parallels between designing roleplaying adventurers and writing - the storytelling is very similar, but writing has the actual writecraft aspect to it, as well as the fact that in roleplaying games, other peoples are playing the part of characters, while the GM just has to prepare the setting, play the supporting characters, design plots.... Come to think of it, that's already quite a lot of work. Still, it's essentially similar to the prep-work one might do for a longer story - making notes of appearing characters, preparing locations, making sure things are kept consistent. That sort of a thing.

Hmm. Parallel between Elder Gods and Elder Senshi.... 

Draw! Draw like the WIND!

Okay, so... It's a bit past midnight here, but I still wanted to do something for yesterday. I spent the last hours of yesterday trying to play QWOP. You can Google it, if you're interested.

So... folds suck. Still, practice good.

My initial gesture of the face was good, but I ruined it, A left-side distortion too, but there's some stuff that I very nearly like. No idea who the character is. Maybe she'll grow into someone.

I read some Empowered today. Adam Warren's pencil skills are completely mindblowing. The story is also kind of interesting, although it progresses at a nice, very very slow pace.

I want to draw Skitter, I have an idea, even if I'm not entirely sure how I'll pull it off, yet.

I thought up a fantasy race today.

Basically, imagine a hirsute, rugged race who are curious and inquisitive, who build very rough yet perfectly functional items and buildings.
This race grows to full adulthood in two years, and an individual rarely lives older than twelve. They're a bit clumsy, but strong. Typical birth is twins or triplets.

Basically, I began imagining a race, that would be to humans as humans typically compare to elves. They breed terrifyingly fast, and they don't really build to last, from a human's perspective - after all, something that lasts 5-6 years is half of an individual's lifetime.

I just wanted to get that out of my brain, so there you have it.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Galactic Destroyer Beast Landing Sequence Continued

 I'm especially liking the first two frames here
I couldn't leave it entirely unfinished, now could I?

I had some scanner issues, the last image should use the correct settings, now. I think I drew this out to satisfy my animation bug - I do relapse every now and then. It might a sequence I might actually have some success in animating. I've done walk cycles, attacks, idle animations and such, but not much in the way of successful sequences. If I do, I'll probably go for Graphire + Plastic Animation Paper 4, which is free these days.

Also, Onepunch-Man's  - specifically the version drawn by Murata Yuusuke - decompressed sequences are somewhere in my head, too. So there.

There's another sequence in the image used in this post, although it's not quite as decompressed, in addition to being almost indecipherable.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

On the Subject of the Galactic Destroyer Beast.

First, drawing is HARD. especially when one hasn't done it in a while. 

Second, while it's almost never true that I don't have time to draw, it is often true that I don't have the time to ENJOY drawing. There's a difference. 

I've never gotten all the way through to explaining my concept of the Beast. visually it draws heavily on a lot of memetic things, but did  you know, for an example, that all of the head spikes can move independently? Or that the teeth can retract? 

Basically, the Beast form is a mobile transorbital assault platform. In the above picture, the eyespikes flare out and teeth retract as the body configures itself into firing mode - I would presume that majority of the energy gathers within the chest cavity before being released.

The secondary arms - Wings, if you like - have multiple configurations - they can spread a huge shadowy 'parachute' effect - which can also act as a solar sail, or they can fold out of the way to a minimal configuration - they also do duty as energy gathering/manipulation apparatus when they start glowing. 

The claws are primarily a weapon - not that useful for grasping, except for stabilizing the creature for firing. Same with the feet, which are also built for executing powerful leaps. I would presume escaping the gravity well requires energy manipulation form - wings, even with infinite energy are of limited use, especially when there's no guarantee the assaulted planetoid has an atmosphere. 

Mechanically, the back of the beast is somewhat vulnerable. It is, however, covered with potentially mobile spikes, not to mention that  the wings bend towards the back, and can probably emit enough energy to fry any potential assault. So it's more of a trap, as much as anything. 

As for size - it's kind of hard to estimate, but I would suspect that it's current combat form is only about half the size of an Evangelion unit, tops. Even this form has quite a few, what are essentially artificial limitations. During it's nine billion year long assault against the universe, the GD began enjoying combat, and even without Queen Serenity, was turning from a true omnicidal maniac into more of a blood knight. 

Of course, the GD also enjoys fireworks, so it probably would eventually blow up  the solar system it's attacking, but it might very well take several millenia of fighting before getting that far, especially if there's decent opposition to go around. Something of a best-case scenario, admittedly. 

The above is a decompressed GD landing sequence, in thumbnails. It probably doesn't make that much sense without my brain to interpret it, but there you go, anyway.

Question: Can someone explain to me the weird title capitalization syntax used in English language?