One thing that’s worth noting is that while I am using 3D puppets to create 2D drawings, I am not exactly tracing. Anytime something doesn’t ‘look’ right, I fix it, even though the 3D even when it looks “wrong” is more accurate to how shapes would work in reality. And, of course, I put more detale and sculpting into my puppets than I convey with my art.
So while it looks pretty clear that I’m just tracing this image to make this image:
Directly layering one over the other will show I’m warping and changing stuff.
Anyway, that’s my sketch for the cover art. I’m going to ink it in 2+ layers so I can sandwich the title text between the seraph and the men.
Anyway, assembling this cover is my next big task in the process of making this book.
I do not think, at this rate, I’m going to be crowdfund ready by the ides. I’m still aiming solidly at that though.
Got a new brush in the mail: a Princeton Round # 2 mini-detailer. The Windsor and Newton is more frizzy than an angora goat, and has been disposed of. At some point in the next few days, I need to create some big scene that I can illustrate with the tombows, the pentel, and the brush, so I can get a feel for the differences.
Spent yesterday tinkering on my RPG engine.
I finished out Tuesday by modelling Zoe, our puppet to play Eve and (probably) Mary and making a test drawing of the expulsion, which resulted in the above cartoon.
And just today, I tried shrinking the heads on the puppets to 80%. Because I always go overboard with the cartoon proportions.
Looks much better. It still looks cartoony enough for my tastes.
In real life, a person is 6.5 to 7 heads tall. Comic book or idealized proportions are usually around, what, 8 heads tall? According to this image I cribbed from Jesse White, 8.5 heads tall.
How do Clay and Zoe stack up with the 0.8 heads?
Three and change apiece. But again, I’m going out of my way to produce cartoon characters, not comic book characters.
So here’s the to-do list of next tasks:
Finish transferring the storyboard to the PDF
Sculpt an angelic dragon to play the Serpent of Eden.
Create a full page illustration in a finished style, for promotion purposes.
Create a reasonable facsimile of the cover.
These can be done in any order, as I feel like. All of them need to be done before I can launch the crowdfund, and none of them is dependent on any other (although modeling the Serpent opens up possibilities for both the illustration and the cover).
I’ve been focusing on the creative work because it’s more fun. E.g. the next thing I “want” to do is sculpt the serpent. The theory I gave on Monday is that I can do the busywork (transferring the PDF) any time. But if any time never comes, it never gets done.
Eh. Let’s make the serpent today. We’ll do a variation on this picture:
With the new proportions and the serpent in the middle for the cover. After all, a good way to think of book 1 is the Kings of Earth. Adam, Satan, and Christ, are the three entities who can reasonably claim to be King of the Earth.
I’ll try and schedule a block of busy work for this afternoon/evening and see how it goes before I decide to double down and finish the PDF during my prime creation hours.
And I got a Pentel Pocket Brush in the mail. Left is the Pentel, right is the Tombows, using the Pentel to fill in the blacks.
The pocket brush affords me much of the same life that the Windsor & Newton did, but more controlled. I can almost, almost draw with it. I think there’s a small but serious chance that with practice, the pocket brush may become my favorite way to ink. I think there is a larger chance that I will continue to work with some combination of the pocket brush and the Tombows.
Here we are colored in.
Next tasks on the list:
Produce a page in the chosen style. Using just Clay, here, I can produce page 4 or 5 (or both).
Sculpt models for Eve and for the Serpent.
Finish transferring the storyboard graphics and 1st draft text over into Scribus. (We’ve barely started, but I made an executive decision to work on the sculpts because transferring pages over is busywork, and can be done when I’m creatively tapped out).
Compose the first draft of the the Kickstarter pitch
Create the draft Kickstarter campaign so I can begin designing the graphics needed to make it work.
Contact people willing or likely to help me publicize my campaign.
Obviously, sculpting a naked caricature of whatever I think is the standard of feminine beauty, or a freaking angel dragon, are the most fun things on the to-do list.
This is Clay. It’s his job to model for characters who, in my books, are going to be or resemble Christ (that is, in addition to Our Lord, Adam, David, probably Judah). Assuming I decide to go with this model. I may scratch it and start over, try and get proportions I would like better. I think I did okay with the face though.
May God forgive me for the caricature.
Work on Clay and other 3D sculpts will resume later, though. First thing’s first. I need to go through my storyboard, add a couple pages, and produce the test PDF.
The test PDF will have my storyboard low-res graphics, and my initial text. It’ll get sent off to the Amazon printer, so I can edit the book in physical form, as well as make sure the color choices “work”. Once I make a PDF for the test print, changing the length of the book is a Big Deal, so I need to add some bonus pages to give the document room to expand if it needs to.
That’s today’s big project. I should also get a new brush pen in the mail in the next couple of days, and a new paint brush, and I’ll need to pick a page to produce as a finished illustration both to test the pens, and have art for the crowdfund. The illustration producing process ideally also starts today, but is more likely to start tomorrow or later.
When I get a chance, I need to finish Clay. Give him hands, hair, an armature, and a wife.
Well, lads, this is it. Project of the moment is to fund Awesome Moments 1.
So, I took the Awesome Moments concept sketch of the Risen Lord…
..and did a quick version according to my current theory of cartooning.
It hasn’t had as much effort put into it. But I’m considering shifting the art style, and I need points of comparison to analyze.
Probably should have made a “new” version of Adam and Eve instead. I’m a little leery about drawing Our Lord at all, let alone as a cartoon character. But one of the plans of the book is to represent the first and second Adam as visibly twins, to help drive home the second Adam thing. In fact, I’m going to do that right now.
First thing I need to be able to do is chain actions together. Which means I need a way to know when they are completed. So here’s the plan: I’ll run a co-routine that passes the time, and activates the next action in a chain when it’s done.
We’ll test it by having two dialogues in a row with different ‘speakers’.
Sweet. Only had to squash two major bugs to pull this off in a psuedo-hacky way. That’s not gonna come back to bite me at all!
Now that we can put dialogue before choices, we need a choice menu. Ugh. I feel my motivation drying up.
Tomorrow I rest, and the next day, I begin work on a new project. Nothing to do but charge forward! WAKANDA FOREVER!
So, tinkering around with this, I’ve got a menu made up, and I’m starting to rig code to it…
I think I want to make an action queue. Like, in general. Every time an action is taken, it gets added to the queue rather than executed. Then, each action is run until it is completed or aborted, and the next action comes off the queue. This is fundamentally different to what I’m doing now… I’m just running every action right away, and when I want to string together a list — and only then –, I do this hacky thing where I go over the list in a coroutine, moving to the next a quarter of a second after I determine that one is done.
I don’t like it. It feels messy. It feels like strings of actions, each waiting for the previous one to complete, are going to be a frequent situation in an RPG.
I’m not sure. This seems like a drastic retooling. A “starting over” kind of situation. I want to build the best foundation I can, though, as I intend to run several games on this framework.
It’s worth additional thought. But my work time today is complete, and the day after tomorrow I will be working on a different project. So I’ll have some additional thought.
Time to leave myself extensive notes. Update the repo. And then draw caricatures of the King of Kings. Because I like to live dangerously.
We last left our embryonic RPG with a campfire scene that had a bunch of blocks with faces, and the understanding that we’d bring this into Unity and talking to those blocks would allow us to alter the screen, the volume, perhaps the controls.
I took a brief break to figure out what those blocks are, since smiley face blocks are a constant in a video game world. I decided they were a coral-like therian that leave their cubic shells scattered about the landscape. Then, I drew up an illustration for my bestiary, and realized that to introduce my bestiary within the comic, I needed a sprite for Dr. Eli Stump, which means I needed a design for Dr. Eli Stump.
So, today, my primary task for the next couple of hours is to bring my scene into Unity and get music, sounds, and option menus working. And then, after hours, my task if I find time is to make a Dr. Stump sprite, and a comic/bestiary entry for the capdjak.
Step 1: separate out all the mockup elements. Import them into Unity. Make a capdjak interaction sprite.
Okay, we’ve got a start. Irritatingly, I find the fact that I’ve created a small world that lives and breaths, even if it’s a two-frame fire look, intrinsically entertaining. Ye gads.
Well, I’ve got 20 minutes left, and the big thing to do is create a choice dialogue that allows two or three or even more options.
Yeah, I’m not gonna get that done today. But if I pull it off tomorrow, even though I haven’t set up the sound system, I’m still in a good place pick up where I left off in a couple of months.
Dr. Stump is the foremost expert on therians. He was well prepared for this life by his extensive life making Starnet videos detailing crazy theories about peak media franchises well before he got aboard the sleeper ship headed for Theria, and he doesn’t really care who knows it.
Old Sentinels say that once upon a time, Dr. Stump was a formidable man. That he’s let himself go in the past few years. But Dr. Stump does not talk about the glory days. He talks about therians. And if there’s something you need to know about therians, he almost certainly already knows it.