Bottom of the Deck – 15/12/08

botdcardAfternoon everypeoples, getting one of these out before the sun goes down for a change.

Main reason for this is that college is now finally over, and hopefully for me, it will be for good. I have to say I was a lot more emotional on Friday than I thought I would be; it’s just been such a point of consistency for me ever since I moved across the country, and now that I’m done with it, it’s kind of a strange feeling. Next year is going to be very different…

But before that happens, I’ll be taking a nice holiday break when I head home for Christmas this Friday. It’s been nearly six months since I last saw my parents, and a couple of years since I saw most of my Johannesburg relatives, so it’s going to be fun. It does mean I have to get a buffer done for Elements of Eve to tide over the two weeks of updates between now and Christmas, which I should really be working on right now. The heat is making me lazy and the latest episode of Critical Role left me so emotionally hyped and drained that I’ve barely been able to sit still all day.

Speaking of D&D (segue skills, recognize!), you guys may remember last week I spoke about my attempts to finally organize a game. I am happy to say it went off without a hitch (although one of our players was rather reluctant and we had to keep it a secret until it was too late for her to back out, might not see her play again) and a good time was had. I got to express myself a little as Dungeon Master, and the players surprised me at a couple of turns, despite the fact that I had been overthinking to the point where I thought I had all my bases covered. Ah, sweet naivete… Highlight of the evening was when the party managed to surprise a goblin underboss in his chamber, unleash a flurry of attacks before he could do anything, and then finish him off by swinging another goblin at his head and breaking his neck with the impact. Bottom line, we had a good evening, and even if we never get to play again, I’m still glad for the experience. Good practice for when I hopefully DM a game for my uncle and his family over Christmas.

That’s all my geeky news for this week, I will still upload some bloggery during my stay in Durban, but since I’ll be spending my Christmas week in Joburg, there won’t be a blog post on the 29th; I’m sure you all have much better things to do during that time anyway.

Have a good one folks, ciao for now.

Bottom of the Deck – 15/12/01

botdcardEvening everypeoples, bit of a late upload tonight, my evening has been rather busy.

Not that my day wasn’t busy too; it’s the last week of college, so now comes the time for us to neaten up everything and make it presentable to be handed in. This has a bit more significance for me, because it will finally be (I hope) the last time I will ever have to attend college. I’ve already graduated from two separate institutes, and this past year has been an additional learning course to supplement my Higher Diploma, and I think it’s about time I called it and got out into the world proper. Though I don’t have much choice in the matter, I doubt another year of education would be financially viable, and I seriously need a job I can apply my skills to…

In the meantime, I’ve been applying skills in other areas. I got my first ever taste of playing Dungeons and Dragons last week thanks to a chance encounter with a DM at a Magic: The Gathering tournament. He was nice enough to give myself and a friend a quick demonstration game, and now we’ve both been raring to play again. The trouble is convincing other people to join in without them looking at you like you’re mad; I’m hopeful though, and with a potential group forming I’ve been drawing up character sheets all evening to make the experience streamlined. This will also be relying on me being a decent Dungeon Master and keeping the players entertained; I only pray that I’ve watched Critical Role enough times to absorb some of Matthew Mercer’s uncanny DM skills. I have literally been losing sleep thinking about how I’m going to run this adventure, and I didn’t even write it; it’s a pre-built adventure that I can follow on a computer screen, it can’t be that hard, right? Right…?

Anyway, I’m going to bed now, I think I’ve looked at enough stat charts and character biographies to knock me right out. Unless I spend the entire night mulling them over in my head and attempt to anticipate everything that might happen oh dear god not again…

Ciao for now.

Bottom of the Deck – 15/11/24

botdcardEvening everypeoples, I’m still here and still alive, so no excuses not to blog anything this week.

I’ve been saying this every week for a while now, but it’s more true than ever now: College Crunch Time! This is our last week to really push on our projects and get them looking spiff and shiny, because next week we have to get them all rendered and edited into neat little showreels and we will not have time to do any more tweaking. I’m feeling pretty good about my animations for this term; most of them are a little mediocre, but the ones that count are making good progress. I left one rendering overnight today, so hopefully it’ll look good when I composite it together tomorrow.

I will say that I got hit hard by Monday again, after managing to avert a critical strike last week, and I didn’t get the Elements of Eve update coloured in time. The colour version is uploaded now so no worries there, but I just felt like my head was ready to explode last night. I don’t get it, it’s not like I spent the weekend drinking, I don’t touch the stuff… Garfield was so right about Mondays…

On the entertainment side, those of you with a finger on the pulse of Netflix will no doubt have seen that Marvel’s new series Jessica Jones dropped on Friday, and I am not ashamed to say that I binged watched all thirteen episodes twice over during the course of the weekend. The show is SO good, a worthy follow up to Marvel’s Daredevil, taking the gritty tone and making it darker, sexier, more cerebral and more twisted. Daredevil was a grey vs. gray mentality, two men each with a dream of making their city a better place, and each questioning their own actions as they walked the fine line between hero and villain. Jessica Jones, by contrast, is a straight up hero vs villain tale, albeit one with the hero being a broken shell of her former self and the villain, Kilgrave being a sociopathic puppet master whose main weapon against Jessica is the psychological scars he left during their previous encounter. Jessica faces these mind games with pig-headed stubbornness and a fierce determination to never be controlled again (plus the super-strength doesn’t hurt either). I could go on gushing about how much I loved the deadpan snarking attitude that Jessica throws around constantly, or how I marveled at the deep, twisted lack of morality that David Tennant brings to Kilgrave, or how watching people get thrown through walls is cool, but I’ll let you all go and watch it for yourselves. You will not regret it.

That’s all for this week, time to finish the latest episode of Critical Role, I cannot believe the drama going on; romance, near-death experiences, family reunions, and ghosts!

Ciao for now.

Bottom of the Deck – 15/11/17

botdcardEvening everypeoples, I am filled up with pasta and nerd-culture, so let’s get this done and dusted before I fall asleep out of satisfaction.

It’s “tweak week” at college, as I have just now thought to call it; fixing up all the little niggles in our animations that are keeping our marks out of the “presentable” zone. With the way we had to rush through the shorter exercises to get to where we are now, it’s safe to say we need the extra time for fixes. It helps that I haven’t looked at said shorter exercises since I finished them, so the minor details are easier to pick out; fixing them is the harder part.

I’ve just noticed that WordPress has changed the upload layout. Nifty…

The majority of my entertainment continues to come from digital video, and I’m still heavily engrossed in Critical Role (why haven’t you watched it yet, go now!), and I continue to learn more and more about the world of tabletop roleplay. One rather interesting discovery I made through their videos is the website Hero Forge. This is a fancy little online tool that lets you create and customize your own tabletop miniature figure for game play, and then (for a nominal fee), the team at Hero Forge can 3D print your personalized figure and have it mailed to you! While I’ve still never played a game of D&D in my life (really need to rectify that), it’s fun to see how the characters I’ve been thinking up might look in tiny, plastic form ready to be painted.

WordPress has removed the word count feature, or at least put it where I can’t see it. Not so nifty…

Not much else to talk about this week, so that’s all for now. There may or may not be a webcomic review up tomorrow, we’ll see if I can get through an archive before then, might have to pick a nice short one.

The “Add Media” function is so much more convenient now. Back to nifty…

Ciao for now.

Bottom of the Deck – 15/11/10

botdcardHey everypeoples, another Tuesday rolls around and I continue to roll around in my ever-expanding sea of consciousness, filled with shark-toothed ideas and stinging jelly-work-fish. I’m not good with the ocean…

It’s crunch time at college as we use our final month to finish up our big projects and clean up all the stuff we had to rush through to get to this point. I’ve already noticed a few others in my immediate work vicinity who are starting to voice their opinions in a rather negative way; they don’t do it when the lecturer is around, of course. I won’t say I’m not completely without sympathy, I am after all in the exact same boat, but I stand by the philosophy I’ve stated before: this is the situation, complaining will accomplish nothing, so get on with it. If there’s something wrong, find out what it is and fix it, it’s not a complicated process.

Ranting aside, keeping up personal projects continues to be both challenging and satisfying. Elements of Eve just concluded its eighth issue yesterday, after suffering from two breaks in updating, so this next issue will not be delayed in its release. Issue #9 will start on Thursday, come hell or high water, and will only be interrupted by the Christmas break (I’ll be building a buffer for the rest of my time out of town). I also finished up the first draft of the script I mentioned in last week’s column, so I hope to have that fully refined by next week. This idea has been a long time coming, so I want to make sure it’s as perfect as I can get it.

Not much else worth mentioning this week, I’m going to go and finish my binge through a webcomic archive I just discovered. If it’s any good, you’ll hear about it tomorrow.

Ciao for now.

Bottom of the Deck – 15/10/06

botdcardGreetings everypeoples, I have survived Monday (and most of my Tuesday so far) to bring you this update.

Following on from last week, I took part in the 24 Hour Comic Day challenge, and was successful! I completed my twenty four pages with a little over an hour to spare, and for something that I hastily scrawled as I made it up on the go, it turned out quite good. Most of my peers have had nice things to say about it, and I’m certainly satisfied with the outcome. I have learned quite a few things about my own limits and techniques regarding such a challenge, and will be doing things a little differently should I ever take part in it again, namely:

  1. Work in a smaller format. A4 size is my usual comfort zone, but when it’s an hour per page, working on A5 will probably produce more satisfying results that look less sparse, especially with ink.
  2. Think a little more abstract. I went for a traditional superhero story with (mostly) correctly proportioned characters, and it was rather taxing. Next time, I’ll probably try for a simpler, stylized look that can look charming with less detail, and with a less complicated story that can speak for itself without so much dialogue.
  3. Don’t over-prepare the food reserves. I bought a bunch of stuff that I normally don’t eat on the advice of actual endurance-savvy people, and while it helped a lot, I over-estimated how much I’d need, so my fridge is now loaded with unfamiliar food. On the plus side, I’ve discovered that I really like homemade BLTs, might make that a regular thing…

As well as that marathon, I’ve also been doing the Inktober and Drawlloween drawing challenges as a way of keeping my creativity flowing, and I’ve been having a blast trying out my Copic markers again. I’ve been uploading them via Twitter, but I’ll be including them, as well as the 24 hour comic, on the site in the near future.

That being said, with my creativity on the rise again, I will finally be returning to Elements of Eve. College is throwing particularly mind-numbing tasks at us right now, so it’s more important than ever that I keep up with my creations, and I think I’ve finally reached a level of confidence high enough to carry on. Elements of Eve will return on Thursday, barring any neck-cramp aftershocks from Saturday. Seriously, 24 hours hunched over a light-table will hurt no matter how many breaks you take…

Big thanks to the guys at Geek and Sundry for supplying the archive of Critical Role for me to binge through on my marathon in order to stay awake, and thanks to Steam for putting the Arkham series on sale for me to have some of my favourite games to play and unwind.

That’s all for this week, have a good one

Ciao for now.

Bottom of the Deck – 15/08/18

botdcardHey everypeoples, Tuesday again, so allow me to start rambling.

You may have noticed there was no Elements of Eve update yesterday (assuming you read both my comic and my blog), due to me being utterly destroyed by the weekend. Before anyone jumps to conclusions, the craziest thing I did was play a really intense game of Magic: The Gathering; I even almost won, so that was a good feeling. But I had a hard time sleeping both Saturday and Sunday, so I spent yesterday feeling like I’d been splattered by a bus and had to go to college on top of that. I actually find that I enjoy college work; I’m learning lots of new things, I get to experiment with new tools and it’s all linked to stuff I have an interest in. If there’s only one thing I find wrong with it, it’s the work environment…

I’m not going to say that no-one in my class does any work; there are some good students that make the most of their time, and everyone has their own talents and specialisations that allow them to turn out fantastic stuff. What I don’t have patience for are the ones who never pay attention, the ones who repeatedly fall asleep during the lesson, or the ones who insult and disrespect the lecturer when they leave the room. Surely if someone comes to an animation college and wants to learn about the field that could be their future career, they would want to put in the effort. Every time I look over and see one of these people holding up the class and slowing down the lesson because they can’t be bothered to stay focused, it really pisses me off. Granted, this is not my problem (I feel for our lecturer though, she gets just as pissed), but the negative attitude makes for a poor work environment, which is a shame because I tend to get more work done when I’m at college and not distracted by my bed like when I’m at home. There are some days when I pray to Leeroy Jethro Gibbs, the patron saint of head-slapping, for the chance to smack some people upside the head and tell them to get back in the game; we have been given the chance to learn some amazing things, why waste it? Unfortunately, we’re dealing with college students here, and naturally the opinions of other people don’t matter, so all I can do is keep my head down and my mouth shut, and try to do my best with what I have. I don’t care how hypocritical I sound (being a college student and prone to the occasional bout of laziness), I was given an opportunity and I want to make the most of it.

Okay, angry rant over, I just needed that off my chest. I’m going to go back to watching Avatar: The Last Airbender; I’ve been rewatching the whole series while I work at home and I’m nearly done with season 2. I have yet to find another modern cartoon that can compare with this kind of storytelling, the emotional connections one can make with these characters is so powerful. Have a good night everybody.

Ciao for now.