Bottom of the Deck – 15/08/04

botdcardEvening everypeoples. Thanks to the grace of our almighty electricity provider, I am finally able to bring you my bloggery for this Tuesday.

I will say one thing for load shedding: it’s a great incentive for me to write. When the power is out and I’m navigating my room with a head-mounted lamp, there’s very little one can do on the creative side. Since I don’t want to strain my eyes trying to sketch and anything digital is out of the question, I turn to my writing notebook. I find it a lot easier to write out my story drafts by hand first anyway, it feels a lot more free and intuitive, especially with fewer distractions around.

In other creative news, the rigging of 3D models continues at college. While it’s easy to follow step-by-step instructions, since everyone is working with a different character model, the guidelines often don’t match up exactly with what we hope to accomplish, and that’s where the frustration sets in. I was halfway through making arm controls when I realized that the handles I was hooking up were twisting the joints out of place. A whole morning’s work down the drain, but fortunately it goes quicker the second time, especially when I speed-read.

On the geekier side of things, I watched Ant-Man over the weekend. I had no clue going in how it would turn out (though my hopes were probably higher than most), and it was so much funnier, so much wittier, and generally more entertaining than I thought. After the frantic, explosive, character-overloaded experience that was Age of Ultron, it was good to have a Marvel film that leaned on the casual side and was able to poke fun at itself without losing dramatic effect. The effects were amazing, and there were references to the comic mythology everywhere; I chuckled as I picked out every single one, knowing that half the audience wouldn’t get them. That might sound a little sad to some people, but I’ll admit it was very satisfying, call me selfish. Anyway, if you haven’t seen it yet, Ant-Man is well worth the watch, even if you are in the 90% of people who don’t have a clue who he is.

I’ve also started watching Grimm (yeah yeah, late to the game as always when it comes to TV), and am currently powering through the second season, I’m totally hooked. Going to have to try and distract myself with Black Sails after I run out of episodes.

That’s all for this week, if you did happen to read this, please tell other people that I’m interesting. It may not be true, but at least my traffic figures might spike a little, which is nice.

Ciao for now.

Bottom of the Deck – 15/07/28

botdcardTuesday night and time for me to ramble about stuff; two weeks in a row, let’s see how long this pattern lasts…

So this week sees a new challenge opening up artistically: 3D rigging. I spent two or three months building a 3D model in class and attempting to make it look good (mostly successfully, I might add), and now I get to give it a skeleton. The process is so much more complex than I first imagined, and yet surprisingly logical; the model is controlled by joints, which are controlled by clusters, which are controlled by… controls, appropriately. It’s just a matter of linking everything up so that they work in tandem, which is going to be the tedious part, but I’m looking forward to it. Tedious work, if handled with the right attitude, can make a day just fly; I’m going to get flashbacks of building Lego Technic sets…

I’ve also got a huge pile of storyboard work for the end of term, which is alright by me because it’s something I know I can do, and since it’s based on a script I wrote myself I have a lot more creative flexibility. That said, I still have to board that script in particular, while another idea I had is nagging to be done instead. I blame the guest speaker we had at college yesterday; Sam Wilson is a writer for local TV shows, both live and animated, and he gave us an awesome talk on storytelling. It was the kind of speech that makes you want to dive into your own projects and get them done in an afternoon because they’re just so attainable and now you know you can do it… and then you burn out after a few hours when realise just how much work there still is. But it’s the good kind of burnout, the kind that comes from producing something you love. I’ll be sure to upload some of my boards in a few weeks once I’ve made decent progress.

Rounding off with something mostly geeky, the fourth episode of Life is Strange has just been released; for those who don’t know, it’s a story-based adventure game about a girl who can rewind time, with a wide array of story choices for the player to make that directly affect the final outcome. I haven’t played it myself (because I’m far too busy and too cheap), but I’ve been watching Let’s Plays of it on YouTube, and the story is equal parts gripping and convoluted. The characters are tragic, the drama is high and the ability to reverse your decisions with time-travel will always leave you wondering if you made the right choice or not. The third episode ended on a massive cliffhanger and it’s been months since it came out, so I’m really keen to see exactly what the consequences of the players’ choices are. I am a sucker for time travel plots and temporal paradoxes, because if they’re well written they can knock you for a loop when you least expect it and you’ll be begging for more.

That’s it for this Bottom of the Deck, but be sure to stop by tomorrow for my Webcomic of the Week.

Ciao for now.