All’s well that ends well

Seeing the printed and framed work all packed up and ready to go, I can finally breathe my sigh of relief. What a rush – I had been planning this gig since I signed up to staff this year, and even with steady progress it still boils down to the last minute when I mad rush to finish the background for all four pictures in less than 12 hours.

It’s been awhile since I pulled an all-nighter with no recovery sleep hours, not since my ICS 125 finals a whole year ago. While I pretty much did drive myself insane in more than one occasion, the entire exprience is so worth the effort – producing something that feel like they’re worth something is a rush that no game can give you, and if given another chance like this I’ll definitely try and do this again – though I’ll probably need to plan better.

In the end, I’m not sure if I want to try and sell the pictures – even if I sell them at cost they’d have to start at $32 per (16 for frames and 16 for printing), and that’s a pretty high price point for original drawings. I still think I’ll do it – it doesn’t hurt to try, and I’m curiously to see how many people actually recognize the Ronin “franchise” .

Here’s a summary of all the new lesson I learned:

– This is the first time I use extensive photo research to figure out the anatomy instead of building it up logically like I always used to. It really helps cut down the time I need to spend to figure out which muscle goes where, but at other times the pictures are so misleading that I have to fake the anatomy out anyway. For your information, I get most of the study photos by taking pictures with my cell phone camera in front of the mirror – beats hiring a model. It feels funny at first, but after a few pictures you get used to doing it.

– This is the first time I use Illustrator to CG ink the pictures. This I mostly blame my drawing habits: I don’t hold the pencil right, and I move my wrist to draw, which means my lines are not as accurate over longer distances, which really shows when I have to work on a picture that’s much larger than what I’m used to… and this is just about the first time I work on anything larger than letter paper size. Well, I picked up everything I need to know to get the job done from illustrator in about 3-4 hours, so it’s all good – but it’s tough to get details right using vector based drawing programs, so I retouched a lot of the outlines in photoshop as well. I think this works well enough that I might do it again, even for smaller pictures… auto “smoothing” can really cut down the time I have to draw lines over and over just to get them to curve right.

– Each of the special effect I need to achieve in the pictures is a challenge. Every time I run into an effect that I don’t know how to do, I rummage through the web for about an hour and then fake it if nothing comes up. I learned how to use liquify to enhance fire effects – very cool tool if you know where to use it.

– At the end, when I was mad dashing to get the backgrounds done, I pretty much go crazy with all the brush settings… in some ways, Photoshop’s brushes are much more versatile and customizable than Painter’s semi-realistic brushes. In hindsight I should probably save some of the brush settings so I don’t have to edit them madly each time I switch brushes, but it worked for the moment and that’s all I needed.

– Framing pictures is harder than I thought. The first one I tried to do got pretty screwed up before I get it right – the other ones come out well though.

P*S* I’ll post the pictures after AX… that should hopefully make you come to see my pictures at least once. It’s not the best thing in the world, but if a pessimist like me gives it the thumbs up, it should probably mean something.

9 hours until DOOM

God, I just washed my face up to keep myself awake a minute ago and my eyes drag like a drug addict. But it’ll be over soon… over… soon…

Insanity (cont.)

think happy thoughts… bunnies and flowers…

about two more weeks of labor yield this result… the pictures had gone through three more passes, from concept to full anatomy study drawings (right), which is scanned, toned into blue, reprinted once for costume design (left), and reprinted again to finalize the pencil art (center).

next comes the very very hard and the relatively easier part: backgrounds and CGing the characters. Looking at the frames that I’ve already purchased sitting in my back, I can’t imagine how terrible it might look when my poor landscape painting skill gets blown up to twice its normal (shameful) size. The horror.

9 days till DOOM. Oh god, I thought the expo STARTS at the 4th. I’m so fucked. I guess I should be glad that the business trip to Myrtle Beach got canceled for me then.


all drawing and no WoW makes Jamus something something
all drawing and no WoW makes Jamus something something
all drawing and no WoW makes Jamus something something
all drawing and no WoW makes Jamus something something
all drawing and no WoW makes Jamus something something
all drawing and no WoW makes Jamus something something
all drawing and no WoW makes Jamus something something
all drawing and no WoW makes Jamus something something
all drawing and no WoW makes Jamus something something
all drawing and no WoW makes Jamus something something

… go crazy?


MMORPG as a different acronym

Well, maybe it’s more like LARP, but I can’t find enough information in a moment’s notice to figure out exactly what’s going on in this “magical kingdom”. Here’s the idea in a nutshell: rip out all the ideas from EverCrack and build it into a theme part, and make people buy high end inventory items with real money (no ebay required) and slap the happy phrase “for the whole family”…

Here’s the website if you want to try and figure it out for yourself:

So why bother bringing up this hocus pocus? One of the creative leaders presiding over my current project is really digging into this whole “magic wand” thing (don’t think too hard), so if everything works out (which hardly ever does), I might be able to fly over with the rest of the team to try this “game” out, as an all expense paid business trip, of course!

Now I just need to cross my fingers and hope that everything works out.