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Thrilling Tales: it’s all about the ladies

Filed under Computer Graphics, Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual, Works in Progress

Ladies of Retropolis

Well, it’s not really all about the ladies; but they’re what I had to drop into this picture.

During this round in which (theoretically) I’m working on Part Two of The Toaster With TWO BRAINS (while also catching up on a web project) and in which (actually) I’m building character assets like mad because I need so many folks in the background for upcoming scenes not only in TWO BRAINS but also in The Lair of the Clockwork Book, while still, truly, catching up on that web project, and – as I see with some dismay – constructing overlong sentences that just won’t die, I have been practically incommunicado because my nose is pressed so firmly into my monitor.

But I’ve done great, though undetectable, things: I’ve completely revamped my work flow for creating female character heads, with much greater controls over their expressions, and every one of these new heads uses the same object topology so that if I really wanted to, I could probably morph Face Morphsthem from one character to another. This involved some difficult work over five days – not counting making the actual heads you see here – but it’s the kind of thing that will continue to help me out in the future. The new system worked so well that I even rebuilt my Gwen Hopkins character’s head completely from scratch, since she has a lot of upcoming scenes in TWO BRAINS.

Male heads, on the other hand, are still ahead of me; I have to redo that preliminary work for them because their object topology will not be the same. But happily I still have the original (though incompatible) data for Nat Gonella’s head, and I’ll eventually be rebuilding that one with the new system, too.

But it’s not all about the heads. I’ve also finally done some 3D sculpting work that I actually like for clothing. I’ve turned out a bunch of different base garments and a number of texture variations on them, with more to come, so that you won’t think everyone in Retropolis shares the same clothes. This new approach involves high and low resolution versions of the garments, where I’ve built them completely in the higher resolution and then baked their textures and normals into low resolution versions of the same clothing. I’ll even have the higher resolution clothes there for use in some of my really large renderings.

So this period of a few weeks is just about all concerned with what, in a perfect world, would have been pre-production. I just don’t have the luxury of doing all that work at a more sensible time, when I’m not still under the evil eye of my schedule. Because for as long as I’m doing a serial I am always under the schedule’s evil eye.

The bothersome thing is that this work – though it will benefit TWO BRAINS – is coming out of the TWO BRAINS part of my schedule. The publication schedule for the Clockwork Book makes it a cruel master.

I just need two of me, I guess.

Anyway, it’s back to more of the same and some other stuff. I ought to get back to The Clockwork Book in a month – it would be better to do that even sooner. In the meantime, I’m an asset building machine.


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Down in the Basement. Where it Strains Against its Chains and Turns a Gigantic Wheel of Pain, for all Eternity. Muahahahahaha.