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Monthly Archives: June 2012
a Visitor’s Guide to the Future That Never Was

Filed under Thrilling Tales: Page Updates

A new page has been published in the story So! You’d Like to See Retropolis – a Visitor’s Guide to the Future That Never Was, at Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual.

You can read it here. Please consider helping me to continue my creative work and deal with the financial aftermath of cancer
 
 
Thrilling Tales – a few hardcover copies of The Lair of the Clockwork Book for sale

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

Yesterday I mailed out the complete limited edition of The Lair of the Clockwork Book to all of those Kickstarter backers who supported it.

Now that the dust has settled, or, I guess, is settling, I have a small number of unnumbered "open edition" copies for sale.

I’ve added to these to the "Support" page at Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual where you will (I hope) find them, adopt them, and find them good and interesting homes.

Really, either one of those would be fine. I know it’s not always easy to be both good and interesting. Honestly, I’m not even sure it’s worth the trouble.

The hardcover edition is a little larger than the paperback, at 8 1/2″ by 10 1/2″, and it’s printed on archival paper between its foil-stamped, linen bound covers, and then wrapped in a handsome dust jacket. It’d sure look swell on those bookshelves of yours.

 
 
a Visitor’s Guide to the Future That Never Was

Filed under Thrilling Tales: Page Updates

A new page has been published in the story So! You’d Like to See Retropolis – a Visitor’s Guide to the Future That Never Was, at Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual.

You can read it here.
 
 
Bas Reliefs from 3D renderings, with BasRel 1.0

Filed under Computer Graphics, Found on the Web

BasRel v1.0 is a plug-in for 3dsMax (2013 only, apparently) that uses the renderer’s z depth, or depth mask, rendering to produce height maps you can use to plot out CNC-routed bas reliefs from 3d scenes.

That might sound like a simple function until you realize that the depth information needs to be rescaled and modified to create the illusion of depth and additional shading in the shallow environment of a bas relief. It’s a fascinating idea of the kind that leads to other fascinating ideas, mainly of the “Hey, I could do this…” variety.

Or, anyway, that “One could do this…”, seeing as how I don’t have a supported version of Max. It’s still pretty dang interesting, if in a sort of abstract way..

The web site is unfortunately pretty confusing. The original incarnation of this idea used Blender, and most of what you find on the site relates to that application and – I think – a series of tutorials that help Blender users build their own copy of a plug-in, at which point there’s a bunch of post work in Photoshop or another paint program. Like I said, it’s a bit confusing.

The results do look very neat. I can imagine all sorts of ways to use a process like that, if I had a supported version of Max, anyway. Below is a video for the Max 2013 plug-in; I have no idea what’s going on during the multiple renderings and whatnot. Still, very neat. They’re getting a lot of detail out of Max’s depth maps (which I’ve found to be a little twitchy, myself).

There would have to be some limitations: since the resulting image(s) is (are) based on the depth map then the process is best suited to very high resolution models without things like opacity maps, bump or normal maps, and so on. And I’ve got no idea how one would get the data prepared for CNC work, which I think involves cutter choices and cutting paths. Chances are that’s just one of the many things that the web site doesn’t explain clearly enough for your humble correspondent, who’s now degrading to the “Get off my lawn!” stage of his development, oddly in the third person. Oddly, certainly.

If you missed it, here once again is a link to the product’s site.

[tags]3d rendering, cnc mill, cnc router, plug in, 3ds max, BasRel 1.0, depth map, height map, bas relief[/tags]

 
 
a Visitor’s Guide to the Future That Never Was

Filed under Thrilling Tales: Page Updates

A new page has been published in the story So! You’d Like to See Retropolis – a Visitor’s Guide to the Future That Never Was, at Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual.

You can read it here.
 
 
Thrilling Tales – even more books of the Clockwork Book

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

The Lair of the Clockwork Book, in hardcover

In a post at the Edtion One blog – that’s where they’re printing and binding the Kickstarter edition of The Lair of the Clockwork Book – the gifted elves at Edition One are showing off the books in what they call a "very meta post", since what they’ve got there is post about a book about a book.

But I can’t let that stand, I tell you! I will now out-meta them by posting a post about a post about a book about a book! Muahahahahaha! Mua! and Ha! and Ha! I say! And Ha!

The Lair of the Dust Jacket of the Clockwork Book

Of course my excuse for that outburst is that if they were taking photos and posting them last Friday, when the first 110 books were stacked up around my house, then the rest of the print run is likely to get here pretty soon. I’ve got to stamp thirty more books before I’ve got through that first batch. Still, I say, bring ’em on, and, also, Ha!

[tags]thrilling tales of the downright unusual, the lair of the clockwork book, hardcover, kickstarter, book, insane outburst with a cackle chaser[/tags]

 
 
Thrilling Tales – the Kickstarter Books are landing!

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

kickstarter limited edition books

So here at the Secret Laboratory I have been invaded by books, which is one of my favorite kinds of invasions. What makes this invasion special is that the more-than-100 books you see – crowding me out of my ground floor – are all copies of The Lair of the Clockwork Book. That’s because the Kickstarter books have begun to land!

This is about 2/3 of the whole batch. My UPS driver thought it was all over… but he was so completely and tragically wrong. Well, wrong, anyway, because there will be another four or five boxes on the way soon.

You can see how I’ve spread many of the books with their vulnerable underbellies exposed: that’s so I can stamp them with my nifty custom "Limited Edition" stamp, prior to signing and numbering them. Right after I practice some more – like a mad stamping fiend – all over my proof sheets.

kickstarter limited edition books

I know… this is as bad as somebody showing you pictures of their grandchildren or their cats, and it’s not over yet, either, boyo.

It takes awhile for the ink to dry after I apply the stamp and I’m so paranoid about having that ink offset on the facing page that I’ll leave each batch to dry for a good long while. That means my house is going to keep looking like this, but I can’t say I mind. Books, books everywhere!

kickstarter limited edition books

[tags]thrilling tales of the downright unusual, the lair of the clockwork book, limited edition, hardcover book, kickstarter[/tags]

 
 
a Visitor’s Guide to the Future That Never Was

Filed under Thrilling Tales: Page Updates

A new page has been published in the story So! You’d Like to See Retropolis – a Visitor’s Guide to the Future That Never Was, at Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual.

You can read it here.
 
 
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