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Monthly Archives: April 2013
New Page at Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual

Filed under Thrilling Tales: Page Updates

A new page has been published in the story It Came from the PULP-O-MIZER, at Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual.

You can read it here.
 
 
Retropolis Rocket Ship Kickstarter Update, April 14

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

Retropolis Rocket Ship work in progress: April 14

In this recent preview of the Retropolis Rocket Ship print you can see that I’ve begun to move forward through the ship, adding the gizmos and bits and shiny things that make the ship go. I won’t explain: it’s technical.

Details that you can’t see here – but which may be readable in the full size print – include helpful messages on the readouts that say things like "Consult Manual Now", "Take Immediate Action", and "Abandon Ship". Those engineers at Volto-Vac go the extra mile to make sure your rocket is running within tolerance or, failing that, that you know when it’s time to leave.

You’re going to have to put up with those skeletal bone systems for awhile: I don’t plan to do any more work on the characters until the rockets’s all ship shape. So bear with me.

We’re not quite halfway to the Kickstarter threshold that will unlock the first of the Pulp-O-Mizer custom title rewards. One backer has suggested that I add another kind of Pulp-O-Mizer reward that would have me put the backers themselves into custom foreground Pulp-O-Mizer layers. That’s an interesting idea, but I need to do an experiment or three to decide how practical (and exorbitant) a reward like that would be. Film at eleven.

 

 
 
Retropolis Rocket Ship Kickstarter Update, April 11

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

Retropolis Rocket Ship WIP

So today I’m about a week in, all told, to the Retropolis Rocket Ship Kickstarter project. I’m still toning down the colors because at this stage the colors don’t really mean anything. They’d only confuse you.

I mentioned earlier that I started by working on one of the characters. But that’s out of my system now, and so I’ve returned to the rocket ship itself. Backers of my past Kickstarter projects got a little preview yesterday but today I’ve made a bunch of new progress on the interior. It’s got loads of distance to travel yet but the gizmos and bulkheads and what-have-you’s are starting to show up, each in their proper place.

You can see that I’ve blocked in the characters using just the kind of bone systems that you normally wouldn’t see. The skeletons render very quickly and that’s important at the moment, especially in the viewports while I work. You can scroll down to my earlier update to get a look at what one of these ladies is going to look like.

So: still quite crude, but moving along. And "quite crude" is what I promised you’d see while the work progresses. So there you are.

I’m archiving the versions of the file, one or more a day, and producing many of the screenshots and test renderings that I’ll use in the "Making Of" video. I could probably spend a minute or so just on that floor grating!

 
 
New Page at Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual

Filed under Thrilling Tales: Page Updates

A new page has been published in the story It Came from the PULP-O-MIZER, at Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual.

You can read it here.
 
 
Also on Kickstarter: the return of Michael Kaluta & Elaine Lee’s Starstruck

Filed under Found on the Web

Kaluta & Lee's Starstruck on Kickstarter

So I’m doing this thing on Kickstarter, as you may have noticed, and that means I’ve spent some time there over the past few days and, being there, I’ve paged through a bunch of other peoples’ current projects. This one slapped me right upside the head: Michael Kaluta and Elaine Lee are crowdfunding a sequel to their Starstruck comics from the 1980’s in a 176 page graphic novel format. If this team needs any introduction, the blame falls on you.

I’ll just mention "science fiction" and "noir" and "freaking Michael Kaluta" to get you started.

If the project meets its $44,000 goal the book will be published in glorious black and white; that’s not ironic, which I mention for the benefit of anybody who hasn’t seen Kaluta’s inks. But if they meet their stretch goal of $69,000 they’ll be able to add color to the pages, which would also be pretty wonderful.

As I write this the project is nearing the $36,000 mark and it’s still got 24 days to run. So I’d say they’re pretty much on track for one wonderful thing or the other.

Over the past year or so we’ve seen Kickstarter used in ways that don’t always warm my heart; that Veronica Mars project, for example, just looked like a way for a major studio to produce a film (and, they must have assumed, its buzz) without ponying up any cash for it, thereby increasing their profit margin. That doesn’t thrill me. But seeing individual creators of this stature go straight to the public to fund an independent project… it’s happy-making. Go check it out.

 
 
New Page at Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual

Filed under Thrilling Tales: Page Updates

A new page has been published in the story It Came from the PULP-O-MIZER, at Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual.

You can read it here.
 
 
The Retropolis Rocket Ship: now, with more character!

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

Space Women from RetropolisThe actual Retropolis Rocket Ship scene still looks just like it did in the “Day One” illustration on its Kickstarter page: but that doesn’t mean I’m not already working away on it, as you see here.

Because characters are just about the most time-consuming thing I build I had hoped not to build any new characters for the picture. So I did.

If that makes no sense to you, imagine how I feel.

But in fact the space woman we see here at the left uses several existing bits and pieces that I kitbashed and cobbled together, along with a new head, some spiffy new gauntlets, and that all-important air tank, all of which are at least partly new. Oh! And her helmet, too; that one’s been sitting on my hard drive just waiting for somebody to wear it. Of course, I also made it better.

Those are all the fun parts of building characters: the modeling, texturing and so on. The entirely unfun parts are setting up a skeleton and skinning the mesh to it. This is a task that I do slowly, grudgingly, and not particularly well. Somehow, though, it worked pretty well this time, and much more quickly than usual, too.

I have a backlog of characters I built last year that aren’t rigged and skinned yet. I really need to finish them up. Later.

One curious thing about this woman is that if she took her helmet off you’d see that her hair is black and her complexion’s on the dusky side. That glowing glass faceplate really makes a difference. Like the difference between hijacking a rocket ship and gasping out your last few painful breaths in the dark, illimitable depths of outer space, kind of difference.

Anyway I planned to give this weekend up to the IRS. That hasn’t quite happened yet. I do have untidy piles of papers all over my dining room table, and that’s the first step. I need to get them all shuffled behind me so that I can get to work on the rocket ship scene, hopefully in the morning.

The Retropolis Rocket Ship: Day One
 
 
Launched! The Retropolis Rocket Ship print drive at Kickstarter, with custom PULP-O-MIZER rewards

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


So here it is: the Retropolis Rocket Ship Print Kickstarter drive, featuring the kind of "Making Of" video that turns my guts to water, plus – BONUS! – custom Pulp-O-Mizer title rewards that let bloggers, podcasters, bands, and other entities – including other Kickstarter projects – get their own personalized magazine titles for use within the Amazing PULP-O-Mizer.

Everybody who pledges at least ten dollars will get a copy of the video, which – like the picture itself – is a mere gleam in my shifty eye as I write this – and I swear up and down that I won’t hide every stupid thing I do while I complete the picture over the next few weeks.

Contributions of $60 or more will also get the 24" by 18" archival print that, really, is what this is all about. And then – starting at the $2000 funding mark – the custom Pulp-O-Mizer rewards start to kick in.

Backers who choose a Pulp-O-Mizer reward will unlock their own personal Pulp-O-Mizer title graphic. No one else will even see it, but the lucky backers will be able to use their titles within the Pulp-O-Mizer to do everything that the Pulp-O-Mizer does, from rendering web resolution graphics to ordering printed merchandise with their swell, spiffy, and enviable Personal Pulp-O-Mizer titles.

See the Kickstarter page for all the details, not to mention my own late-night FM voiceover in the thrilling project video.

 
 
New Page at Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual

Filed under Thrilling Tales: Page Updates

A new page has been published in the story It Came from the PULP-O-MIZER, at Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual.

You can read it here.
 
 
New Page at Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual

Filed under Thrilling Tales: Page Updates

A new page has been published in the story It Came from the PULP-O-MIZER, at Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual.

You can read it here.
 
 
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