IRC fun – Jun 27 2011

09:42 <@bayoab> i can’t figure out how to change the ceiling thing in my room because it’s covered by a glass enclosure and i can’t find any info on the web

09:42 < salkaman> “ceiling thing”

09:42 <@bayoab> salkaman: fixture

09:42 < salkaman> light fixture?

09:43 <@bayoab> yea

09:44 < N-Bomb> lol, ceiling thing

Mistaken Nostalgia

Yeah, I finally found something to write about that wouldn’t fit in 140 characters or less. This is rare, so read me well!

Defective photo services. I mean stuff like Instagram or Hipstamatic.

I wish you’d all stop using these! Photos that look like this are about as cool as songs sung by throat cancer survivors.

The whole idea behind certain old photos looking ‘cool’ was because of technical, physical, or other limitations of the period, reflected through the lens of time. These cameras took shitty photos, which via NOSTALGIA were lent a kind of charm.

The colours of winter would have been nice to see!

Very well, I can accept that these old shitty photos have, over time, earned a kind of artfulness, but again, there’s nothing else that could have been done. You can’t drive faster than your car can go.

The advent of digital cameras has opened up a huge new widened horizon of photography, with the only problem being the crappy sensors that most phones and compact cameras have. This leads to noisy images in the dark, but let’s ignore that and look at the best-case.

Come on now, the jungle should be vibrant. The picture is flat, all the depth in the face is gone!

Digital photos, at their best, are vibrant, sharp, and noise-free to an extent that film photographers could never have dreamed of. Whether this is desirable or not is beside the point, digital photos offer an unprecedented look at the world. What these apps do, and I guess I have to blame the users more than the apps (guns don’t shoot themselves, etc) is basically the equivalent of sandblasting your car or beating you new solid wood furniture with chains to make it look weathered. AKA shitty.

Scars are meant to be gained through experience and use; they’re supposed to have stories behind them. THAT is honourable. Dirtying up a mediocre photo to make it look more interesting is not just ugly and/or lame, it’s dishonest.

Way to not spend money! Jerk!

If you want to share what you see – I’m all for that! I love seeing pictures from my friends! – share what you SEE.

And lastly, if you think you’re being artistic… don’t. Art is not using a preset to ruin your photos; it’s not imposing someone else’s vision on your work.

PS – While looking for examples on GIS, I found others who share my disdain for this practice.

Commissioned Art: Robot A Final

So this is it for this character. We’ve cleaned up a bunch of things that seemed off to me, including moving the head forward a bit and styling up the ‘ears’ a bit. We’ve fixed the front under-robe part to look more the part, less of a shirt.

Finally, we shortened the sleeves of the robe a bit, and beefed up the forelegs slightly. I think this made it look a bit more balanced. It was slightly top-heavy before. I’m pretty happy with it!

For or against the iPad

I’m not trying to convince anyone either way, but I see three cases regarding the iPad:

1. You want to consume media and don’t really care about usability or ultimate function. Maybe there’s some specialized app(s) that make(s) the purchase worth it.

2. The lack of function for its size means you’re happier with a smartphone, which ultimately provides a good deal of the same usability, but is far more portable. You’re also not really interested in the type of app that would make better use of the larger screen.

3.You’re ultimately happier with a fully-functional notebook, which provides much greater functionality, but sacrifices certain aesthetic or form-factor benefits.

Arguably, the thing that the iPad does best is just being itself. What I mean is, its size, shape, and ergonomics make certain uses better, but its hardware and Apple-dictated limitations mean that its range of uses is smaller.

I guess you could say that the iPad is like Wolverine, in a way: It’s the best there is at what it does. However, I think in my case I want both more, and less, than it offers.

Commissioned Art: Robot A WIP v2

Not alot to say about this one.

We fleshed out the head a bit to fit in with my idea more, and tightened up the look of the clothing. The sloping shoulders are gone for a more ‘stylish’ look, and we’ve slimmed the sleeves a bit.

I wanted the robe to have a more dynamic feel to it as well. It looked a little limp before, kind of doctor-looking. Also gone is the kind of teeshirt and pants look for something a bit more professional looking.

Only two things spring to mind right now: The shirt/pants thing looks a bit too contemporary, and I kind of wanted the legs to have a chunkier, more robust feel to them. Maybe a couple small mods to the head.

Next post will be the final version! We got this one pretty close from the start, and it’s really helping me with my descriptive writing. :D

Commissioned Art: Robot A WIP v1

This next character is an archivist of sorts. Maybe not a specific character but a type of character.

This is a great first start, but there are a couple of issues that don’t mesh with what I had in my mind: The robe is a bit limp, the sleeves a tad too voluminous. The shoulders slope a bit too much, the ‘shirt’ isn’t quite right, and and the head is incorrect.

Maybe you can guess at my influence for some of this character’s look, but either way, let’s see what we can fix for the next revision :)

Commissioned Art: Pirate Final

And she’s done!

Gonna get her coloured one day, but I’m thinking if I ever get this book published, these sketches will be official art. I like em that much.

She usually wears a cloak, but more for the image it gives her than for any practical concerns. She just looks more fearful this way. She can quickly detach and lose it if she needs more flexibility or less-obstructive movements. A cape can also have functional combat uses for someone who knows what they’re doing.

Next up – a minor character!

Commissioned Art: Pirate WIP v2

Version two!

This character is supposed to wear more traditional bits of armour, so the kind of futuristic super-heroine armour didn’t really fit in with my image of the character, although I think it would’ve looked kickass for another type of character.

She also needed to be a little younger looking, and the shading added to the eyes.

Commissioned Art: Pirate WIP v1

I was linked to Seamas Gallagher‘s excellent Wheel of Time art (he does a lot of other cool subjects, btw!) by a friend of mine and I asked if he was open to commissions – he was! So we started working on these ideas for some characters from my book.

One thing I really appreciate about this process is that it allows me visualize my characters better, and can help to refine how I want them to look. I think it’ll definitely help my writing.

So anyway, this was what came out of the description of the first character I sent him. Who is she? She’s the leader of a group of piratey raider-type fellows.

Why yes, I AM being intentionally vague because most of this stuff isn’t set in stone yet.

More to come!