Thursday, November 6, 2014
It's not a movie. It's a prediction.
The movie is not about a dying planet with its people trying to survive. The movie is about our planet and its future.
This is Nolan's wake up call to the humanity, and this movie goes into the list of handful of movies and TV shows that used its fodder to make a social commentary. Schindler's List, The Wire and Grave of the Fireflies to name a few. All the visuals and special effects are secondary to its core messages - to bait in the general audience with the fancies and switching to preaching the message. Although I'm afraid people who'll love this movie will be a choir anyway, and Nolan would only be preaching to them. It's either you understand the technical aspect of this movie or you don't. And the latter will exit the cinema annoying their friends with questions like "Why did she get old so fast". Anyone with any slight interest in futurism will feel like their long held belief has been confirmed, that for humanity to survive we must act early and fast. The sentiment 'why are we spending money on Earth when we should spend it on space?" will ring empty for most people, unfortunately. For them this will be just another movie out of many movies they watched over the years.
The movie also does an excellent job of drumming the point that meaningful advancement takes more than a single lifetime to accomplish - that we have to think past our myopic sense of time. We don't invest in space today so we can goto Mars today, but so that our children may some day. Our work today may seem trivial but the next generation will carry on with the work and improve upon what we build today. In short, Interstellar is the futurist's wet dream realized in a movie form.
***spoiler below. Nothing too obvious - just a vague explanation of the final act.
I mean, the movie ultimately ends with the humanity saving itself with the help of more advanced humanity. How fucking futurist is that. Self-determinism, post-singularity humans, theory of relativity, and AI robots that's not murderous and psychopathic. SPOOLSH.
So if you're looking for some fun without all the emotional baggage, don't watch it. All the main characters cry half the screen time with snot running down their noses. And the whole power of love thing is absolutely cringe inducing. I almost thought a dead character would be brought back with the power of a single tear or something to exaggerate a bit. Otherwise, it's a history making film. This movie will be used as an example many years in the future as the movie that describes its contemporary mantra.
Lastly, the final act makes me angry not because it was bad but because I was planning an ending for my comic kind of similar to it conceptually. It's not narratively or tonally the same so meh, I'm still gonna go with the ending I planned. I'm just writing this down here so maybe 10 years later when some dick accuses me of plagiarism I'm going to fuck them up the ass with this post.
Saturday, September 27, 2014
Well, I had imagined going totally nuts on my intro video and make it overwhelmingly epic. But then the life crushes any soul out of you and leaves you as husk of a man.
So what I had in mind was an intro video where I narrate whatever I need to give new viewers some idea of what my channel is going to be - and a time-lapse video of me drawing a bunch of different faces playing behind it.
Well I ended up drawing that epic background piece for over 10 hours and even when sped up by 10 times it still ended up around at 1 hour and 15 minutes. But still, at the time I was like all "cool cool, it's just gonna be even more epic."
But then I had over-estimated how long the actual narration was going to be. I had a cannon shell ready but I ended up getting a pea-shooter clocking at measly 2 minutes and 43 seconds. Not even enough to display me drawing each faces for 3 second.
I mean it's already nail-bitingly horrifying the sound of my own voice coming out of the speakers. I couldn't even fit in the epic background in a reasonable way. So the video got cut to bite sizes, with only a handful of faces making a semi-decent appearance.
So hopefully I won't go overboard in the future vids and make reasonable concession on the fly before I make any heavy commitments. Morale of the story? Dream realistically. Don't aim for the moon. Just shoot the damn stars already.
Oh and the unedited raw video so you can enjoy the process in its full glory. Online when it is.
That is all.
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
For Photoshop CS or higher. (Only tested with Photoshop CC but should work with CS AFAIK)
Last bit of organizing before the recording begins. This one was quite a bitch to put together.
What I had to do was - I basically had to go through over 200 brushes I've made in my time with Photoshop (That's like since 2003), selecting only the ones that moderately worked and discard the rest. Then I had to categorically organize them, and to help with the navigation I created a number of divider brushes to mark the category inserted into every 5 brushes. I then had to make sure the labeling relatively accurately represented each sections (Which I had to do over and over, with some categories being deleted and made over about 10 times), then shifted the brushes around a bit more for better categorization. And then I tested the brushes again to see they worked as intended. Also I tested the performance of most brushes so they were not a resource hog (Although there still are some), re-making some of the brushes to be more speed friendly. Again then I had to create a couple more brushes to fill the quota, and finally then gave all the brushes a new name to be more intuitive and easy to recognize (And because the names were kinda cheeky before).
The brush organization was a pure chaos before this work was made. To the point where I just never used most of my own damn brushes. I probably still won't use most of these brushes but I'll probably use them more than I did before. Seriously, I used to use like 5 brushes. Now I can at least see what's where. Oh, and also I did a bit more testing and researching to make a new main brush. The one I used mainly before had a single fatal flaw - in a very specific angle the smoothness of the brush broke down and gave a sharp rendering which kinda messed up with my shading tech. Now there's a brush that fixes the issue and replaces it. I'm hoping to get quite a bit of mileage out of the new main brush.
This brush set should comprehensively cover most aspect of digital painting, from heavily rendered style to digital comics. I'm releasing this as a free for all so you may use this commercially. No credit needed. Just don't go around saying you made this.
At some point down the line I'll be doing a brush tutorial covering some of the better brushes, if not all. Well, enjoy the brush set until then. I may get to swatches some day but that thing's still a big mess so don't hold your breath.
Thursday, August 21, 2014
Saturday, August 9, 2014
Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Friday, June 20, 2014
Four years ago I was working on a magazine tutorial piece regarding art style. I wanted something extensive that covered variety of characters and styles, but as life goes, you don't always get what you want when you want. Things like your skill, condition, and time constraint factors in to what you can realistically produce.
And I just happened to have chosen the wrong time to tackle the piece. Below is how far I got with it back in 2010:
|Ambitious, but ultimately futile.|
Not that I was absolutely terrible back then - I could have reasonably done it had I given it a chance, but back then I was too ill and too tired. Healthy body healthy mind. I can't emphasize enough about keeping your body well maintained. I was too young and too naive to understand the concept and I suffered for it. Something for all of you out there to keep in mind.
Combined with approaching deadline, sleepless nights and overall low morale, I eventually reconciled and opted for more simpler, streamlined approach. Reduce it down to just 2 characters to symbolize the stylistic difference, and just render the upper body. Starting to sound familiar? Because you've seen the piece already:
So that's what became of my failed attempt back then. I wanted too much in too short of a time with too little. And now I've revisited the piece because I felt that I could.
Well, so that's about it. Enjoy.
I'll leave you with individual views plus timelapse video below:
|Large version at imgur because blogger resize sucks. Click to view.|
As usual, the vid goes online when it finishes processing.
Monday, June 2, 2014
Monday, May 26, 2014
I don't usually recommend games as for most part I feel like they're a waste of time. I still love games and the concept of it as an entertainment and art platform, but the problem is how stale they are nowadays. As once young avid gamer I saw games becoming stagnant over the years with the same rehashed gameplay that made no departure from Pac-Man mentality. Once what was a new, fresh gameplay got slowly replaced by QTE prompts and old unimproved mechanics. That eventually drove me to nearly stop playing games entirely. You play one, and you've played them all. Few games came around that was worthy of my audience, but then those games could be 'watched' from youtube gamers and that provided me with enough information I didn't have to waste trying to trudge through the boring, awful gameplay. Even with massive backlogs of Steam library I was almost all done with gaming altogether.
And all of a sudden this goddamn game appears out of nowhere. Still relatively unknown with only handful of people with their hands on it.
Factorio is it's name.
|A small portion of my work after 10 hours. Click to enlarge.|
The game's still in Alpha, but graphically and functionally the game's incredibly and completely playable. Of course, since I'm writing this, I highly recommend everyone to give it a try. It's dirt cheap too at 13 bucks. The game's not a problem for people with crappy old laptops either. It's a 2d game and probably will run on a potato if you tried.
So what's this game about?
You are a lone space frontiersman sent by your people to find a suitable planet and ready it for your people's arrival. Your job is to create chains of resources and process them for advanced production of items and goods. In essence, you are tasked with logistics of resource production.
First thing you'll notice off the bat is the game's INSANE scale. You start small with few furnaces and boxes, but the game quickly escalates to a massive scale full industrial production of goods and items of every kind.
And every single resource is visually represented as seen in the screenshots above. There will be literally hundreds and thousands of moving objects in any given time and while it looks complicated and daunting, it is absolutely intuitive.
At first, your character starts off with nothing but few metals, a mining drill and a furnace. You must harvest resources, craft buildings and items to expand your chains of supplies and factories. Your lone driller and furnace soon become dozens of them. After running around getting fuels and collecting resources you soon acquire the power of electricity that in conjunction with conveyor belts it automates the whole process you've been doing manually. Your operation ultimately ends up looking like a full scale production of Toyota manufacturing in the end. You can literally build cars and trains and flying robots from resource you gather from the ground - of course, after processing them into iron plate, copper wire, steel, simple circuits, iron gears, inserters, electric engine, robot frames and whatever the precursor you may be required to produce.
This game nails the one thing all the other games in the history of gaming never got right: The logistics. No "Industry Points", no "more gold/cash" and no bullshit. Every resource is accounted for and the efficiency of your operation is completely up to your wit and intelligence. If you are incapable, there will be production bottleneck which cripples the flow. If you play it smart, everything will run smoothly. You must balance between efficiently harvesting your current resource and seeking for new resources for further exploitation. It's a constant battle between exploring and exploitation.
The game's logistics mechanic is a huge departure from other builder games that we've all grown to accept as norm. It is this difference that drove me to get a near addiction to the game.
Oh, and also there's hostile native creatures that will attack you as you produce more pollution from all those gas-guzzling factories. Yes. Pollution is a factor in this game and you are also in direct control over it.
It's difficult to explain why putting down conveyor belts to specify the flow of resources and robot arms to pick them up for processing is so appealing, but just the fact that the game doesn't automatically do things for me and that I am tasked with creating complex of network of conveyor logics and inserters to "make" the automation happen is extremely satisfying and downright orgasmic.
As a closer, I'm gonna leave you with this playlist of gaming youtuber Arumba who's been religiously doing his Factorio let's plays which convinced me to buy the game.
If I didn't do enough to convince you, give this let's play a watch. It certainly got a sale out of me and it might do you too.
Sunday, May 11, 2014
OK, so my workstation has been getting some performance issues and I decided for reinstall.
Owning an imac mid 2011 on a bootcamp, I thought, "Hey, Why don't I install Maverick and see how that goes?"
The actual reinstall goes without a hitch. Soon after I am greeted with Lion's start screen. I set everything up and start. That's when I remembered why I just outright nuked OSX and put a bastard windows on an imac like a goddamn Frankenstein's monster.
I am met with an immediate annoyance. How the hell do Mac users live with their mouse acceleration? Seriously? Immediately I access the mouse setting. There is no way to check off the acceleration. I look up on the internet and there are few hits on forums.
Turns out, you have to access a TERMINAL to enter a command prompt just to disable the godfucking goddamn mouse acceleration.
Seriously, Steve? You couldn't even let people have the option of freedom of navigation? Were you so obsessed with smooth, butter-like movement you had to artificially choke the mouse by its neck?
Anyway so I had a bunch of shit to install so I moved on. It's not big of a deal, I thought.
So I heard of this Maverick guy, heard he's pretty cool. I think once my OSX has been upgraded to the latest and the greatest, I'm pretty sure everything will be easier and more streamlined for use. So where do I get the upgrade? Oh, the App store? Okay.
What? You want me to log in? Jebus. I haven't used the Apple id since iPhone 4, but okay. I guess I'll just have to look it up.
And then I naively thought I'd just simply access my NAS drive and retrieve my password document. Oh such innocence!
NOPE, says OSX. YOU WANT AUTOMATIC NETWORK DISCOVERY LIKE ON WINDOWS? YOU CAN'T HAVE IT! HA HA! YOU'LL HAVE TO MANUALLY ENTER THE IP OF THE DRIVE YOU WANT TO ACCESS! HA HA!
Yeah. Never mind then. I never wanted to use OSX anyway.
I'll go back to Windows with no mouse acceleration and login-free windows updates.
I'll go back to easy-to-understand file structure with visible root folder.
I'll go back to simple short-cut icons on the background instead of your shitty launchpads, mission control, dashboard, and bunch of other arcane-sounding useless overlapping access methods.
I'll go back to consistent UI scheme instead of your rage-inducing random app-dependent UI changes.
Seriously, Just opening CHESS, you can't just press X to close it. The app DISABLES X. You can enlarge it, or fold it down, but NOT close. You must right-click the Chess icon on the DOCK to open a menu and click close to close. But you know what? Hey, how about that X button you so wanted.... ON A CALCULATOR? Yes! Calculator gets that close button you always wanted! Why? I don't know! Can Chess get one too? NO!
iMac, when I bought you, I seriously thought I was gonna move around a helluva lot. Turns out that didn't happen and now I'm sitting with a shitty all-in-one computer that is temp throttled and has no bios support - which means I can never disable hyperthreading or overclock. I do like your monitor's color quality, liquid (like from wet tissues) easily leaking into panel edges from the side not withstanding. I even upgraded you where you allow it - Ram to 16GB, HDD to SDD and whatnot. But seriously. You have problems man.
Bootcamp not supporting fan setting left you hot for months until I found a third-party program to manually alter the fan speed. The drivers that come with Bootcamp seems to include a ton of bloat too - so eventually after days of experiment I installed only the minimally required drivers - wifi, ethernet, and gpu. Shifting through wifi and ethernet drivers made by different companies was quite a challenge but eventually I came through.
But seriously, everything about Apple cries dictatorship. I love you iMac, but you need help. Your company needs help.
I remember that night at my sister's trying to install windows 7 on her 2009 Macbook. It wouldn't update and the Bootcamp drivers only supported Vista. I stayed up frantically trying to find the manufacturer for the wifi module and I was ecstatic when I finally found and downloaded the driver DIRECTLY from the manufacturer's website. The sun was just rising, and the birds were chirping all that jazz and whatnot by that time.
It would have been much easier had Apple disclosed all their part's makers, but no, they wouldn't want that, would they? The truth was revealed only after searching through hours and hours of random denizens of the internet tech supporting each other on the forums.
'If I could revive Steve Jobs, I'd kill him again with his god damned fruit diet of his.' I thought at the time. Well, not at the time. I thought of it just now but if Jobs had died back then I would have thought it.
As a semi tech-savvy person who is not technically proficient enough to sudo this and sudo that, but not totally illiterate enough to not mind the blatant file structure obfuscation, Windows seem to really does it for me. It's okay. It's fine. It's usable. It's simple enough and quite sufficiently robust. It has enough options but not too many. Just right.
So, my beloved iMac. Windows 7 is going to violate you once again tonight. I will violate you so thoroughly I'm going to first disable the UAC, turn features off, and by Gods, yes! I AM SO GOING TO go to performance settings and DISABLE VISUAL FEATURES.
Just to top it off, you know, I'm going to check 'show hidden files' too. HEH HEH.
But yeah, I wouldn't go as far as installing Windows 8.1 on you. No, even I wouldn't go that far.
I'm pretty nasty but I ain't no Hitler.
Monday, March 31, 2014
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
So there's this piece I did a long time ago.
I recently re-did the elven girl thingy so I thought I'd give this one another go.
But I had foregone the fact that the piece was a flawed concept to begin with. I tried spicing up the piece as I saw fit, but I couldn't help but get bored out of my mind drawing something I didn't find interesting.
So the piece stops here.
This, by the way, was 40 days ago. I have not touched it since. Aesthetically it looks alright, but conceptually, it's just a girl drawn from low angle perspective. The whole piece was about putting my drawing skill to the test (specifically, drawing extreme angles), and as soon as I felt that I was doing it sufficiently enough, I lost all the reason to continue drawing and spending (and wasting) time on putting details on it. Will it look good if I finished it? Probably. Does its artistic merit do justice to possible time and effort that it will require to finish? Nah. And Meh 002.
Drawing monotone is always an enjoyable experience. You get to fully explore forms and spaces without the distraction and the responsibility of color painting. It's kind of like what sketching is to lineart.
Anyways, I haven't been uploading frequently and for obvious reasons. I will probably have another timelapse up soon.
That is all.
Saturday, January 11, 2014
In 2007 I did a character piece - along with what was to become my first ever art timelapse recording:
And after 7 years I gave it another go, also recording the process start to finish.
Well, that is all. Enjoy.