Be A Good Ninja!
Originally uploaded by spinneyhead.
A message that is relevant to all of us, I feel.
First of a possible series of Ninspirations, inspirational messages from ninja movies. This Ninspiration is taken from Ultimate Ninja, available on Amazon for the princely sum of 35p (though we got our copy for 10p). It’s every bit as so-bad-it’s-brilliant as you’d expect a 10p movie to be.
Available through Renderosity.
24 1200 by 1600 pixel background photos of lakes, hills, valleys and streams for use in renders and artwork.
Another product from Spinneyhead for use in the background of 3D backgrounds. The Alley Backgrounds set consists of 25 images, at 1600 by 1200 pixels, of back streets and alleyways around Manchester. Ideal for shortcuts, chases and secret meetings.
This, of course, has come out too early to be included in my vowed one product per month minimum target for 2007. However, I have a couple more of these sets planned for the New Year.
Amazon affiliate links-
The photos were taken with a Canon Powershot A620, a top quality camera.
Spinneyhead’s Tail grows again with another product for use in renders and artwork.
Southern Cemetery graveyard backgrounds
They’re the result of a wander around Chorlon’s huge graveyard that I took last week. I have another set, of alleyways and the like, which should be ready for upload soon.
Spinneyhead’s tail grows a little more. The original Post Industrial backgrounds set was popular, so I went out and took some more pictures of decaying Manchester for you to use in the backgrounds of renders. (May require Animotions membership to view.)
I’ve got my first product listed on Renderosity. It’s a selection of woodland and park background photos for Poser renders and other images. There are fourteen images at 1600 by 1200 pixels, each in three versions- the image and two levels of blur to simulate depth of field.
Poser 6 allows you to set depth of field in renders and will blur the foreground and background for you but, after waiting nearly fourteen hours for a scene to render, I figured that it’s sometimes simpler to cheat. So the depth of field images can be set as the background for portraits and headshots, and could be useful for keeping attention focussed on the action in a comic strip.
IanP’s English Woodland backgrounds
Another of my upcoming webcomic projects, this one is due before Tiger. In fact, depending upon the work I get done today, it may debut next week.
I’m still working on the Mongrels universe. It’s sort of post Singularity, with self aware AIs getting citizenship rights and evolving to the point where they run their affairs like corporations. The AIs are patrons to the Mongrels, humans with nanotechnology that enhances their abilities, who exist to protect them against luddite humans and other humans from rogue AIs. (No AI believes it could ever be a rogue computer, of course, but they worry that others might be.) There are a load of other elements I want to include and I’m going to write a more complete bible and start encouraging others to contribute to the shared world.
Less gabbing, must go away and get rendering.
Two new Spinneyhead blogs have launched this week.
Two Wheels Good is about bikes. It’s a home for the stuff that’s too specifically about cycling for How to Save the World for Free and too sedate for Gravity. When I get my new camera and video camera I hope to start doing vblogs on commuting, riders and their bikes and, if I can finally find that workshop, building your own bike.
Render is about 3d modelling. After Christmas I hope to be creating comics using Poser and other 3d packages and the blog will start filling up with examples and tutorials as well as news and reviews.
Technorati tag: Spinneyhead
A blog all about sex oriented Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Games. I have an idea for a Mary Tales (dirty) webcomic that revolves around one of these, with most of the art being done in Poser.
Technorati tag: MMORPG
I’m still looking for artists to help on my web comics. I’m going to wrap deputised experts up with a very brief all cg epilogue. I’ll return to the characters in the new year. My next project is the berlin job, an alternate history tale. I’ve got it plotted at 60 pages and i’ve started doing the layouts. This is going to be much more hand drawn, with computer aid for the finishing and possibly colouring. I’ve also got ideas for an adult comic done in cg for mary tales and i’m learning how to use poser just for it.
But i have more ideas, far more than i could hope to draw myself. So i’m looking for collaborators, specifically for a project called ‘mongrels’. It’s a post singularity tale of the cyborgs who keep the peace between humanity and the machines. I’ll script, you’ll draw. At the very least you’ll get something for your portfolio, but there’ll also be a share of subscription and advertising income.
I just bought the new version of Poser, the 3D figure creation and rendering program that is my main cheat for laying out comics panels and getting characters consistently in proportion and relative size. The package is in its sixth iteration and celebrating its tenth anniversary. To celebrate the milestone the program’s creator sat down with e-frontier to discuss his background, work and interests.
First of all, let’s talk about the evolution of Poser. I know that you have a background in animation, and have animation royalty in your family. Can you discuss a bit about your family, education and also your animation experience?
My grandfather, who I never got the chance to meet, was Dave Fleischer. He, along with his brother Max Fleischer, created and ran Fleischer Studios from the 1920s to the 1940s. Dave was credited with directing all the Betty Boop, Popeye, and Koko The Clown cartoons, as well as the features Gulliver’s Travels and Hoppity Goes To Town. My grandfather actually was Koko the clown. He was filmed wearing a clown suit for the animations they would then rotoscope (which they invented and patented).
Jack Vettriano, Britain’s most popular living artist and very rich because of it, got the poses for his most famous work from an art reference book. I’m not about to criticise him for it, I use Poser in much the same way.
Now that I’ve commited myself again to having a go at producing a webcomic, I really ought to get a copy of Poser 6. especially if it does all the cool stuff it claimns to to make cartooning easier. I’ve got Poser 4 and have been using it to pose the characters for DEx. Being able to render out in cartoon style would cut a lot of time from the production.
There’s now a teaser trailer for next year’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy movie. In true teaser trailer tradition it tells you nothing and shows no footage from the movie. This was found by accident at 3DBuzz whilst I was looking for tutorials on 3D modeling packages. Their links to free Poser tutorials may interest our evil webmaster.
John called me yesterday to say that BT’s in-house censorware was blocking Spinneyhead. I must have said naked once too often. Or perhaps it was upset by the gratuitous use of the word fuck in serious web posts. Either way, and as the damage is done, I’m not about to change. Apologies in advance if there becomes one less thing to do in your lunch hour.
And, just to hurt my case further, some Mary Tales stuff. Posts have been sparse for the last few days because I’ve been experimenting with a new way to do art. I’m still using Poser to set up the image (when I get a life model I might start sketching the originals) then using Photoshop and Illustrator to get a clear line style I like a lot. (Insert mandatory work safety notice regarding the presence of naked people in images here.)
There’s a progression and improvement between these two images, and something of a leap from my original Illustrator experiments.
In future all lettering, for Mary and DEx, is going to be done in Illustrator. Speech bubbles etc. are so much easier. I also reckon I can streamline the work required for the Mary art even further. Another couple of images and I can send samples off to Domai to see if they’re interested and/ or have a large buffer of ready art for when webcomicsnation goes live.
I’m back to doing art for Deputised Experts, because I really ought to use the delay in webcomicsnation launching to build up a buffer of art. I always cheat with the art. My equivalent of pencilling is to pose and render scenes in Poser before composing the page and doing line art and shading in Photoshop (layers are a beautiful thing.) However, I haven’t had the patience to make clothes work properly in Poser yet. I find they billow out and give people odd padding, or don’t fill out properly and reveal the pointy bits underneath. So my characters are increasingly posing in the nude or semi nude- to get the proportions and poses right- giving the renders a sort of Dejeuner Sur L’Herbe vibe.
Not a real one, it’s okay.
When Deputised Experts goes over to WebComicsNation and gets back up to speed, it’s going to be heading toward car chases and shoot outs. I can pose the shoot outs in Poser, and I have a couple of cars for the program as well. But for the larger overviews of motorised mayhem, I want to rely upon models for my photo reference. I’ve decided that 1:43rd is a good scale- the models won’t be so large I’ll run out of storage space and there are a lot of subjects available, so it’s off to the model shop to see what they have in their sales and onto EBay for subjects exotic and mundane.