Friday, December 21, 2012

Misc sketches

Stupid Photoshop tricks- You can reorder your brush presets through here. Click the little circle with the triangle in it. You can click-drag your presets around in the Preset Manager.

Three sketches I started more than a month ago. I worked on them whenever I had a bit of free time. Started them after watching the Feng Zhu tutorial video on Multitasking and decided to try that for myself. Of course, it takes me way longer than it does him to sketch out something like that, which is pretty darn humbling.


I think I need to do more fantasy-oriented stuff. Lost a job opportunity because I didn't have that in my repertoire.

UDK stuff:
Finally finished that cart

Sinks, complete with reflection and running water.

Plants- a bamboo, a dracaena, and a palm
Admittedly this is my first time making vegetation but I think I understand the basics...
I'm still trying to figure out the InteractiveFoliageActor setup to make it move aside when you touch it, but it's a little difficult to understand the material setup and there is not much documentation or tutorials. Ahh I'm so new to all this ugh.

A toilet flushing.
The water was done with morph targets and overlapping panning detail normal maps, the splash with a particle effect stolen from the UDK link gun.
Just like real automatic toilets, it flushes all the time whether you want it to or not and saves a negative amount of water. But basically a trigger volume checks if you're in range and waits 5 seconds to enable flush action.

Standing Fountain

Wow, it looks almost decent from the un-lit side!
The same panning detail normals that enable the water animation is plugged into the distortion input in the material for a refraction effect and, well, I hope it's cheap enough.

I give up trying to understand how Blogger interprets a carriage return.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Black Torch

Dumb Photoshop tricks- I think I'm out of dumb Phonograph's one that's more of a parlor trick for you Windows users, though. It feels neat but when I was working with Macs, I ended up not really missing it.

If you press the Alt key, the menu bar lights up, right? Usually the File menu. Sometimes this gets in the way, like when you're trying to Undo but your menu bar is activated. Anyway, you may notice that many of your menu items have a letter that is underlined. Well, you can press that key to move to that menu item. By stringing together a memorized sequence of keys, you can quickly get to your favorite actions if you don't want to do something smart like, say, reprogram your shortcut keys. (That's Ctrl+Alt+Shift+k for Protonshoppe CS5.1 and probably a similar mishmash for Macs)

Yeah, kind of a dumb trick. Mac users, you aren't missing much. Just reprogram your shortcut keys. Better that way.

These keys might be different for your Photoshop.
[Alt t b Enter m] goes to the Motion Blur filter (in this case, the first letter of the filter is the key to press, but there are multiple "b" entries so you need to activate it with Enter)(also, some of the keys are linked to specific actions so you can't use, say, "r" because it's linked to Lens Correction. Unless you hide that item in your preferences)
[Alt i g 1] rotates the canvas 180 degrees (I think in older Photoshops it was Alt i e 1)
[Alt l f] flattens all layers, although you probably have a shortcut for that. (I don't for some reason...)

I used to be super-fast with those keys but these days all the menu bar does is get in the way when I want to Undo. : /

Anyway, Black Torch. Black Torch is a comic anthology that some friends of mine started more than a year ago. It was supposed to be finished much sooner, but life got in the way for everyone, and some new people hopped on, and now it's coming out some time early next year. It took me the better part of half a year and I would have never been able to finish it if I hadn't been unemployed. So YAY for unemployment! (no not really)

 Anyway, here's some pages out of 23 total:

The original gimmick was to reuse the same shot many times in order to save time, and it would just keep accumulating corpses in a non-sequitur way. (it's not a dark story, maybe it's a dark comedy or something. I just wanted to make something silly since my previous stories had been more serious drama/action stuff)

Well, it sort of saved time, and I even have a master corpse file with all the corpses arranged where they should be so I can just move the whole chunk into the document. Still, I had to match colors and lighting and the background needed to be created each time, so I'm not sure how much I really saved. Still, I think it was effective for the non-sequitur gimmick.

I miss Gary Larson. : (

Also got to practice using photo texture overlays, which is still something I have not got quite down but it seemed to help.

Here's a progress gif of one of the pages:
(I don't really find these helpful, but they're neat to look at and also I need to justify my stupid iterative backup system that I wrote with DOS batch files. 1038 LINES OF DOS BATCH  akusdhfkjshakdf. On the plus side, it's automatic, it backs up (to external drives) near all my files every 30 minutes (only the ones that change aka have the archive bit set) and reaches back almost 3 months. On the negative side, all the time wasted writing BATCH and debugging and more debugging and it will only work on my system and only if the moons are aligned.)