Page 655: Fire -19-

The call Greymalkin’s been waiting for finally came in.

Panel two is a callback to Jason Whitehouse’s mention of Templar Assistance Commands a few pages ago – TACT being the acronym of Templar Assistance Command, Terra. Think MACV only with better technology and far fewer personnel. Greymalkin filled in “Terra” on the requisite paperwork for obvious reasons – “TACT” sounds a hell of a lot better than “TACE.” The barely-visible “TACKS” above the 79 on the port engine pod of the Pollux in the last pane of the previous page is short for Templar Assistance Command Kolg Saerai.

Panel one is a continued zoom and dolly from panel four of Fire -18- – from a medium shot of the Pollux to a medium shot of the Oberon and its Valkyrie escort. From there the scene dissolves to panel two and the camera pans down and then cuts.

The Oberon is a re-use of the old “stealth” maps of the Daedalus – I blew the dust off of those, tweaked them a bit, and added orange highlights. It’s about as not-the-Daedalus as it can get while using the same geometry – a thing done for plot purposes. You’ll see what I mean in a few pages! 😀

While it lacks the crepuscular depth of Water -16-, I feel that the shot comprising panels two and three is stronger than its Lighting Porn counterpart – the camera field of view is much narrower so the trucks are almost an orthographic projection. The grass/shadow integration is a lot tighter than it was in the previous exterior shot, and marks my first use of a displacement map in years – possibly this century. It’s also the final planned appearance of Michael King, who’s trying to get Beef Knuckleback to smoke weed with him.

I have no idea when the next page will be up. It’s the start of a new scene – it doesn’t need any environment modeling but it will need reference model detailing and more information design before I can really roll on production. Hopefully pages will start flowing again later this month!

Blog: Send Me Your Money!

In early May I created a Patreon account. I’ve made it thirteen years without asking for help, and if I want ATC to keep going, well… I’m gonna need all the help I can get. I’m gonna need you to send me your money!

Apologies to Suicidal Tendencies – the song popped into my head while writing copy for Patreon and it seemed like a great opener for the related ATC blog post (this bit here), so I ran with it.

This post establishes the existence of the Patreon account and firms up the ATC production roadmap. The roadmap is planned to be the first blog post to the account once I take it live. I feel that it reads a lot like a pitch for a fixed amount of funding – a budget, if you will – and in some ways it is. While ATC was planned as a seven book thing and for a very long time was dreamed of as an ongoing series, I can’t see past the end of the current book. It has been in production since 2007. ATC is a trilogy until it’s done. I have to finish it; I can’t move on with my life until I do. I can not see or plan for what comes after it until I, myself, am after it. I am Ahab. Creative fatigue and financial stress have really put the zap on me. My costs are fixed. My freelance income is not. Freelance is a fickle beast – on the one hand pants are optional on the other the work commands and utterly exhausts the creative impulse. I am asking you to buy time. The more you pledge the more time I’ll have to spend on ATC instead of some hungrier thing. The faster this particular leg of the project is done the faster we’ll get to see what comes next.

With your help there will be a next. Read More →