Descent up, metadata notes, breather.

I should probably note that the new page metadata is generated as I’m cleaning up the page – typically in one or two sessions – and is pasted in during the mass upload. The mass uploads have a creation period of a few minutes, compared to the days that a scene rework takes. I’ve been uploading in batches instead of one at a time for a few reasons – the big one is that it’s just easier. Between the straight-html archives requiring a full rebuild to keep their shit straight and the tedium of ganking the original metadata and post timing out of the old db… it’s better to do it all in one crunch.

That and unless I’m grinding out Brand New Pages, this means every update is several pages, instead of one every few days or weeks.

That said, Descent is up. I took a pass on the idea of nixing Tantek’s “fifth eye,” and sniped the first two pages of Convergence – they’re now descent -6- and -7- respectively. This means Descent will be 19 pages instead of 21. Unlike previous scenes, it won’t be One Big Upload – I’ll rewrite it as one big scene, but I’ll be breaking it into two or three chunks to make it more manageable.

Oh, and I don’t intend to get started on the reformatting until next weekend. I’ve slacked enough on some freelance obligations… time to pull my head out of this thing for a few days.

Well, the Photoshop end, anyway. I still gotta do the rewrite.

Convergence primed.

The again-temp cover has been reformatted, the synopsis and production data have been ported over, and Convergence – Chapter Two of the second edition, Chapter One of the first – is ready for pages.

This won’t be a straight crop-clean-and-dump a la Signal. Most of the original pages will be given the same treatment – I’m currently leaning towards redrawing one of them. Yeah, just one.

I’m learning, see.

So 35 reworks, one probable redraw, four new pages (which I’m pre-pre-rendering now)… all of it taken at a slightly more sedate pace than the previous chapter. It still needs a complete scene-by-scene rewrite… and I haven’t officially started on that yet. The draft of Raven and West chatting doesn’t count, at least not yet – the first draft is too much exposition with little in the way of impact on the story.

Reworks and cleanup have so far been fairly easy – the issue I’m toying with now is the idea of removing the O from Tantek’s 8O8 optics – covering it over with the same gunmetal green as the rest of his armor. Redrawing the helmet completely is out of the question, but plugging the center could make the suit look more “Inspired By Briareos” and less “Badly Drawn Briareos.” In theory, anyway. In practice, such a change would be a whole lotta work with very minimal payoff.

There’s a lot of that helmet in this chapter, so I’m going to futz around a bit and see if I can come up with a viable solution. If I can’t, no biggie – it’ll be one less item on the to-do list.

And if THAT isn’t fun enough… the core scene of the chapter – some 18 pages – is going for its second adjustment – first 1800×2400 to 2250×3000; now 1800×2400 to 1850×2774 (live area of 1800×2700). That’s gonna be FUN! 😀

Actually, it won’t be. But appearances are important, or so I’ve been told.

Cage up; chapter complete.

Cage, which used to be Animal and Hammering before that, has been cleaned up, tweaked, or otherwise reformatted to spec. This completes the chapter – at 42 pages (actual), it’s two pages shorter than the first edition version, thanks to the relocation of the “introduction” pages into Incursion.

It’s taken just under a month from start to finish – and that’s with stupidly enormous amounts of vacation time thrown at the project. The next few chapters will take longer.

Work on Convergence will start in a week or so – I have some commission work to take care of, and xeno still needs to typornograph Signal. It isn’t actually done-Done until he gives it a thumbs up, so.

Speaking of Convergence…. I’ll be adding four pages.* Four pages of badly needed context that fills in a pretty friggin’ enormous plot hole. That happens near the end of the chapter, so I don’t know how getting that done will effect deployment of reformatted pages.

I should also note that after this chapter passes typorno and I’ve had time to mull over any further changes or adjustments, I’ll be proceeding with print formatting (grayscale and color) and, whenever I get around to generating a proper cover (front, back, insides)… hardcopy. Get this thing locked into something resembling CANON! before I succumb to changing it any further.

I’ve been threatening hardcopy for quite awhile now, and really, what I’m doing to The Dualist now is what Needs To Be Done in order to get it there.

Trust me on this, mmmkay?

* The Plan – which is much more coherent than the Cylon Plan, really – is to add four pages to Convergence, four to Clarity, and another eight-to-ten page wad (“expulsion”) between Clarity and Motion. The additions to Convergence will patch a gaping plot hole; the extra pages for Clarity will sort of restore a scene that was cut, and Expulsion will just confuse the hell out of everything until I finish Dead City Radio.

Control cleaned up.

The eight pages of Control are up. See the individual pages for major changes – there’s too many to recall offhand… though I think I can say with certainty that the story is finally cleansed of infringing copyrights, trademarks, etcetera.

Finally. Took me long enough.

Right. That thing in the nuthatch is up next, later this week. Then I might just take the rest of the month OFF.

Reaction uploaded.

Reaction is up, and has been nickel-and-dimed quite a bit more than either of the previous scenes in terms of cleanup. Like the chapter to date, this scene has also been retroscripted – a bit of a tradeoff, really – ejecting one exposition-and-drugs structure for another.

While the original text revealed more about the immediate story, the rewrite gives a broader idea of the whole story, hinting at various events that have happened over the past forty years of the ATC timeline.

The remainder of the chapter should survive intact, at least story-wise. There’s still plenty of cleanup and tweaking to be done before I can stick a fork in Signal, hopefully for good.

Distortion uploaded

TD2E Chapter one scene two has been uploaded. It starts here and runs for nine pages.

Re-production wise, the chapter is over the hump – signal seems to have required the majority of the cleanup work so far. Distortion got its fair share of reformatting, and some cleanup ranging from continuity and emprettyment to some more serious heavy lifting, but overall the changes are more to the dialogue than anything else.

22 of 42 pages reprocessed – 20 left, and only six of those have any meaningful dialogue. Not only that, most of the “quality control” issues I had (a la Dead City Radio) were already fixed during the First Edition hardcopy assembly. In plain english : Signal should be re-completed this month. On schedule!

With the next scene I’ll finally – finally! – be working on “normal” pages: the kind of composition that makes up the bulk of the second half of the story – the kind of stuff I “cleverly” worked my ass off to avoid until I got 3d backgrounds rolling.

So… this week looks to be Reaction, and possibly Control as well.

First batch uploaded.

The first reformatted pages are up. The Dualist, second edition, Chapter One, scene one. Signal on both counts (scene, chapter).

Think you’ve read it before? You haven’t.

This isn’t just a reformat (3×4 to 6×9), it’s also a cleanup, a rewrite, and in some cases a retroscript, complete rebuild, or some other form of major surgery. These pages are, by and large, not the original pages.

If you thought the Second Edition was a giant waste of time (and some days, I’d agree with you), well… read the scene. Compare it to the original version. Look at the differences and tell me this isn’t a big improvement.

The nine pages of distortion are up next. I have no idea how long they’ll take to produce – Incursion is a formatting minefield and so far, everything’s been Just Different Enough that I really have no idea what to expect in terms of time consumption.

As usual, you’ll know when I do.

Where’s that heavy machinery?

The ATC production blog from 2003 through to October of 2008 was left out of the 2008.10 migration to Movable Type 4. As part of the 2013.10 migration from Movable Type 4 to WordPress 3.X, I’m back-dating this post to whatever the blog equivalent of pole position is. Not as an indication that I have any intent to restore the old blog data but as a less-than-loud announcement that I don’t. As most of the blog is muttering about the website and commentary on the now long-complete Second Edition of The Dualist, there’s a good chance I may clean things up even further before ATCv11 goes live. I pulled the ejection cord on the older blog data as a means of sweeping an extended period of grumpiness under the rug – and given the overall tone of ATC metadata that was either an exercise in futility or my sense of what constitutes “acceptable for ATC” has changed considerably over the last five years. Regardless of what happens to the blog posts imported from the MT4 database, the only corroborating evidence that ATC existed prior to the publish date of this post is the metadata of the posts themselves.

08:58 < solios> fagbot: atc?
08:58 < fagbot> somebody said atc was Dan’s Realdoll or Alcohol, Tobacco & Cantaloupes or Air Traffic Control or Around The Clock or Advanced Technology Center or Actually Totally Coherent