Spoiler-heavy screenshot of various DCR.5 development efforts below the fold. The environment geometry is pretty much done - I need to do some more work on textures and tweak the lights a bit more. Things are shaping up nicely. Time permitting, the environment and character reference props should be done within the next week, with production renders to follow.
April 2012 : all entries
posted 2012.04.28 at 19:57 · comment
posted 2012.04.22 at 16:09 · comment
As I've mentioned previously, planning and pre-production for DCR.5 is well advanced. The script and layouts were finished months ago, all page files have been created, and several pages have been "framed" (initial panel layouts nailed down). I started prep-work on one of the major CG assets a couple of weeks ago and it's nearly ready for primetime.
The majority of the chapter takes place in a single environment with fixed assets - this environment technically already exists, though like other key assets I'll probably spend several hours (or days) updating it in order to make sure that it renders with minimal effort. As the source environment is roughly six years old I expect some degree of work to be necessary. DCR is a higher resolutio[Power blinked. First time MT's spastic-by-default autosave has come in handy!]n than The Dualist, so there's a good possibility that several support assets may prove insufficient.
I'm mentally budgeting two to three weeks for asset creation and updates - I'll need just about everything the chapter requires to get the cover and first few pages out the door. Once assets have reached that point the major bottlenecks will be rendering and drawing.
So. DCR.5 is at roughly the same point as any previous scene of a chapter in production - the key difference is that with a couple of minor exceptions the scene is the chapter.
Cars, guns, paramilitary hardware - I should have it sorted and started at some point in May.
Big emphasis on hopefully. I'm presently working on two separate freelance contracts and am loosely attached to two more. Shoving Provision out the door has had a measurable impact on my ability to handle my paid workload, so to keep everyone happy (and to free up some time down the road), ATC will need to take a back seat to fulfilling contracts for the next several weeks.
On the upside, I've gone to rather a lot of effort to make DCR.5 the easiest-to-produce ATC installment to date, and that prep work should pay off handsomely over the course of the next few months.
< xeno> EXTRA POINTS FOR LOUD NOISY SLOBBERING
posted 2012.04.20 at 19:48 · comment
As detailed in an earlier blog post: Commenting capability has been overhauled; comments have been upgraded for the blog and re-enabled for all three books.
As mentioned in the FAQ:
Supported authentication methods include OpenID, LiveJournal, Google, Yahoo! and Wordpress.com. At this point anonymous commenting capability is disabled, though it may be re-enabled at a future date.
Pretty much everything else that needs doing is gonna be work, and at this point all work is focused on DCR.5. And, yanno. Paying work.
Props to Eric for updating the MT install and pointing me in the right direction re: fixes and debug.
Process Tags stopped working, and the "replacement" method, mteval, doesn't even pretend to work in the context that Process Tags used to.* Fortunately the metadata audit got rid of the one regular instance of an MT tag in post data, and the book indexes (ex: dcr) - the only place that in-post tags were used otherwise - have been hacked back into shape with minimal effort. I'll need to do some template fiddling to get DCR.5 to list in the index As Intended, but that's relatively minor - and work that'll be done in a week or three, when DCR.5 is ready for launch.
20120421, 15:01 : Corrected a minor display glitch in entries with comments turned off. It kinda helps to have the div for the comments container inside the mt:if.
20120422, 15:54 : Sucked it up and added tooltips to all graphical links. This includes the left-hand menu bar, the next/archive links on comic pages, comic navigation, and the images in the book indexes. This completes the to-do list laid out in the previous blog entry.
20120515, 19:39 : Updated chapter graphics for the DCR index. Prior to today, 1-3 used photos, now they use the actual covers like 4 and 5. The header graphic will be changed to the book cover once a book cover has been generated.
20120723, 04:12 : All comic pages have been tagged. There are some serious formatting issues with the search template and search URLs, however - so I slapped an <mt:Ignore> container around the tag tags. The major groundwork is in place - I'll fiddle with formatting and search when it comes time for the next revision of the website. :)
* Using it in a Utility blog entry to pull the last entry date and category page count from a category in the DCR blog. mteval could quite possibly work internal to the blog calling it but that's not a functionality that current ATC information design can really capitalize on. The work-around is a bit less elegant under the hood but will look visually identical to the previous processtags.pl functionality.
posted 2012.04.20 at 14:13 · comment
Between chapters I typically think about doing some work on the website. Outside of page posting and near-permanent browser tab residence I never monkey with the thing otherwise. Presently, I'm planning a couple of minor updates to templates and whatnot before I get serious about DCR.5 pre-production. DCR.5 already has a script, has layouts, has several key assets created, and is generally chomping at the bit in ways that previous chapters never have. Downtime will be shorter than usual, and during that downtime I intend to accomplish the following:
1. Comments overhaul. The CAPTCHA thing that made the current commenting system work appears to have died in its sleep some time ago. The comment system will be upgraded to what dcr.org is presently using, as foreshadowed previously.
2. In line with that, once comments have been debugged to my satisfaction they will again be enabled on all three books as well as the blog. Some future version of the site may expand this to Universe.
3. "Tool tips" will be implemented for all graphical links. Main left column navigation and the previous/next bars - and possibly the book root menus as well. Book roots will probably get a bit of CSS love as well - a background color declaration on the graphics is long overdue.
So, that's it. It's a short list and I should be able to bang it out in short order. Possibly this weekend, definitely before the end of April. With the exception of transplanting comment logic this is all extremely trivial stuff - the real update-and-overhaul will take place between DCR.5 and Transitional Voices 2.
As with past website updates, the changes will be announced in a future blog post.
18:48 : Comments are GO!. Tool tips are NOT! Due to poor interface design choices during the 2010 site build and a total derp on what to do/say in the first test instance, work on the site is presently half done. I'm presently learning towards shelving them for the moment, and doing it up all Right And Proper after DCR.5 wraps.