Finished February 22nd with a couple of dialogue tweaks this afternoon, and the last page of the current buffer. There’s only two more pages I can create with existing assets, and I may be able to create them in time to keep things flowing on schedule – I don’t know yet. There’s a chance this could be the last regular page for at least a few weeks.
The upcoming scene needs three major assets. I’ve put about fifty or sixty hours into the cargo bay since last Sunday and it’s complete for geometry and will be ready for texturing and lighting later today – aside from that there are two major vehicle assets required within the next few pages, and a sum total of three or four vehicles and three environments required for the remainder of the chapter. All vehicles and two of the environments will see action in chapter four, and at least two of those vehicles will appear in ATC book four. Work that will be used for years to come is work that should not be rushed. The cargo bay welds an asset that first appeared in 2004 to assets that were developed in the summer and winter of 2007 – so when I say years, I totally mean it.
In the past, major assets have typically taken around a fortnight to generate. I’m trying to knock that down to something more reasonable, though the cargo bay gets to take as much time as it needs. It’s the first Daedalus interior asset since the rec area was built in early 2008, and it’s the first substantial comic asset I’ve created since I finalized the Banshee and built the launch tube around this time last year. The Banshee was ultimately finishing work begun in 2008 and the launch tube only had to look good for specific angles and a single page. The cargo bay needs to look like it fits without being obsessively hyper-detailed down to the rivets like the other interior compartments. The constant struggle with clean dialogue placement has taught me that lots of background detail is actually bad, so I’m dialing it down for the cargo bay but I’m not backing away from it completely. My first shot at a really clean DCR-descended environment in Transitional Voices will be the interiors for the upcoming Sabrosa scenes.
At some point in the near future I will need to do layouts for the rest of the chapter. The last time I did layouts I generated 19 pages (out of 44) in a couple of days, so hopefully the next time I get in the zone I can take a good-sized chunk out of the remaining 25.
Next week: Either 3.16 or a blog post status report type thing. I totally don’t know which at this point and won’t make a decision until Monday evening at the earliest. PIX is next Saturday, and I’m either going to go check that out or have a fresh iteration of the crippling anxiety attack that poops all over my brain when the Pittsburgh Comicon rolls around. What’s it gonna be – networking or neurosis? I don’t know yet. I’ll find out Saturday and report back next Sunday!