Renders were ready… days ago. Art last night, followed by a massive script addition which then Sat Here until just after 2pm this afternoon. By that point I’d checked the additions against the rest of the scene and realized I needed to just post the damned thing and get back to work. My blog post has, it turns out, been even more inaccurate than usual. I’d go into the particulars, but I’m not entirely sure of or comfortable with them myself – long story short, my brain hasn’t felt that disgusting and uninhabitable since the time my doctor told me you could “drink” on Lexapro.*
He apparently meant a drink, as opposed to Bobbing For Whiskey. Ultimately relevant in the after-effects, a sort of soul-sucking non-functionality that consumed an entire weekend – a re-experience I’ve spent the better part of the past two days oozing away from. Not SSRI-related or induced, fortunately. Brain-pills have nothing to do with it beyond their association with a similar period of awfulness. This time around it was a Perfect Storm of Tequila, House Party and a three-district uphill walk home leaving me useless well into Monday afternoon.
Longtime readers and the friends who’ve been tolerating me on IRC for most of a decade know that this sort of occurrence** has been slowly increasing in frequency over the years – a combination of pyschological and biochemical issues that refuse to reach a head. Longtime readers also know this isn’t the first time I’ve been kicked in the head with severe Deja-Vu when generating metadata – an occurrence that inclines me to leave this paragraph and the previous two in place.
The first five panels differ greatly from the script “workbook” in two key ways – two through five are long-shots instead of close-ups and one wound up where it is after several attempts to position the camera in line with the layouts met with undesirable results. These were initially aesthetic decisions, resulting in enough negative space to accommodate the second deviation – the seven lines of dialogue that followed later. These came about as a means of filling negative space while providing some context, and quickly grew into a solid addition to the story.
Six is ready for line art, and the last panel of seven is rendering now. The environment has turned out to be a righteous bitch in terms of shadow-matching the characters, useable space, and volume of line art – 3.06 will be quite the slog, though I made a couple of optimizations to 3.07 that’ll be fun to draw, in a tongue-in-cheek sort of way. I found the latter part of (what is now) Chapter Seven of The Dualist to be equally tricky. Since then I’ve made several changes to my production workflow – the “righteous bitch” consideration is due to 3.06 having approximately (you’ll see what I mean) eighteen pieces of line art. It’s been awhile since a page wound up with that much ink on it – I can’t think of an example off the top of my head, but I do remember the grind pace of the last scene of The Dualist leaving my drawing hand sore for days, and that’s something I’d like to avoid at present.
I expect to finish rendering for the scene this week. The Pan Galactic Gargleblaster-grade “Are you SURE that was Tequila?” hangover destroyed too much of my weekend to assume I’ll get any other work done on the comic this week – I’m behind on a lot of stuff. Stuff with deadlines. And I managed to get a comic page done despite a Mysterious Bruise on the thumb of my drawing hand. If I can hobby while dinged up I can damned sure work while dinged up.
So. Gonna do some of that, then 3.07 assembly, 3.08 rendering, hopefully 3.06 lines later this week. The majority of this scene has four pages left on it – I can definitely get it done in May, along with – hopefully! – some of the other major stuff on my plate.
* This would have been roughly 2005 or 2006, back when production was rocketing along and I had Serious Motivation. The fact that what once felt like a hurtling train has slowed to an Occasional Stroll is occasionally distressing, and affects everything in my life, not just the comic. The slow and irregular pace of production is a symptom of issues unrelated to heavy workload and started to show up around the time I thought it would be a good idea to buy a Nintendo DS. Video games aren't the cause of the slump, mind you - it's become obvious that the time-sink escapism is a symptom of other issues, though at the time it was initially written off as something to do during periods of Waiting that were as frequent as they were interminable and intolerable.
Final note on Lexapro – it was great stuff until the booze incident, and is, I maintain, the catalyst for PISSPOWERASSCHRIST and the massive volume of art generated during that time period.
** Words like occurrence make me wish the mac had the iOS auto-correcting spellcheck engine as some sort of invokable entity. There’s only so many times you can spell a word completely wrong, so many times you can see the little red squiggle of “sorry, wrong answer!” before you growl and feed the damned thing into google. Maybe this has been fixed in 10.6 or will be in 10.7 – frustrating as auto-correct can be on the iPhone, it’s actually come in handy more often than it hasn’t. To the point where that “lack” of functionality on the desktop has slowly morphed from occasionally frustrating to deeply irritating.
Mastering notes, 2016.12.05 – Tweaked a line of dialogue in panel six.