The Heirotus-issue “Snow Globe” is a canteen-shaped short range electronic warfare device. It can blanket a specific frequency for a lengthy amount of time or a broad swath of the communications spectrum for a short period of time. The function and effect is somewhat similar to an Atari or 8-bit Nintendo in proximity to an FM radio. It is unclear if Greg knows the Templar comms frequencies and has pre-configured the device to blanket them or if the device is configured for “omnidirectional” blanketing. This has been left intentionally vague as specificity in this instance has no bearing on the outcome. It is unknown if the device impacts any of Greg’s cybernetic capabilities – if it does, it would explain why he triggered it after running the ballistic macro. Whether or not the device interferes with Heirotus comms is moot, as all parties likely to communicate with Heirotus hardware are present.
2012 07 11, 04:30 – Panels one and two rendered. Not terribly thrilled with panel two but it works well enough so long as I remember to compensate for West’s eyeline when it comes time for line art.
This one’s gonna be a nutbuster – more panels than the last two pages combined. Normally not an issue but the rendering is starting to wear on me – fortunately, only six pages left of this environment… counting this one!
Very much looking forward to rendering interiors again.
2012 07 11, 23:09 – Command decision: I just cut two basically useless panels to reduce workload and speed things up a bit. Odds are I’m going to cut/consolidate future pages as well, just to get this thing done in a timely fashion. While render times vary depending on the shot and the size of the shot the setup and environment composition process is the same for every panel and takes the same amount of time for every panel, regardless of its dimensions, contents, or rendering time. Cutting two panels in this context means three fewer objects to draw when it coms time to process line art, thus reducing overall production time considerably.
I thought the chapter had already been cut to the bone – I’m relieved to find that I still have a bit of wiggle room.
23:45 – Updated Jason’s German. Double-checked it in google translate and got completely different results this time. Will bounce the line off of an actual German at some point. Unlike Ornix’s use of French in The Dualist this isn’t a case of a character using a language incorrectly (intentionally or otherwise).
2012 07 12, 00:03 – Rendering complete!
2012 07 18, 06:15 – Ready for line art for awhile now. The original plan was to do 5.11-5.13 in one go and then plow onward – with 5.16 now in rendering it looks like things are going to go a bit differently.
2012 07 25, 10:31 – Pencils are on today’s to-do list. Worth noting that my earlier whine about the tedium of rendering assembly seems to be unique to this scene. I’ve slogged through soul-suckingly tedious environments before and never felt compelled to bitch about the comp process… though it’s also worth noting that (a) July has been an exceptionally fucked up month for me, and (b) at seventeen consecutive pages this is the longest single scene I’ve ever produced. What usually grinds my gears regarding CG assets is the production time – rendering and post are typically minimal considerations after the environment is created. In this case however the full environment uses the CG component as an element, with the full panel background existing as several photoshop layers. Most exterior shots wind up being built like this – it’s one of the reasons DCR uses photographs wherever possible.
Fortunately, the renders are in the bag, and background post-production is in the bag. The panels were a high-maintenance grind-fest and they’re done.
12:30 – Ready to start penciling!
13:29 – Executive decision: 5.14 dummy sheets look like they’ll fit with the 5.13 dummy sheets. Today’s lull seems to be getting fairly aggressive – may as well shoot for two pages instead of just the one.
15:24 – After a harassment call from Sallie Mae and riding out the initial blast of anxiety resulting from realizing I have approximately $1600 in bills and $1500 in revenue (that stands a very good chance of showing up after the due date for… well, everything), pencilling is complete. I went ahead and pencilled 5.14 as well, making full use of the last of the bristol. If pens hold out through the inking process (they should but given how the rest of today has gone I expect them to explode like inky little hand grenades the second they’re applied to the paper) these will be the last pages in the line art pipeline until the immediate fiscal crisis is resolved. Or until I calm down and sort through the pile of otherwise expended bristol until I find enough useable material for 5.15.
Man, there’s a lot of emo on this page!
15:32 – Production log is on EMO HOLD.
15:40 – Worth noting that I’ve devised a new minor optimization – I’ve been digitally re-inking all of the weaponry, in part to keep it nicely hard-edged and in part because hardware is much less visually forgiving of the quirks of my line art style than character art is. To that end I’ve stopped trying for full accurate pencils of hardware components (with the exception of Greg’s body armor as that benefits from the fudge factor) and have started drawing the guns as outlines. That cuts down on the inking a good bit, and very slightly optimizes the cleanup process. I’ll find out how efficient this is over the course of the next few pages – if it works out I’ll probably stick with it.
19:34 – Work break concluded. Commencing inks.
2012 07 27, 02:08 – Revised dialogue in panel three. As with Jason’s German the original dialogue totally failed a follow-up fact check. Oh, and initial assembly complete.
2012 07 27, 13:34 – Dialogue tailed. Ready for shading! Oh, and the “minor optimization” worked out fairly well.
2012 07 28, 02:42 – Primary shading complete. Minor patching, minor dialogue adjustments. Looks like I’ll either post next wake cycle or along with 5.14… which could be next wake cycle. Depends on how my day goes down!
12:28 – Panel six is the stinker. I’ve mentioned this in the past – Just about every page seems to fall into a bell curve of at least one bit of Good Art and one bit of Not Good Art, with the rest scaled somewhere in between. If I’m in the zone that bell curve is a valley. If I’m not, it’s the grand canyon. This used to be really pronounced back when ATC was OJT – these days it’s more due to inhospitable or low-experience angles than it is trying to plow through the occasional Bad Art Day. In this instance I’d bell the panels (from best to worst) 4, 2, 1, 3, 5, 6 (4 best, 6 worst).
Also, I just fixed an armor inconsistency by making another bit of armor equally inconsistent. Symmetry!
I think we’re done here, barring a cursory spit-shine that I’ll conduct after wrapping 5.14.
Oh, and I’m running two in parallel due to available time earlier this week. I had enough time to pencil and ink one page and that turned into more than enough for one so I used it. Line art was worked in as a component of a paid drawing session – I did my bit, I did the client bit, I returned to my bit and waited for the client to respond. The client has proven remarkably slow to respond – they’re moving or something, so the time budgeted for the client’s piece is being spent on DCR. 5.15 will probably be executed the same way.
2012 08 10, 03:56 – German German’ed. It’s a 90% solution – Lasar provided what Jason would actually say in German under the circumstances, I did my damnedest to make the “S Sharp” look reasonably correct. Any faults in this respect are mine and not his. Lasar is A Cool.
Also, Greg’s right shoulder in panel three? Pulled it slightly above the hills. It was Exactly Even!