20130721, 17:00 – I haven’t made any major adjustments in the last 90 minutes so I’m going to go ahead and call this one done. Following earth -42-, you’re getting a look at how the resource-challenged remnants of Thule Garrison cope with their base being nuked. While a lot of assets were evacuated to a nearby hospital, the critical signal hardware has gone mobile, and Tantek gets to babysit. VLA dishes are positioned via rails. The Templar Mobile Array (TMA) is adapted for Appalachia in a fashion the locals would doubtless approve of.

Were ATC a TV show there would be a quick cross-fade or direct cut between the last panel of the previous page and the first panel of this page, with Raven and Tantek’s grumpy exhalations forming an audio transition. That’s why they’re partnered – they sync.

I believe this is the first indication that Thule Garrison has some sort of relationship with an agency of the United States Government. Thule needs the equivalent of a SEP field for their long range comms; the NRO doubtless benefits from a covert multiverse-capable freely positioned sensor platform and truly covert launch capabilities.

This scene was originally going to be set in the offices of the Templar Provisional HQ. I stopped work on that after creating the base exterior geometry – that thought process is detailed in the build log. The Mobile Array is a more economical use of asset creation time and fits Templar character more than another big stone building would. It’s also a lot harder to bust up with an air strike, which may well be a consideration. New geometry is fairly minimal – the dish was modeled back in December, the AV hardware and chairs are from Allegheny Center. The new stuff is the pod on the back of the truck, the dish mounts, and the truck-mounted RTGs. Build quality is enough to get through this page and the next, and sufficient to re-use down the road with minimal work if I decide to do so. The technical fun in this scene is the camo netting on the roof of the pod and the Crepuscular rays in panel two. Getting a page shaded on its post date for the first time in months also counts as fun, though it’s fun of a different sort.

2.17 will be up next week. I may shade it tonight after posting this or I may make good on my {threat|promise} to myself to actually take some time off this weekend. I haven’t decided yet. After that I plan to take August off to do some other art, and to finally do some illustration work I was paid for back in April. While this page and the next were rendering I modeled the geometry I need for the next scene – while August is Augusting I plan to get the final scene of the chapter set up and rendered, then pushed out starting in September. More about the production schedule next week, either in the page metadata or as a blog post.

I bought Dishonored during the Steam Summer Sale earlier this week. I’ve put a couple of hours into it and plan to bite a bigger chunk off tonight if I can slip past my workaholic tendencies without getting caught. So far my basic Stalkout play style has adapted itself well to the game, though I am finding it difficult to not kill everything. The rest of my first impression has more to do with adapting to the interface, and there’s not much I can objectively say about that until I’m more comfortable with it – while how I play stalkout translates nicely to Dishonored, the buttons I use to do it don’t, with the most frequently used weapons/powers currently mapped to keys outside of the F1-F4/1-5 left hand comfort zone. Otherwise, so far so good.

Build Log

20121214, 17:40 – I don’t typically create or maintain build logs for 3d assets – commentary is typically focused on rendering. In this case I’ll make a bit of an exception.

Templar Provisional HQ directory created 20121204. VLA-inspired dish last edited 20121205 at this point – still needs a large amount of work. Had a couple of very unsuccessful starts on the main building last week, got an opening in my schedule last night and created the base building over the course of a few hours – working in Silo on my mac while the PC ground out renders of the Daedalus rec area. It still needs a heck of a lot of detailing, but the base architecture is done and I built a very simple interior that I’ll need to expand on for this scene. The plan is for this environment to be as minimal as possible and to re-use as many assets as possible, but a considerable amount of modeling work is still required.

Now that I’ve got the basics down I’m somewhat enamored with the idea of the dishes being visible behind Tantek, which will look cool and complicate the hell out of scene lighting.

No further work tonight – last night’s bit of free time was a fluke, and I’m writing this to kill time while a panel render (2.14b) finishes up, after which I’ll need to use the 3d software for other stuff for a bit.

20130112, 21:42 – Lettered. Threw in a provisional caption – dunno if it’ll stick or not. We’ll see!

20130601, 16:09 – This page is heaving up on deck Soon. I’ll need to get it set up in June and rendered and deployed in July if I want to stay on schedule – while I’m still feeling good about this scenelet it’s clear that I’m going to have to rethink the implementation if I want to get things done in time.

I’ll almost certainly get 2.10 through 2.15 drawn and shaded before I get back to this. Deployed weekly that scene will get me through to July 13th – I hope that’s long enough to find the time I’ll need to tweak the scene and do it right.

Reminder – add DMT to at least one of the panels. (20130721, 16:23 – DMT on the next page for pacing reasons. This page is a direct follow from the previous.)

20130707, 16:52 – Disregard the above. Or rather, regard it as applying to something that probably won’t be seen on screen. There is a fairly advanced provisional HQ exterior but given what I’ve wanted to do with this page and the next for the past couple of weeks I won’t be using it.

20130712, 19:56 – I figured out what I’m doing for the base environment, and have some of the required geometry just about ready to go. The loose plan at the moment is for silo tonight, max tomorrow, and environment work on Sunday – though that could easily stretch out.

20130715, 16:35 – Modeling is done, lighting is looking good, atmosphere is looking decent. Ready for layout revisions and rendering. By design this one’s gonna take awhile – when I say lighting is looking good I mean just that – it ain’t done, by a long shot. Or rather, it’s good for 2.16 but will be completely different for 2.17 for art reasons.

20130716, 10:38 – Rendering hell is GO!. Most of the first panel is done – two more passes to go. One without character shadows and another without the fill light in the door, then the first panel is ready. Set the environment for the second panel to render last night before bed around 0130 and set Steam to download Dishonored – when I woke up Steam had dumped two out of nine gigs and the environment render had 2h17m left. After a ninety minute row through the sweltering hellbog of Pittburgh In July I’ve left all of my water outside on the street and the shot has 2h13m remaining. In the meantime I’ve been working on the last scene of the chapter – details of which are about to be in the 2.18 build log.

20130717, 19:44 – Just finished outputting the reference renders. Page is ready to draw. Backgrounds and reference renders look good, this one may be worth spending some extra time on in the line art department.

20130721, 00:29 – Pencilled and inked 2.16 and 2.17 on the afternoon of the 20th. Then rum label design (see next page) and cleanup and flat colors. Most of the line art is looking really good, though as usual it’ll be shading that determines how well these two pages turn out. Especially given the relative complexity of Tantek’s shading in the first panel. It’ll look cool, but it’s going to be a Super Bitch to execute. It’s the same with camouflage – I like doing camo but being anal about design consistency limits its use to a very small handful of instances. Crazy Light And Shadow is less FINALLY and more CHALLENGE! and I’m definitely up for it with this page.

12:14 – Assembled, tailed and ready to shade.

12:52 – Sniffing around the edges. I could phone this in if it wasn’t for Tantek in the first panel.

15:19 – Shaded and tweaked. Looks good. Currently pondering shading 2.17 instead of posting, or posting then shading 2.17, or posting then fucking off and blowing the rest of the day on Dishonored, etc.

Cast

  • Tantek Cestric

    A former United States Army Ranger, Tantek has been with Thule Garrison since the Waking God Protocols field trials of the mid 1990s. He works well with Raven Lockheart, typically functioning as muscle though...

  • Beef Knuckleback

    A black ops field agent who – for reasons unknown – masquerades as a deputy from the fictional Antrim Police Department. Beef is slightly death-prone, and has been killed by Greg and Ornix. Beef...

  • Ivan Kursk (Greymalkin)

    A former Soviet military officer, Greymalkin disappeared in southeast Asia in the spring of 1968. He surfaced in late 1969 as an adviser and fixer for Michael West, succeeding West as head of Thule...

Glossary Articles

  • The Beefmobile

    Descended from detailed scans of an American sedan and custom built aboard Kolg Saerai Orbital, the Beefmobile has more in common with an MRAP than the stock police cruiser it’s camouflaged as. The beefmobile...

  • Templar Heavy Truck

    At some point during the 30 years between his Soviet military service and the events of Dead City Radio, Greymalkin acquired a number of Russian-built heavy trucks. The question of whether these vehicles are...

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