The Charger Edit

I proposed a few edits in a recent blog post. What had been intended as a couple of tweaks and some tactical plot surgery got out of hand and spiraled into a surgical strike, with all of the collateral damage that that implies. Fortunately no civilians were killed and the only serious damage has been to my commission schedule.


From the Changelog:

The “Charger” Edit: Changes to suction -1-, suction -2-, suction -3-, details -20-, details -21-, reflex -15-, impact -4- and impact -7-. This edit consistently sets Ornix’s car as a rusty green Charger, mostly corrects his revolver and tracks his brass. It also replaces horrible art of Beef Knuckleback with better art of Beef Knuckleback.

I’d proposed swapping the Charger for the Lincoln and redrawing Beef; I figured that would end with a dialogue tweak. Instead, a three page edit turned into an eight page edit – the car needed more corrections than I’d imagined. Three more pages of edits, it turned out – it had to be turned into a two-doored vehicle and then needed wing windows and glass edits. That lead to correcting the gun – switching it from 12 gauge slugs to .50 caliber rounds in two panels and then taking a shot at correcting its shittiest appearance ever. Accurately tracking the number of shots fired was a point of plot pride for me back in the day – now the brass matches. Matching the old car art – or getting it near enough – involved editing photoshop files created in December of 2004, making part this an edit a tenth anniversary remastering.

Retaining the old pages for purposes of comparison is a thing I used to do with this kind of editing work and it’s a thing I’m trying to get away from. I’ve summarized the visual edits with the following graphic:

That started off as a HEY LOOK AT ALL THE WORK I DID thing and wound up as an OH FUCK THE DAMNED GUN IS STILL A MESS thing. It’s less inconsistent and that’s more than enough for me, especially given the fact that it wasn’t the point of the edit. It was collateral damage and as far as collateral damage goes I think it’s fine. Especially the ultra-collateral impact -7- – the original version of that was unholy ass.

These days I’d consider the character’s personality, think of an appropriate caliber and disposition (revolver or automatic, etc), find an accurate firearm model on Turbosquid or something close enough, then I’d streamline it into a 3d positional prop and details would then never be an issue. The TMP-45 and Thumper are good examples of this. The guns in The Dualist…. not so much. Ornix’s hand canon started off as a from-memory streamlining of the huge-ass cock proxy Chuck Norris hauls around in Walker (with a bunch of details shaved off); Thad’s .38 started off as a from-memory reconstruction of my dad’s .38 snub. Those weapons transitioned to 3d props along with the characters and the comparison graphic gives a good idea of how guns and people have improved over time. Well, improved and then deteriorated something fierce before improving again, though that’s another story.

The blue Beef panels were the point of this exercise, before I got all kinds of hung up on the gun. While the visual quality of the Lincoln is generally spiffier than the Charger, the Charger is accurate and is a straight-up render with very few adjustments. The Lincoln got a whole hell of a lot of post-render photoshop work, and most of it was inaccurate glass. There’s none of that here. “Right” CG, a re-tooled ground shadow, and a minimally shaded Beef turn details -20- and details -21- from an embarrassment into something you’ll hopefully blow through without slowing down.

The “Charger” Edit turned out to be fairly serious. Serious enough to get its own name. I’m hoping the rest of the to-do list doesn’t blow up the way this one did – that would be inconvenient.