Remote viewing page two of three, in which James orients himself and observes Ornix running a simulation – a fact that was a little more obvious before effects processing obliterated most of the screen text on the page. Fortunately the simulation is explicitly referenced in dialogue later in the chapter, so there’s no need for a giant neon THIS IS A SIMULATION sign above the monitor. What Ornix is doing is more of a detail than anything else – he’s pretty much window dressing for this scene.
I had originally planned for the energy signatures of Raven, West and Ornix to be visible in panels one through three but after some consideration I concluded that the effect would add nothing of value to the scene. I like the presentation as-is. It drives home the idea that astral space is relative to the individual and that in James’ case his visualization is much less symbolic than Jesse’s quantum soup or Thad’s abstracted repression.
Speaking of window dressing… I’ve spent a good-sized chunk of the past week or so rendering pages with an eye towards extending the page “buffer” before it depletes. At this point rendering is most of the way to page sixteen of the chapter, with four of the new pages ready to be prepped for line art and the three in the middle requiring rather a lot more work than I can fit in my head at the moment. I’ll probably finish rendering the scene this week, then start figuring out what to do about line art this weekend. The time required for this production block has come at the expense of otherwise earning a living, so I’ll be spending most of the rest of this week catching up on that.
At this point there are two more pages in the buffer, so if I don’t draw anything until October that’s fine. After a fair bit of stumbling I’ve gotten back into the habit of producing an entire scene as a single production block, which seems to be the sweet spot for effort – the first scene of the chapter is done, and the second is now just about rendered. It has a few effort sinks that I’m still twitching about but lighting is more straightforward and on the whole it should be less of a grind than the sickbay scene turned out to be. If I can stay on schedule there should be a nice plot surprise around halloween, and another around Christmas or New Years. :D