dcr4_script_page_01Off to an easy start. Shades of chapters one and three in terms of composition, though in terms of overall flow the beginning of Provision has more of a chapter two feel. Less wordy, though.

The turnaround time on this scene has been short – the shoot and pre-production photoshop for the core of chapter three took place well before the pages started flowing, and the script and layouts were set months before that. Equipment had to be researched and purchased, the locations had to be reconnoitered before the shoot, etc. In this case the script went from outline to script-script to layout over the past week or so, with the shooting areas scouted on Friday and shot Saturday morning and early afternoon. It was mostly clear, extremely sunny, humid, and freakin’ hot. Like, I sweat through my backpack hot. Fortunately, downtown was pretty quiet and a lot of the backgrounds I’ve selected will be useable with minimal preparatory editing.

That’s the great thing about the location – this angle of Mellon Square is possibly the only area of downtown Pittsburgh that doesn’t need some form of “anonymizing.” In this case, the major bit of environmental work was distorting the line art to fit with the “we call it the high quality setting!” of the camera. Fortunately, the shot looks good at webscale, and the rest of the shots will be scaled down to a fraction of their original size. This is the first – and likely only – shot to be used at actual size. Despite the often obvious quality differences between the A95 and the SD1400, this is one area where the SD1400 has a clear advantage. Max image size on the A95 was 2592×1944. The SD1400 maximum is 4320×3240. DCR chapters 2 through present full-page image area (inside the gutters) is 2848×4288, which means that if I find the quality acceptable (and in this case I do), I can shoot full page with the SD1400.

This is, I think, the only time I’ll be doing that.

The first five pages of the chapter are mixed media photo-based, and are in all likelihood the only part of the chapter that will be. Hell, depending on how DCR.5 turns out, they may be the last mixed-media pages of the book. At the moment I have the first page done (obviously), I’ve done the asset sync for page two, and pages two and three are background assembled and ready for cleanup. I plan to get these pages done and up by Sunday if possible. Production will slow down after page five – that’s when the story smacks back into the CG to-do list.

The script is presently stuck on page… fourteen, off the top of my head. It’s solid up to that point and is going to need one hell of an epiphany to get the remainder knotted up correctly. I’ve decided to roll on the pages I have rather than grunt and strain and flinch and fucking fail repeatedly to hit a complete chapter four script. This decision did not come easily, but it is logical – I don’t have the money to go out and I presently don’t have the money or desire to drink. These points have been the entire foundation of ATC plot production for almost a decade, along with staying at the workstation to grind the results into comic pages. Lately, my life makes the grinding easy and the plotting damned difficult – so rather than bang my head on the desk with mounting frustration as nothing viable comes forth, I’m doing the best I can with where my head is at the moment. If I haven’t made headway on the script by the time I run out of the stuff that works for sure, then I’ll have a problem. Until then, we’ll have pages. At least a dozen of ’em, probably strung out over the next couple of months.

Script note – The original layout was two panels, cut to one. A combination of laziness, shot composition and economy of layouts all contributed to this – you’ll see what I mean with the next page, which should hopefully be up late Tuesday or at some point on Wednesday.

If my plate was clear I’d tear right into the line art for page 2 – as it stands, I’ll be spending a chunk of the night {hopefully!} getting a VFX shot put to bed with Mike. I’ll be happy if I can get the page prepped before he shows up – I should have time to finish it up tomorrow, but after that… the rest of the month ain’t lookin’ good for the comic. It is, however, lookin’ pretty good for the money part of my career.

Oh! Story continuity note – it’s been almost a month since the events of chapter three. I’d like to say I cut an entire chapter’s worth of material, but that ain’t the case. I could easily bring forth a chapter’s worth – just turn on the cast and let ’em fill in the blanks for me – but the end results would probably feel more like padding than pacing.


  • A discrete purveyor of things that fit in business-sized envelopes.

  • The king of social engineering, the crown prince of noise, and a self-described “Post-American Electro-Snob.” Jason has a deep interest in industrial, electronic, ambient, metal and gothic music, and a well-researched interest in radio...

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