I haven’t had the final chapter of a book in production since 2007.

2012 05 10, 06:09 – Rendered and more or less ready for line art (dummies printed etc). Running a couple of additional renders to get a feel for more pronounced headlights – will incorporate the results if the renders work out, cover is ready to draw otherwise. As with all covers that aren’t Whitehouse the line art will be digitally re-inked – which means this one is going to be quite a bit of work.

Fun fact: I still need a cover for Dead City Radio. Like, a cover for the book. Seven years is an exceptionally long time for art block.

2012 05 14, 03:33 – Cover production, day four. Or five. Drawn and re-inked Saturday, shaded Sunday night and Monday morning. Still in progress, though at this point it feels like it’s probably down to tweaks and finishing. Fiddling with the Make Art Button.

2012 05 15, 01:02 – I had a load of work to do today and I plowed through it a lot faster than I’d expected or planned. I had more time to throw at the cover and finally have it in launch shape, which means I can post it and finally finish nudging the website into shape for DCR.5.

As with most of chapter four, I’ve rendered ahead and won’t have time to draw pages for some time. Unlike chapter four, a few of the early pages are pretty lightweight and I should be able to get to them soon. At this point I have the first five pages rendered and ready for line art – pages one and four are cake, page five finally (as of the cover) has character art and color reference, and pages two and three will hopefully be the most work-intensive of the chapter. I say hopefully as they’re going to be a pretty serious amount of work and I hope to heck that pages six through twenty aren’t going to be that involved in the rendering department.

While I have everything I need to render pages 6-17, I haven’t started yet – the scene is still in shakedown and I’d sooner make minor adjustments to the five rendered pages than commit to a major post-rendering overhaul on more than that. I also intend to make a few optimizations to the environment to knock the rendering time down – right now it’s pretty ridiculous… though given the fact my PC has been pretty idle the past few days and line art will be some time in coming, extensive optimization is probably just procrastination.

The primary environment is ready, the assets are ready, renders are rolling when I have time to put into them and the chapter has been in production since the first render rolled onto disk on April 30th.

How long it will take to produce depends on a few factors – I’m wrapping two major contracts within the next couple of weeks and I have a few other things on my plate, but at the moment June looks like it could be a real “GO!” month for production. I was sucked into in one absolute FUCK of a depression for most of the past six weeks, and while that’s had across-the-board consequences I seem to be slowly pulling out of it. If that rolls into an upswing then shit’s gonna get done, double-quick. While the bulk of the past few chapters have taken 6-9 months to complete, I’d like to bring this one in quicker – while I’d love this thing to be a four to six week sprint, I’ll settle for bringing it in by the end of the summer.

Situation permitting, of course.

The chapter is named Target after the Front Line Assembly track. It was Beautiful Losers (after the Clock DVA track) for several years, but as the script developed it became clear that the romantic overtones just didn’t fit. Romantic overtones fit just fine with the original outline of the book – but that was more of a Dualist-sized, slow-paced slice-of-life slog with little resemblance to the story as it stands now. DCR as originally imagined was heavily influenced by Advantage – DCR as it exists is… something else entirely.

And that something else entirely is now GO! for the home stretch.

We have a lift-off, 49 minutes past the hour. Lift-off on DCR.5!