Midwinter 2017

I spent the weekend at the Midwinter Gaming Convention in Milwaukee.  Let me see if I can fully express how I feel about it.

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Hm.  The Doctor is cute, but not nearly excited enough.  The quality of LARP that I got to experience this weekend deserves much more than cute.  I played Tron and A Series of Hauntings this weekend and I have to tell you, both LARPs brought something different to the table.  Tron allowed me to play Alexa, the overly helpful program with minimal access to the forbidden ‘Users’, and A Series of Hauntings was emotionally intense, ridiculously dark and ultimately very satisfying.

The Dystopia Rising mod we ran on Saturday afternoon was fun, and I didn’t even get to play! (I ran the Logistics table, as you do when you are Coordinating Director.) Just watching the players as they left and listening to their excited comments was worth it.  We had 61 players total at the game and 24 of them were new!  I’ve already got emails from the new players who want to come to game.  It is all the little things that make this gamer girl happy.

Let’s not forget the Tabletop events too! I got to play 7th Seas tabletop with John Wick himself!  The new rule set makes playing a lot more fun.  Ussura is still my favorite country!

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There we go.   Thank you Jack, you hit the nail on the head.  I was delighted to be able to hang out with friends I don’t normally get to hang out with and even swing through the vendor room to do some geeky shopping.

Sunday VIP brunch was delicious, and allowed for even more great conversations with good company.

TOTALLY WORTH IT.

I am looking forward to next years Midwinter!

YAY!

 

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Mild Spoilers – More Scenes!

I spent Sunday working on the next set that is needed.  The homestead of Boyd and Eudora.  So many of my writing teachers have said “show, don’t tell.” so that is exactly what I am going to do.

The picture below is a bit of a spoiler, but you’ll have to keep reading to find out exactly why it’s a spoiler.

It’s so pretty!  I’m not happy with the garden yet, nobody has made mesh vegetables, so I’m having to use prim vegetables.  These vegetables are basically pictures on multi-layered surfaces and the pictures bleed through each other so they don’t look quite what I was hoping they would look like.  But unless I find something better it’s all I’ve got.  Luckily, I can make it work by setting up the shot properly and post processing.

It’s not perfect, but it will certainly do!

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The Process of Creating a Comic Part 2

So I have the raw photos from Second Life, the graphic program I use to make this comic.  They look fantastic, right?

Not usually.

They  usually are too dark, or missing props, or I like the look of one pose in one picture and the face in another picture, or the sky isn’t right, or the lighting is off.

There is a whole host of reasons why I use Photoshop on these pictures.  Now that I have my own half-sim I can make sure most of the props are in the right spaces, which helps, and I can move backgrounds to get the perfect composition.  But as I said in the last installment, it is better to make sure you get the brightest picture you can and create the lighting in Photoshop than it is to try and get the right lighting in Second Life and hope that you can use the photo as is.

Here is an example of before and after:

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As you can see, I had to crop the picture for the panel size I needed, add shadows, add the box in Talon’s arms because I couldn’t rez it on the sim itself, color adjustments and a better sky. This was on a sim that wasn’t mine, so I had to be careful to take out things that didn’t belong in the comic, like the poster on the right that says “Touch for a Landmark”.

Not exactly something you can do in the world I’m creating.

I lay out the comic in Photoshop making sure every panel is sized correctly for the page, and if any special panels are needed I work those up as well.  Below is an example of a special panel.  Rosabelle’s bust in the lower right hand corner is called an overlay, and requires a careful touch to get just right.

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After the layout is set up I get the word bubbles set up.  Laying out the words before I surround them with the bubble is an easy way to make sure they fit properly.

I use color to distinguish between characters only for artistic purposes.  It is certainly not a requirement.  Because I create these comics digitally I can use any font I want.  I choose to keep to an easy to read comic font.  You can have the best script in the world and if folks can’t read it, you are going to lose out.

I am by no means an expert when it comes to making comics, but this is my current process, and it is being refined every time I create a comic.