Wallpaper Poll!

Howdy Folks!

I have been taking so many pictures lately and many of them are great for October wallpapers!  So many so that I have created a public poll on my Patreon page to decide what the next wallpaper will be!  Head on over and make sure to vote!

Upcoming Wallpapers

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Photo Gallery in Second Life

So I created a place for people to come and see my artwork in Second Life.  I plan on creating a virtual comic book and have it available to anyone who would like to read it.  This space also houses my photography studio, for times when I need a special background or no background.

It is nestled away on my sim, down the street from the apartment I put my private stuff into.  It is a small place but I really liked how it turned out!

This is the back room where the comic will be once I have it scripted.  It has comfy couches and some warm candles to brighten up the room.

Nostalgia in Second Life

A few days ago, I was thinking about how long I had been a part of the Second Life community.  It’s been a really long time!  Over 9 years!  That is a long time to be a part of any virtual community.

It also got me thinking about how far the graphics have come!  And that led naturally to the evolution of my Vedis Seid character.  Below you will find a picture from one of her very first builds.  This is not my first avatar, by far, but it is when Vedis became that black eyed beauty so many fell in love with.

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2011?  Yeah, that was a while ago, for sure.  Layered clothing, and not much of it.  She had already become a part of the Legacies 1981 sim in Secondlife at this point and was starting a very small brothel there.  Legacies 1981 was a lovely little Victorian fantasy sim run by the amazingly innovative Trijin Bade.  (His LARPs HUD was one of the few HUDs in Secondlife I can actually tolerate.)

Her story really blossomed in this sim and it is, hands down, one of the favorite stories I have told in Secondlife.  She is one of the characters in the comic, though we will never know the fullness of her story there.

This character introduced me to some of the most wonderful of people, who helped shape my life in very real ways.  Because of the importance of that I felt like I couldn’t truly leave her behind.  So for the past few weeks I have been updating her, when I can.

Check out what she looks like now.

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Oh, hello there.

Vedis has gotten an overhaul for sure!  Mesh body (SLink Hourglass), ears (*~*Illusions*~* Fairy Elf Ears) and clothing (*Just BECAUSE* Venom Gown) makes a big difference.  Those tentacles (Xoph’s Tentaculus Exoticus) are the same though I have changed the texture.  The eyes (FATEeyes) I have had for several years now, but not back as far as the first picture.  The horns are much more modest due to in character reasons.  Maybe someday I’ll write that story out.  If there is interest.

But the best part of her new look?

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Her mesh head not only has facial expressions, but facial expressions that LOOK NORMAL.  I have been waiting YEARS for that.  The facial expressions with regular avatars are so limited it really made taking photos difficult if you were trying to express emotion with poses, rather than just fashion pictures.

Bento has added even greater benefit with the ability to curl fingers and have more realistic movement of tails and the like.  I haven’t found a tail replacement for her yet, and sadly the tail she is known for looks horrible against this build.  Even more than the tentacles they stick out like a sore thumb, so until I can find someone who can reproduce it with the Bento bones, I won’t use it.

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Oh yeah, these photos look SO much better.  Don’t you think?

I’m sure she has more stories to tell, she never could stay dead.

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Photoshoot done!

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I finally got to get the photo-shoot for the next couple of comics done!  I should have enough pictures for three pages at least.

Most of the timing issues were my fault, as I am unusually busy right now, so I am thankful that the model was willing to work with me on that.

So now I am pulling out the good photos, organizing them and getting them edited into a usable comic page!

The next page is coming soon!

Hello from the Middle of Chaos!

Hullo!

I have some amazing things planned for the comic and I am actively working on them. However, I am caught within a month of insanity. Between work commitments and personal commitments I am trying to find time to even write blog posts.

The Talon is one of the few avatars that is still housed on someone else’s account so I am having to try and schedule photo shoots around their schedule. They are playing heavily in the upcoming storyline so I am trying to get as many photos as I can with each shoot. It’s a challenge to bring it all together!

I haven’t forgotten about the comic! Quite the contrary I am working hard on getting the next several pages questions up and ready to go. I even have some exclusives just for my beloved Patrons! Let me know if you would like another Facebook live session where I can answer all your comic related questions!

All of this is coming soon!

Patreon Rewards Update

To make the Patreon rewards more useful to folks, and easier for me to achieve on a monthly basis, I have updated them.

I have adjusted the price tiers to those that are most used, and given folks at each tier some fun things to experience.

One of the big changes is that I will be holding a monthly Q&A session on Facebook Live for everyone!  So if you haven’t liked the Facebook page do so now and you won’t miss a thing!

The first Facebook Live event will be June 14th at 6:00 cst.

The $3 and $10 tiers were dropped so that I can give you more bang for your buck on the other tiers.  I think it is going to make a big difference.

If you aren’t familiar with my Patreon page, head on over and check it out!  We would love to have you.

I hope you have a great day!

More Work Done!

So I’ve been busy working on the sim, getting it ready for the stories yet to come.

Here is a picture of the slums of Vardala, ready for their debut in the comic!

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It will be a while, but I can’t wait to tell stories in this section of the world!

I also added lights to the streets outside the shops.

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I am happy to be able to have purchased a hospital for the city as well!  It will come in handy knowing how much the crew of the Jeweled Heron like to get in trouble.

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The Dreams of Innocents

Writers create a world when they write.  It’s usually huge and vast and rarely ever seen in the actual story in it’s full glory.  Sometimes it’s not.  But my worlds are just that, filled with history and characters that rarely get explored in the main story-line.

So I offered my Patrons the ability to see into a small section of each character to give a more detailed view of who they are and what their motivations are.  They are 1-2 page comics that really are just character studies but they are fun and give you insight on the character.

So I asked my Patrons if they would be okay with me sharing these comics with you after a while, so that the general reader can get those same insights.  They said they had no problem with it.  (I love my patrons!)

So two months after the Patron’s get the first look, you will be able to see the comics too!  They will only come out once a month, and will be posted on the first Thursday of the month.

Look for the first one next week!

Visiting Vardala

So I won’t have a comic this week for a few reasons. I had an out of state court date on Thursday, so I was out of state for two days and unable to access my computer. Couple that with a blown out shoulder that aches even after I take pain killers and I just didn’t have time to get one out this week.

That being said, I DID get a chance to work on the sim a bit more. Here are some teaser pictures of Vardala, the neo-victorian city back on Thessra. At this point I have just a few of the major landmarks laid out and some of the tenement houses lined up. No roads, no landscaping, no little details that make a city come alive.

But it’s a start, and it gives you a teaser to look forward to for when we get back to that part of the world.

What do you think?

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The Process of Creating a Comic – Part 1

Some of the most fun, and time consuming, moments in the creation of this comic is the set up and photography sessions.  I can spend several hours making sure the scene is just right so that I can get the photos I need.

Let me show you a bit of the work that goes into creating a comic page.

First, you have to have a world in which to set your stage.  Recently I purchased half of a sim and have spent the last week or so building the world I need to have to fill all my needs.  I am nowhere near done but Clio’s forest and the hovel that she lives in has been set up.  While I am sure there will be some tweaking I won’t have to recreate it for each photography session.

Props and appearance of the avatar are also important.  I have gone nearly all mesh in my build because it looks better in the photos.  A few of my avatars are still not fully mesh, but many of the main ones are.  The lines are smoother and they are more rounded.  They also bend better, and while you still get some clipping, the clothing actually folds with the body rather than glides through the body like sculpted clothing did.

I should do a comparison between when I first started Second Life and the way it looks today.  I’m sure many of you would get a kick out of it.

Poses and facial expressions can express more emotion than words can describe in many instances, and making sure that they are appropriate for each panel is key to making sure the reader gets the intent of that panel.  I have several facial expression HUDs and mesh heads usually have some expressions built in too.  I love the CATWA heads, their animators are great for photography because they allow you to animate the eyes and the lips separately or together.  This makes things SO much easier for a perfectionist like me.  This also usually takes the most time.  Getting everyone set up and their faces emoting properly can take 15-30 minutes alone depending on the complexity of the scene and whether I’m using static poses or animations I have to wait to cycle.

Then with any good photography the lighting and angle of the shot will make or break all your hard work.  Second Life has a lot of lighting options but usually I choose one that casts the right shadows and then edit the photos in Photoshop so that I can get the mood I want without having to flip through the several hundred lighting presets in the program itself.

I take a lot of photos each session, many of which will never be used, all searching for that perfect shot that I want to put into the comic.  I love the feeling of “HA!  Got it!” that you get when you know you have the one.  It’s so rewarding!

You may have noticed that this is the first part of a number of posts.  In the next post I’ll go over how I pick the perfect picture to use and some of what I do in Photoshop to make them a full fledged comic page.

Be seeing you!