Friday, November 15, 2013

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Oh, hey, I'm going to try making music and stuff.

Been learning guitar for the past two months, and discovered that you can use the Realtone cable from Rocksmith as a (really cheap) digital interface.
Combine with my Macbook and GarageBand, a Shure SM57 and a 1/4in coupler, and voila, home recording studio.
Amazing what you can do with computers these days.

Anyway, the whole point of learning to play guitar is so that you can make music.
So today I wrote a (crappy) song, plugged in my guitar and mike, recorded the thing, and mixed it down (also crappily).
My home amp is a modeling amp anyway, so switching to the software modeled amps of GarageBand isn't really much of a step down. I probably could have miced my own amp, but that seems pointless unless I have something good.

Also, recording yourself is amazingly good guitar practice, as you play the parts over and over and over and over to get a good take, paying attention to timing, and the tracks you've already recorded. Super useful.

Anyhow, it's not a long song, and it is a long, long way from a GOOD song, but by god, it is a song.
You can only go upward, right?

Here it is. Watch out, it has a dirty word in it.
http://www.buildingworlds.com/DOWNLOADS/Chainsaw.mp3


Friday, March 22, 2013

Flap

So, I kept on doing that comic...
It's over here. I've got a few weeks under my belt now, things are changing a lot as I go.
Check it out.

www.flapcomic.com

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Flap Part 3

OK, it's really interesting doing this rapidly in sequence and developing characters and style very quickly.

This one is all digital, and thankfully has nothing to do with Sim City. Trying for a little more dynamic style, more interesting framing, and some updated character designs.

Also really going for a retro sunday-paper color scheme with shades of Calvin and Hobbes. (poorly)

What do you think?

Click to em-biggen!


Flap Part 2

Oh hey, another comic. These are sort of fun.

No crayons this time.

No color either.

Lazy!

Click to em-biggen.


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

SimCity Hates Me

Since SimCity refuses to load right now, I relieved my frustration by making a comic about always-online DRM and the often flimsy excuses for it.

For whatever reason, I decided to draw it in crayons on brown paper.

In retrospect, this was a terrible idea.

But anyway, hey-ho, my first comic evar.

Click to em-biggen.


Friday, January 18, 2013

On sucking at things

I’ve decided to suck at more things.

If you’re like me, as you get older, you get more conservative about what you spend your time on. There’s more demand on the time you have, you consider it precious. Kids and lunches and soccer and work and family visits and so on and so forth.

If I have the idea to do something creative –(Write! Draw! Sing! Build!) -this nasty, pretending-to-be-practical voice pipes up-

“No, you don’t really have time to do that any justice. I mean, you’re in your thirties. You’ve got kids and a family and a job that can be demanding. You don’t have the hours to be good at that! It’ll be wasted effort. I mean, really, what are you going to get out of it? It’s not like you could make it a career, right?”

What an awful, shitty voice. Why do I listen to that? Because I have, for years now. I’ve let it stop me short from really diving into creative projects. I’ve let it keep my from trying them in the first place.

That voice is a sonofabitch, and I don’t want to listen to it anymore.

I don’t have to be any good at a creative endeavor for it to be worth my while.

It’s okay to suck.

As long as I improve at it to any measurable degree, and I’m spending my time making things instead of staring at some sort of digital device, then I’m going to start counting that as a win, period.

Ray Bradbury

Sketch practice for lunch today -
Ray Bradbury.
If you don't think Ray Bradbury is the best ever, I'm not sure we can be friends.


I'd kind of like to do another one of Ray in crayon because it seems somehow appropriate.

For whatever reason, I always imagine him wearing a sweater.

Click to em-biggen.




Saturday, January 12, 2013

Paint Dock

Before I lose track of this, I figure I might as well post it here.
If you are one of the few folks who has a windows tablet and wants to use Photoshop, I put together a little tool that makes it much more doable.

http://www.twinstickgames.com/downloads/PaintDock.zip




DISCLAIMER - NOTHING IN HERE IS THAT CRAZY, BUT OF COURSE, DO AT YOUR OWN RISK!

I've now got a setup that feels really nice, really portable, and circumvents most of the issues you'll run into using hotkey-centric Photoshop on your tablet. It is now, dare I say, a pleasant drawing and painting experience! Yay!

In this tutorial, you're going to fix your busted stylus sensitivity, make various system adjustments, and install a super-cool overlay tool that will let you do most common Photoshop operations with touch WHILE using a pen and while DISABLING touch everywhere on the screen that you don't want it ( i.e. where you are drawing )

First, download the goodies here -

PREP WORK -
a) Disable Flick gestures in pen and touch settings
b) In Samsung Easy Settings, make sure Reduce Noise in the touch section is OFF - it makes touch response a crapshoot at best, and you're going to need it.


STEP 1 - MAKE PEN SENSITIVITY NOT SUCKY

First of all, the default curves for your stylus on the Samsung really, really suck. The pitiful slider to change between soft and hard isn't a lot of help - the threshholds are just awful. You can't have fine soft control without having to double-stroke to get full opacity. It is blotchy and janky.

You should absolutely adjust your settings for your stylus and you will be amazed at how much better it feels.

I've got a setup I spent a good hour tweaking using this program - Tablet Pressure Curve Tool | Secret Laboratory

Make sure you get the beta, which lets you edit individual values on the pen.

Your ISD_Tablet.dat file contains your sensitivity curves. These are very, very important to making your stylus feel nice. My setup has nice soft control from light to midtones and ramps to full opacity at about 80% pressure. 

The ISD_Tablet.dat file is located under USERS/YourUser/AppData/Roaming/WTablet - you will have to be able to see hidden files and folders to get to this location.

Edit it with the curve tool OR you can use my ISD_Tablet.dat file (included in the zip ), and replace yours with it. I recommend trying mine out to see what you think before you start fiddling to save yourself some time.

Once you have saved or replaced the file, you need to stop and restart the tablet service -

Go to Control Panel->System and Security->Administrative Tools->Services and select TabletServiceISD, then stop and restart it. That will commit the changes from your curve twiddling.

NOTE! IF YOU USE THE PEN AND TABLET CONTROL PANEL YOU WILL OBLITERATE ALL YOUR NICE CURVES AND IT WILL REPLACE THEM WITH THE CRUMMY HARD->SOFT SETTINGS AGAIN! BACK THEM UP!

STEP 2 - INSTALL MY COOL TOUCH OVERLAY TUNED FOR PHOTOSHOP

My touch overlay is based on the RawInputControlTest AutoHotkey script available here - 
RawInputControlTest.ahk Many thanks to the author for an awesome script!

I call my variant PaintDock, and I've made several changes, ( apart from basic visuals and functionality of the keypad )

When run, PaintDock disables touch, and when closed, it restores touch to its original state.
That means you don't have to worry about palm rejection or annoying errant scribbles from your pinky.

Paint Dock automatically hides if your stylus gets near it.

PaintDock has controls, tuned for your hand's position, for the following -

Pan
Eyedropper
Zoom In/Out
Brush Size Up/Down
Step Back(Undo) Step Forward(Redo)
Brush Mode
Eraser Mode
Select All
Deselect
Copy
Cut
Paste
CTRL
SHIFT
DELETE
Flip Horizontal

These are all things I use all the time. Swatches, selecting individual brushes, and managing layers all work fine with the stylus.

It is compiled to an Exe, so you should not need AutoHotkey to use it ( although I include the script )

You can modify any of the buttons and their controls by editing the paintdock.txt file included, WITHOUT having to recompile the script. I also included the PSD I used to generate the button art.

I link PaintDock to the taskbar near the start menu, turn it on for Photoshop, and turn it off when I'm done.

NOTE: FLIP HORIZONTAL IS MAPPED TO CTRL-H - 
There is no default mapping for flipping the canvas horizontally in Photoshop. If you would like to use this control, make sure to assign the keyboard shortcut in Photoshop.

Enjoy! Hope this proves a help to other artists fumbling around in a hotkey-less world.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

TaleJam

Got a couple takers! Going ahead with....

TaleJam

A weekly short-story jam. Hopefully it works out!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Story Jam

So, I have this idea.
Maybe it's a dumb idea. But I think it could be fun.

In the same way artists do drawing jams to practice, based upon a surprise weekly subject, I think it would be a blast to do a weekly 'short-story jam.'

Every week, round-robin selection of a subject, and one week to write a short story on the chosen subject. The subject should be brief, but evocative enough to drive a story.

Stories should be between 2,000 and 8,000 words, maybe.

At the end of the week, everybody kicks in their story, we read 'em, maybe crit 'em, and have the fun of seeing how somebody else interpreted the same subject.

So, for example - let's say the subject is....

Civil-War Werewolf

or

Woman Wakes Inside A White Sphere With A Cat

or

Twin Discovers His Brother Is A Murderer

or...

whatever.

Anybody interested?
If so, I could set up a blogger site for submissions.