Friday, October 30, 2015

Inktober 31 - On to Ventriloquism

My entire Inktober output 2015

Oafcon- table idle sketches-
Selling for 2 bucks apiece.
Two of these are sold. Wolverine and the guy with the cat in his hat.

Couple more that didn't make it home. The Dr Who was a 20 buck commission.

Frazetta Superman

This seems like something the folks on this blog would appreciate.  I don't think I've seen it before and I thought that others might be in the same boat.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

I approve

Last night's Supergirl premier hit every plot point Man of Steel did, except did it as entertainment. First superhero TV show premier that just got to it, she saved a plane before the opening credits were completed. I hope the super secret government laboratory doesn't become the high-tech hall of exposition like in Flash and Arrow. Interesting that DC doesn't mind Supergirl as competition to Gotham. Calista Flockhart should be funny, with the old Lois Lane role, of not being able to see past a pair of glasses.

All the TV I watch is superhero, or angry, sociopathic, black women (Shonda Rhimes), the former being some sort of vindication, I guess.

Monday, October 26, 2015

The rest of Inktober?

I was thumbnailing. Trying for Halloween monster type of things for the rest of my inktobers.
I only need 4 more. I'll probably definitely do Colossus of NY disintegrating someone.
The Mummy one would be easy.
If I do Godzilla I want a decent caricature of Raymond Burr in the foreground.
The blob would be tough. Tie with Metaluna Mutant and the Curse of the Demon.
We'll see. I may do 4 totally different things. I'm a day ahead.
The other thing is just a doodle in wash.

Sunday, October 25, 2015


The Atomic Knights

When I read that Murphy Anderson died I first thought of this series. I don't know why. But his name was tied in my mind to these characters. No where mentioned in all the RIP notes on his death.
And I couldn't remember the actual name of the characters. Took me some effort to google it. Several false paths. One thing I didn't remember until I found this page- They rode on giant Dalmatian dogs!
There were only 15 stories. I bet I read at least half of them.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Faux oil beginning

fun because coming over the top of the roughest doodle works to advantage if you're after that Ashley Wood type of energy.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Give me better

Thinking about my web comic design.
Main recurring title wording would be




Maybe not 'best read'. Maybe just 'read.'






that's probably best 'tales for'


Uncle Goggle's tales of horror


Monday, October 19, 2015

Monkeying with Frazetta and Assorted Lessons

Done as a lark. Saw the ape painting when I followed Ellis's link to "The Autumn People," thought he'd make a good case study for my class on caricaturing animals...had to add the girl to make it more Frazetta-y, but hopefully in a slightly subversive way. I shared it on the Frazetta Fan Page group on Facebook and thought I might get flamed...but people liked it.

Another example fer the young'ns on how to take a pic and turn it into an anatomy study:

Trying to do some lessons on cartoony animal design...but it's hard to shift gears from the realistic stuff!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Power=Technopathy / Theme=Aquatic / Item=Saw

My contribution to Instant Sidekicks. An event at Speeding Bullet Comics in Norman, OK.
The thrill is making something from randomness.
Might be fun to do a 24 hour comic from something like this.
Text from my Tumblr Post
 “While working with a laser saw that demolishes material as it spins, Lab Assistant, Rodney Vapid, blunders into its path and disintegrates. Working feverishly, Dr Blend has Vapor 90 percent reconstituted when the machine explodes, mangling the Dr’s body but giving him Technopathic powers. Vapor and Blend with the artificially intelligent, talking, Sunbeam roadster, fight for right and avenge the wronged.”
Below-Doodles before I had an idea. I was going to make a robot with an octopus for a head.
Adding tone. I'll try and finish this tomorrow. The plan is to make prints and sell them at OAFCon.
now you can animate from this to the rough. See that I didn't change much. I was afraid to change it. Everyone liked the first pass so much.
Here it is enormous. As a file I'm giving to the printer 
Wanted to give this an URL.
When I post it as in Tumble for Inktober it will be line and wash only.

Kyle of Kyle's brushes has a youtube channel where he was showing off a brush that he claimed would rival the best in Manga Studio. I'm sure I already had it, I've bought every thing he offers. But I didn't want to sample each brush and still not be sure I was using the 'ultimate.'
I wrote him an email reply to one of his solicitation emails- 5 minutes later he told me the name of the brush.
CLEAN AS A WHISTLE is the name.
The art here is just bad doodling. But the line and how it comes out is pure joy.
I'll do something worthwhile with it soon.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Inktober Okie Ellis Revival

Like, if we're gonna do this Inktober thang, let's do it up right.


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

WIP- more cool rpg work

About to send this as an attachment to my employer. If he likes it, I'll probably have it done in color by tonight.
Thimk I improved it with the axe head angle change?
Thanks for the ax head note Marty. I like it better this way. 
Color tomorrow.
probably a bit too heavy handed.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Gamera Returns!

Edit: Short and Long Version (long version is the best).
Edit Part Deux: Added "Gamera: Friend of Children"

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Joined Together- 7 new Frames

The story I've roughed out thus far.
I got one small RPG freelance assignment coming.
I'll try and double my output tomorrow.

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Gleaming the Cube

I mentioned in the comments to one of Tom's posts a few weeks ago I've been trying to transmogrify myself into a technical artist -- i.e. one of the guys on a production team artists go to for help with tool deficiencies, automation or to help translate artist-speak to engineer-ese and vice versa. Part of that has been to learn Python and, particularly, PyMEL: the Maya-specific melding of Python with Maya Embedded Language (MEL). It's been a challenging, often-frustrating, but ultimately rewarding experience thus far. I'm heads-down in a lot of books that do their best to make the abstract tangible and the complicated simple. I started learning Python last year and I guess I would say I was a baby in the world of programming then. Now, I'm kind of a toddler looking forward to preschool (not yet ready for kindergarten, I think).

One angle to help me learn has been to take tools written by other techincal artist types and put them through their paces. You'd be surprised what's out there and what has been done with them. I came across the website of Matthew Breit a few years ago. He's a professional game artist who has made several community-celebrated Quake III maps as side projects. One of his maps is a cubist dream set in the sky. While it's a beautiful map in its own right (and fun to play, too), it's also a testament to leveraging technical know-how inside an ancient (in terms of game technology) engine. The Quake III engine (or idTech 3) is 16 years old and certainly not cutting edge. But Breit was able to squeeze out an amazing looking map by using Python inside Maya to supplement Radiant, the spartan toolset used to make levels for Quake. You can read about his design theory here and the technical postmortem here.

Breit released his workhorse script,, to the public after he was done with the map for anyone interested in how it worked or who wanted to learn. Curious, I downloaded the script and thought I'd give it a spin to see what I could produce. Breit freely admits the script is presented as-is, with no GUI or documentation other than the comments in the code. I contacted him directly through email a couple of times and he's been nice enough to answer questions, although it's been three years since he's touched the script and has moved on to other things. I only hit him up for bread-crumb clues whenever I was completely and utterly stumped. His answers were not of the 'here's how it works' variety, but were helpful and offered insights into the various functions and methods, which gave me something to chew on as I tried to reverse engineer the methodology.

I've persevered and been able to figure most of it out - but it has been a mind-bending butt-kicker. The script itself is quite organically complex (Breit said it just evolved over the years). It's some 1200 lines of code and not all of it is about building little cubes (although that is the bulk of it). The script evaluates an imported Quake brush (the basic building element of a Quake level) and generates little instanced cuboids of random size on the surface of the brush. Each instanced cuboid is a chunk held in memory inside Maya. You have to manually 'dimensionalize' that chunk (and all subsequent chunks) as a Maya 'polyCube' that can be digested back into a Quake brush when you export your work back to Radiant for an eventual playable Quake build. Each cuboid-turned-polyCube will be flush to whatever side/surface of the larger block you specify as reference. The little cuboids are randomized, yet all fit together like Tetris-pieces on the surface.

When creating the cuboid with the Python script, the instance that is created also stores texture alignment data which can be filtered via command line. The resultant output is five coordinate values you input into Radiant's texture alignment tool if you want to mimic the kind of precise UV alignment you would get using Maya's UV editor. That's only necessary if you are trying to get better edge definition with Quake III's shader system. This is all very Quake-and-Radiant-specific workflow stuff. You probably wouldn't do the texture alignment this way in another engine. You're kind of forced to do it this way with Quake III as it doesn't treat brushes the same way Maya handles polygonal meshes.

Parts of the script are for importing/export brushes from Radiant, and I had to figure out how that works. Parts of the script generate the coordinates for surface texture alignment inside Radiant - had to also figure out how that works. My initial discovery was that I had to fall back to an older version of Maya. Maya 2016 uses a different version of Python which breaks the math in the script. Luckily, I have Maya 2012 and the script runs there, so that's what I've been using.

So...I don't really have any sweet screenshots or anything to show (yet) but I'll post one that shows that I can now spew cubes with the best of them:

This has been a very rewarding (and often frustrating) experience. It really forced me to dig in and think. Ultimately, I feel I did learn a LOT - and I'm still learning. And now I have a greater appreciation for more advanced and user-friendly tools like Unreal 4 and Unity that are more powerful and have easier workflows.