Today, something nearly ate the sun, but fortunately it gave it back to us before the world ended.
May 20, 2012
February 18, 2012
So a while ago I posted about wanting a new laptop, and in the comments said I'd ordered a ThinkPad X220 Tablet. It actually took a lot longer than expected (due to multiple screwups on Lenovo's end), but I finally got it today. Actually I got a much better tablet than the one I originally ordered, and for about $200 less. It also came with the gigantic "slice" battery. I can get around 15 hours of battery life total, in theory. (I haven't measured it.)
Anyway, I quickly found that the default Lenovo install of everything was crappy, and I never managed to get a full recovery DVD set burned out and since I was going to upgrade the hard drive to my 256GB SSD (partitioned 128 for Windows, 128 for Linux) anyway, I figured I should just install an OEM copy. Fortunately, Microsoft makes the actual install media for that readily available, and fortunately my OEM key worked without any troubles. (And fortunately Lenovo makes all of the system drivers readily-available too.)
I did find that Wacom's own Tablet PC driver works way better than the one Lenovo provides (Lenovo's tries to calibrate everything by the edge of the screen, where the digitizer is very jittery and unpredictable, whereas Wacom's uses calibration points that are in the actual work area — much more useful).
The keyboard is a bit mushier than I'd like, and I'm getting all sorts of typos. I'm sure I'll get used to it in time though. On the plus side, it's quite a bit lighter than the MacBook this is replacing, and a much better size than the Inspiron Mini 9 that was my alternate for when the MacBook felt way too heavy and big to lug around.
The laptop also came with a docking station, and I'm entertaining the thought of turning my current desktop system (a Mac mini) into an HTPC and just using this laptop for everything. It's certainly powerful enough to. I'll have to weigh my options with software, though. Windows has plenty of drawing apps available but most of them suck; Linux has only a few available and all of them suck. I need to give Paint Tool SAI a fair shake; the UI is gimpy but a lot of artists I follow swear by it, and it's pretty cheap, too. Plus, I like that it actually lets you seamlessly mix raster and vector layers for sketching and inkwork; at least in principle it matches my mental model of how a drawing app should work.
I'm not sure how much time I'll be spending in Windows vs. Linux, also. I'm starting to suspect I'll just run Windows all the time, since Windows 7 actually isn't terribly painful to use for day-to-day stuff. If there were decent drawing programs for Linux the choice would be a lot easier, though.
In other technology news, due to an early-purchase opportunity provided by my employer, I got a PS Vita a couple days ago. My initial impressions: it's much nicer than the PSP, its version of Lumines is wonderful (although I've already played the hell out of it, and it doesn't seem to have the same depth of gameplay as the PS3 version, but it does have a quite nice soundtrack). It's also got the best version of wipEout so far. I haven't tried Modnation Racers (which came with the system). I have run into some stability problems, though, as well as some ridiculous human factors issues when it comes to its power saving "sleep" mode (vs. being actually turned off), and I've had to rebuild the system database several times due to what I guess was filesystem corruption. But given that the system technically isn't even out yet (at least not for most of the world) I'm not surprised that there's firmware issues.
October 29, 2011
October 13, 2011
September 5, 2011
I haven't worked on comics in a while and I feel like I should be doing them but I'm just not motivated to. I have a few Unity stories on the backburner but none of them are really exciting me (two of them are pretty depressing, and one of them isn't really gelling into a story yet although maybe it doesn't need to either). I also have a bunch of journal comics that I sketched out but never finished (and none of them are at all timely anymore), and neither of my other ongoing series-ish things (Pernicious or Womble) really appeal to me right now either.
I feel like I should maybe just come up with a new set of characters and series to get things flowing again but nothing I can think of really feels like something I want to develop at all.
Maybe I should work on something collaboratively with someone else. Let someone else do the writing for a while, maybe. I mostly just feel like drawing without having to come up with stories to draw.
It doesn't help that Photoshop CS4 doesn't run very well under Lion, CS5 is just a glitchy and unstable pile of poo, and I still can't find any other drawing apps that are worth a damn. Maybe the trick will be in working in the constraints of some crappy drawing app though. MS Paint Adventures certainly doesn't suffer for it, for example.
June 3, 2011
March 17, 2011
A few years ago I did the music, sound effects, and some of the voice acting on a little animation called "Pirate Scum" by my friend Patrick. For those in or near San Francisco, it's going to be showing at the Peaches Christ Film Festival on April 15, 2011, and Patrick, Mo (main voice talent, best known as the voice of Erin Esurance) and I will (probably) all be there too.
January 7, 2011
I'm trying Pixelmator yet again. It's made a lot of positive progress since the last time I wrote about it in detail (especially regarding its pressure-sensitive brush engine, which is now just as good as Photoshop's), but there's still a bunch of stuff that could be better, and which still keep me from switching:
- Selection refinement (still) isn't particularly useful. There needs to be a way of growing/shrinking by a specific number of pixels (rather than percentage), and keyboard access to those values (right now only "smooth" ever gets keyboard focus, for some reason)
- There (still) needs to be a brush set on a per-tool basis, rather than globally. Having to constantly switch between a small brush (for sketching and inking) and a large brush (for erasing) sucks. (This is the main thing that stops me from switching.)
- It would be nice if there were automatic non-destructive layer styles like in Photoshop; in particular, I use Stroke a lot, and not having that is really irritating.
- Magic Wand and Paint Bucket (still) need a way of restricting their area based on the full image, not just on the current layer.
Every version gets a lot more features that add gee-whiz factor, but none of them seem to address what I feel are basic workflow issues for producing art digitally. If the Pixelmator guys would at least acknowledge these requests on their forum I might feel more confident in my purchase (which I've made again thanks to the categorical App Store transition), but I'm starting to get a bit worried that they don't actually care.
December 31, 2010
- ∆songs: 5 Song Fight solo efforts, 2 Song Fight collaborations, 4 covers, 6 remixes, various sound experiments and short soundtracks produced, ~20 songs written but not recorded, 2 live shows (both went way better than any shows I'd done before)
- ∆comics: 120 published; 1 long-running series completed (Unity), 2 short series in their entirety (Unity:Planetfall and Unity:Breeder), 1 long-running series rebooted (Pernicious), 1 short series started (Unity:Meat), several miscellaneous one-offs and journal comics
- ∆artwork: various smatterings posted to various art-sharing sites
- ∆body mass: unchanged within statistical error; still
fata little overweight
- ∆grandparents: -2; grandfather(paternal, age=99y1w) passed in August, grandmother(maternal, age=99y7m) passed about an hour ago and I'm still processing it. Remaining grandparents = 0
All in all, the year could have been better, but it could have been a lot worse, too.
July 24, 2010
I've owned a copy of Pixelmator for years, and they've improved it immensely over that time, but there are still a few glaring deficiencies in the UI. They've finally gotten the brushes to work really well, but now I'm finding that all tools are set to use the same brush all the time - including the eraser, which is always sized exactly the same as the brush tool. Which makes drawing much more of a chore than it should be.
So, once again I'm looking at alternate drawing apps. I have VectorDesigner as well, but vector drawing has never really agreed with me for a number of reasons (usually tablet pressure support is rudimentary or even nonexistent, and I also like being able to screw around with things at the raster level which I find to be much more flexible, even with its "inaccuracy"). This also pretty much rules out Inkscape, although I might give it a try again anyway.
GIMP on OSX is of course a joke (the various native efforts are in perpetually primitive states, and the X11 version doesn't support tablet pressure since X11 on OSX doesn't support much of XInput).
Basically, I need a drawing app with the following features:
- Runs on OSX
- A drawing/sketching-friendly workflow
- Tablet support (pressure, subpixel brush positioning)
- Layers (ideally with groups, and group blend modes)
- Magic wand selection and filling, as well as fast selection refinement (expand and contract at least, ideally with fast keyboard access)
- Is affordable and I can justify paying for it with the understanding that I'm an amateur who likes drawing for fun and doesn't intend to ever make money on this
June 6, 2010
August 6, 2009
Thanks again for submitting your work for the Cartoon Art Museum’s Monsters of Webcomics Virtual Gallery.I am pleased as well! My stuff will be in a museum! I think this is only the second time this has happened.
I’m pleased to say that your work has been selected for inclusion in our exhibition, and will be featured in the Virtual Gallery along with a wide array of webcomics from around the globe. This historic exhibition will include over 100 artists, making this one of the largest exhibitions in the Cartoon Art Museum’s 24-year history, and we’re thankful for your participation.
June 14, 2009
April 21, 2009
April 15, 2009
- They are not birds. The "duck" bill is an example of convergent evolution. They do not have feathers. They are not in any way "avian."
- Their eggs are soft-shelled and leathery like a snake's, not hard like a chicken's.
- The tail is shaped somewhat like a beaver's, but it's not actually a beaver tail (to start with, it's furred); it's a rudder and a fat reserve, not a piece of construction equipment. This also does not mean that they are in any other way like a beaver. In particular they don't have buckteeth, or in fact teeth at all. Moreover, this means that their tails are not like that of the following species:
- Whatever the hell it is has long flowing locks of hair instead of a tail
- They do not have breasts or nipples. They secrete milk directly through the skin. I suppose you could take some artistic license and make them a bit curvy but they still shouldn't have gigantic nipples with areolae.
- Being monotremes (which literally means "one hole"), they have a cloaca, which the penis or vagina is hidden in. A hermaphroditic platypus would probably look just like a male platypus. They would not let it all "hang out."
- Also, if you really must insist on drawing one in a state of arousal, the penis has four heads on it.
March 24, 2009
September 18, 2008
August 3, 2008
May 6, 2008
Oh, and uh, any specific other things I should make available as prints?
November 13, 2007
It's pretty close to decent, though I still have a few complaints with it. Nothing that'll prevent me from buying it when 1.1 comes out, but there are many things I'd like to see them fix in the (preferably near) future: