comic | episodes & e-books | store | about
< previous month | next month >      : Aug. 2009 : News archive | News search | RSS
 
view titles only (low bandwidth)
 
  A* Episode 5, Dailies 161 - 162Aug 31, 2009 4:26 PM PDT | url
 
Added 2 new A* comics:Solvan Mar is all about mood lighting, apparently!
 
You'll notice a faint little "smbhax.com" "watermark" in the lower-right corner of these dailies, I'm going to start doing that now juuuuust in case someone (ie me :D) decides to spam them elsewhere on the Internet, so that people who see them can find their way back here.
 
 
 
 
·····
 
 
 
 
  A* Episode 5, Dailies 158 - 160Aug 28, 2009 4:04 PM PDT | url
 
Added 3 new A* comics:Ah Mar and Proctor, they are such good buds! Mar may not care much for guessing games, though.
 
I've been trying to work a little ahead on the dailies, thus this relatively early-in-the-day update! I'm working ahead so that I'll still be able to have new dailies each day while I'm working on the final animation and voice recording, so if I do this right there should still be at least one new daily, hopefully at least two, each day right up to the release of the animated episode. There will be a three day or so break after the release of the animated episode during which I won't have a new A* comic, since I'll be writing the script and drawing the storyboards for the next episode, but even then I'll probably still have at least a storyboard or two I can show you on most of those days.
 
There have been a few site updates in the last day or so:
  • The top A* menu has a new "more comics" link, which will take you to a handy list of links to the three comics I produce (A*, One Off, and The Princess and the Giant)
  • You can now click on a comic to advance to the next one, if there is a next one
I'm going to see if I can squeeze in a new One Off comic today, as well as continuing to work ahead on the rest of this final episode 5 scene for A*...and then it will be the weekend (during which I will produce a new Princess and the Giant comic). Have a good one!
 
 
 
 
·····
 
 
 
 
  A* Episode 5, Dailies 155 - 157Aug 27, 2009 9:47 PM PDT | url
 
Added 3 new A* comics:Mar is totally one of those jerks you see talking to their bluetooth headset while grocery shopping. :p
 
 
 
 
·····
 
 
 
 
  A* Episode 5, Dailies 152 - 154Aug 27, 2009 3:56 AM PDT | url
 
Added 3 new A* comics:Last scene for episode 5 starting up here, with two familiar faces from episode 2. Mar certainly seems to keep the lighting low in his offices; maybe he just likes saving electricity? In other news, his coif seems particularly glossy today.
 
 
 
 
·····
 
 
 
 
  Sept. 2nd deadline for the Ep. 5 credits!Aug 26, 2009 8:16 PM PDT | url
 
I'm getting close to wrapping up the art and moving on to the animation for episode 5, so next Wednesday, the 2nd of September, will be the deadline for contributing to this episode (and thus getting your name and optionally URL permanently placed in this episode's credits!). Episode 5 is probably going to be the most heavily action-animated one for a while (it was a lot of drawing! :P), so if you were thinking of getting in on one, this might be the one to start with!
 
You can do that via the support A* page. Many thanks to those who've already contributed; every little bit helps me keep this comic going!
 
 
 
 
·····
 
 
 
 
  Other comics by meAug 26, 2009 8:07 PM PDT | url
 
If you hadn't noticed their links lurking around on the forum or the about page, you might be interested to know that I also do a couple other comics besides A*!
 
The Princess and the Giant
princess.smbhax.com
 
A silent fairy tale, updating weekly; no giant yet, but there are a nasty bunch of little dude's who've kidnapped the Princess, and are spiriting her off to goodness knows where. Here's a tiny version of the most recent page (click it to get to the full-size one):
 
Image
 
One Off
oneoff.smbhax.com
 
A single-panel comic of one-off gags, updating irregularly (as I think of jokes!). This one is probably the most successful so far:
 
Image
 
If you like my work on A*--or even if you don't, since these are pretty different--you might enjoy these other comics too. :D
 
 
 
 
·····
 
 
 
 
  A* Episode 5, Dailies 146 - 151Aug 26, 2009 1:56 AM PDT | url
 
Added 6 new A* comics:Pretty nearly done with drawing the big action scene now, "phe-ew" as Vero would say! Hopefully that all made sense, especially the last bit with the asteriod, but if you're still confused, check out the animated version when this episode is done, and hopefully that will help make sense of it. Or you could just ask me on the the forum! :D
 
 
 
 
·····
 
 
 
 
  A* Episode 5, Dailies 143 - 145Aug 25, 2009 3:08 AM PDT | url
 
Added 3 new A* comics:Oh that rascally asteroid, always getting into trouble!
 
 
 
 
·····
 
 
 
 
  A* Episode 5, Dailies 140 - 142Aug 22, 2009 3:18 AM PDT | url
 
Added 3 new A* comics:I'm finding that more and more I'm slowing down to add detail or additional little camera shots or something, which is part of what's taking episode 5 longer to draw; the question is, will it be worth it, or should I just try to crank out the episodes as quickly as possible without drawing bells and whistles? I suppose it will come down to how cool the bells and whistles actually are in the final product.
 
The shot I covered today, for instance, was supposed to be a simple shot of Selenis pressing the "retract" button on her grapple gun, but then I decided it should be a panning shot, from her face to the finger pressing the button, then I decided it should start zoomed in on her face, then zoom out, pan, and zoom in on her finger. Then I decided I should animate the scattered reflection of the approaching asteroid on her helmet, while all that other "camera" stuff is going on. And there should be a planet, a couple moving asteroids, and twinkled stars (I think I improved the "twinkle" filter I first started toying with yesterday) in the background. Way to complicate things, self!
 
You won't actually see the full figure drawing in the animation, since it's too big to fit in a single frame. Here it is, and some of the animating effects thrown in (eh don't mind that twitchy hand in this rough version :P):
 
Image
 
If you're just dying to see the full 4000px-wide original drawing, you can try to fit that onto your screen from its page in the episode 5 gallery, which you can get to by clicking on this innocuous tiny version:
 
Image
 
It's been a while since I pimped my deviantART account, so just as a reminder, all the stuff I put in the A* art galleries also goes up on my deviantART, where you can Favorite it and make it loved and popular, if that's something you're into.
 
That's it for now. Have a nice weekend!
 
 
 
 
·····
 
 
 
 
  A* Episode 5, Daily 139Aug 21, 2009 12:19 AM PDT | url
 
Added 1 new A* comic:Oops, looks like a particularly nasty asteroid on its way! This was the last action scene that had me worried all this time, so I'm relieved to have it done, whew. The funky look of the asteroid is a result of leaving it in the onion-skinned state I had it in to arrange its movement path, so all 20 frames are overlapping each other at 10% opacity each, which happened to result in a pretty nifty illusion of the thing tearing right at us.
 
Boy, I'm getting lazy with Selenis' rope, heh. I did add an extra effect to the background stars in this shot, can you tell what it is? I think it's got possibilities, not perfectly happy with the effect just yet though, I'll have to keep tinkering.
 
 
 
 
·····
 
 
 
 
  A* Episode 5, Dailies 137 - 138Aug 20, 2009 12:28 AM PDT | url
 
Added 2 new A* comics:Rrr!
 
I stuck a hi-res of that second one in the gallery, click this tiny version to get to it:
 
Image
 
 
 
 
·····
 
 
 
 
  A* episode 2 in German by Vitruv and SEPETAug 19, 2009 6:11 PM PDT | url
 
Vitruv and SEPET have got A* episode 2 translated into German! Their credits also list Starschwar (translation help) and Neo87 (Flash help--I'm doing cheap Google translation from German here so don't quite me on these!). Great work, guys!
 
 
 
 
·····
 
 
 
 
  A* Episode 5, Dailies 134 - 136Aug 19, 2009 12:07 AM PDT | url
 
Added 3 new A* comics:I was kind of happy with how that little explosion came out. The tricky part of that shot is still to come, though, because it'll have the shockwave pushing Selenis toward the camera as the ship flies by and the explosion dissipates...ooh. Right before that is a zippy camera pull-back blur effect thing, similar to what I used when pulling back to show Vero's meteoroid-scarred freighter in episode 3.
 
There's a hi-res version of the explosion in the episode 5 art gallery (click this tiny one to get there):
 
Image
 
 
 
 
·····
 
 
 
 
  A* Episode 5, Dailies 130 - 133Aug 17, 2009 11:05 PM PDT | url
 
Added 4 new A* comics:Animated roughs of the sequences represented by today's dailies:
 
Image
 
Image
 
Blink, blink, blink...
 
 
 
 
·····
 
 
 
 
  A* on LiveJournalAug 17, 2009 5:10 PM PDT | url
 
A* is now a syndicated feed on LiveJournal:
 
A* on LiveJournal
 
You can also hook up with me there in my spanky new LJ (actually it's pretty generic right now :p), and even my weekly webcomic The Princess and the Giant has its own LJ feed now, too:
 
The Princess and the Giant on LiveJournal
 
So huzzah! Bored super-sleuths may be interested in trying to find my old super-secret and mildly compromising LJ. ;) >_>
 
 
 
 
·····
 
 
 
 
  A* Episode 5, Daily 129Aug 15, 2009 2:12 AM PDT | url
 
Added 1 new A* comic:A new threat hoves into view--and what about that blinky thingy Selenis dropped, anyway? These issues and more may be resolved...or well maybe nearly resolved next week, as I'm sort of almost nearing--well, in sight of--the end of these time-intensive outer-space trapeze scenes for episode 5. There's another scene after that for this episode, but it's an office convo, so that should be cake, relatively speaking!
 
 
 
 
·····
 
 
 
 
  A* Episode 5, Dailies 126 - 128Aug 14, 2009 3:03 AM PDT | url
 
Added 3 new A* comics:Another overly complicated rotating effect shot today. Here's a very rough shot at the animated version (oh yeah, Facebook or other RSS readers, you can click these if they aren't animating for you):
 
Image
 
Check the discussion thread for some more attempts at it, this one's a new and tricky animation technique for me!
 
It's sort of lost in all the whizzing and rotating, but in today and yesterday's animated roughs, I've been cheating by just drawing the beginning and end shading on the figure, and then fading from one to the other to give the illusion of the shadows moving across the figure as it rotates in the starlight. It actually seems to work pretty okay. Here's today's hand, not moving, so you can see the morphin' shadows clearly:
 
Image
 
 
 
 
·····
 
 
 
 
  A* Episode 5, Dailies 122 - 125Aug 13, 2009 4:35 AM PDT | url
 
Added 4 new A* comics:The background for the last of today's dailies ended up nearly killing my computer; note to self: doing radial blurs and rotations on a 14000 x 14000 background is not very efficient! I had to go watch a movie while the blur finished. :P Buuut here's a rough idea of what it'll look like animated:
 
Image
 
and here's a...well a weird thingy that sort of looks like galaxies colliding, was actually what appeared when I was lining up Vero's movement as he jerks the ship into a spin:
 
Image
 
 
 
 
·····
 
 
 
 
  SEPET's A* Ep. 2 in Italian: now with soundAug 12, 2009 4:07 PM PDT | url
 
SEPET has updated his Italian translation of A* episode 2 to include the English audio, and music tracks. Nice work, SEPET!
 
 
 
 
·····
 
 
 
 
  A* Episode 5, Dailies 119 - 121Aug 12, 2009 1:41 AM PDT | url
 
Added 3 new A* comics:That last daily there is probably my grayest one yet! Heavens to Betsy!
 
Here's a sorta animated version of the first one, where Selenis is spiraling after Vero's ship from her grapple, only I've cleverly replaced the ship and grapple with a miniature "black hole" just for fun:
 
Image
 
And in the full animation of the episode, just before Vero looks up as he's doing in daily 120 there, we'll see him driving along and gritting his teeth in picturesque fashion (click this tiny preview for the hi-res version):
 
Image
 
Also, go Kazahkstan, greatest space launch facility in the world!
 
 
 
 
·····
 
 
 
 
  A* Episode 5, Dailies 116 - 118Aug 10, 2009 11:43 PM PDT | url
 
Added 3 new A* comics:Didn't mean to end the day on this slightly awkward (>_>) close-up, but I want the next one to show a full animation sequence in a sort of onion skin way, and that one's taking a while to draw, so it'll have to wait for tomorrow 'cause I've nearly burned through today's supply of brain cells. Here's a dinky version of the sequence in progress:
 
Image
 
 
 
 
·····
 
 
 
 
  A* Episode 5, Dailies 113 - 115Aug 08, 2009 6:20 AM PDT | url
 
Added 3 new A* comics:Got a hi-res version of that last one in the ep. 5 art gallery (click this tiny version):
 
Image
 
I'm probably going overboard on the shading now! Ohh well what can ya do; as long as they don't completely kill the B&W contrast, I <3 my 256 shades of gray (and fear how large the cinematic version may end up being!).
 
 
 
 
·····
 
 
 
 
  A* Episode 5, Dailies 110 - 112Aug 07, 2009 12:35 AM PDT | url
 
Added 3 new A* comics:So here goes the spin and pan and shoot. I hope I managed to make that followable without animation!
 
Used part of it to make a slightly wacky new addition to the episode 5 gallery:
 
"Upsy Daisy"
 
Image
 
 
 
 
·····
 
 
 
 
  A* Episode 5, Dailies 104 - 109Aug 06, 2009 1:31 AM PDT | url
 
Added 6 new A* comics:Finally figured out what may be a good way to get a sort of smooth gradient bubble shine effect thing on Selenis' helmet, as seen in this latest close-up. Whatcha think?
 
This last daily is the beginning of a panning shot where--once she's got her grapple retracted--she's going to flip backwards 90 degrees as the background scrolls behind her; I know that sounds weird, but hopefully it'll make sense when animated.
 
She's in space, retractin' her grapple!
 
Image
 
Here's the whole background, three screens high so I can scroll it; not sure if I'll scroll all the way to the planet at the bottom:
 
Image
 
 
 
 
·····
 
 
 
 
  A* Episode 5, Daily 103Aug 06, 2009 1:00 AM PDT | url
 
Added 1 new A* comic:Phew well finishing yesterday's swing-out sequence, and starting now on a swing-up sequence; swinging sure is drawing-intensive! Selenis is going to pull a fancy maneuver soon, not sure if it'll come across well in the non-animated daily comics, but I guess we'll find out!
 
 
 
 
·····
 
 
 
 
  A* Episode 5, Dailies 101 - 102Aug 04, 2009 1:00 AM PDT | url
 
Added 2 new A* comics:Another day, another swing! Once Selenis revolves out of this hole in the rock she got into, we should get a better look at what she's dealing with.
 
 
 
 
·····
 
 
 
 
  A* Episode 5, Dailies 98 - 100Aug 01, 2009 4:30 AM PDT | url
 
Added 3 new A* comics:Had to stealth edit Dailies 91 and 98 because I keep forgetting to draw Selenis' forearm thruster thingy. :P But despite my foolishness we still managed to hit the century mark in daily comics for episode 5 today, woo-hoo!
 
In Daily 98, Selenis is shooting at the bright light thingy, and you can't tell in the Daily, but she'll actually hit a couple of the lights, and in the animation the light will dim. Here's a rough preview; I'll have to tweak her motion for the final version as the recoil from the gunshots pushes her backwards (if these things don't animate for you, click on 'em):
 
Image
 
And here's the animation with the other half of "Vero Was a Lever Drivin' Man":
 
Image
 
And I stuck a high-res souped-up version of that in the episode 5 art gallery--just click this little preview to get to it:
 
Image
 
In other news, the MMO I worked on before I started doing comics, The Matrix Online, shut down for the final time at midnight. Feel free to join the weeping, therapy, and related shenanigans on the forum.
 
 
 
 
·····
 
 
 
 
 
< previous month | next month >      : Aug. 2009 : News archive | News search | RSS
 
Copyright 2020 Ben Chamberlain. All rights reserved. | Privacy Policy