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17th Oct 2013, 6:51 AM #1
Bad Dog

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Location: Western Canada
Best way to do get your stories critiqued is to give it to other people to read whose feedback you trust (this does not include parents, or significant others).

But not just other writers, give it to somebody who doesn't know your story, or isn't really that into writing. If they can't understand who the characters are, or what is happening, then something is out of whack. Other writers can also point out areas that you could improve though helpful critique.

It doesn't have to be your full work, even just a few pages can be a good guide.

In any case, writing is a form of art and creation, and there is no right way to do it - so long as the reader's attention and interest is kept up.
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Result in thread: Webcomics and sex...
27th Jun 2013, 5:50 PM #2
Bad Dog

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Location: Western Canada
I wouldn't even consider sex in a webcomic as out of place if the characters are behaving in a manner that is suitable to them - and would applaud the writer for overcoming society's stigma of sex. Sex can been a potent tool for character change as well. And eroticism is a keen insight to characters and how they think and consider their world.

In fact, sex is FAR more natural to us as social creatures than violence, yet nobody blinks an eye when a character is shot with a firearm. It's a strange division.

On the flip side, a sexualize comic can be fun and engaging, provided it acknowledges that it is using that method a bit tongue-in-cheek. The big boys of comics have made sexualized women in ridiculous outfits into their staple - Lady Death, Power Girl, Emma Frost, etc. Even just do a Google search for "Comic Heroines" and you get a plethora of flesh and cleavage.

Sexualizing a comic stimulates the reader's primal urges. It can't carry the work on its own - that is the job for the story, plot, and characters, but it can certain enhance the work in a method the others can't.
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Result in thread: with great sadness
20th Jun 2013, 10:52 PM #3
Bad Dog

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Location: Western Canada
I am very sorry to hear of this.
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Result in thread: Time investment
21st Jan 2013, 10:34 PM #4
Bad Dog

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Location: Western Canada
From 2 to 4 hours, depending on posing and camera work, and if I have to build the scene anew. Typically I am in the Secret World while rendering, so that adds time.
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27th Oct 2012, 10:46 AM #5
Bad Dog

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Posts: 34
Registration date: 5th Nov 2009
Location: Western Canada
Killed off a minor character? Yes.
Killed off a major character? No.
Killed off a character only to bring them back to life later? Yes, though they weren't really dead, just in a supernatural stasis
Changed your dialog font during a comic? Yes, and the design.
Changed the lead of your comic? No.
Changed the theme of your comic in the middle? No.
Restarted a comic? No.
Had flashbacks of any kind? Yes, is the initial premise of Requiem.
Included time-travel? Yes, in a manner of speaking.
Included alternate universes? No - though both Slipstreams are the same universe, just different periods of time.
Have an unlikely pair fall in love suddenly? Not yet, will be.
Had two character get married? Not yet.
Had any sexy fan-service? No, I wish.
Had an implied sex scene? Not yet.
Had a visible or obscured sex scene? Not yet.
Had two character have children together? No.
Abandoned a comic (knowing you'll never come back to it)? Yes
Completed a comic? No.
Completed a comic that was more than 5 pages? No.
Completed a comic that was more than 100 pages? No.
Completed a comic with a happy ending? No.
Completed a comic with an unhappy ending? No.
Worked on a comic with someone else? No.
Inserted characters or a reference from another comic into your comic? Yes, and referenced events of an RPG campaign the character is from.
Created a comic in B&W? Yes, before PhotoShop.
Created a comic in Color? Yes, all my recent work.
Created a comic by hand? Yes, before computers.
Created a comic digitally? Yes, always.
Drawn gift art to a comic for no reason? No.
Drawn gift art to a comic and that comic later disappeared? No.
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27th Oct 2012, 10:40 AM #6
Bad Dog

User avatar
Posts: 34
Registration date: 5th Nov 2009
Location: Western Canada
Killed off a minor character? Yes.
Killed off a major character? No.
Killed off a character only to bring them back to life later? Yes, though they weren't really dead, just in a supernatural stasis
Changed your dialog font during a comic? Yes, and the design.
Changed the lead of your comic? No.
Changed the theme of your comic in the middle? No.
Restarted a comic? No.
Had flashbacks of any kind? Yes, is the initial premise of Requiem.
Included time-travel? Yes, in a manner of speaking.
Included alternate universes? No - though both Slipstreams are the same universe, just different periods of time.
Have an unlikely pair fall in love suddenly? Not yet, will be.
Had two character get married? Not yet.
Had any sexy fan-service? No, I wish.
Had an implied sex scene? Not yet.
Had a visible or obscured sex scene? Not yet.
Had two character have children together? No.
Abandoned a comic (knowing you'll never come back to it)? Yes
Completed a comic? No.
Completed a comic that was more than 5 pages? No.
Completed a comic that was more than 100 pages? No.
Completed a comic with a happy ending? No.
Completed a comic with an unhappy ending? No.
Worked on a comic with someone else? No.
Inserted characters or a reference from another comic into your comic? Yes, and referenced events of an RPG campaign the character is from.
Created a comic in B&W? Yes, before PhotoShop.
Created a comic in Color? Yes, all my recent work.
Created a comic by hand? Yes, before computers.
Created a comic digitally? Yes, always.
Drawn gift art to a comic for no reason? No.
Drawn gift art to a comic and that comic later disappeared? No.
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26th Oct 2012, 5:18 AM #7
Bad Dog

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Registration date: 5th Nov 2009
Location: Western Canada
I am of the belief that everybody is racist, no matter how enlightened they claim to be. It is part of the evolution of humanity as a defense mechanism to protect ourselves and our communities against outsiders. When resources are finite, racism is our need to keep those resources first within our family and extended family units, and then into the close community.

If the community is of, say, white Anglo-Saxons and an Asian suddenly shows up, the Asian is obviously not part of the community, and our need to protect ourselves and our resources from the "outsider" flare up. We don't trust them, we don't understand them or their different ways. And that makes us edgy. And now we are progressing into the greater world community far faster than our ingrained evolutionary need to protect ourselves can adjust to the inter-mixing of races and creeds that we would have never encountered before.

Do I feel that it's wrong to be racist? No. As that would like trying to suppress our sexual desire.

However, we as a species have evolved enough to curtail our instinctive need to shun or attack the outsiders as a threat, and not let that need rear its ugly head to cause them harm - emotional or physical.

I believe it is completely foolish to try to stamp out racism, just as it is idiotic to think we can prevent warfare. They aren't annoying little bugs we can just simply squash. However, we can curtail that desire through education of other cultures and exposure to other peoples - but war and racism are both far too ingrained in our very being to be eradicated in a single generation. Maybe in a couple hundred years, sure... but not right now. (don't even get me started on vegetarianism and vegans.)
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11th Sep 2012, 12:33 AM #8
Bad Dog

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Registration date: 5th Nov 2009
Location: Western Canada
Before I upgraded my system to the current one, I sometimes had to invisible parts of the scene to render it, and that was even without ray tracing.

As Centcomm said, the issue then is lack of shadows, especially with ray tracing, especially if there is something there that should cast a shadow on a item, but doesn't because that item was rendered separately. While it may not be obvious to look at, the viewer's brain would likely notice it and be all "huh?!" It's just something to bear in mind.

I don't know about Daz Studio as I have never used it. The layered .png files is just the standard rendering format for Poser 9. It is nice, because it keeps the translucency of a car's window - such as here: Pariah Page. As I use a blend of 3D models and photographs from free to use sites around the web, it is a very nice feature for me. Also, I can render the character in a scene, but if I have a text element or something else I want to tuck behind them (or have them coming out of the panel, I can render them separately without having the pain of having to create a clipping path. Also, as I was having to render enhanced soldiers in some heavy duty combat armor for Slipstream: the Machine State, I rendered up the futuristic city street by itself from different angles, and then just had to render the figures on their own.

There are tricks to rendering images in layers, but you have to remain conscious on how the overall composition will go together in the end.
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10th Sep 2012, 3:48 AM #9
Bad Dog

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Location: Western Canada
I wasn't meaning to critique, just playing Devil's Advocate for filters. I am not a fan of critiques, because everybody has their own personal preferences that others don't share. The only time a critique should be warranted is when it's asked for because the artist feels they need help.

It is interesting to see the other techniques - as mine is very straight-forward. Set-up, lighting, camera work, and render. It can honestly take me longer to pick out my protagonists' clothing than the actual set up and render time (but to be fair, the character's wardrobe is very important as to how they are visually described).

I will say this... layered .pngs with the newer Posers? Best. Thing. EVER.
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10th Sep 2012, 3:26 AM #10
Bad Dog

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Location: Western Canada
One of the major issues I have with 3-D art is that it can look fake when left bare. We see people everyday, our eyes easily spot fakeness. While some 3D work can look very, very real to the point you aren't sure if it isn't just a photograph, that isn't time efficient if you aren't getting paid a lot of money for your time investment.

Filters are a means to work with the art, just as with a photograph, to not only alleviate some of the fakeness, but add some effects. I could render my work up with just what Poser 9 gives me, but I use filters to create an artistic expression on the final piece. I never use Poser's filters because of their lack of control, and the fact that Photoshop is far, far more efficient at raster modification.

I don't begrudge artists that use the bare 3D image - that in itself is a style of art. But my wholly personal preference is that if I can't spend the time to make the image look real, then I will use Photoshop to create an artistic image from it instead.

There were some questions about the use of 3D software, and as a Poser user since Poser 6 a few years ago, I will throw in my 2 cents. The software has a steep learning curve. I came from a bit of 3D animation training, so that helped, but there was still a lot I didn't know until a friends showed me some tricks, such as the hidden parameter dials. Being a Platinum Club member has helped a great deal, as they have constant sales, and over the last 5 to 6 years, my library has swelled to biblical proportions - and my side business helps pay for my Poser addiction (I would marry Aery Soul, DM, and Stonemason all at once if I could).

On the whole, once the software is understood and known, the ability for artistic expression is VASTLY increased. I was traditionally trained as a fine artist, and used to draw by hand. Once I was comfortable with Poser, I haven't looked back. I am very busy, working full time in graphic design, and have a rowdy 3 year old - so just as I don't drive a chariot to work, I work my art the most efficient means that I can.
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Result in thread: This is not a fanfic
25th Aug 2012, 7:54 AM #11
Bad Dog

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Location: Western Canada
The advantage with using already pre-established species and ideas is that you don't have to explain a lot. You can throw in vampires, and readers will already have a idea what they are about without a bunch of exposition. You only have to show what you have made different. If you make up something new, you could be looking at unsavory wall of exposition to explain who and what they are, and why they should be feared.

This works for anything: governmental systems (such as monarchies, republics, fascist states, etc); military ranks (everybody knows what lieutenants, generals and sergeants are); and historical periods (setting a fantasy story in medieval Europe means you don't have painfully over-explain the world system).

If you feel that using "orcs" are good for your story, no need not to. You could even change up their name a bit - such as 40Ks "orks." In my RPG fantasy world, I have "orches," though they are more like Klingons than the orcs of D&D.

Pretty much if you change up a trope but keep to the original feel and intent of it, you'll do fine. Start throwing in sparkling vampires and people might get agitated.
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25th Aug 2012, 5:09 AM #12
Bad Dog

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Location: Western Canada
Two Steps from Hell: Heart of Courage for Slipstream; Singularity

Heart of Courage

Two Steps from Hell: Am I not Human? for Slipstream; the Machine State

Am I not Human?

and Dark Sanctuary: Requiem for Requiem; Shadowborne Pariah (as I've used it for a promo vid)

Requiem
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18th Jun 2012, 7:49 PM #13
Bad Dog

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Location: Western Canada
Okay, cool, thanks. I looked but couldn't see anything in the limited time I had available.
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"Sudden massive increase in page views", 18th Jun 2012, 7:12 PM #14
Bad Dog

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Location: Western Canada
I was looking at the page view charts for my comics and noticed something very odd. On June 14th, 2 of my 3 comics massively skyrocketed in page views and unique visitors, like an increase of x30 to x50 - only on that one day, then returned to their average numbers the follow days. Did anybody else get this?
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Result in thread: Good size for Comic Page
18th Jun 2012, 7:06 PM #15
Bad Dog

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Location: Western Canada
I do 1000 wide for Slipstream: Singularity and Slipstream: The Machine State, and 1300 wide for Requiem: Shadowborne Pariah.
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Result in thread: ARTnatomy
9th Dec 2011, 9:08 AM #16
Bad Dog

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That's pretty cool. I just played with the intro bit and the smiley faces.
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Result in thread: They ripped off my story!
20th Jul 2011, 2:29 AM #17
Bad Dog

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Location: Western Canada
In my Slipstream Universe, circa 2050+, there are the three conglomerate mega-nations, the Coalition of the United Americas, the European Collective Union (an expansion on the current EU) and the Asian Conglomerate. This was done about 4 to 5 years ago when I came up with the original gaming world. In the news last year I heard that several Asian nations are forming a coalition like that of the EU - very much like of the A-Con mega-nation in the gaming world.
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Result in thread: Villains
21st Jun 2011, 10:59 PM #18
Bad Dog

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Location: Western Canada
Well, it would depend if you are talking about actual "villains" or an antagonist. A villain would be a foul, evil person, but an antagonist could be anybody who opposes the protagonist, even a person who most would consider exceptionally good.

As stated previously, the type of villain chosen depends on the story you are telling. The insane madman bent on world domination is great for comedy and camp, but not really appropriate for more serious or drama stories.

It has been said that the most frightening and realistic villainous antagonists are those the reader can understand and relate to. While the super villain is frightening by their sheer power, a quiet homebody living in suburbia and casually going on about his life all the while burying prostitutes and transients in his basement is something that many people would find far more effective as an terrifying foe to the protagonist.

As all the stories I am currently working on are more of the dramatic, serious bend, my antagonists remain normal folk - perhaps a little more callous - operating on agendas that are dangerously opposed to the protagonist's.
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Result in thread: Image formats?
20th Jun 2011, 1:16 AM #19
Bad Dog

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Location: Western Canada
GIFs are limited to only 256 colours. I work with TIFs if I am doing anything for print, but they don't condense down very well, nor are recognized by most web-based programs.

For uploading here and web-based work, either JPGs or PNGs, both have decent compression and work in 16 million colours.
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20th Jun 2011, 12:50 AM #20
Bad Dog

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Location: Western Canada
I have found that with Slipstream, I only have under 20 subs, but I consistently get 200-300+ page views a day. Also, I manually upload the next page so that it shows up on the Recently Updated front page of the Comic Fury site ( I don't think the automated upload will put it on there, but could be wrong). For myself, the recently updated front page is where I find other comics to look at when I load up the site, should some catch my eye - so an eye-catching comic avatar could be important.
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