Page Notes 13
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The first update in a while...just a new title.

New title and new CG! Woah...

Yes, it's a Christmas NiGHTS-inspired CG. If I had laid it out better to start, I woulda put the moon in the middle of the pic, like NiGHTS pics seem to prefer. Oh, well...

The logo turned out better than anticipated, which is great, except that the stars are not visible at this size. I figured out that the logo is basically someone doing cool letters with a chisel tip or calligraphy pen. Nifty!

New CG...Alex.

Another Melanie picture. That exhausts the 3 pics I had backlogged. Pooh.

I've gotta find Friday on a calendar.
I like the hair on Serena, since it's swoopy!

Not the happiest new year's pic ever. Quite a contrast from Winter '00, eh..? Not that I recommend looking at that again. ;)


This pic took forever because I was trying to separate Dawn and Dusk out and colour them separately. I wonder how animators would do it? The main problem is that Dusk is in front and behind Dawn. 2 cels? The coats were drawn separate from the characters and I had to use a white mask to prevent their clothing lines from showing through. I switched from that time-consuming method to a destructive selective erase, halfway through. It still looks funky. I suppose I should have allotted more time to do both the CG and the Title. I don't like this title...And I knew the NiGHTS one wouldn't last very long. Bah.

Starting earlier and going for a simpler design paid off. :P Although technically competent, it's not exciting or challenging at all. But a little bit sad...
<whistles innocently>
Consolidated servers. Now, all on Comcast. Also now using JAlbum for the galleries, although it's not nearly what I'm looking for and I can't be bothered to customise it.

Bang! There goes my Moz nightly.  Bah.

Anyway, this week is Kim.  Not the best picture I've done this week, but you'll have to excuse me.  I drew a few WWWH pics.  Some people might say it makes more sense to focus on CGA since it's more looked-at, but the WWWH pics are often up longer. :\ What to do..?

Bang! It goes again. New nightly.

So...Tiff resting in some grass. I liked it enough to share it with all y'all.

I guess I ought to have worked on softening that border on the wall.  Anyway, it's a new pic of Jäne, whom I haven't drawn at all much lately.

Uh oh.
I forgot that next week is a new season. I'll hafta think of a Title. Not sure what I'll do for a motif, since I don't have any cool new DC games to look at. :(

This Crys CG is a bit more angular than expected.

I've decided on a motif for the next few trillion Titles. If I get around to them. I just noticed that next month is a new gallery, not this month. So, no new title...

This time around, I've decided to highlight Kim along with Alex. Alex's birthday is actually the 8th, so I figured it was an appropriate time. You can really notice how much shorter Kim is...

I probably shoulda cleaned up the line work on Alex's hair, though.

Today, we have what would have been the next pic of Melanie after this week's, but after working on it for so long, I figured it was still no good, so I shelved it and instead, we have this one.  It's numbered 8, for simplicity's sake.

I originally drew her neck too long, as usual, but it's been shortened.

Going back to story roots, Aeyar is searching for Jason, as last seen in the gallery on 99/5/14.

I might have wanted to put a person in the shot, as I did last time, but eh...

We have Al! That's correct; I was poking through the old galleries, trying to figure out who was due for another pic. So, we have Al fishing. I guess he likes it.

Not sure.

Anyway, 98/04/10 was plenty long ago enough that we have Al's long-awaited 2nd picture, this time in colour.  And uh...with a fishing pole.  Yes.  I actually did research on it. That is, I looked at a drawing of a fishing pole.

Winter be almost gone...woot!

Having caught a horrible cold on Wed, this is the best we can do.

It's Kristin and Aldynes. I figured that since I just came up with CDs for them, I might as well use them, right?

I had redrawn a previous idea for an Atéo CG 4 times before giving up and scratching this one out.

I'm not so sure why, but I thought...wouldn't it be nifty to see Atéo's other eye? And draw him in normal clothes again? So, we have both things in one pic.

I actually drew 10 other pictures today.



Why Atéo last week? His birthday was the 13th.
Why Amethyst this week? Her birthday was the 16th.

I guess if I stay with a birthday theme, I don't have to actually "pick" characters each week. ;) But there are several characters without satisfactory (or maybe any) CDs.

New Titles start this week.  I'm aiming for a tri-weekly update, but that's perhaps a bit too ambitious.  As it is, I've barely gotten the last 2 updates out properly. :\

This week, I'm pulling out a pic I scribbled on 2/6, but kept until now because I was saving it for a rainy day, didn't want to double up, and had others scheduled.
I drew Crys kind of as a test, to see what I would do for characters wearing glasses/shades, as I really hadn't in a looooooooong time, and it turned out looking good enough that I tagged it as all right.

You'll also notice I'm not using a ridiculously tiny compression amount anymore, so this week's CG is smaller is space and bigger in size than last week's. Yahoo! Of course, this is my own fault, since I didn't poke around ImageWell as much as I ought to have.

Compression was upped some more for this pic. It was drawn and redrawn more times than I can count.  Opal's line work just never pleased. :\ In the final version, her lines are pretty sketchy.

Jäne running out in the desert again.

I wanted to do a different angle from normal, so...that's my shot at it.

Jäne's legs aren't as tanned as her face and arms.

Interesting.  I had 2 pics for Kain labelled 9 and 10, but they were never posted. I worked for quite a while on this one, so I kept it (11) and am calling it 9.  It's better than the original 9 and 10, so I guess those will never be seen again. :P

This week, a picture actually drawn entirely on Friday. Not a pretty sight. But anyway, I haven't done that in a long time. Yikes.

Foreshortening and lighting were my aims.

Was I far off?

Wait, don't answer that!

I realised I hadn't drawn Henry in a long time, so I poked around and found his new CD and drew him up. Ooh, nifty.

I guess he's supposed to be carrying a walking staff, but who carries one like that? I didn't want to block him in any way. ~_~;;;

Rachel, in honour of her birthday, on the 17th. Strangely, the background seems to match Henry's. No, they're really in different places and times altogether!


This picture had so much promise.

I actually worked on somewhat a less-generic background than usual.

But, meh.

A picture of Melanie consoling Kim about something. My colouring technique is different this week because I couldn't figure out why my Tint tool was acting funny. So, it was completely flat-coloured and then shaded. O_o

I guess something different can't hurt.

My grand plans for Titles fell through, but I was able to miraculously pull out this new Title. It came so easily, although I struggled with earlier drafts. Not sure why or how! But yeah!

This week's pic was originally a sketch, but I liked it enough to post it as the CG of the week. I feel the flow in it.

I also fixed some problems:

My tint tool was set to 100% opacity, which was wrong.
ImageWell wasn't actually adjusting the image quality in Tiger, which I upgraded to on 5/17. Meaning, the last 3 pics + title are poorly compressed. Whoops.

Eve's birthday is today, so I drew up a picture of her. I'd nearly completed a CG when I noticed that I've got 2 planned for the next 2 weeks, so had to put it on hold and start this whole one. :O

It's okay.

My notes indicate that she's supposed to be the prettiest of the Forêts, so I put in a lot of extra work, such as fingernails, and lower eyelashes. After drawing up the picture, I opened it another 5 times or so to touch it up...I fixed her ears so they were generally the same size, then had to fix an ugly spot on the background I'd made re-rediting around her new ear, then noticed the shadowy coworker was awfully liney and had to paint over her flatter, added a floor, and worked on the stool & other minor things.

I'm really exhausted. I worked on this picture maybe 8 hours in total. >_<

This week, due to birthday approaching, we have Rhythm. I don't remember her last name...

I'm a bit annoyed at my bad planning, but we have 2 elves, week will be a non-elf guy. Really.

Marty's pic just materialised fairly quickly. I sketched it out in a different way to start and moved on from there. I think it looks a bit interesting. When I initially sketched, he was more hunched over, but it looked odd, so I tilted his head back. Now I can take a break! Whew!

I actually did very very little drawing this week, only a minor touchup on Dawn's CG from the week of 6/17. I suppose I ought to have taken longer on finishing it up, but I have to go places today. >_<

I did this over 2 days, very quickly. O_O It started off pretty miserably on Thursday, but actually, I felt inspired on Sorta. I drew it up, then hated it. I wanted to scrap it. Coloured it, and was slightly okay with it, and kept working at it. I finalised the colours, and thought it might be all right. So, I kept working at the lines, which is unusual, since I usually set them in stone before colouring. After taking a break for several hours, I came back and added a couple lines to the skirty part. And that's that.

While reworking the lines, I tried to redefine her face and didn't do so well. :\

This is 100% of its original working size, but I doubled it after my initial sketch.

Speaking of that...horribly, when I tried to move from a blocks sketch to final lines, I gave myself a nice, new layer, then totally forgot about it and drew on top of my existing lines. >_<

I ended up tracing over those, but/so these lines aren't as strong, at least for her head.

Today is Taero's birthday. Woot.

And I've started working on the next Title, which is not working out so well.

Unfortunately, because I miscoloured her cape the first time, and didn't erase it to redo it, it's causing havok with the compression artifacts.

I looked back at some of the old pics and wow, they're huge, though. O_o;;;

Whee! I got a new Title up. I was commenting to someone the other day that I've been very slow going through this KOF '02 series and that it'd be like '07 before I finished at that rate. So, I've finally pushed another update out the door. However, I may have sacrificed my CG for that.

This Title was conceived on the 13th, and sketched up twice that day. I redrew it on the 20th and again today. It looks okay, but is a way bit taller than expected.

In comparison, the next title was originally dreamt up on 2/7, then slightly reworked on 7/13.


Now that I think about it, Terry's was up for 3 mos, then Leona was only 1.5 mos. Oops. I shoulda/coulda sat on this one a bit longer...

Cheese is our pic this week because uh, I haven't drawn him in a while and I wanted to draw a guy. So...we have Cheese. A really sketchy Cheese.

This week, I screwed up again. I started next week's picture. I got two good sketches on the 25th and 26th, then noticed my calendar called for Opal. Her birthday is 8/2. So...yesterday, I did a quick sketch, and liked it, so I did a cleaner copy, which was better, then chopped off the bottom and did another even cleaner version. That's all the time I had yesterday, so today, I jumped in and did a super clean job of lines, even better than last time, and coloured the hell out of it.

My lines are much better than my colouring this week. O_O I'm much happier with this Opal pic than with the last one! THAT was a chore!

I ran into a problem with her scarf...of course, I had super-clean (for me) lines, but there was no way in hell I'd get lines like that for the scarf. So, I ended up colouring her scarf in roughly and erasing out what didn't work. Sadly, due to compression artefacts, you have a dark red border on the scarf. I also couldn't shade the scarf, as it took forever to get it working in the first place. >_<

I felt very inspired with this pic. Thanks to RSA for that. :} Yay yay!

(It doesn't help that after I uploaded the pic, I noticed I'd forgotten to shade her sleeve and had to go back and do that. I also filled in some minor gaps between her lines and the background.)

This week's pic took a bit longer than anticipated, since I drew the frickin' thing 18 times. Really. However, in 18 drafts, there were just 5 different poses attempted. I was really hopeful about my initial design; Ein rushing left, sword out and cape billowing behind. However, after trying to do it 7 times and failing quite hard each time I tried to get it smoother or more detailed than the initial sketch, I gave up and did a 180º turn in pose, practically, having Ein walk right. This was so anti-dynamic that I gave up on it immediately and went to #9, a charging at the screen pose. That sucked so bad I immediately went into 10 - 12, which had Ein slicing right. 13 - 17 laid out the linework for me to clean up. (#15 was just me trying to fix Ein's leg...but actually, I just fixed it again a few minutes before posting.)
#1 was the 25th, #2 the 26th, #3 - #11 the 2nd, #12 - #15 the 4th and the remaining 2 sketches + 1 clean drawing and 3 coloured steps were on the 5th.

Ah, well.

Erin Vice, since we haven't seen her in a long time.

It's okay...

Aeyar, playing volleyball. Apparently, she's up to serve.

I completely forgot about the update today because I was tired from being on trains all day. @_@

These clean lines were a bit tricky to do. For the volleyball, I actually downloaded a picture for reference.

I worry that the arm foreshortening isn't enough.

Ack. I feel like the quality is slipping again.

However, I was looking back at the last few weeks and I don't even like THOSE anymore!


This week, we have Lyric because his birthday is tomorrow and I've never really drawn him before.'s our first shot...

Wow, talk about quality slipping...I'd put the finishing touches on Rugan when I noticed hey...September is in fall. New Title needed! So, I grabbed my sketches for the new title and made a finished version in about an hour. >_<

It's embarrassing, as Mai usually is, so I think I'll have to replace it soon. ^_^;;;

I thought the shadow across her torso would be cool, but I wonder about the realism of the lights. :\

Hmm. In the last week, there were several real-life emergencies to deal with, and I was caught totally unawares, so...I was a day late. Ah, it happens.

This week, we have Dawn again. I thought it would be nice to try having arms out as a pose, so I did. I had no idea about hands, as you an see.

I actually followed my plan to have linked pics this week and last. We have a different angle of last week's, showing Dawn's probably happy to see Atéo. Sadly, due to factors beyond my control (as usual), I was unable to post on-time.

Well...I had a visitor in town last week, so that's my excuse for not having a pic done last week. I also have been working on another project (see blog for rough). This week, we have the last part of this project; a third angle of the picture. I've gotta spend longer working on these things, and when I'm actually awake! I'm dying right now... z_z

Hmm. Finally got another Title done. It's been a while...I actually started it on 9/29 and worked on it the 4th and today. I suppose I ought to have cleaned it up a bit more...So...I just did. :P Having uploaded it, I uploaded it again, after working on that awful right foot. It's slightly less awful at the moment. However, the angle is totally off, making it look like Dusk is standing on one foot. So much for my jump-kick. >_< The title is presented at 100% of its working size.

Alicia's pic is my usual 50% its working size. I made the hands slightly oversized on purpose, but I don't know if I like that as a rule. I also toyed around with giving her a white skirt, but I dunno. It looked toooooo plain with just white on pink. Colouring was pretty hasty, for effect. I tried not to clean it up too much. Shadows are actually all painted on a separate layer, as is her skirt (since I didn't know if was going to use white or blue). The background is likewise apart.

Astute viewers may notice this is the 2nd pic of Alicia. I don't recommend tracking down the 1st one, a bit over 7 years ago. I guess it's good that I'm improving, anyway...

Wow. Towards the end of this week's CG, it was getting a bit rough. I figured out (eventually) that it was because the picture was so much larger than my most recent ones. It's actually ended up being a 32.2MB RIF. Part of it's because it's huge. Part of it's because it's got like 6 layers.

The staff is kinda nifty. I used a couple different layers for it.
1) I made a large grey rectangle, tilted 30º.
2) Using the Magic Wand, I selected just the rectangle.
3) Paint-bucket a light brown.
4) Paint the hell out of it with shorter, thinner brush strokes of various (mostly darker) browns, then whites and greys for the wrapping.
5) Create a white to grey gradient (also at 30º) and overlay that for shading.
6) Cut out the parts where the hands overlap.
7) Round the ends.

Unfortunately, I'm not so good with masks (especially when a major colour is white, and I don't use enclosed areas), so I had to spend about 30 minutes manually cutting the background to not overlap with my other colours. And it still ended up choppy because the pic was huge and I was doing things in the background.

The pic is presented here at 15% its working size. Wow. I was gonna go with 25% before I noticed it was wallpaper sized. >_< I gonna do weird techniques for all weapons? (See Opal, back in July.)

As I was going over old CD/CCs, I noticed that Niru's birthday was coming up...uh, today. So, we have Niru. I also noticed that I don't have a CD/CC for Niru, but do have a few sketches of him somewhere, not here.

Not so much interesting this week. And now to plan next week.

Accidentally, I came up with an animation. I was just goofing off and gave myself 10 frames to throw Kim in, running. Then it turned into 20. Then 26. And finally, I'd spent over 2 hours on it, so I figured I'd keep working on it. The original version has smoother lines, but less accurate. I was drawing with the onion skin, going from frame to frame. So...that's how each frame is roughly the same size as the other. Unfortunately, my initial pics were pretty good, but as I kept going, the pics got a bit worse because I was just outlining key points from previous frames.

Things I had to fix after my first draft:

The jacket flap things were getting enormous. Had to tone those down.
Added the little triangle things near her bandanna.
Added eyebrows. (Didn't feel like them before.)
Added bandanna tails to many frames.
Tried to eqalise front shirt creases, and bandanna wrinkles.
Added headband stripes to frames missing them. ( =_= )
Tilted shoulders to suggest motion.
Lengthened arms in front-run view.
Tried to de-block her coat to make her appear more feminine, but hell if that worked. GRRARARARARGHH.
Standardised # of trianglarishisms on back of hair to 2 top, 2 bottom.
Changed loop to 7x.
Pulled headband down on front-run shots to make them more consistent.
Smoothed arc of side-run shot by shifting one frame.
Fixed a lot of bad ears in side-run shots.
Pushed heads forward on most side-run shots to have her head attached to her neck more correctly.
Added knives.
Narrowed shoulders.
Added pockets to coat.
Sketched in fingers for most shots.
Redrew most side-run profiles.
Added left arm to some of the 3/4 shots.

I also tried to colour it, but hell, it took a LONG time, looked ugly, and was finicky. I often overwrote frames, which was annoying.

Here, we have Aldynes. I think it's a nicer pic of him than last time. And yes, keeping in tradition with the weapon thing, we have a comp-generated colouring thing, eh.

Rushed too much at the end. =_=

A new title and a birthday CG for Dawn and Dusk!
I didn't put in a background due to lack of time.

As promised in yon blog, we have a new pic of Kate. Coo.

I think this CD works for her.

Do I do a Thanksgiving CG for next week? Dunno!

Yep, we have Melanie in a Thanksgiving CG. I guess it was a good time.

The background was very elaborately done...

a) background top layer with countertop
b) background shadow layer with cabinet shadows
c) background mid layer with cabinet drawers and drawers
d) background bottom layer with cabinets
e) fridge layer
f) floor layer with cabinet shadows

This was all layered so that I could draw indiscriminately for doors and shadows and things without worrying about bleeding or blending. And it was flatteened before the final version.