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Archive for ‘Technology’


Dial-A-Face, Continued

Well, speaking of How-To videos (see Monday’s post), here’s a great video on creating facial expressions, à la Making Comics and The Grimace Project, in Anime Studio, using “Rudiger’s MorphDials script,” whatever that is. Pretty interesting stuff.

Had fun in Atlanta Tuesday, having fun in New York today, hope you’re having fun wherever you are!


My First Video Tutorial!

As promised, I’ve just released a real video tutorial covering last week’s lettering tips in two parts: Part One | Part Two. (Be sure to select “720p HD” for the clearest view.)

I know it’s just a silly How-To, but I’m actually kind of excited to finally be able to explain this system that I’ve enjoyed using for so many years. I really think this is a faster, more enjoyable, and more flexible system than most methods I’ve seen and would love for others to give it a try.

The appearance layer trick has been incredibly useful for me, but it was always hard to explain. Now I can simply give people a link, and show them why I like it so much.

Thanks to “Craniumation” in last week’s comments section who suggested the program Screenflow to capture my desktop demo.

I’m off to Atlanta today for a private Turner event on Tuesday, then off to NYC via JFK for SVA on THU. Blogging might be spotty, but have a great week!


Hobo Lobo

Speaking of experimental comics, Hobo Lobo of Hamelin is a cleverly designed multi-plane side-scroller by Stevan Živadinović that most of you can probably view without any technical hiccups.

I like the multi-plane effect. Full-out 3D could also work for scrollers like this of course. The key is in maintaining the work’s identity as a still life; even though navigating through it might be filled with dynamic motion.

[link suggested both on Twitter and in yesterday's comments]

Meanwhile, Dylan Horrocks has details on Darkest Day, a benefit book for the victims of the Christchurch, New Zealand earthquake which can be purchased here.

That’s it for this week. See you all Monday!


NSFM

You’ve probably seen this already, but just in case…

(Hi Mom. This is probably one of those links you don’t really need to click on. Sorry!)

In other news, yeah, I was thinking a while back that I could kinda-sorta take credit for envisioning an iPad-like device in 2000. Guess I wasn’t the only one who noticed.

And finally, here’s a kickstarter for a cool-looking graphic novel project from Jesse Ian Rubenfeld. Give it a look!


The Plot Thickens…

Okay, it’s a bit short on details, but why do I get the feeling that things are about to get very interesting out there?

Back home from our first-ever visit to New Zealand and the family (Ivy, Sky, and I, with the role of Winter being played by Sky’s friend Kendra) had a fantastic time.

Webstock was top notch. Hung out with and loved performances by Amanda Palmer and Jason Webley, met great brains like David McCandless, Peter Sunde, and Tom Coates, played Werewolf for the first time (Go, Villagers!), and had lots of good food and good conversations.

Wellington is a beautiful city. We’re so adding it to The List (our friends will know what I mean).

Big shout out to the 40 or so wonderful cartoonists we met this weekend in both Wellington and Auckland. You guys rock.

And thanks of course to Dylan Horrocks, ambassador for the Kiwi comics nation, our host in Auckland with his adorable family, and one of our favorite people in all of comics.

Back to the drawing board!

[video link via @modernlovecomic]


Go with the Flow

Here’s a great flowchart comic about link sharing from H Coldwell Tanner and Roscott.

There should be more flowchart comics! These things are cool.

[link via shidoshi & wohali]


Or, As We Say in Sweden…

Got an email the other day from a consultant named Ben Sauer, wondering what I thought of Flattr. He’d even Googled “Scott McCloud Flattr” with no luck.

If he was surprised that I’ve kept my mouth shut this long, I can’t blame him. I’m a little surprised myself.

Flattr is a “social micropayment” (or, if you like, micro-donation) system that gives users the option of donating a lump sum each month that can then be proportionally distributed among content creators that the user visits.

The amount is up to the user and can be as little as a few bucks.

It’s not a bad idea on the face of it, and it’s getting a little extra attention because of the involvement of Pirate Bay co-founder Peter Sunde.

These days, when micropayments come up, I tend to stay on the sidelines. I’m enough of a poster boy for what didn’t (couldn’t?) work in 2005, that I doubt any favorable attention from me is going to do anyone any good.

But the Pirate Bay connection is an interesting one, because it highlights the fact that what we think of as paid content markets are, on some level, becoming de facto donation communities for those of us who could get content elsewhere for nothing, but just decide not to.

“Willing sellers and willing buyers” was the phrase I kept coming back to. Even in 2005, I wasn’t interested in unbreakable paywalls or DRM, I believed that if there was a simple way for users to pay a little for the content they liked, enough people would do so to keep comics afloat without the need for coercion.

I was marked down as wrong in 2005, and there’s no guarantee that the makers of Flattr won’t suffer the same fate, but I’m glad somebody out there is still trying.

If closed systems like app stores and dedicated devices wind up putting paid content back into the driver’s seat, a lot of comics pros and the companies they work for might have reason to celebrate, but a community-based solution would make me a lot happier.

Does Flattr look like a community-based solution any of you would want to support?


Portraits, Pop-Ups, Prognosticators, and a Proof of Concept

Well it turns out that if you want to make a photocomic, being a great photographer doesn’t hurt. Who knew?

Seth Kushner’s Culture Pop (not to be confused with CulturePulp by Mike Russell) features photocomics of real life characters. Click on the chapter numbers to surf from person to person. It’s pretty cool.

This being Friday, a few odds and ends:

A couple of cool not-comics books in the mailbox this week. I’ve just started diving into Kevin Kelly’s new book What Technology Wants but it’s a fascinating read already. And Andrew Farago’s first book is out, a handsome new Loony Tunes Treasury, with all sorts of fun sproingy extras in it.

Finally, Mike Leung offers a little proof-of-concept experiment mixing words and pictures:

An adaptation of Swift’s Modest Proposal that gives the reader control of the story progress via common-sense scrolling, can be as light as you can make your image files. and needs no commercial tools to publish other than what it takes to post digitize artwork online.”

Have a great weekend!


Not Comics, but Cool…

A lot of you may have already seen this experimental Arcade Fire “video” by Chris Milk (it’s been out at least a month) but if not, definitely give it a spin. Don’t be shy about giving them your old address, it’s worth it.

Then check in with the latest Chrome Experiments and consider how some of these new tricks might be applied to comics, so I can retroactively claim this was about comics afterall.

[via Billy Poulos]


AHOY, NEW ZEALAND…

…the whole family is coming your way in February for Webstock! I’m assured it’s the mostest bestest scientifically proven amazingest conference ever, so if you’re in the web design field or anything like it, convince your boss to let you to register today.

We’ll have more details on our trip in the coming weeks, but rest assured, we’re already slated to visit one of New Zealand’s greatest tourist attractions, the mighty Dylan Horrocks, before heading home.

As for the near future (and a slightly nearer destination) I’m off to NYC Saturday for next week’s Education Nation Summit. Back to Blogging next Friday. Have a great weekend!