Pencils for a comic page based on this dialogue.
This initially looked like it could easily be two or three pages but since I was having trouble identifying the best places to split the pages I challenged myself to fit it all in one. The dialogue’s pretty dense as a result. It’s funny how right I was in places about the space the text would take, and how so very wrong I was in others.
Interpreting the text and turning it into something visually interesting was tricky too. I didn’t want it to be talking heads the whole way through the page so I injected some personality, emotion and body language. In fact the driver behind this interpretation was the visual of Cedar’s outstretched arms as he displayed the marks on them to Nirri. Of course I then gave him an outfit that changed his movements doing so, but I’m glad I didn’t stick steadfastly to the original image in my head.
John playing MechWarrior: Living Legends. His computer blue-screened right near the end of this picture and he promptly changed his stance and took the hoodie off while waiting for it to reboot. I had to fake some details to finish off the sketch. He certainly wasn’t smiling in the same way in his wait to get back into the game. It was a more wry look 😉
Just something to prove I’m not completely out of the blogging game yet.
I’ve been working on a program to generate knot work. The idea initially was as a helper for human-generated knots but could also eventually extend into automation of patterns.
These knots are made using a font that contains characters that resemble common intersections and crossing overs. The font is quite cleverly designed and allows for a lot of different ideas to be expressed and also has all the rotations worked out in such a way that the generated knotwork tends to have the right crossing over and under effect appear.
This method of generation works very different from the traditional knotting which usually requires a lot of forethought and preparation. With this font a more stream-of-thought way of creating knotwork is enabled. It’s definitely quite fun and exciting to see a knot come to life in unexpected ways!
One of my projects over the last couple of months has been work on a couple of life-sized Pokemon papercraft creations. By scaling up the patterns provided by this site I’ve found an effective way to dispose of the many, many weeks worth of cereal boxes accumulating in our kitchen.
Bulbasaur was completed in January, and Charmander’s a work in progress. Here’s the back view of Charmander, showing the jar full of rice I’m using to attempt to make him balance on one foot.
I made these tonight. My recipe is below:
This recipe makes about 45 smallish cookies.
– 250g butter
– 1/2 cup brown sugar
– 1/2 cup white sugar
– 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla essence
– 1 egg
– 3 cups plain flour
– 1 teaspoon baking soda
– 150g dark chocolate chips (The original suggests a fair bit more chocolate – and you can use white/milk chocolate or a combination if you prefer. This time I went with milk chocolate)
– 350g short cut bacon (I like to use rashers as the melty fat parts are the best 😀 Previous recipes suggest ~1kg, but that’s rather excessive. I’ve found 6 rashers to be a good guide.)
(You may also want to consider using almond or hazelnut essence, or real nuts.)
Dice about four of the bacon rashers into small pieces
Cut fairly large slices out of the remaining two, squares roughly 2 to 3cm. These will be used to top the cookies.
Fry, in a few separate batches, in a dry nonstick pan on high heat until well cooked and a little crispy. The topping ones you want to be especially crisp
Put on absorbent paper to get rid of excess oil.
Put in fridge while doing other stuff.
Melt the butter slowly. Add the sugars, egg and vanilla essence. Stir until it’s consistent.
Add the flour/baking soda and stir until it’s a wettish dough.
Add the chocolate and stir until it’s all through the mixture.
Add the bacon and stir again.
Basically you want a consistent mixture of all the ingredients after you make the dough.
Preheat the oven to 180.
Make balls of dough and stick them on a cookie tray, evenly spaced out. The balls don’t need to be very large. Squoosh the balls a bit so they’re a little flat.
Put them in the oven and cook them until they’re golden brown, this will take around 15-20 minutes depending on the size of your cookies.
Cool them for a while on a cooling tray before eating.
I like to top my cookies with a glaze comprised of icing sugar, vanilla essence and cinnamon. For a batch of 45 cookies you might be looking at around half a cup of icing sugar. The ratio of these ingredients is up to personal preference. Then put your bacon topping on.
Original recipe can be found here though the blog it originally appeared in no longer exists.
Tonight’s endeavour went a lot faster than some of my other cookie-making attempts, and the results were a bit different from the last lot. The batter seemed ‘creamier’ than usual when I started forming cookies out of them and might have warranted a little time in the fridge to firm up. I also was a little short on the bacon so they don’t quite hit you with that bacon-ny impact. Maybe if I made these more often I’d get better at making them 🙂
[Edit 8th May 2015: I’ve been alerted to the fact that in Windows the audio sounds decidedly piano-like. This is not intentional! I will see if I can fix this at a later date.]
Well March Blog
Badness Madness begins today! This challenge, having snuck up on me, has left me racking my brain for ideas of what to post. This time I have no weekly classes to guarantee me at least something to post each week (not that I did take advantage of said classes in order to put together posting material…) so I need to come up with ideas. Ideas of March.
Anyhoo, let’s start by discussing a coding thing I worked on last year. A prototype Accordion emulator written in Java
Screenshot below, you can download the program here. (Requires Java).
This program started as a simple attempt to generate a Stradella button map that I could refer to while playing the piano accordion. I wanted to draw up my own as a bit of fun in remembering my music theory (each row is a perfect fifth interval from the one below it). After some annoying attempts to draw the thing up by hand, then some fiddling around in Photoshop, I concluded that it’d be faster to write a program to generate the thing for me.
Once I’d done that, I decided it’d be fun to make the buttons play notes when they were pressed. Things snowballed from there.
Inspired by a program I’d spotted a few years ago I realised that I could use a keyboard with the program and could map a number of keyboard keys quite easily to the bass button keys as both key layouts contain diagonal rows. Quite fortunately, a standard keyboard should offer 12 rows and four columns of keys allowing for every note in a scale to be represented in my emulator. Although the focus of the program is on the bass keys, I added in a section of the piano keyboard as well to allow for a bit of experimentation with melody and bass.
Finally, I flipped the keyboards so that they correspond more intuitively to what a player would expect to see while playing, as the buttons face away from the player. This also became handy for when I wanted to practice accordion and didn’t have a mirror handy to check my hand placements 🙂
As you can tell I’ve had a few changes of heart in naming this program – it started as AccordionIng which naturally became Accordin’. I’ve started thinking of it as In Accord lately, not that I’ve been really thinking about it lately. Other people tend to just call it Accordion Hero. One day I’d like to turn this into something like an “Accordion Hero” type game or a music tutor. That would probably call for a rewrite. For now, I’m quite pleased that it allows me to practice with my headphones in and not bothering other people.
Not an art update. Oops.
Over the last couple of months I’ve been putting a bit more effort into practising the piano accordion, spurred on by the idea of doing an Accordion Thief cosplay at AVCon next year. I hope to learn some songs that match the in-game “buffs” that the accordion thief casts, as well as a few video game pieces. (Maybe more on that later)
One song that seemed perfect was the track Petite Chou-Fleur from Team Fortress 2’s Meet the Spy video. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the sheet music easily! So I ended up transcribing (what I’ve dubbed the unscientific process of, “earballing”) the song myself. The results are here.
One of the fun things about using Lilypond to do the transcription is that I get a MIDI file to play with too! Here it is, though I’ve found the grace notes don’t sound correctly. Yay MIDI.
If you play piano you might want to grab this version of the sheet music instead, though you might want to revise the chords. I haven’t put a lot of effort into ensuring they make sense – they’re mostly compromise between getting the chord notation to come up properly for my simplified accordion score and getting some bass notes to sound in the MIDI.
I’ve done my best to transcribe the piece accurately, but there will inevitably be errors. Let me know if you think anything’s wrong. I hope to have a proper accordion recording of this up soon, too!