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Creation Date: 2002-08-07
As promised, this is the precursor to yesterday's wonderful 3D cell phone. I've been thinking, you know, maybe I should become a manga-ka. Yeah, a real professional. Looking at this, you're probably sighing audibly. Real manga-ka's can pump out something 100x better than this in five seconds. It's done all wrong. The method, the look, the perspective, and the tones are all wrong. Any professional would say, "When you're old enough to go to the university, take art classes." Of course, then I'd tell them that I've almost finished my degree in physics and they'd sigh audibly. A physicist trying to be an artist. It's a shameful thing. But I'm not very good at physics either. Last year I got D's in *counts on his fingers* six of my physics classes (EM 1, EM 2, Quantum 1, 227, 228, and a Seminar). I'll be retaking them this year. My grades in lower-level physics were not much better. Why do I want a Bachelor's Degree in Physics? I like physics so thoroughly that I take great pleasure in getting poor grades. The poorer the grades, the more I'm learning. Boy I sure am learning a lot. I did very well in math. I understood it too well. I got a 4.0 in humanities 200 last spring. I got a 3.5 in American History. I got a 3.8 average for a full year of German. Even though I've taken my time here at the UW, I'll be graduating on time. Actually most of the people who will graduate with me will be a year or more older than me. I'll be a young physicist and I will become it easily. I will not stress about getting 6 D's because I am getting something more valuable than gold. Really, the past three years have been the best I've had. It isn't saying a whole lot either way, but I want to be this happy and this crazy for the rest of my life. But when I graduate, I can't just take a job or just keep taking physics classes. It will immediately become un-crazy and I will hate it thoroughly. So my plan is to pay off my debts and do something completely crazy like travelling the world. In my travels I plan to find: an achievable solution to America's problem, a lifestyle that is sustainable, convenient, and happy, and a tasty noodle shop.

So where did this start? Oh yes, my utter incompetence. While my skills in drawing are not currently up to speed of a pro, my being a pro does not matter so much. Just having the novice skill and the ability to practice daily is plenty for me. I'm a 3D artist that creates vector graphics and doesn't publish anything non-digital. So if my skill is zero, I still win. The computer can compute everything for me. That's part of the cool thing about computer graphics. You see, I just make one 3d mesh made from 2 or 3 pictures and I attach bones. Then I play puppetmaster. I can easily draw two or three pictures that are fair and then I digitize them into images that are decent enough to make a 3d model of. I put a skin on and there you have Javantea's Fate. But being able to draw is often the basis. You can't pick up copyrighted stuff off the net and vector graphics isn't as natural as a mechanical pencil. Tablets are expensive and models on the net are rarely good enough. Commissioning an artist or hiring one is terribly expensive. I keep thinking that if I get $1,000 I can hire someone, but that won't happen. Why won't it happen? Because $1,000 will buy a ticket to Japan and all the noodles I can eat. Comedy aside, $1,000 is a small investment when it comes to commissioning artists. Fair-quality 3d human models are $100 each. That is if you find a starving artist. An artist who has done a game or has a company, you'll spend $1,000 on one model. If you reuse one model or ten, they will lose taste. Remember if you buy just one model means that you only have half of the genders covered depending on how many genders you need. If you can make a sellable manga using 10 models and you have a grand to invest in it, I think that's cool. Of course, remember buildings. But remember, where does the software come from? You could use MilkShape3D and Paint Shop Pro (or GIMP if you prefer). But that requires a lot of work. Getting the right picture and layering them is more work than I would ever think of. Of course, I want to do an Anime also. That's a lot more rough. Perhaps it's possible to do a low quality film if you merged several animations. But I don't know of any software that does that. The solution? AltSci3D Manga Director. It merges the seperate models into a flyable system. You save the actual position of the people, their animation, and the camera position. You add lights and it's an actual scene. You click ten times and you get 5 pictures. You crop the pictures to size and you get a 3D manga. Then when I finally develop it, you can use the same files to make an Anime. It does all the in-betweens and makes a video of it. It compresses into DivX or MPEG-2 in real-time. You dub the voiceovers and sound effects. Then you burn it to a DVD, CD, or VHS (using your video-out on your computer). You can sell it like any other Anime. The lesson for today is that incompetence is only a vice when it impedes your progress.

But what about the picture? The larger picture is the original scanned image. You can see that nothing is dark. It's not line art in the slightest. I scanned it at 200dpi, but I used bicubic downsampling to cut that in half. The smaller picture is the outlines that I drew over it using MSPaint. I probably shouldn't use MSPaint since it doesn't do bezier well enough to use, but it turned out okay. What does one do with an outline? Silly person, that's what they show the world in the end. But if you do it in MSPaint, it will look like pixel soup. To make it look beautiful, simply use a gaussian blur using GIMP or something. Instead of using a blur, I just scaled it to 0.3x the original size. You can see that it's half/half smooth. It's pretty smooth, though. Oh, another thing about gaussian blurring and outlines: gaussian blur lightens the darkness of the lines. I'm certain that there's an easy way to fix that, but watch out. Also, outlines is for outlines only. You might notice that the original has beautiful semi-realistic hair. Isn't it wonderful? But it's missing from the smaller image. That's because it's only an outline. Before you give this to the public, you had better fill in everything with textures. That can't be done with any of the software I know of. It has to be done by hand. I was thinking that I could select the fill of the hair and copy it. Then I'd go over to the other image and use that mask to grab the good looking texture and bring it over. Then I'd give it a bit of color, maybe radial gradient on top of that or something. Then it'd be a finished image except that it looks awful and it is nothing other than a perfect two-day lesson. Tomorrow, I might release the GUI for your perusal. But except from that, I don't think I'll be continuing work on that project.

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