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Creation Date: 2004-01-06
You may have noticed, but now it's a bit more official. Making of Javantea's Fate has now become Making of Hack Mars. I will still be working on Javantea's Fate except that I haven't been really working on it for the past 1.4 years. I was hoping to make JF happen, but it has a few barriers that I'm not able or willing to fix. I have been working on Hack Mars, so things shift.

I still plan to work on JF and before Hack Mars is done, JF will have a first scene finished. Doesn't it make sense that JF should be finished before Hack Mars is done? Well, that's not how I operate, sadly. Maybe I'll get tired of Hack Mars and go crazy on JF for a year until it's done. JF has one advantage that it has less hardware requirements and support than Hack Mars does. When I get to that, I'll tell you.

A derivative of the picture you see above will find its way into Hack Mars (and possibly JF). I drew the picture sometime during the fall, I think. I digitized it during my Winter 'vacation'1. Digitizing it was pretty easy. It took only a minute or so to scan. I spent 30-60 minutes (I forget) with XFig on my laptop turning it into vector graphics. I rasterized it (exported to a png file) today in a few minutes. That is where the trouble started. You see, vector graphics are easily editable and scalable while raster graphics are not. If I want to edit the vector graphics, I drag and drop vertices. If I want to fill the vector graphics, I click and change it. But once I've exported to raster graphics, it becomes an absolute mess. I decided to leave the vector graphics colorless so that I can get more color availability with GIMP. When I tried to fill, it gave me a busy cursor and waited a full minute. That's right. Then it filled it. *sigh* My picture is way too big for my RAM (256 MB). I'm doing stuff in the background (apache, xfig, transcode, xmms), but that's probably not the problem. The problem is that the picture is 2202x5958. That's 37 MB of RAM. Obviously the fill and undo commands are not very optimized which makes it r0xx0r my RAM. The solution? Brainstorm:

1) Do it in vector graphics.
2) Buy 512 MB PC2100 DDR RAM for $50.
3) Find something productive to do while it fills.
4) Lower resolution.
5) Cut picture into smaller pictures and paste end product into one picture.
6) Use pencil tool.

1a) Doesn't have a very good selection of colors.
2a) Expensive, but probably helpful/necessary in the long run.
3a) Not reasonable since I have 40 pictures to do.
4a) Would you dare sacrifice quality for speed? I would.
5a) Possible, but I'm not very good at aligning things.
6a) Only for small things like cleaning up intersected circles.

1b) It works for large areas that don't need a specific color (shirts, pants, hair).
2b) Not going to do it.
3b) I tried, all I could do was write this lame sentence.
4b) It works poorly, I'm not excited about it.
5b) Jav's Solution It works because The GIMP has a feature that if you paste when something is selected, it goes into the selection. Nice, huh?
6b) It works to clean up the eyes, but not to fill any area.

I like the outcome of my work. That's one Hack Mars character created. I have ~40 more where that came from. Some of you may be asking: "How is this a character for a video game?" Well, you see, since it's 3d, all I need is a character sketch in vector graphics, then I can drag and drop things a little to get a skin. I morph a model to make it fit the character sketch. Then I skin the model and the character is done. I'll give you one everday for the next 40 days if I can keep up.

1If you go somewhere that is not your home during a vaction time and do work, is it still a vacation? I did more work in the previous two weeks than I have in two years. My definition of work can be found here. A good definition of vacation that would not include this one is to take a multi-day break from normal work.

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