I realized the other day, while on the train constructing more hands, that in this book I’m saddled with drawing lots of hands – almost more than any other single thing. Why? Well, this is a set of ten separate conversations, and most of the conversations take place when the people involved are sitting together. They’re not moving around so much, not flying or fighting as in an adventure or hero comic (sorry if you’re hoping for that) – they’re relatively still. As you might have observed about people, when they are sitting, they mostly adopt the same one or two poses for long stretches. The changes from moment to moment are not so great, and then they mostly cycle from one position to Click to continue reading this post
Doing a bit of old school inking for part of a page yesterday. Brush, india ink, bristol… brought tears to my eyes*.
*Mostly been digital inking/pencilling these days, sadly… time is of the essence.
Stephanie DeMarco interviewed me a few weeks ago for an article she was writing about the science in the TV show Agent Carter (season two). As you know, I did a lot of work for them on the science, some of which I’ve mentioned here, and we spoke about some of that and a lot of interesting other things besides. Well, her article appeared in Signal to Noise magazine, a publication all about communicating science, and it’s really a nice piece. You can read it here. (The excellent title I used for this post is from her article.)
It is a pity that the show has not been renewed for a third season (I’m trying not Click to continue reading this post
I’m trying to make the characters somewhat expressive, since you, the book’s reader, will be spending a lot of time with them. This means constructing lots of hands doing things. Lots of hands. Hands take time, but are actually rather fun to construct from scratch. I start mine as two or three planes hinged together, and then go from there, subdividing until I’m done.
Many years ago, even before the ground was broken on phase one of the Expo line and arguments were continuing about whether it would ever happen, I started saying that I was looking forward to the days when I could put my pen down, step out of my office, get on the train a minute away, and take it all the way to the beach and finish my computation there. Well, Friday, the first such day arrived. Phase two of the Expo line is now complete and has opened to the public, with newly finished stations from Culver City through Santa Monica. It joins the already running (since April 2012) Expo phase one, which I’ve been using every day to get to campus after changing from the Red line (connecting downtown). (Click any image to enlarge.)
On Friday I happened to accidentally catch the first Expo Line train heading all the way out to Santa Monica! (I mean the first one for the plebs – there had been a celebratory one earlier with the mayor and so forth, I was told). I was not planning to do so and was just doing my routine trip to campus, thinking I’d try the new leg out later (as I did when phase one opened – see here). But there was a cheer when the train pulled up at Metro/7th downtown and the voice over the overhead speakers Click to continue reading this post
Still slowly getting back up to speed (literally) on page production. I’ve made some major tweaks in my desktop workflow (I mostly move back and forth between Photoshop and Illustrator at this stage), and finally have started keeping track of my colours in a more efficient way (using global process colours, etc), which will be useful if I have to do big colour changes later on. My workflow improvement also now includes putting some tasks onto the iPad so that I can even get production effort done on the train twice a day. The unfortunately named app Procreate is a very good drawing program for mobile devices, and it allows me to preserve layer structure and export to photoshop format for reincorporating those results into the main works. I need to keep finding efficiency tweaks like this to make up lost time and finish this book on schedule! In the meantime, the consistency of my basic drawing (the engine room of the whole thing) seems to be coming back on stream… More on that later.
Actually, I’m super-excited…! There is a New Hope coming. I’m daring to dream… ok just a little bit. (Sorry to be cryptic…More later.)
When you realize mid-sketch that your character is wearing a watch, and so that means you should probably go back and add it to all the previous pages and panels… (click for larger view.)
…of the physics kind.
Ok, I’ll share a bit during my lunch break from spending too much time doing detail in a tiny panel few will linger on. (Perils of a detail-freak….) It’s a rough underdrawing I did this morning for a panel I’m now turning into final art (the black stuff is the start of final lines). That’s the character you saw a turnaround for earlier, busy at work in a cafe when… (To be continued…)
This year’s USC Science Film Competition saw another crop of films with a great variety of approaches, with live action and animation, comedy, drama and documentary, and all sorts of hydrids of those forms. Thanks to all who took part. As for the results, and seeing the films (do take a look!) I’ll repeat here the post I did over on the competition’s blog:
We had a lot of fun at the screening and showcase last Thursday. The films looked great on the Imax screen. Many thanks to Matt Scott for working hard to make sure it all looked great, and also to him and the Large Format Cinema Club for co-hosting the event! Once again, thanks to the Burg Foundation for supporting the competition financially with prize money, grants for helping with the filmmaking, and funds for refreshments and logistics. And lots of thanks to the judges for taking the time to give their thoughts about the films!
The results are as follows: Click to continue reading this post
Here’s a character turnaround I finished today. It is a sign that I’m about to delve into finished art on one of the stories in the book. Finally. Been a long time since I’ve done that, but I’ve been building up to it. Only 3 months later than I’d planned.
What’s a turnaround? Sort of self-explanatory name I hope. Its purpose? It is Click to continue reading this post
For the first time in its history, the Southern California Strings Seminar was held in Santa Barbara, at the KITP! It was probably the largest meeting that has been held under that banner, with attendance from all over the map of theory groups in the region. Thanks for Edgar Shaghoulian for organising it!
Although I was a bit under the weather (never really figured out what the matter was) and super-pressed for time, I went along to support it and learn a bit about what was going on. I think that there’ll be a posting on the KITP’s online talks website at some point with the various talks, so you can look in too (keep an eye on their website).
I did not fancy driving there and playing dodgems with the traffic and so -as seems to be my custom when Click to continue reading this post
This month’s issue of Physics Today has a review that I wrote of the book “Quantum Field Theory for the Gifted Amateur”, by Tom Lancaster and Stephen J. Blundell. I took the opportunity to give a broader view (albeit brief, given the word limit) of the landscape of books on that subject and how it has changed a lot, in a way that I think reflects some excellent changes in formal theory brought about by (at least in part) research into the many topics pulled together under the broad umbrella of string theory. As you might know from reading here and elsewhere, I’ve long been pushing for the increased application of the ideas and techniques of string theory to other areas of physics, and it has become quite the thing these days, I’m happy to see. Such research has resulted in the blurring of the Click to continue reading this post
The wildflower patch continues to produce surprises. After sprinkling a mixed packed of seeds, you never know exactly what’s going to come up, and in what quantities.
You just have to wait and let it slowly unfold over time.
I’ve been fascinated by this particular flower, for example, which seems to be constructed out of several smaller flowers! (Click for larger view.) What a wonder, and of course, there’s just one example of its parent plant in the entire patch, so once it is gone, it’s gone.
I’m not going to lie. If you’re not in the mood, thumbnailing can be the most utterly tedious thing: (click for larger view)
Yet, as the key precursor to getting more detailed page layout right, and Click to continue reading this post