Friday, June 24, 2005

Drawing 06/24/05

I just realized the last drawing I posted was the one I drew TWO weeks ago, and my most recent one is still sitting in my online folder. Yay for procrastination!



It seems that most of my spare drawing time is taken up by the numerous players I know in WoW who want their characters immortalized. This is someone I've known since I was in the wee levels, a priest by the name of Yuuzhan. I usually draw these characters with their full armor sets on but Yuu insisted she'd rather have one done in her spider dress, and I have to agree - it's pretty hawt. The troll females have a rather unique physiology: large hips, big pointy nose, bizzarre hair, three-fingers, fangs - yet despite these somewhat frightening traits, they remain sultry creatures, especially while dancing, which most players get a kick out of. My main character is a troll female as well, so I know first hand what it means to shake my booty, and in a completely whorish way like those slutty night elves. So very slutty...

She looks a bit crosseyed in the picture, which I'm not happy about. Her hands and feet are also awkward, which isn't to say they don't look like what they should, it just makes me think how having fewer fingers does not make a hand easier to draw. In fact it was more difficult to fill the space of the palm with only the three; it helps that the fingers are quite chunky, but the rules of human physiology are tough to break. The player was very happy with it, however, so all's well that ends well.

"Procrastination is like masturbation, at the end of the day you're really only screwing yourself" - Words of wisdom, Anonymous.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Drawing 06/21/05

It's been a while... again. To be truthful, I am spending the majority of my free time in WoW, doing really well with my character. The game is still tons of fun, and there's a lot more I want out of it. The people I've met online are great, mostly through the guild team interactions. Lately we've been going through Molten Core a lot, which is pretty much the hardest place in the game right now; it requires a 30-to-40 man team working together to beat some of the simpler enemies, and once you get to big bossman, hooboy, it's actually a very tough ordeal. But that's what makes it fun. We do about one eigth of the entire thing in 2 hours, and haven't gone further yet. It's a good thing the Core is saved for a week when you're killing bosses. Trying the whole damn dungeon in one night would be an insane commitment.

Not that I'm trying to downplay my current insanity, but it would be MORE insane.

*changes topic abruptly*
Here's the drawing. =)



Awww, isn't he cute? This is a little gnome mage I drew by request. Though he goes by the name of 'Dan', I like to call him Sparky McAnklebiter; it's catchier. Gnomes are cute and all, but every time you see them in Warcraft you feel the irresistible urge to run at it for a punt. Just so... puntable. It's a more detailed drawing, and I've actually been commissioned to send it to the player, since he liked it so much. I'm always nervous and skeptical when people tell me that they want my drawing, and I'm never convinced it's good enough. I should though, this one looks pretty great. You're all aware of my love of details, and this one's got it up the wazoo. Hmm, okay - no more speak of gnome wazoos, I promise.

The drawing could do with some more shading, but with the delicate patterns on it, I'm not sure how difficult that would be, and I'd rather not chance it. The hair is also somewhat lacking. Shape is there, which is fine, but looking closely at some of the bang clumps, it is quite scratchy and unfinished. Ah well, c'est la vie.

"I used to shout up from outside, wake you up while you were sleeping" - It's Been a While Since I Was Your Man, Matthew Good, White Light Rock and Roll Review

P.S. good lord, the source of the quotation was longer than the quotation itself...

Monday, June 13, 2005

Periodical Interest in the Drawg

Well, it happened again. I skip a few days here and there and they snowball into a period of weeks of disinterest. The experiment I intended this to be I hereby declare a failure. I've not done a drawing a day for a good while now, and as a good friend pointed out the other day, it is because I still have only one thing on my mind. It is all too consuming, and I'm perpetually giving into it. There can be no promises of daily/weekly updates, since I clearly cannot fight the World enough to break its incanatation on me. I want to say that I hope I'll become disinterested in it - I know that would be good for me - but I simply cannot. As it stands now, the World is still far too entertaining, and I've only started to get to the point I wanted to be at. Scary that I have clear goals for it, and yet my goals for real life are vague and without focus.

I'm weak.

The blog is a strange habit - often started, sparsely updated, and certainly never concluded. There is no purpose to any of this; it is a means without an end. We speak but are we ever heard? How many times can the same self-introspection and senseless psycho-babble be recycled to try and manifest feelings/thoughts into meaningful updates? I still think starting it was a good idea. My combination of blogging and drawing was good for me, and people liked it. It didn't fall apart until I started holding the daily works with too much importance. It should never have become the kind of painful ordeal that it did, where I only posted the best of my shit; it should be a learning experience, where if my drawing for the day consisted of set of stick figure posings then, well, so be it. As long as I can look at something I've put on paper and criticize its flaws, the entry is a success and I have learned something. If I draw a line on the page, and post it criticing the fact that it is only a line, then I have learned that only drawing one line does not cut it. Simple as that.

By the way, I am officially coining the term Drawg/Drog and Drawging/Drogging for this experiment, combining the words draw with blog to describe what I am doing. If anybody can claim that this is not a unique facet of the internet and that I am NOT the first person to drog, then please let me know about it ;). Draw + web + log = drawg. Simple as that; and it is mine. Just so you all know.

I have some drawings to show for the last few weeks of vacancy at the very least, and whether I deem them finished or not, I will upload and share them. Comments and criticisms from anybody browsing here will go a long way to helping me get better. Thus far I have had a meager two comments written on the entire site, so please, assist me by posting some comments and criticisms. It can only do me a helpful service; there are many times that I am self-introspectively blind to some of the flawed facets of the drawings; a fresh outside opinion comes from a different perspective, and can be unbelievably different. Different in a good way =P.

And why do I (and we bloggers, mostly) try to use so many big words?

"You are an important part of the computer" - Matthew Good, Near Fantastica, Avalanche 2003

Friday, May 20, 2005

Legends

You'd think that the most important week for the video game industry would be reason enough for me to blog, especially regarding how excited I've been about the whole event. You'd think that I could get off of my lazy ass and write something about the topic that I follow fairly closely. You'd think a lot of things if you didn't know me, so what does it matter. I should write something, but then again, there are thousands of articles out there on the Electronic Entertainment Exposition (E3), particularly of the war that the 3 main console companies are waging. If you really want to know, do a Google news search for E3 and do about a minute of reading. You'll catch up on all the hubbub fairly quickly. The concise summary essentially says that Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo are at each others' throats again, vying for another bout at domination of the console market. The new Xbox360 (Xbox2), Playstation 3, and Revolution are setting up their artillery and flying in the troops to do battle over the next 18 months, when they are all expected to be released.

From what's been documented so far, it seems that Sony and Microsoft are the real competitors in the race for console gaming market superiority. Both are beefing up their machines to draw more power, fuel more fire and hopefully knock the other out of the contest. It is akin to the frightening arms race that plagued the era of the cold war, except we as the bystanders in the race are excited, and will actually benefit from their competition, not suffer. The gist of it is that Microsoft has put 3 PowerPC processors into one box, effectively drawing enough power and creating enough heat to sustain a fusion reaction (or so my theory goes), and thinks it's going to muscle out the Playstation, which decided to redefine computer architecture with its unique Cell processor, which is something like 4 times more powerful than the most powerful of current personal computers. So Microsoft has put 3 computers into one moderately sized box, and Sony has created a kind of micro-supercomputer. Impressive. Where does Nintendo fit into all of this? Well they claim they're not taking the path of relying on pure power to fuel their firepower in the war. They claim to be playing strategically, though with what they have not revealed yet.

Personally I'm an enormous fan of Nintendo. I've stood by them during some of their more questionable decisions, but not disappointingly, since they always manage to produce the most top-notch and entertaining games in my opinion. Their contribution to the next generation of gaming is the Nintendo Revolution. It's a system that is only - only being used relatively - going to be an order of two to three times as powerful as their current Gamecube. This seems to pale in comparison to the promises of both Microsoft and Sony, but Nintendo is promising us that this system will truly be revolutional in changing the way we look at video games. Its juicy little secret will be the undoing of Sony and Microsoft... apparently. Talk is cheap, and Nintendo isn't even doing much of that which angers those of us who follow because we're being bombarded with hype about the other two systems. We want Nintendo to be more competetive; their showing at E3 was uninspiring, to say the least, compared to the others. Both Sony and Microsoft created buzzes surrounding their consoles by releasing videos and images of absolutely stunning graphics within a few of their new games. If they are not lying (which they easily could be, hell, they have before) then the systems of tomorrow will look like the pre-rendered cinematics of today. We will be playing games with graphics akin to Final Fantasy: Spirits Within

This prospect is salivating for those of us gaming nuts. Nintendo has a lot of pressure on them to produce this revolutionary console, else risk losing the faith of their already dwindling fan base.

I know they can do it.

Thus, I have drawn a picture of one of their flagship characters to cheer them on!


It's Link, from the upcoming game The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. I'm always thrilled to know there's another installment of Zelda coming along, so insert some random fanboi drivel about 1337ness and uberness in here. It does look outstanding, like all of the past games, and it's a title I cherish from my days as a lad, so I figured I'd sketch up our green-clad hero.

It's a pretty quick little drawing, with some detail missing; I wasn't up to polishing one today. It's not bad though. The face has a sort of worried/angry look on it, which is a pretty common reaction for Link in the games. His costume has become more detailed in the design for the next game, and I threw most of it on there. In the past he's been pretty much wearing a pretty plain cloth tunic, leggings, boots and gloves - and the always attractive hat - but in this game he's looking a bit more grown up. The clothing isn't so plain, it has visible stitching and patterns to it. The boots look like they're made from embossed leather and he's got a layer of chain mail underneath his tunic, so he's ready for his next adventure, clearly. If I knew how to draw a sword convincingly from the side he'd be holding it the right way (showing the narrow edge of the blade, not the broad), but I don't so he's not. I think I got the perspective on his hand right this time, but his bent leg is not very convincing. Damn you perspective! Overall it could use some work, but I like it, and that's all that matters to me.

"Damn you ice cream! Come to my mouth! How dare you disobey me? What are you looking at, you infantile... stupid. That's right, damn you... and such........... zzzzzzzzz" - Fat Stewie, Family Guy

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

News you won't find on CNN indeed

Galloway takes on US oil accusers.

This man perfectly sums up my feelings about the not-at-all-yet-still-proclaimed recent oil-for-food drama... and then some. I could only hope to have the character this man has in his pinky finger for defending himself against such wild allegations. It's an absolute atrocity what's going on. I can't comment on it any further, it speaks absolutely for itself. I urge you to read. This was found on MBLOG, which I also urge you, with all the emphasis that I can, to read.

I don't post politically on here because, frankly, it's rude to do for anyone coming just to see me draw. After reading this, though, I can't resist it. If you are the kind of person who is so strongly opposed to this, what I would call truth, then you won't get past the first paragraph anyways without spitting on the ground and closing the page - and your mind. It is this kind of opinion that is never, ever given the time of day on mainstream public television. I want it to be out there.

"Absolute power corrupts absolutely." - Lord Acton, British Historian

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Drawing 05/14/05

Yes, this isn't posted on the right day. I did this yesterday and just... never got around to it I guess. Lazy weekends tend to make me forgetful.



IT's a drawing of another WoW character, this one drawn by request for a friend in-game. He's an orcish warlock named Niamh, and that's his naughty little Succubus minion. Yes, she has a whip. Yes, she uses it in the game. Don't think I'm any more naughty than the good developers at Blizzard entertainment, I'm just a reproductionist. ;). Overall it's quite good. The detail in it was put in kind of quickly, it woudl benefit from a few more hours work. Actually what I should have done was forgo the shading and focus on details, but alas, I chose one over the other. Shading takes so damned long with a 0.3mm pencil, as I've mentioned before. The robe is, inadvertantly, very much similar to the last drawing... I took this directly from a screenshot in-game, so its design wasn't decided by me.

"I come from land of Orcs, we eat with spoons and forks, we love to eat our pork." - Orcish folk song, anonymous

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Sound and Sushi

Just re-reading some posts from a while back and I noticed that I said I'd blog about the speakers and japanese food I had, yet never did. I do this frequently; when I've done an entry without a drawing and then update a picture later on, I don't write any more. If the drawing gets finished (I use the term finished loosely) and uploaded and posted, I'm already so sick of the whole procedure all I do is scribble down some quick thoughts of it and publish. There isn't much patience left to do additional content.

/self-bashing intro over

So yeah. I had a pretty great set of speakers a while back, I got them for my 19th birthday, or so I recall and they lasted me about a year and a half. They sounded great, and were a good set for me since I had to move around a lot; the 2.1 setup (that is 2 speakers and 1 woofer) was just light and compact, yet substantial for sound. Quality was right there, crisp sound through high and low ranges. Too much bass did make the woofer vibrate unduly, but I'm pretty sure that was a problem with footing, not speaker quality. So, yeah, they were good... except for this connection that they had. Imagine, if you will, a very large version of the ps2 socket: ps2 being the common modern mouse/keyboard inputs - round, I think 6 pins in a circular orientation. This connection is rather flimsy. Rather really flimsy. I hate the connection. I've had the entire thing rip completely apart on several occasions with mouse/keyboard tripping accident, and it's a pain because this cheap ass connection - which is a bitch to orient when pluggin in, sticks out a mile from the computer, always gets in the way and generally is a pain - ruins the entire unit.

Well that's what happened with the speakers. The ps2 style connection channeled power from the woofer to the speakers, and sound information from the speakers to the woofer. A horrible logistical setup of cables, if I do say so myself. So the connection became flimsy and I noticed I was losing signal to the left speaker. Wonderful. The problem seemed to be solved if you added pressure to the connection in the right direction. Over time the problem persisted and got worse, requiring ever increasing force to be applied. Eventually there was a really taut elastic band holding it at like 30 degrees to it's natural angle, and the sound was still getting lost. So I go back to apply more pressure and the connection shears right off. It wouldn't be so bad if it was just used to get the sound information from the speakers which connected to the PC - I can live without a woofer - but it supplied power TO the speakers as well, so the entire good quality system was shot because of this cheap-assed connection.

I really resented Creative for that. It was either an evil money making strategy or a very poor design decision, and either way I was pissed. I tried to do a home-made wire repair, but the task was beyond me. I looked around for professional services that do this, but nobody deals with this kind of connector to be able to repair. I went as far as calling the company and they said it was covered by warranty... my 1 year warranty which had just expired. Fan-freaking-tastic. Well I gave up on it, since it would probably cost me more than I wanted to spend, and I had an old pair of speakers I could use as back up. Ironically, the old $10 speakers didn't sound half-bad, which is probably because of my amazing SoundBlaster Audigy2 Platinum ZS sound card. Beautiful unit it is.

This was all about a year ago. So last week(ish) I was out with a friend just going to TigerDirect in Markham because she wanted a new hard drive. She got a really good deal by the way, I think they were limited quantity reduced half price... something like 80GB for $40. Anyway, while browsing the store I was looking for this set of speakers I'd had my eye on for a while, something to finally replace and upgrade from the last ones. There was never really the opportunity to buy them: eBay had them for cheap, yeah, if I want to pay $50 shipping charges... same with online stores like ncix. Couldn't find them at my trusty FactoryDirect, which always has the cheapest prices, but limited selection. I don't hold it against them, they're still great =P. When I didn't see them around the store I just thought "oh well, missed them again." and we went to check out. Well what do I see in a big stack at the checkout? The Logitech Z-5300e! And lower than what I found them online! And new! Most.Expensive.Impulse.Buy.Ever! Oh wait, no, my Minidisc player in NY was the most... well still, it was funny because it was decided waiting int he checkout line at the counter, like you'd do with a packet of gum or something.

They're a 5.1 setup, nice upgrade from last time with 2 front, 2 rear, 1 center speakers, and 1 subwoofer. The sound quality is huge. I never listen to stuff that loud to begin with, but these bad-boys can get LizzOUD! (Loud, for those who don't know the ~izz~ rules) The surround sound is pretty killer. I love how much more it adds to music and playing Warcraft. There's a very useful controller that easily powers on/off, controls volume, bass, fade and... uhh... one other thing I don't exactly recall. The connectors are all separate, so if one fails I'm pretty sure it can be replaced with minimal cost expenditures. The whole thing is solid as a rock though, so I'm sure everything will be fine. It cost just under $200 after taxes, and I already feel they're worth it; it's a pleasure simply to listen to them. The only drawback I can see is that they're huge in the box, and it means another sizeable addition to my already bulky tri-annual move. Whatever.

Oh, and later that day I had the best japanese food I've ever eaten. Ironically, I found it in my home town of Woodbridge, which I always accuse of being devoid of culture and quality entertainment. I hope it does well, I wouldn't want the stubborn and ignorant masses of this town to force it to go out of business. It was also surprising because I assumed the restaurant to be from the 'Taste of Japan' franchise, which you can find bastardizing the food in many mall food courts across Ontario (Waterloo to Ottawa, and many places in between I know of first hand). I honestly didn't expect it to be such a class act in terms of their facility and food. It has a live hot-table eatery, a sushi bar, and of course just the regular sit-down. I'll have to go for the hot-table sometime, as it was a lot of fun when I went to Benihana's.

So what was so good about Kinda: A Taste of Japan, you ask? Well, for starters it had a very elegant ambiance. The entrance with full plate glass doors, the clean and open sushi-bar with fresh fish, the picture-laden book-style menus, the service, the facilities... I could go on. The most notable thing about the experience though was the food. The first thing I noticed was how quickly it was prepared and served. There were generous portions to the meal(especially since we over-ordered, heh). It isn't often I literally cannot finish what is put in front of me, but this was the case. It was so good, though, that you wanted to keep eating, despite that sickly feeling of girth. Particularly good was their sushi and tempura. The tempura was so amazingly crispy and flaky, I had never seen it cooked to such perfection before. The sushi was by far the most surprising though. Normally, while I do enjoy it, it tends to leave a rather strong and notable aftertaste, and the texture of it can be somewhat rubbery. Not this. This was like... like butter.
Forgive the SNL reference for a moment and just literally think of butter (though it was like buttah, lol). Soft and smooth and refreshing, it had the genuine taste of salmon, and yet left a fresh and inconspicuous aftertaste. Brilliant! I'll definitely have to go there again. It was quite the experience in delectability.

That was a very good day. This is not. I feel trapped at work because of these long hours. I'm sure I'll get accustomed to it, but right now it's still rough on the system. Oh, and no drawing tonight. Sorry, last night it took far longer than I wanted it to, and once again I did not get done half of what I had wanted.

"I like the sushi cuz it never touch the frying pan" - Barenaked Ladies, One Week