“The symbol” is a crop-circle-type sigil that’s a major element in the story and appears multiple times in the strip itself. I constructed it in the vector program Adobe Illustrator (which is really good for making geometric designs like this) and exported as a high-resolution bitmap (TIFF) file that could then be imported into Manga Studio.”
“I used Manga Studio 5 to generate the three roughs which I submitted to Matt Smith. 01 was the closest to the brief, 02 added past and present versions of Black Bob (as seen in that episode), and 03 was a “wild card” design based on a Gustav Klimt painting. Matt Smith went for 01. In the case of 01 and 02, I imported the symbol into Manga Studio and used the transform setting to distort it into the correct perspective, as that was quicker, easier and more accurate than trying to draw the symbol by hand, even roughly.”
“Next the grey “pencil” drawing over the top of the chosen rough. I still think of them as “pencils” even though I do the whole shebang digitally. As ever, I do the “pencils” on a separate layer so they can be changed without affecting the underlying drawing.”
“Next the blocking. This breaks the drawing up into blocks of colour that I can select later and fill with texture. Since I did the last series of Stickleback, I discovered Manga Studio 5’s incredibly useful “Lasso Fill” tool, which for some silly reason is hidden away in a sub-menu. Lasso Fill allows you to draw a shape freehand, but instead of producing a selection, it automatically fills the just-drawn shape with your chosen colour as soon as you raise the stylus from the tablet (pro tip: Manga Studio lets you select “nothing” as a colour, and if you do that with the Lasso Fill tool it becomes a very quick and accurate eraser for large areas). The Lass Fill tool speeds up the blocking stage immeasurably, and acts in very much the same way as Illustrator’s Pencil tool did, back when I was using that program for drawing.”
“Here’s how to find the Lasso Tool in Manga Studio 5 (5 or EX5 but not earlier versions); there are a whole nest of sub tools hidden in the tool bar. Depending what sub-tool is selected, the icon will look different (to further complicate things, I’ve rearranged my toolbar, but try just below or above the Type Tool (A) on the toolbar (marked 1 in the illustration). A sub-menu will appear, divided into tabs. Click on the “Direct Draw” section (marked 2 in the illustration) and then on the Lasso Fill button (marked 3 in the illustration).”
“My preferred settings for the Lasso Fill tool. If you’re working at resolutions below 400dpi, try playing with the anti-aliasing settings to avoid getting jagged edges.”
“At this point in the process, I export the cover to Photoshop format and open it in Photoshop (I use Photoshop CC but any version will do.) I add textures to the blocks of colour I’ve made previously (you can see a brilliant video tutorial of that here – Pete) I also put blocks of grey under the textures to make them more coherent and solid.”
“I then select all the textures (Select: Load Selection: pick “(name of layer) transparency” from the drop-down list and click OK) and, on a new layer, paint in blacks over the textures to deepen some of them further.” You can see D’Israeli’s incredibly useful video on this part of the process here.”
“I then close the file and re-open it in Manga Studio 5.”
“Finally, painting; I used to use Corel Painter for this stage of the process, but Manga Studio 5’s Watercolour Brushes are 90% as good as Painter’s, and Manga Studio is so much faster and more stable (in fact, Manga Studio runs faster with five pages open than Corel Painter can with one.) The upshot of this is that, after three upgrades which have actually brought declines in performance, I have with great relief been able to drop Corel Painter as a working tool.”
“That bit of relationship-breakup schadenfreude over with, back to business*; I use the Transparent Watercolour brush in Manga Studio 5 to add bits of shading and modelling to the faces, I also paint in dark areas on Penny Red’s long hair (left) and then scribble over them with a Pen Tool loaded with white to create hair strands.”
“Once this stage is complete, I close the file and re-open it in Photoshop and make a copy as a flat TIFF file for upload to the 2000AD FTP server. And that’s that!”
And here’s how those harpies look on your newsstand, yikes!
Great galloping thanks to Mr Brooker for another amazing cover breakdown, check out his stunning blog right here!
HughPickens.com writes Pamela Engel writes that Americans need only look to Nigeria to calm their fears about an Ebola outbreak in the US. Nigeria is much closer to the West Africa outbreak than the US is, yet even after Ebola entered the country in the most terrifying way possible — via a visibly sick passenger on a commercial flight — officials successfully shut down the disease and prevented widespread transmission. If there are still no new cases on October 20, the World Health Organization will officially declare the country “Ebola-free.” Here’s how Nigeria did it. The first person to bring Ebola to Nigeria was Patrick Sawyer, who left a hospital in Liberia against the wishes of the medical staff and flew to Nigeria. Once Sawyer arrived, it became obvious that he was ill when he passed out in the Lagos airport, and he was taken to a hospital in the densely packed city of 20 million. Once the country’s first Ebola case was confirmed, Port Health Services in Nigeria started a process called contact tracing to limit the spread of the disease and created an emergency operations center to coordinate and oversee the national response. Health officials used a variety of resources, including phone records and flight manifests, to track down nearly 900 people who might have been exposed to the virus via Sawyer or the people he infected. As soon as people developed symptoms suggestive of Ebola, they were isolated in Ebola treatment facilities. Without waiting to see whether a “suspected” case tested positive, Nigeria’s contact tracing team tracked down everyone who had had contact with that patient since the onset of symptoms making a staggering 18,500 face-to-face visits. The US has many of these same procedures in place for containing Ebola, making the risk of an outbreak here very low. Contact tracing is exactly what is happening in Dallas right now; if any one of Thomas Eric Duncan’s contacts shows symptoms, that person will be immediately isolated and tested. “That experience shows us that even in the case in Nigeria, when we found out later in the timeline that this patient had Ebola, that Nigeria was able to identify contacts, institute strict infection control procedures and basically bring their outbreak to a close,” says Dr. Tom Inglesby. “They did a good job in and of themselves. They worked closely with the U.S. CDC. If we can succeed in Nigeria I do believe we will stop it here.”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
An anonymous reader writes: To add some historical context to the currently controversy surrounding attitudes toward women in gaming, Jon Peterson provides an in-depth historical look at the unsurprisingly male origins of the “gamer” identity. It also examines how Dungeons & Dragons helped to open the door for women in gaming — overturning a sixty-year-old dogma that was born when Wells’s Little Wars first assumed the “disdain” of women for gaming.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
TfL board member will be excluded from discussions about the proposed cross-city Cycle Superhighways because of his role as finance director at one of the companies opposing the idea
A board member of Transport for London (TfL) must step aside from discussions to prevent a conflict of interest with …Continue reading »
So, the Day of Dredd – was it a success?
If you’re browsing this website there’s a good chance you’re a fan of 2000AD, and it’s most popular character, Judge Dredd. You’re also very likely to have seen the film, and want a sequel – right? RIGHT?!
Well, October 1st was ‘Day of Dredd’, where fans and Dredd-related alumni came together for another push to bring Dredd back under the spotlight. This has been chamioned by the Make a Dredd Sequel movement, supported by our very own 2000AD. If you haven’t joined the campaign yet, what are you waiting for? Go here and sign up:
Was it a success? To try and determine this I’ve thrown together a handful of things occurring that day which caught my eye for one reason or another. I’m hoping they caught the eye of DNA and distributors around the world too. Before I begin, I know a load more folk did some really great stuff, and I’m really sorry if I’ve missed you.
The Day of Dredd got off to a great start, even before it began! Just prior we had Adi Shankar, the producer of Dredd, weighing in, and noting how the film has gained cultural resonance. You can see exactly what he had to say here:
On the day itself he was active on Twitter, and even retweeted something from our very own UK Judges Forum!
He wasn’t the only Dredd-related person busy on Twitter though! Olivia Thirlby also retweeted from the UK Judges Forum too:
She didn’t stop there though! One very lucky 2000AD Forumite, ‘The Bissler’, tweeted her directly, and she responded to him, and ALL Dredd fans everywhere!
Of course, Olivia didn’t stop at just tweeting about it. She also put up this fantastic little video thanking everyone for their continued support:
Next up on Twitter was a major coup for 2000AD and the Make a Dredd Sequel movement, when Simon Pegg retweeted in support, to over four and a half million followers!
Things were hotting up on Facebook too, as Paul Leonard-Morgan reposted his awesome video of ‘Mini-Guns’, a very well known theme from his Dredd sountrack:
This great photo of Carols Ezquerra, artist and part-creator of Judge Dredd, also went pinging about:
Plenty of media websites went into overdrive to mention the Day of Dredd. There are way too many to post here, but I will mention two. Firstly, Moviepilot told us exactly what we should do to get the focus on Dredd once again:
Geeksmash gave us 10 great reasons why there should be a sequel:
It goes without saying the loyal fans of the film and 2000AD joined in, each in their own inimitable style. As mentioned above, I expect I missed loads of people doing some great things, but here are a couple of stand-out moments for me.
You may remember me mentioning Judge Åberg in my article about the Lawgiver convention? He celebrated by bringing Justice to the household chores:
…and arrested a perp for damage to property and urinating in a public place.
Loads of folk posted up their own art in honour of the day, including this great Judge Death by Judda Fett of the 2000AD Forum:
…a cracking grayscale piece of Karl Urban goodness from Robert Gray:
…and a fantastic sketch of Dredd in film uniform from Stuart Tipples:
However, there was one stand-out picture for me. This was a great bit of photoshopping from Andy Lambert, in which he gives us an indication of what we could expect if a sequel did involve the Dark Judges!
So, what was the result of all this? Well, 2000AD had a very good day indeed. They posted up the results from their own ‘I’m supporting Day of Dredd’ tweet, which were staggering!
Fans also pushed Dredd back into the number nine spot on Amazon US, and the number one spot on Amazon UK:
Was it a success then? In terms of fan involvement, media attention, and social websites numbers, it most definitely was! Everyone really got into it, and my own personal Facebook and Twitter feeds were absolutely flooded with Dredd related goodness.
In terms of whether we’ll get a sequel or not though, the jury is still out. There’s no doubt these constant pushes to keep Dredd in the Blu Ray charts is going to be noticed, and at the end of the day that’s what potential financiers want to see. It’s all about the money, and keeping those sales high could give them the encouragement they need to stump up the dosh, and get us the greenlight.
We need to keep pushing though. If you know anyone that hasn’t seen it, get the Blu Ray or DVD as a little gift for them. Lend them some of your Dredd-related comics to read. Invite them round for beer and a good action film (which just happens to be Dredd). You know it makes sense, because we want DNA to:
<insert pic give us a dredd sequel now>
Molly McHugh sends this story from Daily Dot: When Facebook issued an apology this week for suspending user accounts that had what it alleged to be fake names, it pinned the whole debacle on one person. This “individual,” Facebook reasoned, sewed confusion into its flawed reporting system—intended to protect against bullying and online abuse. Facebook Chief Product Officer Chris Cox explains that Facebook was caught “off guard” by a lone actor who reported “several hundred” accounts as fake. According to our source, who claims to have spent “hours and hours” systematically reporting Facebook users from the drag community and beyond, thousands of accounts were suspended—and they’ve been at it for weeks. … Given the timing and the accounts suspended, they believe that they are in fact the mystery “individual” who threw a wrench into Facebook’s system, noted in Facebook’s explanation of the events. “Considering the hours and hours I spent reporting accounts over the course of the past month, it is likely that I am.”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.