Beginning of the End

Well last week I finished the pages of Dark and have moved onto the post-production stage. It has been a very long process but I think it a very good experience for me. By working on a project for more than a week or a few weeks, I can see what it would be like to work on something for a more long-term basis. Post-production includes the following: editing things I want to change, adding in more effects to Dark in order to add to the mood and setting as well, and finally a navigational menu that can navigate to different parts of the story.

At first I originally tried to make a menu using Q-query but did not find anything that I liked. So in the end I ended up building one the old fashion way with just HTML and CSS. I think that it turned nice because I was able to customize it’s appearance to match the rest of Dark. In the picture below it is on the left side.

ImageOne site navigation bars are pretty interesting. Instead of taking you to a different page completely, the buttons will take you to different depths of a page.

That is it for this week, I think I only have one  or two more posts left for the semester.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.

-B

 

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Close to the End

I only have one more page left of Dark to finish. I have come a long way this past semester and it is almost over! After this last page will come editing and trying to incorporate that interactive navigation menu that I have been talking about. I have that to do, then I have to prepare my paper and presentation about Dark, both of which will be due the last week of May. So much to do in these last two and a half weeks!

I will hopefully have the last page done by this Wednesday for Capstone class. The way that I have worked on Dark is pretty interesting. Since I have other classes and work, I do things in sections, depending on what is a priority for the next week, or week after that. For example: last week I worked on Dark from Monday up until our class on Wednesday. This Thursday I have a research paper due for another class so from last Wednesday through Saturday I worked on it and finished it. Then from yesterday I have worked on my independent project called Peach Boy. After I finish this I will work on the last page of Dark and hopefully finish it by Wednesday. Each day is interspersed with classes and work (15-20hrs a week :/ ) so I do not have very much free time. But in the end I think it will be worth it to see how much work I have accomplished in just a single semester.

-B

 

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Final Stretch Begins

This past week I was really really busy! I danced in the Linfield Lu’au this year and every day last week starting on Sunday, we had practices from 6-10pm(or later) every night until the show, which took place last night. That was on top of my normal class and work schedule so lets just say that I did not get much sleep!

That being said, I was still able to get a lot of work done! I finished the English portion of my portfolio website(a required project for my capstone class) as well as another page of Dark! And besides finishing the most recent page, I have also been going back and improving things in the previous pages to make them better! I have put in a lot of work on Dark and I plan to have the last page finished by the 18th this month so that I can have time to edit it and hopefully add the interactive menu that I talked about in the previous post.

That is all for this week, it is hard to imagine that I only have 24 more days until my capstone presentation!

-B

 

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Professor Meeting 2

Last week I met with one of Linfield’s computer science professors to get his view on my project and see how I could add more computer science components to Dark. His first piece of advice was to write a journal of everything I do, successful or not, so that I can have it on record. I think that this is a really good idea because it puts your thoughts on paper as well as descriptions of how you got things to work out for future references. The only draw back I can think of is the time it would take to journal every day.

As for his advice on how to incorporate more computer science into Dark, based on the knowledge I already have from previously taken classes, he ultimately gave me two pieces of advice:

1.) To make the portions of my graphic novel interchangeable using a database. I could use this to show someone (like a future employer) that I know how to make databases, but I do not know how it would help make Dark any more interesting.

2.) Use jquery/javascript to make the website more interactive. I like this idea because it could make Dark more enjoyable to read and all in all, ad to the reader’s experience. The only problem would be getting it work. My professor’s last piece of advice was to take baby steps, and to not take on something too difficult, resulting in not having anything to show for my work. With what was going on earlier this semester I really think that this is good advice. After I finish the actual pages of Dark, I am thinking of adding a sticky navigation menu that will stay on one part of the page and will be used to navigate to different sections of the story. This would be made possible using a jquery plugin, but I think I will wait a little bit before I try to code it.

That is all for this week. Here is a screen shot of the part of Dark that I have recently finished.

Screen2-B

 

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About the concept behind the demons

This past week I have finished page number five out of nine which means that I am over half way finished with the art for DARK. I am beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel (haha).

Besides the actual art needed for the graphic novel there are other elements that I have to create in order to build the proper mood. Without going into detail, these elements will add something to the mood that you can not get with traditional media so I am very excited. I am still looking for ways to make DARK stand out and be unique both story and design wise.

One thing I hope stands out in DARK are the demons that haunt the main character. They are especially creepy and exist to torment people. The demons are a big part of the story and so of course I was having trouble finding something that I liked until I came across some pictures of microscopic worms on the internet.worm1 worm2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These little critters provided me with some great inspiration and helped me come up with some grotesque demons. The demons are a big part of DARK, so I hope that when you read DARK you cringe a little when you see them.

-B

 

 

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Helpful Critiques

To be honest, I have not worked on my capstone project that much this past week because I was putting in a lot of work on my portfolio website and my independent study project (both have to be completed by the end of the semester). So this week I will have to put in extra effort into getting another page completed, which might be difficult to do alongside other papers I need to work on for separate classes.

Last week during our weekly capstone class meeting I received some helpful critiques that should help Dark come out easier to understand for the viewer. One critique was about the style of the typeface I was using for the text. The typeface only had capitalized characters so it made whatever the message said sound like it was being yelled. The new font I have chosen should come across as more subtle.

Typface-Comparison

Something else involving the text that was brought to my attention was how I am displaying it. Depending on the container, it can have a different conotation to it. I had some general knowledge of all of this stuff before, but since I am still new to creating these kinds of stories it is very difficult to remember everything.

copyDeliverySystemThis week we might meet with the Studio Art Portfolio class so hopefully I will get some more good critiques and what not.

-B

 

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Small Steps

Dark has been coming along slowly but surely.

I have finished four out of the nine pages that I plan to complete for my capstone project. I have two months left to complete them which seems like a lot of time for only five pages, but I also to account for implementing them onto the website. The final version of Dark on the webs will have added effects besides the artwork of the pages to properly set the mood and add a little bit of motion to the story.

One effect that I intend to use here and there in Dark is what web developers today are calling Sprite Animation. One of the new components that CSS3(a web language that designs the physical look of a website) has that CSS2 does not, is animation. When making Sprite Animations you make what is called a Sprite Sheet which resembles a page filled with many pictures of the same object but slightly altered to produce an animated effect. In a way it resembles old school animation:

Image

 

Using this picture I made as an example I will briefly explain the process. The whole picture is the file that is on the website, but the red box is the only part that the viewer can see. Using CSS3 you can change what part of the entire picture is visible in the red box. So what the viewer sees is each different part of the picture at a set speed so that it creates the illusion of motion. This animation would show a black circle moving downwards. This technique is very useful when creating short animated loops.

The only downside to using CSS3 for animation is that not all versions of browsers will recognize the language because it is a newer innovation. You can however use vendor prefixes to make the animations visible on all current browsers. But older versions of Internet Explorer, to use as an example, do not understand CSS3 so people using these browsers will not be able to see the whole animation, only the first “frame” as a still picture.

This is something I have learned recently so this was an explanation of Sprite Animation as I understand it, there are other methods and techniques that use CSS3 for animation.

-B

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