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I really need to be doing this more often, ne? ^^;

Askblog artyness


You might have noticed the flurry of activity I've had of late. If you haven't been looking much into it, it's because I'd decided to upload a bunch of images related to my askblogs. Askblogs, for those who don't know, are kind of like interactive webcomics - readers submit questions or prompts, and the characters "answer" them.

I myself have two askblogs, which I'd been using to practice drawing poses, not procastinating, and doing art solely on the computer (as opposed to sketching and scanning it).

One is for a Friendship Is Magic original character named 'Floam':

The Pony Doctor's TARDIS - Exterior by MarkKB The Pony Doctor's TARDIS [Final] by MarkKB Floam Backstory Concepts by MarkKB

And the other is for my Lilo & Stitch OC experiments - 419, 426 and 628:

Where 419 Wants To Go The Most by MarkKB Where 426 Wants To Go The Most by MarkKB Where 628 Wants To Go The Most by MarkKB

You can visit the one for my experiments at theexperimentaltrio.tumblr.com…, if you are curious enough. As for the pony one, I'm not confident in it as is and kind of want to work up the story arc I have planned for that one, but haven't had time recently to do so, so I won't be linking it yet (although it's easy enough to find if you really want to.)

"Proper" art


For the most part, the askblog stuff was all drawn last year or the year before at various points in time. In my last journal I promised I'd be drawing more in the future, but, apart from a bit here and there I've had not a lot of time to do it. :(

I will be submitting one more piece that I'd done a while back, the first page of a multi-page comic that I'd been holding on to for the completion of the rest of the pages, but I've since realised that if it's going to take so long I might as well submit the first piece now. (For those who have been following me since literally years ago, the title, Exchange, might sound familiar. ^^ )

There are also two more artistic pieces that I've worked on this year that are now finished, both of them character reference sheets. One of them I'd been procrastinating on for a while, and the other's a lot newer. Be warned that I tend to write somewhat long notes (even for me!) with my character sheets (you only need to look at the reference sheets for Experiment 419 and Experiment 426 for proof of that!)

Other works on the horizon include:
  • A Series of Tubes, which depicts a scene from one of my fanfics
  • 99 Red Balloons, a Lilo & Stitch pic inspired by the titular song
  • a couple of pictures intended to depict scenes from a animation I'm working on
  • Triumphant, a picture for the (fairly crazy) animé Kyouran Kazoku Nikki
  • The Oncoming Storm, a Doctor Who pic
  • Some additions for the Stuff I Like series of pics
  • Some "poster"/"cover" art for various fanfics
  • Some original art I still haven't gotten around to
  • Other things I'm not planning on talking about right now. ^^;

I put this list here partially in order to put pressure on myself to actually commit to finishing these. ^^;

Adding art to groups


I've also been adding some of my old stuff to relevant groups. If you're watching a group and have already seen some of it, sorry! ^^;

Extra-Curricular


I've recently unleashed upon the world a beta version of The Askblog List! It's kinda bare looking, so if on the off-chance you have an askblog or Tumblrpon, be sure to click on the "Request an Invite" link so I can add your askblog to our list.

I've also released the first version of a program called Flash Card, which acts like, well, a virtual flash card program. You can create your own card sets, and it comes with three sets for Japanese characters.

Thanks for reading!
--MarkKB
  • Listening to: Windy - The Association
Jeez, I kind of fell off the map for a while, didn't I? ^^;

Website woes

Last year had a number of things that took up my attention. One of the big ones were problematic webhosts for my website, which is now located at the spiffy domain of www.markkb.com/. Thankfully I am now with one that seems to be a) communicative and b) stable, so that shouldn't be a problem going forward.

New fanfiction section on website

Speaking of which, I've finally launched the Fanfiction section of my website, which you can visit at www.markkb.com/stuff/fanfic/. It features author's commentary talking about my memories on writing the fics, what I was trying to do with some of the chapters, and comparing them to later versions. It also has, for the first time on the Internet since its random deletion back in 2005, the first ever version of Lilo & Stitch's Star Trek, so you guys can witness how much I sucked back then. ^^;

Right now it only has Starlight (nee Lilo & Stitch's Star Trek) and A Trip To Japan (nee Lilo & Stitch Go To Japan), but more will be coming soon.

Askblog

I've been also busy running an askblog! (An askblog, if you don't know, is when people ask a character questions and they answer them, to put it simply.) It's been running for a while, and it recently hit 300 followers, which is more than I can say for anything else I've ever done, especially since I initially only started it just to work on my digital art skills as well as working on a schedule, and the story kind of bloomed from there.

I'd prefer not to show it off right now on deviantART because it hasn't really gotten into the story arc I've planned for it yet. Once that's underway, I'll link it then.

A website for askblogs?

I've also been working on a website called "The Askblog List", which aims to be a voting site/catalogue of, well, askblogs. We're currently in the invite stage, so if you have an askblog, we'd love you to request an invite so we have at least a few askblogs up when the beta launches.

(It also helps us to know what kind of categories we should create initially!)

You can visit the website at askbloglist.com/, and to request an invite, simply click on the big purple button that says "Request an invite".

More art coming soon!

While, as you can see, I've been quite busy (not to mention fitting in time to write chapters for my fanfics) but rest assured I will be making time to do some more art in the future, so hopefully you'll see some more art from me soon!
Alright, I officially have regained Internet access! :D

Also, it seems my old website host is down for good. :( I've found a new one, and now my website can now be found at markk-b.fii.me!
  • Listening to: "Smile" by Shannon Chan-Kent
Because of about NZ$1000 worth of fees, most of which came from a friend of my brother making several long phone calls to mobile numbers, I probably won't be on the Internet for a while - at the house's current income, it'll probably take around four months to pay it off. Hopefully we'll manage something before then (I don't think I can stand four months!) but until then, I'll probably be able to only come on every now and then via Internet café (I'm using one right now to type this message. :( )

Until then, toodaloo!
-MarkKB

Okay, for some artwork I've noticed I've been writing really long 'summaries' for, since I want to cram in lots of little infos abou how I made it. So, to keep from making the summary a lengthly mess, I've decided to put them in journals instead.

This one's the first, for this year's Christmas pic, I Felt Sorry You're Adopted.

Artist's Notes

A quick aside: I only realised after I posted the pic that the date I'd posted it on was four months to the day after Christmas Eve, and only a few days after the first anniversary of Portal 2.

 

Specs

This is the highest resolution image I've ever done - the dimensions of the image, before cropping and resizing, weigh in at 5650x3650. Because of the size and number of layers I had, my computer had trouble keeping track of all the data in memory (it didn't slow down, but some... odd things started happening.) Since then, I've doubled my RAM to 2GB, so that shouldn't be a problem.

 

Changes from the original sketch

First off, I drew all the panels freehand with the mouse, with the help of a grid and guidelines for the slopes. The panels in the origial sketch were inconsistant and uneven  mainly because I'd only drawn them in to get an idea of how it would look.

Wheatley and Pleakley were both redrawn almost entirely - with Wheatley it was everything but his outer outline and his handlebars, while with Pleakley it was everything from the neck down. In Wheatley's case, it was because I'd sketched him from memory, and as it turns out my memory sucks. And in Pleakley's case, I realised that I'd been drawing his clothes wrong for years! :( In boh cases, I grabbed a ref and redrew the parts that needed redrawing.

I had to completely redraw the the Aperture Science Core Removal Pit®, mainly because I suck at drawing ovals freehand. For that I used some guide...ovals, I guess, while referring to the ref.

Lastly, Lilo got new feet, so to speak. Originally she was barefoot, and her feet were sloped downwards and pointing left. I realised that this clashed with the perspective elsewhere in the room, so I redrew them - with sandals, for good measure.

 

Art Issues

Originally I was going to shade the L&S characters, but I had trouble shading it in a way that looked good to me, so I decided to turn it off in the final pic. (The last month was alternating between havng a crack at the shading and... er, long bouts of procastination. ^^; If I'd forgone trying to shade it, I probably would have been able to release it in March.) Being under a spotlight means they have a valid excuse, anyway!

Initially I wanted it to be obvious that Pleakley was shivering at the sight of GLaDOS, but I didn't thinkhis shiver-lines worked too well with the piece so I turned them off as well. I might post the shivering version in my scraps later on.

Annoyingly, after I'd finished painting GLaDOS, my art program crashed, and the autosave file was corrupted, which meant I had to paint her all over again. It also happened again after I painted the panels! :(

 

Refs

For the layout of the Central AI Chamber, I used this image from the Half-Life wiki. The colour scheme and position of the plates were inspired by an image similar to this one of Chell standing before GLaDOS (the actual one I used I can't seem to find anymore. :( )

All of the characters were sketched from memory, but for two I used refs to help redraw them in the lineart stage:

Wheatley, from the Half-Life wiki.

Pleakley, from Magic Ears. (I actually used a much lower res version of this image from another website when I actually drew it, but today I tried searching for it on Bing just on the offchance I'd find the original. While it did bring up the small one, the More Sizes feature brought up the link above - something Google's More Sizes feature had not, oddly enough.)


 

Here's a list of things I plan to do in the near future, in order of priority for each section. This is continued in Part 2, which covers fanfiction, and Part 3, which covers animation, websites and other stuff.

Okay, here we go!

Artwork

Except when otherwise mentioned, everything mentioned below has a finished sketch.

Christmas pic - "I Felt Sorry You're Adopted" (Finishing touches)
So, every year, I do a Lilo & Stitch-themed Christmas pic (usually finishing and submitting around three months after Christmas. ^^; ) Well, this year it's a crossover, and I'm sure it's an easy guess as to what the second subject will be. If not - well, while you think about it, I'll tell you about that time I saw a deer.

Lilo & Stitch comic - "Creation" (~80% sketched)
"Creation" is a comic about, well, the creation of Experiment 419. I'm close to finishing the sketches for each page, after which I can start painting it.

Experiment 628 ref sheet
This is a redraw of the oldest of my experiment ref sheets (the original was drawn in MS Paint!) As with the other two, this ref sheet has some notes about the experiment, particularly on how his powers 'work'.

Scene from Alpha and Omega - "A Series of Tubes" (~65-70% painted)
I've been working on and off on this for around a year now (not because it's hard, but because I keep procrastinating/forgetting about it. ^^;) It's based on the recreation room scene in Alpha and Omega.

Cardcaptors comic - "Exchange" (~45-50% painted)
This is another pic I keep on forgetting. ^^; Basically, it's a silly little comic where Kero plays a prank on Sakura.

Starlight series thumbnails (3/8 done)
As you might know, I've been doing 'thumbnails' for each of the L&S fanfics I write for my website, and I've still got five more to finish. Whee!

Starlight series "movie posters"
A long time ago I sketched some 'posters' for Lilo & Stitch's Star Trek and Lilo & Stitch Go To Japan. (You can see the only one I painted here.) While I was looking through Haisai-DBarenzu's gallery recently (who had also drawn movie posters for their script fic), I remembered those and wondered why I didn't do any more.

And so, I've also sketched two 'movie posters' - one for Starlight, and one for A Trip To Japan. Yay! There's also this concept I drew beforehand for Starlight or Aftermath that's basically a half-height poster, so I'll probably submit that as a poster as well.

(And I might just finish those other old 'posters' as well.)

"Group Pics"
Another thing I wanted to do for my website. Basically, some simple doodles of the main cast of some of the shows and webcomics that I like.

Other fanart
I ish having done both L&S and Portal fanart that I'd like to paint (but probably won't get to :( ). The one that I am most likely going to get done is a L&S piece called '99 Red Balloons'.

Backspace comics

Ctrl-Alt-Bkspc is now called Backspace, for various reasons. Also for various reasons, I'm doing a reboot of the comic - and I plan only to submit the comics when the entire arc is finished, so as to be able to stick to some kind of schedule. So that'll take a while to do - maybe it'll be done this year, but most likely not.

Random artwork
I've drawn a lot of doodles and cartoonish stuff that I'd like to finish, so there's that as well.


Alright, so that's it for artwork! Because this ended up longer than I thought it would, I've split it into three parts - the second part covers fanfics, and the third animation, websites and other stuff.

(And I know it's been a long time since I posted last - I was planning to post this in January, but I got sidetracked by a bunch of stuff! ^^;)

Ciao!

-MarkKB

Here's a list of things I plan to do in the near future, in order of priority for each section. This one continues on from Part 1, which covers artwork, and is continued in Part 3, which covers animation, websites and other stuff.

Fanfiction

Note: my currently published fanfiction can be read at my FanFiction.Net profile or my Archive Of Our Own profile.

Well, apart from the obvious (work on my current fics), I mean.

Finish Lilo & Stitch's Star Trek... (FIVE chapters to go!)
When I started writing LSST, I never really thought that a) it would take five years to complete, and b) that I'd do over even thirty chapters on it, let alone almost seventy! Part of that, I admit, is probably because I didn't used to have a very good sense of where to end a chapter - I would be like, 'okay, that's a complete scene, end chapter!' or 'there's a cliffhanger, end chapter!' After five years of writing fanfics, I think I've improved tremendously - although, now that the finish line is in sight, I might rush the story out a bit because I really just want to finish it and get working on other things. Such as:

…and start publishing its rewrite, Starlight.
I've been slowly working on this for the last year or so, on and off. The chapters are much longer now (yay!), a lot more descriptive, and involve a lot more characterisation (although for the first few chapters, that's not... exactly hard. ^^;). Some chapters will be combined, some split, and some just done away with; and events won't unfold the same way they did the last time.

When I started my first rewrite back in 2005, one of my reviewers said that the new version was much better than the old. It's my hope that Starlight will be an even bigger leap from LSST v2 than v2 was to v1.

Oh, and maybe publish some of the Starlight series fics I haven't been able to because SPOILERS.
As no-one probably knows, there are eight fics in the Starlight series, but only four are being published right now. At least two others (Starry Nights and Aftermath) haven't been published because they lead on directly from Lilo & Stitch's Star Trek's storyline, and a third (A War of Worlds) uses things from LSST as part of the plot.

Marbles on Glass (tentative title) and Shattered Glass (Portal fanfics)
These are both ideas I had while writing Smooth Jazz Fails.

Marbles On Glass is a post-Portal 2 fanfic that starts off with Wheatley in space, and involves him returning to Earth - I haven't quite fleshed out the storyline yet.

Shattered Glass is a Caroline-centric fic that shows how she came to work at Aperture, all the way up to the day they 'woke her up' - similar to what Smooth Jazz Fails is for Doug Rattmann. I had this idea when writing and researching chapter three of SJF, "Caroline", and I thought it'd be such a shame that we don't get to see much of her, because she is such a fun character to write for. And then my brain was all like, 'well, here's some headcanons so you don't have to stop writing for her', and then I stared at my brain with an annoyed look in my face, because the last thing I need is to be writing another fanfic. Seriously, I think I'm working on about ten or fifteen right now! (A lot of them unpublished, BTW.)

Ghosts of the Past (Lilo & Stitch/Stitch! anime fanfic)
This is a kind of 'what-if' fic that isn't canonically part of the Starlight series, but uses its continuity - like the Star Trek novels, kind of. Basically, it explores what really happened to Lilo in the anime series. Yes, it was written before that episode (you know the one I mean), but I still think it's an interesting idea.

Beneath the Shimmering Skies (Doctor Who fanfic)
This is really just a concept right now with about half-a-chapter written, but it's one I'm rather interested in. Just letting you guys know it exists. :D


Alright, that's it for fanfics! You can go back to Part 1, which covers artwork, or continue on to Part 3, which covers animation, websites and other stuff.

Ja mata!

-MarkKB

Here's a list of things I plan to do in the near future, in order of priority for each section. This continues on from the previous two, which cover artwork and fanfics respectively.

Animation

Starlight opening 1 (Doctor Who-style opening) - ~20% animated
When I'm finished with I Felt Sorry You're Adopted, want to get cracking on working on this. All I need to do is redraw the elements of the Smile and Wave scene, and basically animate the rest of the sequence (something I really wish I had Flash or a compositor for - but I'm poor, and I can make do. :D)

You can watch a rough storyboard I did in late 2006 if you want an idea of what it will look like.

Scene from Starlight - "Intruder Alert" (storyboarded)
This scene occurs directly following 419 and 426 discovering the drone (that scene very roughly animated here). Basically, Pleakley notices an intruder alert, detects a vessel incoming, and puts it up on screen. It's intended to mirror the famous 'We have engaged the Borg' scene from Star Trek TNG "The Best of Both Worlds", as a sort of nod to what the fic grew out of.

Starlight opening 2 ("Masterpiece"/Index-style opening)
This opening is in the style of the second opening of the show To Aru Majutsu no Index (A Certain Magical Index). Since it's rather more complicated than the other two, I don't expect to release it anytime soon - however, I will be releasing a more 'animated' storyboard, sort of like an animatic (since I'm finding a lot of viewers on YouTube aren't sticking around because the opening frames take so long).

You can watch the existing storyboard on YouTube. 

Starlight Trailer
A full-length trailer for Starlight. Probably the more complicated of the set, mainly due to the number of scenes involved.


Other Video

Fandubs and character clips

I've done some fandubs and 'in character' recordings, and I thought I might put them up on YouTube for prosperity/to embaress myself. :p

Song parodies (for Portal and others)
For some reason, ideas for song parodies have been popping into my head lately - so far, I've written parodies of  "Born This Way" (about writing fanfics), "Poker Face", "Bohemian Rapsody" and "Poor Unfortunate Souls" (all Portal-themed) and "Anything You Can Do" (Mac vs. PC from the Apple ads, oddly enough).

Some of them I really want to have vocalised - but because my voice isn't the best, I'll be investigating getting others to sing them. (Maybe I'll also post my own attempts - for reasons stated in the last item.)

Experiments Sing Songs

I've been interested in having my OC experiments sing various songs as well, and even recorded a few (although they'll probably never see the light of day.) When I do get a rendition I like (or if I do get someone else who's voice I think fits the role), I'll post them - eventually.


Misc

Updates to Yet Another Lilo & Stitch Fansite
I'm planning an update to this website, which will most likely go through either this or next month. The update will include new articles, and will fix a display bug in some browsers where the text in character articles shows below the info panel, rather than beside.

Updates to my own website

Right now I'm working on an update to my website's layout that should provide a far more logical way of navigating it. Also, at some point in time I'm probably going to actually upload the Fanfics section, and I might start doing reviews as well. We'll see on that last one.

Boring software stuff
I'll be releasing a bug-fixing update for Project Nelson this month. I also hope to get the next full version out sometime this year.

Streets video game
On and off, I work on a video game called Streets. While it probably won't be ready any time soon, I'll probably be posting some art assets from it every now and then.

 


So, in summary... I have no idea how I'm going to do all this - and I most likely won't get much of it done this year. But I shall try! Because it's better to try and fail, ect, ect. And besides that, it'll be fun! I hope. :D

Your jack of all trades,

-MarkKB

  • Listening to: I Am What I Am - Shirley Bassey
So, it's officially 2012 (and word on the street is that it's the year the world is going to end - for a second time in a row! :D ) So to kick off the New Year, I'm going to be going back over what I did in 2011.

The year in review

Well, this has certainly been an interesting year, to say the least!

Art

Much of the art I posted this year was based on rather old sketches, so I could clear my queue for newer art (for instance, an old abandoned fanfic idea called "School Experiment", and "Britannia Rules The Waves".) There was also some thumbnail cover art for two of my fics (A Trip To Japan and Alpha and Omega), and I posted new and (extremely) improved ref sheets for two of my experiments, 419 and 426. And, there was the usual general Lilo & Stitch fanart ("Lilo", "I Am Not Amused", and "Moving Boxes"), as well as the the usual Christmas picture (also late as usual! ^^;)

In the middle of the year, my computer decided to pack itself in, which meant I had to temporarily use another computer. Unfortunately, that meant somewhat more jerky lineart (since I had no room for my mouse on my temporary desk, I had to use my bed) and, in one case (the aforementioned thumbnail cover for Alpha and Omega), heavily washed out art, since the monitor was so dark at its' brightest setting. Luckily, I bought myself a new computer in only a few months.

Sketches

I drew quite a bit of sketches last year, and hopefully you'll see some of them this year in fully coloured form. Included is some movie-style posters for Starlight and A Trip To Japan, and some concept art for some of my fanfics.

Comics

Ctrl-Alt-Bkspc

I only submitted one comic for Ctrl-Alt-Bkspc last year. Procrastination only makes up part of the reason - I've been doing a bit of thinking and I've decided to reboot the comic. There'll be more news on that later, but for now be assured that this isn't the last you'll see of the comic (although it will be the last you see of it under that name.)

In other CAB news I've completely finished drafting out the layout and text for the Truth arc, including the new introduction I'm doing, so I've got that pretty much set. I've sketched up to comic #46 (of the 75 total for the arc), and sketched 4 of the 10 comics in the new intro, as well as the cover for the arc.

Lilo & Stitch comic - "Creation"

I've been talking about this one for quite a bit, and sketching it out since December 2009 (thanks to my great friend procrastination, although it might be for the better, since I'm fairly sure that some of the later comics would not have come out as well as they did if they were drawn, say, all in a week in Dec'09.) Well, in the last year I sketched three of the eight comics I've done so far, and now I'm only a few comics away from the finish.

Fanfics

2011 was certainly a better year for fanfic writing than 2010 - almost twice as many chapters submitted! (You can read them at my FanFiction.Net profile.) I probably would have done more, but since September I've been struggling somewhat with writer's block.

I started another fanfic - Smooth Jazz Fails, a Portal fanfic. If there's one thing I don't need, it's another fanfic to work on, but I needed to try and work out my writer's block, and once I started, this little idea wouldn't leave me alone. Basically, it's my interpretation of the leadup to GLaDOS's takeover of the Aperture Science Enrichment Centre.

The good news is I'm slowly overcoming said writer's block, so I hope to get back into the schedule of at least a chapter per month in the coming year.

Animation

Starlight - Opening Credits 1 (in the style of Doctor Who)

I completed some animation for a concept I had for a Doctor Who-style opening credits for my fanfic Starlight (aka Lilo & Stitch's Star Trek), for which you can see some frame tests for the animation here and here. This was during the time when my normal computer was dead, and thus the lineart was rather rough and the colour somewhat out. I decided to redo both scenes at a higher resolution - the first one is already redone (although I haven't submitted it anywhere yet.)

Storyboards

I also storyboarded a second set of opening credits for Starlight (covering the Borg arc), based on the second opening for To Aru Majutsu no Index. (It'll look a lot better in motion than in storyboard, trust me!)

Other stuff

This year I relaunched my Lilo & Stitch fansite, called, well, Yet Another Lilo & Stitch Fansite. It's a little barren right now, but that'll change in the coming months.

Over on my various blogs, I shared my thoughts on things such as how I didn't think Charlie Sheen was crazy at all,  how 'private cloud' file servers could work for average users, and how in programming, a simple mistake can be devastating. I also started a Tumblr blog, and soon after went reblog crazy. ^^;

Finally, as a hobbiest programmer, I've been plugging away at various programs for years now. This year, I released two updates - one for Software Updater, an appcast/PAD-based software updater, and one for Gibraltar Installer, a software installer.

Last year's resolutions

This year I will try to at least beat the number of both pictures and fanfic chapters that I submitted last year.

That's what I posted last year. So let's tally the score!

For the year of 2010, I submitted 15 pictures, while in 2011 I submitted 14. Ooch, only just missed the mark! (Thankfully, it's still a lot better than my low point!) Although, part of that is a lack of Ctrl-Alt-Bkspc comics, but I've already explained the reason for that.

As for fanfics, I've already mentioned that I did a lot better than the year before - in 2010 I posted 8 chapters (including one new story), while in 2011 I posted 13 (also including one new story). So, at least I fufilled one of my resolutions! ^^;

This wasn't one of my New Years resolutions, but one of the things I'd resolved to do through November and December is actually finish the single player campaigns for some of the games I own. It may suprise you to know that, due to a combination of procastination and me changing computers over the years, before last month I had not completed the campaign for any of the games I've bought! And now, I've completed three - Portal 1 and 2, and Halo: CE (the original one). Yay progress!

Wrap-up

While this year was interesting, I know I could do a whole lot better. In the next post, I'll take a look at the coming year in terms of what I hope to achieve.

Ichariba chode!

-MarkKB
  • Listening to: There She Is - Portal 2: Songs to Test By
Hey guys and girls!

I'm very excited to announce that this Octobe will see the relaunch of Yet Another Lilo & Stitch Fansite at lasfansite.atspace.me! (I know technically I spilled the beans in Moving Boxes, but this time it's official!)

What is YALaSFS? Well, it aims to be a comprehensive encyclopaedia of all things Lilo & Stitch, catering to casual and intimate fans alike, as well as specifically to the creators of fanworks. It's not at that point right now (nowhere near it!) but hopefully I can build it up to that point eventually.

If you desire MOAR DETAIL, I've posted two articles on my blog:

YALaSFS: It Has Returned (Almost)
The official announcement article, with a screenshot of the home page and the Lilo article.

YaLaSFS: The Whats and What-Nots
This article tries to explain what I'm trying to do with the website, what I'm not trying to do, and some of my ideas for future features.

I'd love to get some feedback on my thoughts and ideas, so if you have some thoughts, let me know! And if you want to keep updated, be sure to check out the fansite's Facebook page!

MarkKB
  • Listening to: "Good Morning Mr. Sunshine" by BLESS4
Doesn't look like I'm making much progress on my resolution, eh?

Mainly because I suck and I have the attention span of a gnat. I see something shiny on the Internet, say "hmm, this is interesting", and next thing I know I'm buried in twenty tabs of TV Tropes or Cracked articles with no clue how I got there, and forgetting what I was doing in the first place.

New computer

So, now I've got a new computer to replace the one that failed earlier this year. Did I tell you guys about that? No? Hmm...

Reference Sheets

Speaking of stuff I promised at the beginning of the year, the first of my redone experiment ref sheets, the one for Experiment 419, is up, complete with a quick overview of who she is and some diagrams describing exactly how her standard experiment powers work, or rather, don't work.

"Covers"

You might have noticed I'm doing what I've called "covers" for all of my fanfics. They're not exactly "covers" because I've mainly been doing them as thumbnails for the fanfiction section of my website (still under construction) and the original sketches were basically panels covering less than one-tenth of a page each (I'd blown up the sketches quite a bit in PSP so I could maintain a reasonable quality when artifying them), but they do do the same job as proper covers, arguably, and I'm not too sure what else to call them. Eh.

"Covers" that I've done so far:
Starlight/Lilo & Stitch's Star Trek
A Trip To Japan
Alpha and Omega

(I am doing proper page-sized posters for each one as well, but I've only drawn one of those thus far, so those'll be coming later.)

Animation

Sooo, I am kinda working on some short animated trailers based on my fanfics. I've uploaded two frames from some tests I've been doing for it: Jumba's Ship In The Time Vortex, and Just Smile and Wave.

Looking back at them, the ship part of the background on each turned out to be a) not as high resolution, and b) quite a bit more rough than I wanted (for reasons elaborated on below). So, I've redrawn the ship in the former, and am in the process of doing the same for the latter. I've also completed the animation loop for the first scene, so there's that as well.

Sorry!

You may have noticed that a few of my recent pictures (specifically, from Left Hanging to Evil Genius Experimentation) looked washed out, or the lineart's a little wonky in places. The reason for the former is because I've been using another computer after my old one gave up the ghost, and it uses an older CRT monitor that has some wonky brightness settings (even the highest setting is still pretty dark.) While I knew about this problem, I didn't think it'd have much impact on the colours I chose until I saw my dA page on someone elses' computer.

As for the lineart, this computer's situated on top of a rather tall thin desk between the wall and my bed, and using the mouse on the desk as The Designer intended would have been rather awkward, so I'd been using my mattress, which has a wavey indentation patten on it. And while I've tried to catch and redo the parts where my mouse slips, sometimes I don't notice it until, like, two weeks later, and I'm like 'argh, how could I miss that!'

Now, of course I could've moved the computer to where the broken one was and plugged it into my LCD, but as I said I didn't really notice it until it was too late (and I'm kinda lazy...) So, sorry!

The good news is, of course, now that I've got me new computer all plugged in and stuff, I can use me normal proper desk and me proper-brightness LCD screen again! Yays!

Hmm, this seems to be shaping up to a discussion on how much I suck. On that note, SQUEE! *flees*
  • Listening to: "Yakko's World" by Rob Paulsen
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, everyone!

While I don't really make New Year's resolutions, this year I will try to at least beat the number of both pictures and fanfic chapters that I submitted last year. The trouble is, I'm a procastinator, so it will be interesting to see how that goes.

I've cetainly got quite a few things on my queue that I hope I can get through, the first of which being a Christmas pic! (OK, yes, I know it's late. ^^;) I've also got a few pics based on my fanfics lined up, including a series of comics based on 419's creation, and new reference sheets for each of my experiments (because the old ones are old, don't represent how I draw them anymore, and aren't as detailed as I'd like.) There's more Ctrl-Alt-Bkspc comics, of course, and a small project I'm doing for someone else.

Well, above all, I hope I have fun, and I hope you guys do too! :D

-MarkKB
  • Listening to: "Old Schoolyard" by Cat Stevens
O hai. I has an animation over at YouTube. It's rough, but I hope it gets the idea across.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=GX3vTe…

Those who have read my fanfics over at FF.Net will know what scene this video portrays. Otherwise, I hope I can suprise you guys! (Or I guess you can hit the link above... :D )

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  • Listening to: "Share This Day" by Josh Kelley
Well, Merry Boxing Day, at least. ^^ Let's all eat, drink and be merry!

News
I'm still thinking about my annual Christmas pic, but I think I have an idea of what it may be about.

I'm also working on a Lilo & Stitch comic, set before the events of Alpha and Omega, and a bunch of other stuff (some of it for my website.)

---

Thanks to everyone I know, for a great year, whether in terms of art or otherwise. Lets hope 2010 will be even better!

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Hi. (An Update)

Tue Nov 17, 2009, 1:33 AM
  • Listening to: "another excuse" by soulwax
News
Well, I've graduated from high school. (Yays!) Nothing left but NCEA exams, university, and then into the workforce. :)

An Update
Gah, I hate it when I forget to post anything here.

Well, I've been busy with a myriad of things. I've been working on Project Nelson, my fanfics, my website (and related to that, putting my fanfics on my website), a few games I develop in my spare time, and my comic, <Ctrl><Alt><Bkspc>. And school.   And reading tech websites.

Although, technically I probably should be studying for exams. ^^;

There's a lot of art in my backlog, and I'd like to get them done. I'll try to squeeze it in here and there.

Ciao!
MarkKB

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  • Listening to: &quot;Claire de Lune&quot; by Debussy
What was I doing on the day the Twin Towers fell?

Honestly, I can't remember. Is that a bad thing? Keep in mind that I was only ten years old.

I'll dedicate this space, instead, on what I remember afterwards.

I remember echoes of rumours that an aeroplane had crashed into a building, maybe at lunchtime. I remember a small television on a dolly; whether or not we watched the news reports or not I don't remember.

I remember seeing the news early the next day on CNN.

I remember clearly the photograph of the South Tower, engulfed in smoke, that was displayed predominately on the front page of the Western Leader (our local newspaper), captured by a photographer from Laingholm.

Photographs of young, sad children waving the American flag. Photographs of the rescuers, with the haunting imagery of the smouldering ruins as their backdrop.

Photographs of the hole in the Pentagon, and of the remains of United Airlines Flight 93 in a field in Pennsylvania.

I have all these in a scrapbook. I tried to collect newspapers, as many as I could find, and paste anything about the disaster I could find into it. Even though the pages are yellowing, I still have that scrapbook on my bookshelf, tucked away with a few issues of TIME. Perhaps I did it for a school project? ... I don't know.

At the time, I don't think I realised what had really happened. How do you explain death to a ten year old? It was an abstract concept, far removed from the minds of the young. I just knew something bad had happened, and people were hurt. People were no longer alive.

On that terrible day, eight years and two days ago, we lost many people. Many lives were changed. And so, come September 11th, we morn the lost. Not only that, we celebrate their lives. We wish them and their families peace. We lower our flags to half-mast to honour their memory.

A hundred years from now, when few are still alive who remember the disaster, would we still morn? Maybe. I certainly hope that we remember what happened, at least.

That day was a day of sorrow, a shadow that hovers over us, even though the shadows of the Towers hovers no longer. A blight, a smudge in the manuscript of human history.

But we can't let that stop us.

So, rest in peace, those soaring souls that were joined with the ground and sky. Wherever they may be, we have to hope they are finally at rest.

And as we stand, sit, walk and run, drive or fly or swim or boat, we remember them on that day.

We need to remember.
  • Listening to: &quot;Clocks&quot; by Coldplay
News

Not much - I'm finally working on CAB#8. Yay.

Lilo & Stitch's Star Trek - an update

As you may know, I've been silent on FanFiction.net for the last year or so. The main reason for this is I've been working on other things that have taken over my life - such as Project Nelson. But, I'm now finding time to work in writing sessions for my fanfics.

Let me be the first to say this - Lilo & Stitch's Star Trek is a mess.

The main reason it's a mess is that, while I've had a short set of milestones and plot overviews, I've been mainly making it up as I go, following my ideas towards these milestones. I found that as I went beyond the area covered by the first version, the story began to get windier and windier.

It's also taken waaay too long to get to the climax, and people aren't willing to browse through 45+ chapters - even if they aren't that long - to get the point. Part of the reason is that I only set myself an internal limit of at least two pages in Microsoft Word, and that was done. I didn't push myself hard enough. I ended up splitting the action where it would be tedious to do so, constantly switching between points of view (blame television for that) and places of action.

I have also improved my writing since 2006 when I first started, creating an odd rift of style between the beginnings of the fic and the latter chapters. While it's interesting to see the progression of my style, ultimately it serves only to annoy the reader.

So, recently, I've decided to rewrite the fic. Yes, this is the third time, but since I won't be changing the plot in a significant way, it should be easier. I've already rewritten the first two chapters. I'll be making cuts where I feel it's necessary, and rewriting parts I feel could be stronger or more descriptive.

I've also decided to continue the current version so I have a solid baseline from which to write - which, I feel, was one of the major failings of the current version.

Both versions, as well as the first version, I plan to put on my website at some stage, with notes and stuff.

So, the only thing I'm puzzled over is this: should I continue posting the current version on FanFiction.Net? Or should I start posting the new version in its' stead? (I wish I could do both, but alas, FF.Net has no way of posting drafts, and their policy forbids two different versions of the same thing.) Update: I've since decided to continue updating the current version until it's finished.

Any ideas or input would also be appreciated, if you want.

If you want, you can read my fanfics, or Lilo & Stitch's Star Trek, the subject of this article.
  • Listening to: &quot;People&quot; by Misex
News

July 28th was my birthday! I'm now eighteen, which probably means I can (legally) drink. I guess I'd care if I consumed that much alcahol anyway. (It also means I can shop online! Yays.)

From my parents I recieved Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit, SimCity 2000 (both of which I've been looking for) and a DVD, A Boy Named Charlie Brown, among others. :D

I also got a one-month subscription from Heidi, although I'm not sure whether that was because of the date or because of my humerous remarks on a recent poll. Anyway, much thanks, Heidi! ^^

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  • Listening to: &quot;Reflections&quot; by Christina Aguilera
(cue terribly lame pun...)

News

You can now follow me on Twitter!

I've been considering whether or not to get a <a href="www.twitter.com/>Twitter page for quite a while. What finally tipped me into getting one was the fact that I can't post my recent status updates from Facebook on my website. :( (Which, annoyingly enough, is down right now...)

But, i must admit, I've been getting into Twittering a little more than I thought I would (and quite a bit more than updating my Facebook status :D)

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  • Listening to: &quot;Love Song&quot; by Sara Barielles
News and Other Stuff

Well, lots of things have happened since my last post - mainly, one year has passed, and we're back in winter holidays. I've been working on my website and Project Nelson, as well as a comic viewer, among other projects. Also, our school just had its' ball, which was great fun! :D :cake:

On Favourites

I've seen the opinion that favourites should be a private affair - there for the favoring artist alone to view. That's all very well and good (and it'd make my job of clearing my six-thousand-and-something devwatch all the easier ^^). Perhaps for some people it's too much of a "look at me and all my favs" thing.

Buuuut... it ignores the reason I favourite in the first place - the same reason I write posts about people, have a blogroll or draw fanart for artists who's work I like. (OK, that last one was merely inspired by another artists' work, but it still counts, right? ^^)

Here's my laundry-list of reasons why I favourite art:

  • Because I like the art: Well, duh. It's not like I go around favouriting stuff I don't like!
  • To show the artist I like the art: Favouriting art tells the artist that they've done good work, that they're going in the right direction, ect. It encourages the artist to keep drawing, to get better, ect.
  • To show other people I like the art: Favouriting art puts it on my front page, where other people can look at it, say "Ah, what great artwork!", and forget about me completely. :D This means more people can find artwork they like as well.


Ultimately, the people who brag about their favs all the time are jerks anyway and would probably be jerks even if the favourites system was scaled back. They'd just use pageviews instead (like everyone else ^^).

What about you guys? Why do you favourite art?

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