Today is my brother’s birthday, so this morning I spent some time making him a Dr. Who themed card featuring his favourite doctor (Matt Smith) partying with a Dalek and a plate of fish fingers and custard in his honour. I figured since I already made him a Dr. Who gift, a Dr. Who card would be suitable.
The gift took me about 40 hours so far, and I probably have about another 20 to go now that I’ve decided to make a second gift (more about that further into this post), so I decided to spend significantly less time on the card. It still turned out okay I think.
I got the idea to make his gift back in January, shortly after watching the entire series on Netflix. I decided to get an early start on it because it’s quite large, and I didn’t want to be stuck scrambling to finish it at the last minute. Originally I had planned to frame it so he could hang this somewhere in his house, but then I reverted to my usual gift giving mentality – ”What if the recipient doesn’t like or want this and now feels obligated to keep / display it because I imposed it upon them?” – so last week I showed it to my brother and asked him what he wanted me to do. I offered the option of the frame as well as a key rack or a cigar box or anything else he could think of. He asked if I could add his street name and number and make it an address sign for the front of his house.
I downloaded some free Dr. Who fonts and played around with how I would lay it out, but nothing looked right to me. As a result I’ve decided to just say, fuck it. I’m going to frame the piece I’ve already made, and I’m going to start another for his address sign. He’ll just have to deal with the fact that he gets two gifts and will likely be the cause of my future carpal tunnel syndrome.
Here’s what I plan to do for the address sign. I can’t decide which of the two I like more but I’m hoping once Holly brings home the printed templates I’ll have an easier time choosing. Both are going to be difficult as a result of all the straight lines in the T.A.R.D.I.S., but I’ll just have to go super slow and try my best to keep a steady hand. Which might be even harder than usual given the fact that I’d like to have this done and stained before I go see my brother tomorrow evening.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY X
Hope it’s a good one!
I make a lot of little notes to remind myself about important things (as I’m sure most of us do), and I usually also add some sort of doodle. I was cleaning my desk and found a bunch of these on random bits of paper. I am no psychoanalyst, but I’d say there is a theme to my doodles. It would appear I mostly enjoy drawing robots relaxing and smoking fat blunts. I think this is indicative of my idea of happiness. The thought of having no worries, and being able to just relax while the sun shines on my belly.
You know how people say “it’s the little things…”, well I agree. And for me, one of the “little things” I love is having a peaceful moment to relax and stare off while I exhale rings of smoke. I play a game that I’ve played since the day I learned how to create “smoke-o’s”, where I try to shoot an “O” through another “O”. I do this because it’s fun and calming. I can’t remember what I was doing while I drew the image above, but I’m guessing I was watching a progress bar from the corner of my eye, while backing up work at around 4:00am (or maybe 4:20) and bouncing smoke-o’s off my monitors.
I’d like to point out that if you went back to my kindergarten archives (if such a thing exists) you’d notice another pattern in my drawings; I always add a bird(s) and sun (ironically) wearing sunglasses.
Aside from robots, I have a few other characters I draw. If it’s a side profile you get either the bearded stoner above, or a sort of Elvis-nerd hybrid that somewhat resembles Fido-dido. On the rare occasion the two have been combined, but who has the time anymore, I’m 30.
Pay no attention to my terrible handwriting. Yes, I always write in all caps. And yes, I realize I would be first to stone someone for WRITING LIKE THIS ON FACEBOOK, OR ANYWHERE ELSE FOR THAT MATTER. I’m allowed however because I took one college drafting class.
My other character is the front view. This character is ALWAYS Asian. Up until recently there would be some slightly racist, exaggerated features (45Â° to 60Â° eyes, large buck teeth, and an almost pig-like nose… sorry Asians…). The only thing I didn’t rework in this recent version is the classic rice hat. That hat was perfected while my brother and I spent hours at my grandmother’s kitchen table drawing Asians and Pirates, and Asian Pirates all over the people in the stacks of newspapers my gram had. That’s the same place I later developed the cartoon joint – classic!
Hope you enjoyed this look inside the artist that is this cobra.
My shirt design was rejected. Apparently I should have submitted it for criticism before submitting it for voting. I kind of thought voting was, in a sense, criticism, but no. I then decided to submit a few other designs for criticism, and so far I haven’t gotten much feedback. One person told me to colour a button red, another told me to add the words “miss you” to my Atari 2600 controller. That’s it. I’m not really sure what they are looking for I guess, but I’m going to try one more time with the image above. I messed around with it this afternoon when I took a break from the book. I’m guessing it will get little or no feedback as well, but I might as well try.
Holly helped me decide on the image above for my criticism. If anyone reading this wants to help me get one step closer to getting my designs selected for print, then please take a minute and critique my designs. Simply clicking the ‘Awesome, submit this!‘ button will help a great deal. The image is a stock photo threadless.com provides people who are submitting designs. I still doubt I’m going to get any feedback, but I thought I’d useÂ picture with a person this time and see if I got any more attention.
I kind of think I would have gotten more attention with this moustache guy, but I don’t know what is cool apparently. I’ll leave this and my other designs up for a week or two, and if there is no more interest in them I’ll give up.
My brother has been telling me for a long time to submit some of my doodles to threadless.com and see what happens. If you’re not familiar with the site, it’s a place where users submit t-shirt designs which are then voted on by the community. If your design gets enough votes you get some money and the community gets the ability to purchase your design. It’s a pretty cool idea; if it works. It was also sort of a pain in the ass though.
I have to wait a day or two for my design to be approved. Once that happens I have 7 days to get some votes. However, if there is a low amount of votes in the first 24 hours, my design will get pulled. So I’m posting here (and everywhere else I can think of) and hoping people will help me out even if they hate my design. I know it’s a pain in the ass to go join a site and then fill out a poll, but it would keep me from bitching about money all the time both here and in ‘real life’. I’m sure everyone else is just as tired of it as I am. Let’s work together to shut me up!
I wrote a little description to go along with it, but since it’s pending approval you can’t see it, and since I just smoked a joint (something I’ve been doing very little of recently) I can’t really remember it. Something like “Buy this shirt or robots will kill you when they become self aware.”, only more eloquent longer. I’ll post about this again once I get the email telling me I’ve been approved or not.
Remember to vote or robots will calculate your face off.
I was looking through some of my renderings this morning and realized I had forgotten to post this. When I originally posted my arcade cabinet concepts I made the mistake of claiming it would be impossible to render the machine and include the screen shot and other imported images that appear in the model. I figured it all out the day after I posted the cabinets, then spent a day avoiding my machine while it struggled to pump out a few low-res images which would hopefully look real. They aren’t as good as I’d hoped, but they still look okay.
I avoided posting them right away because there was an abundance of arcade cabinet images on the front page of this blog already, and although these look much cooler than the previous ones, they’re essentially the same thing. Then I forgot all about it.
The way I fixed the problem was actually incredibly simple and gave me a bunch of ideas for fun things to make in the future. Basically I have to turn the images into textures, then do a little fiddling and adjusting until everything looks right. If I wasn’t so busy with the book right now, or if I had another machine, I would do some sweet renderings of the other cabinets I designed. For now, they’ll have to wait.
In case you forgot about my love for all things video game, I will reiterate it now; I love video games! I especially love online games I can play with my friends. This seems to be getting ever more difficult to arrange however, and I find myself getting frustrated. The problem is that not all my friends game and of the ones who do, not all play what I play or when I play. The other day I gave Jon shit for not putting his project on hold so we could kill some zombies, and I told him I was working on a flier to help me recruit some new cool gaming friends that game more games than him (borrowing an idea I saw on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia). Above is my idea for a graphic for said flier. I didn’t spend much time on it (maybe half an hour), but I really like it.
This morning I pitched an idea to Jon for a gamer networking site that connects online players with people who share similar interests and online ethics that would otherwise never find each other. He agreed that it’s a decent idea, but he’s got far too many things on the go to take on another project. If I didn’t feel the same I’d consider taking it upon myself to learn the necessary programing to create such a site, but who knows how long that would actually take. I have no idea what is involved in turning my concepts into reality (but I hear it helps to have a moustache). Jon suggested he first create a site that connects programmers with knobs like myself who are full of ideas, but lack technical knowledge. I think that’s his passive aggressive attempt at telling me to find some other programming friends while I’m out canvassing for gamers.
If you don’t own (or rent) a nine year old human you’re probably unaware of the existence of something known as Silly Bandz. You’re probably also equally unaware of how lucky you are to be ignorant to such a pointless waste of money and resources. I however am quite familiar with all things Silly Bandz since Roan brought his first ones home back in September. Back then he had maybe half a dozen and he rarely ever took them off his wrists. Fast forward to last week, his collection is now in the hundreds (partially our fault) and not one is on his wrist. Instead, they are scattered around his room and various locations in the house.
A few days ago I found three half eaten Silly Bandz in different spots, at different times. I told Roan how important it was that he not leave them lying around so the cats ate them. Although we love our cats, we could not afford to drop a few thousand dollars on stomach surgery because they’re retarded and can’t distinguish food from brightly neon coloured pieces of rubber. If faced with the decision of thousands of dollars to save one of their lives vs. letting them die, we would have to choose the latter. It would suck, but we would have to remember that we had done everything we could to give them a great life, even if it has to end prematurely. If we want to avoid that, we need to pick up our Silly Bandz.
The next morning I found a pile of cat barf with a half eaten, semi-digested Silly Band right in the middle of it. I called Roan and Holly downstairs to show them, and again tried to stress how important it was to not leave things like them laying around for the cats to get. I asked him if his Silly Bandz were more important than the cats, and if maybe he could consider which he’d rather keep forever. He decided to give away about 90% of his collection to his friends at school this week, and kept only a few dozen in his locker.
I was really proud that he was able to see which was more important, and was willing to make a sacrifice. He also told me he would have gotten rid of most of them sooner but he felt bad giving them away since lots of them were bought for him by Holly and I (oops!). I made him the above card as a thank you. I wanted to buy him something as a reward (something less dangerous to the cats), and to fill any feelings of emptiness left behind from saying goodbye to his collection of Silly Bandz, but I’m currently waiting on a paycheque. Once I can afford it though, I’m going to get him something cool.
For years I have been reading Kotaku on basically a daily basis. It’s a great source for all things game related. One thing I like about their site is that they feature a lot of fan made art and game related crafts. Another thing I like is that they seem to share my love for the old arcades. I decided to send them some images of my Bully cabinet, and they were kind enough to post them on the front page.
I’m happy to finally contribute to that community after years of following it quite loyally. It’s also neat to have a place to show these things to people who appreciate them. My blog doesn’t get a lot of traffic, and what little it does seems to shy away from commenting. I am really enjoying reading the comments people are leaving, even though the majority of them have nothing to do with my creation. It’s just neat to see how many other Bully fanatics are still out there.
Here’s some of the nice things people said:
“Bully is easily one of my favorite games ever. I would literally drool over this arcade cabinet… awesome, awesome stuff.”
“Bully was such an awesome game. I’d love to have this.”
And here is my favourite comment thus far:
“Take the exercise bike out. Nothing can glorify exercise for me. Not even awesome games. NOTHING! ”
As I said earlier, I saved the best for last. This is my favourite of the three arcade cabinet concepts I made the other day. This one is specifically for killing the reanimated third reich. I’m not sure if it’s my favourite to look at, but it’s definitely the one I’d like to play with the most. Originally I had planned to make the cabinet look like it was a window from in the game (for those who aren’t familiar with Nazi Zombies, the players battle against undead soldiers who enter the map via windows which the player can board back up for points and a brief delay of imminent death). I quickly realized that the easiest way for people to identify it as a window from the game would be to have the boards on it. Unfortunately boards over the screen would be a little impractical.
I also considered changing the texture on the PPSH in this one to make it look more like the upgraded version – The Reaper. I changed my mind after I remembered the terrible shiny tribal patterns that the game designers decided to use in World at War. I also considered changing the crates on the cabinet to the Mystery Box. I only changed my mind on that one because I figured with my lack of texturing knowledge I’d spend a few hours trying to get it textured, and it’s a fucking box. I have no doubt that I could do it, but for what. It looks neat like this in my opinion.
The only thing I’m sad I wasn’t able to include was a Monkey Bomb. I wanted to model one to plant dead center of the top of the machine, but I decided the monkey alone would take me more time to make than both machines did combined. I even looked for a pre-made cymbal monkey in the 3d warehouse, but it seems those aren’t big on the Sketchup community’s to-do-list. I suppose I could have searched for teddy bears though, and used one of these. Maybe I’ll add one later.
I think for now, this will be the last arcade cabinet I model just for fun. I probably could have done a fair bit of work on Jon’s project instead, but I got sidetracked. It happens…
If I ever get mega-rich, I will commission whoever I have to in order to actually own one of these.
I wish I was more talented and had the resources to turn these concepts into a reality. Maybe someone like Ben Heckendorn will read this and see it as either a great idea or a challenge. I doubt it, but still… a dream got us this far. And by this far, I mean my badass model of a Call of Duty: World at War arcade cabinet! I made a pair of these last night (the second is coming shortly) after dinner. I used a few components I already had, mainly the PPSH and the bullets. To be honest this was the second of the pair, but I like the other one better so I’m saving it until last.
The way I see it, this cabinet is for playing the campaign mode in WAW. Players would use the PPSH replica to defeat the Wermacht, while hiding behind crates for cover. The major flaw in this design is the lack of player movement control. For it to work at all, the game would have to be redesigned as a rail shooter, but it still looks cool. And at 25â‚µ a play, that’s a steal!
Like with my Bully cabinet concept, the idea of rendering a “realistic” version of this is impossible. Although I did manage to make a material for the cabinet graphics (minus the title), there is still no way for me to render the screenshot. I suppose I could do one where it looks like the screen is off, but that’s just not as cool.
I have one more to come, but since Holly just came home in dire need of food it’ll have to wait.