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Comics By Request

Nice!
1528994691
Bill G.
Pro
Sheet Author
Summer is the most emotionally expressive character in my toolkit, so she was an easy choice for this. But I'm not fully happy with the outcome.&nbsp;If you guys feel like helping me fine-tune this, I could use a couple suggestions or opinions (technical or otherwise). Technical: is After Effects and its interpolation tools enough to do what I want, which is to smooth out the animation? Is there a better/different tool? What do you think is going on? What is she feeling in these few moments? Is this animation style interesting, and worth playing around with further? I've found some very interesting 3D tools that work with SteamVR, like Mindshow (<a href="https://mindshow.com/" rel="nofollow">https://mindshow.com/</a>), but Comipo has made it easy to snap characters together and pose them in typical ways. I really wish there was a mashup of all of these tools that'd just let me do everything I want. I might have to write it...
1. I don't know if there are better tools. I think what you used served its purpose for the demo clip.&nbsp; 2. Happy Summer goes to the beach, enjoying it. Oh, she sees the viewer! Hi! This makes her happier, and she waves a greeting, then walks on her way, even happier than before because someone else she knows is also enjoying the beach (because this is Summer), along with a bit of a "see you later, I'm going to go get some ice cream!" to her attitude, too. 3. I don't know that animation adds that much that it's worth going to heroic efforts to do so (says the guy who's spent gobs of time in Plotagon, so pay no attention to me). It is fun, and as a spot effect has something to recommend it, but I'd rather see five static comics to one animated one, if that makes sense.
1529002120
Bill G.
Pro
Sheet Author
That's all fair :)&nbsp; It actually doesn't take much effort to create a couple seconds of animation - once I have a few key poses, I can copy-paste and fiddle with the interstitial poses. But yeah, it can be limiting. No good dialogue options, for example. It feels like the eyecatch for a show, though, and that makes me feel like we're just a little closer to being a "real" series. :)
1529004301
Mike
Pro
To answer for AfterEffects, it does not have the functionality you're looking for.&nbsp; It does have some tweening effects, it's mostly just for its own effects not for imported graphics.&nbsp; In fact I don't think anything is going to do what you're looking for well or&nbsp; automatically.&nbsp; You're actually into one of the most costly and time consuming parts of animation and why a lot of cheaper projects use 2d puppets (seventh image down on this article) or 3d models with a toon shader (which is the route I think&nbsp;Comipo uses, you just don't have access to the model files) to add some cost effectiveness to tweening animations. Sorry if that's a bit of a downer.
1529005287
Bill G.
Pro
Sheet Author
Mike said: Sorry if that's a bit of a downer. Nope, that was actually pretty helpful. It points me in a couple alternate directions - like Kinect mocap for really customized posing. Looking at my options, it seems like building something around Unity (which includes toon shader assets, a really solid SteamVR connection, and a few other useful tools) would be interesting. My ideal tool would let me snap characters together a la ComiPo or HeroMaker, then pose or animate them smoothly. Jason has his "Dammit Jason" jar. I should put a jar on my desk, and put $1 in every time I read "easily create (games/animation/whatever) without needing to program!" I need "easily create (whatever) without needing to draw!"
Bill G. said: It feels like the eyecatch for a show, though, and that makes me feel like we're just a little closer to being a "real" series. :) Indeed!
1529006389
Mike
Pro
Bill G. said: Jason has his "Dammit Jason" jar. I should put a jar on my desk, and put $1 in every time I read "easily create (games/animation/whatever) without needing to program!" I need "easily create (whatever) without needing to draw!" Yeah, there's a reason I gave up on animation and went into IT part way through college.
1529205870
Bill G.
Pro
Sheet Author
Inspired by Mike's amazing picture&nbsp; here . Aria might be a tad bit tsundere.
1529222942
Bill G.
Pro
Sheet Author
I loved the haircut thing a lot. Why? I'm fond of anime like Full Metal Panic that balance comedy and action. One of the great scenes from that series is Chidori cutting Sousuke's hair. No mecha action, psychic powers, or gunfights. Just a boy who's been a child soldier all his life and is afraid enough of blades near his head that he doesn't go to the barber. So the girl he's guarding - the one person he trusts enough to get near him - takes care of it. Can be seen here:&nbsp;<a href="https://youtube.com/watch?v=_pv4RDaR0YA" rel="nofollow">https://youtube.com/watch?v=_pv4RDaR0YA</a>
1529224176
Mike
Pro
Bill G. said: I loved the haircut thing a lot. Why? I'm fond of anime like Full Metal Panic that balance comedy and action. One of the great scenes from that series is Chidori cutting Sousuke's hair. No mecha action, psychic powers, or gunfights. Just a boy who's been a child soldier all his life and is afraid enough of blades near his head that he doesn't go to the barber. So the girl he's guarding - the one person he trusts enough to get near him - takes care of it. Can be seen here:&nbsp; <a href="https://youtube.com/watch?v=_pv4RDaR0YA" rel="nofollow">https://youtube.com/watch?v=_pv4RDaR0YA</a> Glad the haircut thing made you happy. The little moments are my favorite part of any story.&nbsp; I've been trying to put together a comic of Concord just helping people cross the street because it's silly and something he'd do.
1529300418
Bill G.
Pro
Sheet Author
I liked it a lot. Leo wasn't sure at first but I think we won him over. #LeoMeetsTheInternet
Mike said: The little moments are my favorite part of any story.&nbsp; I've been trying to put together a comic of Concord just helping people cross the street because it's silly and something he'd do. Which conjures up a series of vignettes from all of the Menagerie ... An elderly lady stands before a highly congested, honking, dangerous intersection. Jason builds a nanobot bridge over the roadway (complete with escalator on either end) to help her across. Charlotte offers a genteel smile and some sympathetic words, takes the old woman's hand, sinks into the pavement with her, and rises up from the pavement on the other side. Should the old lady's heart fail in the process, well, Charlotte will politely smile and welcome a new friend to the afterlife. Harry picks her up and carries her across through &nbsp;the traffic, carefully setting her down on the other side. He then vanishes for half a moment, reappearing with a bag of chips, as she looks a bit distressed. Leo presses the crosswalk button. When this doesn't respond quickly enough, he rebuilds the crosswalk button to flip the signals to red in every direction, and then takes the lady's hand and politely walks her across the street. He thinks wistfully of walking hand-in-hand with Aria as he does. Somewhere else, Aria thinks of the same thing. Alycia steps into traffic and glares down the oncoming drivers, doing a bit of shock-baton twirling for emphasis. The little old lady is intimidated, too, but, after a moment of eyerolling, Alycia drags her across the street, thinking of how her father used to do that to her, too. She covers up by smirking at the cowed drivers as she walks. Summer steps into traffic with the old lady, her smile at the oncoming drivers even more effective at getting them to stop than Alycia's glare. Otto suggests the lady hop in, then edges out into traffic, complete with pattern-matching of the shouts and honks from the other drivers. He still somehow manages to get her across the street. Adam ticks off the possibilities to the little old lady. "Well, I could fly us there, I think. Or teleport us, that would work. I could blast all the cars, but that would be kind of messy. And mean. Actually, I think I can bend reality and open a portal between here and the other side of the street and we can just step through. I'm going to try that. Hold on ..."
1529338974
Bill G.
Pro
Sheet Author
As usual I take Dave's ideas and mess with them. "Crossing the street" + the earlier album art with Harry = ???
"Menagerie Road" I think that makes Leo John, Alycia Ringo, Adam Paul, and Charlotte George. Leo as a John Lennon figure kind of makes sense (though I find it hard to equate Aria with Yoko Ono). Youthful Adam is perhaps arguable for Paul McCartney, but we all know that Charlotte should be Paul because Paul is Dead. (Harry is obviously&nbsp;Stuart Sutcliffe, because he came and went quickly.)
1529343571
Bill G.
Pro
Sheet Author
That's far better critical analysis than my half-ass comic was prepared for. :)
Bill G. said: That's far better critical analysis than my half-ass comic was prepared for. :) "As usual I take Dave's Bill's ideas and mess with them." :-)
1529646025
Bill G.
Pro
Sheet Author
It's not exact, but eh. #SummerComic
And for those of us who are incredibly unhip and don't know the reference: (Yes, Margie is rolling her eyes even as she reads this.) As a side note, since it includes this particular couple: I have no idea what the future holds for Jalycia. I don't have an arc for them. Alycia's plotline includes Jason, but it's not a definite direction, only something that needs to be addressed / resolved. They may end up the biggest romantic couple since Leo and Aria. They may end up choking the life out of each other like Londo and G'kar. I have no idea. Which is kind of cool (and liberating),&nbsp;at least to me.
1529649126
Bill G.
Pro
Sheet Author
*** Dave H. said: As a side note, since it includes this particular couple: I have no idea what the future holds for Jalycia. I don't have an arc for them. Alycia's plotline includes Jason, but it's not a definite direction, only something that needs to be addressed / resolved. They may end up the biggest romantic couple since Leo and Aria. They may end up choking the life out of each other like Londo and G'kar. I have no idea. The fact that they work very well together (e.g. in the Sepiaverse) plus the total romantic clusterfuck they're involved in made Fleetwood Mac in general, and that album in particular, the right choice for them. :D
1529653621

Edited 1529657802
Bill G.
Pro
Sheet Author
Also, for what it's worth, and at least to me, the very fact that Leo & Aria were never a sure thing was what makes them great, and I'm happy to see the same principle applied here. I'm rooting for these two to both be happy, whatever it takes and in whatever form that is.
Bill G. said: Also, for what it's worth, and at least to me, the very fact that Leo & Aria were never a sure thing was what makes them great, and I'm happy to see the same principle applied here. I'm rooting for these two to both be happy, whatever it takes and in whatever form that is. Me, too, definitely. I'm just not sure that means being happy together . Their relationship is based on a lot of external conditions that not only don't apply any more. Is that enough of a foundation to build something new upon? We'll have to see. I would suggest someone set Alycia up on a date ( she certainly won't seek one out), except I don't think it would be useful for until she gets her thing with Jason thrashed out. Except, maybe, to put that into focus.
1529683311
Bill G.
Pro
Sheet Author
*** Dave H. said: I would suggest someone set Alycia up on a date ( she certainly won't seek one out), except I don't think it would be useful for until she gets her thing with Jason thrashed out. Except, maybe, to put that into focus. Since it's this thread, there's only one possible response to that. But in all seriousness, yeah, we'll see what happens. :)
1529683796
Mike
Pro
Bill G. said: *** Dave H. said: I would suggest someone set Alycia up on a date ( she certainly won't seek one out), except I don't think it would be useful for until she gets her thing with Jason thrashed out. Except, maybe, to put that into focus. Since it's this thread, there's only one possible response to that. But in all seriousness, yeah, we'll see what happens. :) Heh, I'm having fun with this idea when I get home.
Mike said: Heh, I'm having fun with this idea when I get home.
1529748678
Bill G.
Pro
Sheet Author
*** Dave H. said: I would suggest someone set Alycia up on a date ( she certainly won't seek one out), except I don't think it would be useful for until she gets her thing with Jason thrashed out. Except, maybe, to put that into focus. Summer had previously thought about setting Jason up, and/or just going on a date with him (or as she rationalized it to herself, a "practice date") herself, so this might actually be on the table! This, plus&nbsp;the&nbsp; apparent shortage of available non-team guys , and/or who Alycia could/would even willingly go out with, makes me increasingly curious what Mike is cooking up. :)
Alycia will be mightily annoyed if it turns out that&nbsp; any hypothetical lag in their return means she misses her "date" with Jason scheduled for the next Saturday. Of course, she'll probably be mightily annoyed by the date, too. As to other prospects, yeah, not a lot of have been identified. Maybe Summer knows some cute male barrista down at the coffee shop that hasn't been introduced yet. But that in turn assumes that Alycia actually has any interest in someone outside the "business," even if someone other than Jason. Which is okay, because her arc isn't necessarily about finding The Right Guy, though that could be a part &nbsp;of it. Actually, what Alycia needs is a friend &nbsp;first, to help bring her human experiences back within a couple of standard deviations of norm, before she ever seriously thinks of dating. That the closest prospect there is, in fact, Summer, is ironic both in terms of "human experiences" and in terms of all the other baggage Alycia carries, and is what makes it an interesting idea to see if it develops.
1529774431

Edited 1529779758
Bill G.
Pro
Sheet Author
I have two things to offer then! 1.&nbsp; <a href="http://wiki.menagerie.team/Cayden" rel="nofollow">http://wiki.menagerie.team/Cayden</a> is an NPC I pitched to Doyce, a well-meaning but maybe not fully woke guy who's looking for a cause and settles on robot rights. Being a love interest for somebody wasn't his primary function (though I left that door open in case it was interesting), but he'd be proximate to both Alycia and Summer. And of course Daph&nbsp; might know some guys who'd want to go hang out at a coffee shop for a couple hours and talk about economic inequality... [edit: not necessarily boyfriend recommendations, but definitely candidates for more friends] 2. A practical suggestion from the romantic, on what a practice date for Alycia might involve. Since it's this thread... [moar edit: the first couple panels came from "well who COULD she date" -&gt; list of all candidates -&gt;&nbsp; "Guy Gardner--" "NO" "But--" "NO" ]
Bonus points for both Leo and &nbsp;Aria giving the veto. Yes, it echoes the YJ JL scene, but with other motivations involved. Also, I can't see that date ending in anything other than ... (Btw, has anyone else been having problems uploading images to Roll20? It seems about five times out of ten I get an error message that it's not a valid file type or too large, even when it's not.) I remember Cayden. He was annoying. That might be a good fit, as it would push Alycia's buttons and &nbsp;give her some reflection on what kind of activist she &nbsp;is (or wants to be). And if we ever get another study group going, I can imagine Daph offering to intro friends she knows, or dragging Alycia off to some sort of function where she is compelled to interact with others. (That's not quite correct; she already knows how to infiltrate a party or other gathering, thus she can get by in one. But for a social function that's not a mission &nbsp;and that might involve something other than polite chit-chat for cover or covert interrogation ... that would be more of a challenge.) Also ... Oh, I'm well familiar with paintball. Father sometimes used a variant on it for training exercises, with the paint containing a chemical blistering agent -- that encouraged good protective coverage practice. Or sometimes the chemical balls would slowly eat through clothing and equipment and into the person below if the game of "Capture the Wash Down Station" lasted too long. That's where this &nbsp;scar came from ...
1529794877

Edited 1529796064
Bill G.
Pro
Sheet Author
*** Dave H. said: (Btw, has anyone else been having problems uploading images to Roll20? It seems about five times out of ten I get an error message that it's not a valid file type or too large, even when it's not.) Yeah, I've posted a few items to my Imgur account as a result. That's also what led me to things like making the crawler&nbsp; collect image URLs - so I could make a backup and/or retroactively re-host images if roll20 had bigger problems. &nbsp; I remember Cayden. You shouldn't - he hasn't made an appearance. Are you thinking of&nbsp; Marion ? [edit: if two activist bois is too many and Doyce decides to combine them, I think that'd still support what I'd hoped for with Summer's story] &nbsp; Oh, I'm well familiar with paintball. Father sometimes used a variant on it for training exercises, with the paint containing a chemical blistering agent -- that encouraged good protective coverage practice. Or sometimes the chemical balls would slowly eat through clothing and equipment and into the person below if the game of "Capture the Wash Down Station" lasted too long. That's where this &nbsp;scar came from .. "Okay, so we are not playing by Chin Family rules." Thinking more about this, there's a neat parallel going on. All three of our team boys seem to have super-strong, super-tough, super-protective ladies watching over them in some capacity (Aria, Superchica, and A10). Any way you cut it, any girl trying to muscle in on that would wind up about like&nbsp; this . Now I'm picturing these three getting together for coffee on Sundays and sharing threat assessments in manila folders with each other. ... *concern*?
Bill G. said: I remember Cayden. You shouldn't - he hasn't made an appearance. Are you thinking of&nbsp; Marion ? [edit: if two activist bois is too many and Doyce decides to combine them, I think that'd still support what I'd hoped for with Summer's story] Ah. Yes, I probably conflated the two of them.
1529798861
Bill G.
Pro
Sheet Author
If it's that easy to conflate them, that might be a point in favor of combining them. We'll figure out if that happens once Summer becomes active, I guess. :)
Thinking more about this, there's a neat parallel going on. All three of our team boys seem to have super-strong, super-tough, super-protective ladies watching over them in some capacity (Aria, Superchica, and A10). Any way you cut it, any girl trying to muscle in on that would wind up about like this Love that scene.&nbsp; I have to say, I'm impressed that we've dodged the "fighting doppelgangers / mind-enslaved friends" trope so far. As fun as that always is. (AltFuture!Jason doesn't count.) It might amuse Alycia to flirt with Harry, if only for his reaction. Once she's got some other things checked off her to-do list, that is.
1529800109

Edited 1529800150
Doycetopia
Pro
Sheet Author
*** Dave H. said: Bill G. said: I remember Cayden. You shouldn't - he hasn't made an appearance. Are you thinking of&nbsp; Marion ? [edit: if two activist bois is too many and Doyce decides to combine them, I think that'd still support what I'd hoped for with Summer's story] Ah. Yes, I probably conflated the two of them. Dave you remember Cayden because I told you about him at James's graduation party. And no, I'm totally fine with several activist boys in the high school scene.
1529801988
Bill G.
Pro
Sheet Author
*** Dave H. said: Also, I can't see that date ending in anything other than ... Perversely that increases the chances of it happening because our plans always end in fire and disaster. &nbsp; Doyce T. said: Dave you remember Cayden because I told you about him at James's graduation party. And no, I'm totally fine with several activist boys in the high school scene. Now I'm forced to wonder if Dave's remembering Marion as annoying, or if the NPC I pitched and you relayed is annoying. :)
1529802183
Bill G.
Pro
Sheet Author
Not a comic per se, but a pun I keep wanting to make, so here's some effort to justify it.
1529802852
Bill G.
Pro
Sheet Author
God dammit. I missed the opportunity for the perfect joke for a gossip magazine too: "A10: Mercury's Venus?"
Bill G. said: God dammit. I missed the opportunity for the perfect joke for a gossip magazine too: "A10: Mercury's Venus?" HA!&nbsp;
1529808496

Edited 1529808864
Bill G. said: Now I'm forced to wonder if Dave's remembering Marion as annoying, or if the NPC I pitched and you relayed is annoying. :) Or the two characters have somehow blurred together in the (mumble mumble) weeks since then. Which is, itself, annoying. UPDATE: 11 weeks and change since Marion was introduced.&nbsp;<a href="https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6250721/" rel="nofollow">https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6250721/</a>
1529812674
Doycetopia
Pro
Sheet Author
Bill G. said: *** Dave H. said: Also, I can't see that date ending in anything other than ... Perversely that increases the chances of it happening because our plans always end in fire and disaster. &nbsp; Doyce T. said: Dave you remember Cayden because I told you about him at James's graduation party. And no, I'm totally fine with several activist boys in the high school scene. Now I'm forced to wonder if Dave's remembering Marion as annoying, or if the NPC I pitched and you relayed is annoying. :) &nbsp;as a general rule of thumb, if one of the options was "Doyce was annoying", that's probably the correct option.
Doyce T. said: &nbsp; &nbsp;as a general rule of thumb, if one of the options was "Doyce was annoying", that's probably the correct option. Less annoying than plaintive. More along the lines of "THERE'S SO MUCH POSSIBLE MATERIAL PEOPLE ARE SUGGESTING THAT IT IS IMPOSSIBLE WE WILL EVER GET TO ALL OF IT!" Which kind of strikes me as a good problem to have.&nbsp;
1529825556
Bill G.
Pro
Sheet Author
1530014242
Bill G.
Pro
Sheet Author
Game delayed? Looks like it's time for some more comics!
1530014295
Bill G.
Pro
Sheet Author
This is an actual magazine, which I have not read. I imagine they would take an interest, though.
1530016144
Bill G.
Pro
Sheet Author
This is Summer's best worst idea yet. As always, the canon status of all comics is hotly disputed.
1530016945
Bill G.
Pro
Sheet Author
This always happens in these situations. Always. It's a rule.
Well, I've already recently used the "Everybody Dead, The Dirigible in Flames, and I've Lost My Hat" Girl Genius comic panels to describe bad plans, but ... :-)
1530018356
Bill G.
Pro
Sheet Author
I think this calls for something more industrial-strength.
1530021055
Bill G.
Pro
Sheet Author
Nostalgia.
1530022118
Bill G.
Pro
Sheet Author
Adam's a star.