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Topics - pictsy

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Creative Common / Fantasy Maps
« on: 25 January, 2021, 01:03:06 PM »
Was talking about making fantasy maps in another thread and thought I'd create somewhere to post them.  Here is what I have recently been working on:

Creative Common / TRIWAY
« on: 08 June, 2015, 03:22:06 PM »
I would like to share a showcase of work for a game project I am working on called TRIWAY.  I have been working on the art and animation for the last couple of months or so.  I am proud of this little video.  It has made me excited about showing off the other stuff I have done in the future, and of course the game itself.


Before starting this project I had limited experience with pixel art.  Nevertheless, our head programmer/game designer wanted a pixel style for the game.  It was initially a challenge to translate my skills as a digital painter to this very minimalistic style.  I was surprised how quickly it became a natural way to work.  In some ways, pixel art can be extremely forgiving.  At least that was my experience with it.  Being so simple also makes it considerably easier to adjust if things don't look right.

I also had limited experience in animation.  I had made a small number of animations in the past and I have learnt a lot of theory but it is still something I have been largely unfamiliar with.  The pixel art presents a lot of challenges with movement.  Movement of one pixel is a lot of movement so I have to consider it very carefully.  Getting from point A to B to C and back to A again has been interesting and I am really glad I already know some tricks to help with it.  The spell-casters were the easiest to conceptualise for.  They have nice gestures that utilise their different magic techniques, and the variety comes with the spell effects themselves (which I left out as I wanted to save those for gameplay footage).  The spell effects are somewhat abstract and a great deal of fun to do.

I have been learning a lot and utilising knowledge I already had, but the surprise has been the subtleties of animation.  I was least confident in that area and wasn't intending to try hard with it, but they ended up happening naturally just because they made sense.  The first character has a number of subtleties.  My favourite being his headdress bouncing a little at the end of the sword attack.

The video itself is all animation, too.  I didn't use video editing software to compile it.  All the fades were done with layer opacity settings.  After showing it to the game designer, she suggested a little title sequence, and I ended up adding a few other extras: the fades, the closing 'credit' and the obligatory social media stuff.  I had only ever done time lapses of digital paintings before this, so I'm very pleased with the end results.

General / Classic Stories and Hidden Gems
« on: 03 November, 2014, 01:44:10 PM »
The last couple of months I have been reading some late 80's back issues that have been in my collection for a little while now but which I have not read before.  Starting with prog 445 I am (as of writing this) on prog 628.  This prog features Zenith: Phase III, Slaine: The Horned God and Rogue Trooper: Cinnabar.  All three classic stories (two of which I have had the privilege of reading reprints of).  Also I have been finding nice surprises like Zippy Couriers.

I thought it might be nice to have a thread to discuss and reminisce on the great and wonderful stories of 2000AD.  Those classic stories and hidden gems.

In addition to the aforementioned stories I would also like to mention more recent stories, Brass Sun and Kingdom.  Both of these stories I feel are instant classics and great examples of the quality of the prog today. 

Classifieds / WANTED: Issues 61 & 62 Megazine Vol. 2
« on: 02 October, 2014, 12:02:15 PM »
I am looking for Issues 61 and 62 of the Judge Dredd Megazine Volume 2.

If any one can make me a good offer on these I would be grateful.  I am keeping my eye on ebay as well and have made some inquiries there, but I have had some success plugging gaps in my collection by asking here on the forum as well, so I thought I'd give it another go :)



Classifieds / Commissioned Artwork
« on: 26 September, 2014, 01:03:00 PM »
I have recently made myself available for artwork commissions.

My work can be viewed on my portfolio:
or my deviantart page:

I have participated in the monthly art contest a few times so some forum members may already be aware of my work.  I was also recently published in the latest edition of Aaiieee published by PARAGONcomic.

I charge based on what the commission entails and how long I envision the project may take.  The basic charge for the simplest and quickest illustration will be £20 eg:


More complex and time consuming work will cost more.

If anyone is interested then please drop me a private message and we can discuss the details.

All the best,

Prog / Prog 1861 - Warning! Risk of Meltdown
« on: 30 November, 2013, 11:09:25 AM »
A prog of conclusions ending most the stories started way back in the jumping on prog, 1850.

A striking cover by Henry Flint.

The conclusion to Dredd was satisfying.  Emma Beeby presented a good story well told that thoroughly entertained.  John Burns' artwork is always nice to see in the prog.  Beeby's writing on this strip has had the feel of a Wagner strip and I hope we see more contributions from her.  She captured the feel Dredd perfectly for me.

Flesh appears to get a double length feature in the prog for it's finale.  Can't say I have been bedazzled by Flesh, but I have been enjoying the artwork at least.  I would honestly prefer to see Mill's working on more Savage and Defoe.

Brass Sun is fantastic.  Ian Edginton is fast becoming my favourite writer amongst the current roster at 2000 AD.  Brass Sun is pure epic and I hope we see plenty more from it in the future.  The story telling has been exciting and this conclusion leaves me wanting more.  Inj Culbard's artwork is wonderful and entirely appropriate.  Of the stories that started back in prog 1850, this has been my favourite.

Damnation Station's first run didn't leave a huge impression on me.  This sequel may leave more of a mark if only for Mark Harrison's artwork.  I think that I would have to read the first series and the second series together another time to draw any clear conclusions about the story.  I found it entertaining, but difficult to follow considering I couldn't remember what came before.

(my first prog review)

Games / 2000AD in Games
« on: 18 November, 2013, 04:40:56 PM »
I just thought "I haven't seen a 2000AD title turned into a game since Rogue Trooper!"

So what 2000AD titles would you like to see turned into games and what game genre do you think is best suited for them?

Games / First Games Machine
« on: 15 November, 2013, 09:23:39 AM »
I still remember the first game machine I played when I was five or six years old back in the 80s.  It wasn't even necessarily a games machine.  It was a cheap home computer my Mum got to do her word processing on.  But it played games as well!  The Amiga 500.

I loved the Amiga and over the years our family collected a fair amount of games.  Pinball Dreams, Pinball Fantasy, Speedball 2, Civilization, Settlers, Cannon Fodder, The Chaos Engine, Gauntlet 2, Mortal Kombat 2, Elite, Flashback - to name but a few classics.

Still, I always felt I had the poor-man's choice (coming from a poor family) and lamented not having a Master System or NES.  Only in recent years did I discover that the Amiga 500 was the more powerful than both those consoles successors!

The first games machine that owned myself would be a Playstation and I got it second hand not long after the release of the PS2.  I had a few good games, Tekken 3, Final Fantasy 7 to 9 and one of the Wipeout games.

Film & TV / Science Fiction Television (No Trek, No Who)
« on: 11 November, 2013, 06:02:05 PM »
Well then.  I have recently been watching the original series of Star Trek and have been finding it interesting.  The Doctor Who special will be airing at some point soon (I'm sure all you know when even if I don't).  Science Fiction on television can admittedly be hit and miss and I think most people would fall back on Trek and Who as safe options.  Especially when asked:

"What good science fiction TV shows are there?

So avoiding the two obvious answers, here are some Sci-Fi shows I have enjoyed in the past (Who is the only recent Sci Fi I've seen, have the stopped making anything decent, I wonder):

Battlestar Gallactica - The re-imagining.  This show was a great journey, very atmospheric with a fantastic beginning which really set the tone.  I really felt the emptiness of space and the desperate nature of their situation.  Some excellent characterisations thrown in and no clear cut villainy and it became a quick favourite.

Stargate Universe - It's Stargate does Battlestar Gallactica.  It can be very hammy in places but this show had two things going for it; Robert Carlyle and immense promise.  Unfortunately it was cancelled and I still have yet to see the last episode, so please no open spoilers if you have seen it.

Babylon 5 - Well, you know why.  Do I really need to explain it?

I may add to my list after I see other peoples suggestions and I am reminded of other things, but I think this is a good start.

Books & Comics / Do you listen to music whilst reading?
« on: 11 November, 2013, 04:10:02 PM »
Do you listen to music whilst reading and if so what is the best reading music?

I used to put some music on whilst reading but in more recent years I much prefer reading in total silence.  I think as I've been getting older I have begun to appreciate quiet a lot more.

Film & TV / Favourite Film and TV Soundtracks?
« on: 11 November, 2013, 04:08:33 PM »
Threads subject says it all.  What are you favourite Film and TV soundtracks.

I personally think there are some great Film and TV soundtracks, but the Ghost in the Shell soundtrack has always had this strange effect on me.

Especially these scene:

oOooOOoo chills :D

Games / Favourite Game Soundtracks
« on: 11 November, 2013, 04:05:28 PM »
Some games have iconic soundtracks, some have beautiful scores.  What are your favourites?

For me, I love the final fantasy scores.  IX in particular.  The Zelda scores are always a delight with the original music being very iconic to the wonderful sounds of Ocarina of Time.  From the Amiga days there are the fabulous Pinball Dreams and Fantasy games, Speedball 2 and a particular favourite of mine, Hybris.

Some more recent contenders would be the soundtracks would be from Okami and Muramasa: The Demon Blade, the latter of which seems to - at times - combine heavy metal with traditional Japanese music.

Website and Forum / General Chat Section
« on: 11 November, 2013, 12:54:18 PM »
I don't know whether this has been bought up before but why does the General Chat section have 'Film & TV', 'Books & Comics' and 'Games' but not 'Music'?

Did there use to be a 'Music' section that became so divisive and so heated that it nearly exploded the forum?  Is everyone's taste so bad that it would only serve as a shame parade?  Do people on the forum simply not listen to music?  Was it just forgotten?

Film & TV / Original Cast Star Trek Films - which is your favourite?
« on: 22 October, 2013, 09:55:54 PM »
So I have just finished watching the original cast Star Trek films (this does not, in my book and for the purposes of this thread, include Generations).  I was intending on starting this thread up whilst I was watching the first Star Trek film.  Apparently it may be a little controversial.

My take on these films is that they are, altogether, above average sci-fi fare.  They don't reach the lofty reaches of high-concept science fiction but they don't sink to the deep depths of lowest common denominator, action nonsense.  They have consistently coherent plots where one scene flows well to the next.  The acting (from the main cast, at least) is pretty hammy, but that is easy to forgive as the characters are iconic enough to carry the performances.  I think that the quality between the films doesn't vary in large degrees which makes naming a preference or listing an order of preference somewhat difficult.

I went into watching these films with some cursory knowledge of some of the content.  I am not sure whether I had ever seen one before in its entirety before these recent viewings, but if I had it was a long, long time ago and I don't remember it. 

I would have liked to have gone with a surprise choice, nothing obvious, but I find myself unable to deny that Wrath of Khan is the best of the bunch.  The self contained story doesn't over reach itself - even with the inclusion of the Genesis device which is OK as far as McGuffins go.  There was a notable increase in quality in the production (which does noticeably dip in later films until Undiscovered Country) compared to previous film.

This film does narrowly beat Search for Spock for my top spot.  I don't think Search for Spock stands as well by itself compared to Wrath of Khan, but it is certainly a worthy sequel of almost equal quality.  Another downside is a personal preference of mine.  Although I think Search for Spock handled it well, I am not a fan of the 'revived from death' trope.

I have a soft spot for the first film for what it tried to do.  I think, on reflection, it's very different from the rest of the films.  It felt like the closest to what the spirit of Star Trek strikes me as.  The pacing may have been a bit clunky in places and perhaps the production was a case of 'eyes to big for the stomach'.  There was more focus on exploration and investigation.  They came across as resolving their problems by thinking them through rather than just firing phasers and punching things.  That is an admirable quality for a film to have in my book.

So what is your favourite?  Talking Space Junk?  Ear-munching worms?  GrowGain Vulcans?  Time-travelling whales?  Floating heads shooting lasers out of its eyes?  Or Purple Blooded Klingons?

General / What makes a geek?
« on: 13 October, 2013, 10:29:19 AM »
I often consider myself a geek.  I have a bustling 2000AD collection and the first three volumes of the Megazine (minus 10 issues).  I like to play video games. I love reading Terry Pratchett and Isaac Asimov.  I watch countless sci-fi/fantasy films and tv programmes.  I have been a fan of anime since the days when Manga Entertainment were pretty much the only distributor and we all went around calling it Manga because of that.

Nevertheless, there is so much of geekdom that really doesn't interest me.  Looking at some discussions on the boards here that becomes even more apparent to me.  I could consider myself a connoisseur of geekyness (if I'm being especially egotistical) or I could be more of a casual geek.  It might be because I've never had much in the way of finances to fund and fully explore my inner geek.

What makes a geek, then?  Do you consider yourself a geek?  Do you think being a geek has been ruined by geek chic?   

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