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Good news, Techwarrior fans!

Good news, Techwarrior fans!

A rough script for Techwarrior #5-12 has been completed. When the series was started, a 12 book run was proposed, so having the script complete makes it one step closer to rendering. Now, before you get all excited, note that this series is a collaboration. The script has to be approved before rendering can start, and that takes some time sometimes.

Once the script is approved, however, expect books to begin appearing regularly through the 12th book. This is good news for Techwarrior fans, is it not?

What about Dream Angel and Hillbilly Hoot?

Dream Angel at this point is a larger collaboration. Getting the minds involved to do their part has been a slow process I’d hoped would be done long before the book’s time to be rendered. It hasn’t happened that way. The current story arc has been more than a year in the making. Having fellow creative minds involved has in fact slowed down the usual pace for rendering and releasing. Fortunately, things are beginning to pick up gradually and the writing may soon be completed for the arc.

Hillbilly Hoot is another collaboration and health issues have been slowing it down. Life has kept the minds involved with these books quite busy, so it’s difficult to keep a regular schedule at times. Fortunately, these are independently created and released, so there’s no publisher schedule to keep, merely a personal one.

Still fun to be had!

Have you checked out the activity streams page lately? There’s some cool blitz art challenges going on there! Even if you’re not the artsy type, the idea’s to draw what you see and I like to think anyone can do that, no matter how bad they might think they are at drawing! So, come on! We don’t judge! Just have fun with it and enjoy! Despite what people might think, even tracing can be artistic and I can say from experience, it helps with learning to draw, as well.

How stories are written…

How stories are written isn’t always an easy question to answer. Matter of fact, usually the best advice is to write what you know. In school, you’re encouraged to pre-write and plan what to write based on a subject for an essay. Granted, stories aren’t that far removed from essays – matter of fact, they use the same basic structure – but sometimes, you just don’t know what to write, right? How then, to write a story?

Sometimes, all it takes is just to start writing and let the ideas flow – much like right now for me. Now, I’ll grant that some of this might not even make sense, but you’d be surprised how helpful nonsense can be to writing a good story. See, I’m one of those unusual sorts that can’t pre-write a story or essay and have it still make sense. Something gets lost transitioning between the pre-writing and the actual writing. Once that was discovered, I was told to skip the pre-writing and my writing skyrocketed.

Within the Dream Angel story line, there will be a ring. One Nyxus wears constantly to increase her power. First thought that would naturally come to mind is Lord of the Rings, of course. The One Ring has quite the story attached to it, but Nyxus’s is different from even that. The next thing to come to mind is He-Man and the Widgets’ Corodite adding to Skeletor’s power. That might be closer, but still different from even that. There may even be other things along those lines that are close but not the same. Her ring can be used to find pieces of something, but she doesn’t know what it is or how the ring can be used to find it.

Please, if you’ve got ideas, share them!

New soft weapons available!

With some painstaking (and sometimes physically painful) preparation, the shop now includes some new soft weapons. Yeah, I know that’s an oxymoron, but not in this case. These are definitely for collectors and older kids to enjoy, though as they are small enough to cause harm.

What of the books and other projects? Well, it’s nice to “recharge” the creative energies. Searching for new ideas helps, too. Quite simply, writing the books ahead and preparing the script to be the best it can be takes time. Safe to say this is the calm before quite a storm of wonderful books.

Techwarrior #5 is written, Dream Angel #24 is just about ready for rendering and Hillbilly Hoot #2 is patiently waiting its turn. Meanwhile, preparations continue.

In the Facebook group lately, there’s been discussion of adding a 20 book collection to the shop. An addition to that theory might be to include an action figure with the books – printed copies, that is. Now, that wouldn’t be a 20 book printed book with the action figure, just a single book, but having a character with it… well, that might be fun.

The idea for the 20 book collection is $36.99 for price. For the book and character figure combination… a thought could be $19.99. This would include fan characters combined with books. So, for instance, the fan character set George and Oriel combined with a printed copy of Dream Angel #1 2nd edition would be $19.99, just like Arora, her Dream Angel costume and Dream Angel #1 2nd edition. Yep, the combinations in some cases, would be the character’s non-hero form, hero costume and the book in print for that price. Not a bad deal, right?

So, what do you think of all this? Pretty good deal, isn’t it? Don’t be shy! I want your thoughts, but keep it polite and G rated, please!

I won’t apologize!

“I won’t apologize” is based on a simple writing prompt. It may or may not end up being about characters in the books on this site. Okay, little disclaimer over, on to the story.

“I have nothing to apologize for!” she yelled. “This planet is mine!”

“You can’t be serious,” he said sadly. “Thousands dead because you have an itch for power and you have nothing to apologize for?”

“Fool!” she screams as she slaps him hard across the cheek.”Don’t expect me to apologize for them throwing their lives away stupidly!”

“You’ll regret it,” he sighs sadly as he leaves the room.

The war was over, but the damage had been done. Thousands lay dead and thousands more horribly wounded. He was right, she had an itch for power and she’d scratched that itch all over the planet, leading to complete conquest. He knew she’d have to make peace with the people sooner or later unless she wanted to risk a major uprising again, not that she’d admit it.

As he walks down the dimly lit halls of the castle, he thinks to himself, “It’s a good thing the kids aren’t here to see just how viscous their mother can be. I wouldn’t want them learning her murderous ways.”

He walks into a room and finds himself face to face with his young son.

“Father, what’s wrong with Mother?” he wonders innocently. “She’s been so angry lately.”

Upon seeing the large golden brown eyes on the verge of tears, he bends down and wraps the boy in a warm hug. “I wish I knew, son. I wish I knew.”

Okay, that’s all you get for this writing prompt. Whether or not it’s about anyone in the books available in the shop, I’ll leave up to you. As for seeing more books released in the near future, well, we’ll just say I’ve been taking a break to write ahead and this little exercise is a break from even that. So, hope you enjoyed the little story. I know I’m leaving a lot open to the imagination by not telling who or being very descriptive, but I wanted to keep it pretty generic on purpose.

Happy 4th of July!

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Happy 4th of July!

Any news of the books, you might ask? Well, things are on a bit of a temporary hold so more writing can be done. Along the way, scraps of fabric are  being made into nice outfits (so they take up less space) and new techniques for rendering images are being explored.

Specifically, light and camera techniques are being explored to further enhance the beauty of the scenes in the books to come. I’ve toyed some with lighting scenes myself, but frequently used light sets instead of lighting the scene myself.

In both cases, it means being busy even though it’s a holiday. Happily, the result will be worth the effort, I believe. I’ve said it time and again and I’ll say it again: there’s a beautiful artistic evolution to be found in these books. With the learning that goes on between, you’ll find each book better than the last.

Scenes such as this:

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and this:

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Were unthinkable when I started creating these books. Lighting of this type would not have been easily achieved if at all. Notice the shadows on the walls and ground. That’s long been a problem in need of solving. Notice also that there’s a softening of the background. Depth of field has been put to use with this piece. Finally, camera capabilities are being explored.

So, while there might be some time between books, you can rest assured I’m most certainly not idle. It’s safe to guess future books are going to be more sophisticated and engrossing artistically, making them just that much better with each render.

So, again, Happy 4th of July and wish me luck!

The finale of the triple release party!

Parties are fun, don’t you think? Well, now we’re seeing the finale of the triple release party. First, we saw Techwarrior #4 released on Saturday, then Hillbilly Hoot #1 on Sunday and today, Dream Angel #23 finishes out the trio.

What’s next? Well, that ought to be obvious by now: more books! More plush action figures! More goodies! I seem to have a never ending to-do list. Characters need to be made into plushes from the new patterns, new 3D techniques to learn, books to plan… Then there’s, dishes, laundry, vacuuming, cooking and mopping on top of it all!

So, we’ve made it through all three book releases. Is there any other news to impart? Why yes, there is. The soft weapons will soon be added to the shop with very large bold warnings that they’re most emphatically not for children 3 and under. Soft though they may be, they’re still small accessories! Rather than being for kids, these are better for older collectors more than to be played with. Things like the bow and crossbow do work, and do a nice job of sending the arrow and bolt flying across a room – which could hurt somebody. The pistol and dagger are quite small, too.

Now, older collectors and kids would enjoy these weapons because they’re magnetically attached to the doll’s hands. Characters like Larissa – who’s a police Lieutenant – would benefit from the gun belt made of faux leather, since it would help emphasize her law enforcement status. Reprobates would look more menacing holding a spear or sword. Being soft is simply a plus for these, since it should be harder to hurt someone with them.

So, thoughts?

What do you think of the new books? How about the triple party? Looking forward to seeing new plush characters and the weapons in the shop?

Special Honor Veteran’s Radio Broadcast

Special Honor Veteran’s Radio Broadcast in honor of this weekend’s triple release party! Tune in at Noon Pacific time for this special celebration of the triple release party!

Check it out embedded here:

Then check out the wonderful goodies and fun on this site! Come socialize on the activity page, share goodies from the shop for a 10% discount, and even do simple tasks here on the site for achievements that may include coupons and other fun goodies for download.

This is only day 2 of the delightful release party! We’ve had Techwarrior #4 released and an hour ago, Hillbilly Hoot #1 joined the ranks of books here. Tomorrow, we’ll finally see Dream Angel #23!

Don’t miss a minute of the excitement! Stick around and enjoy the fun!

Let the triple party begin!

We’re having a triple party and it’s lasting through Monday! Hillbilly Hoot #1, Techwarrior #4 and Dream Angel #23 will all be released for the party, one each day of the party!

So, who goes first? Drumroll, please!

Today’s release will be….

Techwarrior #4!

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It’s true CryptoLock’s a sneaky virus, but what about his favorite pet Infiltrator? What secrets does this lethal-looking mechanical snake hold? You won’t want to miss today’s release to find out!

Less than 2 1/2 hours from the time of this post, this page goes live!

What about the other two books? Well, there’ll be another toss-up tomorrow to see which one goes live for day 2 of the triple party.

These have been longer than usual for production. Especially Dream Angel #23. A lot has been learned along the way, too. Some of the new techniques have been employed in these books, others will possibly  be put to use in later books. One important lesson has been just how many characters can go into even the simplest of scenes before the program crashes! Even with the upgrades done to the computer, it still has its share of limitations. Fortunately, I know ways around those limits to create the scenes I want.

The beauty of these books – particularly compared to the earliest ones I’ve done – is staggering! If you’d told me in 2007 I’d be making such beautiful 3D art, I’d have laughed! You see, I was just beginning to explore 3D with Poser 7 and still doing my comic book art by hand. Nothing against hand art, but it took 3 days to do one page and unfortunately, the art still needed a great deal of work to look very realistic. Don’t get me wrong, the art looked good at the time, but looking back at it now, it looks like a 5-year-old did it… well, to me it looks that way, anyway.

I didn’t formally discover DAZ Studio until 2012 when it was suggested by a fan that I do a new version of Dream Angel #1. The new second edition blew me away – and I rendered it! I’d added 6 new pages that, while dark, still printed with breathtaking results and the story seemed enhanced by the new art. Well, it doesn’t take much guess work to realized I was hooked and promptly started fixing character models to work in DAZ Studio. The first group turned out good and some have since gone through a few light changes, but nothing drastically noticeable.

A year ago, a friend suggested taking his logo and making him a comic book character… well, that would be Techwarrior and he’s seen more of the experimenting in new techniques than Dream Angel. If you haven’t seen Techwarrior #1, you ought to because it was the first time I lit a scene myself. Why’s that significant? Well, I’d nearly always used light sets for scenes and sometimes they simply didn’t do what I wanted. With Techwarrior, I wanted to utilize the studying I’d been doing on lighting to create the right mood for the story and it worked. Since, there haven’t been too many non-custom lit scenes in Techwarrior and Techwarrior #4 has some that really add to the mood of the story in a way I only dreamed of a few years back! Don’t take my word for it, get the books from right here in the shop!

Triple release party coming soon!

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Come join us at the Facebook party! It’s been a lot longer in the works than usual, but finally, we’ll see a triple release party for Dream Angel #23,

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Techwarrior #4,

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and announcing the all-new Hillbilly Hoot #1!

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Although the latter two have been largely ready for a couple weeks now, the idea was to have a big party for all three to celebrate the new series.

Dream Angel was supposed to be done a couple weeks ago, but other things ended up taking priority. Nevertheless, it’s rapidly approaching completion with a good possibility of the party being this Saturday. This is one party you won’t want to miss!

These books are all amazingly rendered with great care and attention to detail. Well, don’t take my word for it, check them out for yourself when they’re released!

In other news, the redesign of Daybright and Firebright plush characters has turned out adorable. The sample Daybright I made has a full armature even inside the ears and wings. The plan is to finish off Dream Angel, have the triple release party and finish off the last of the details for the sample before posting pictures, so keep your eyes open for those to appear and beware: He’s a thief! He’ll steal your heart at first glance!

There’s plenty of charming darlings just waiting to be adored in the shop. Not forgetting key chains, travel mugs and other assorted goodies! There’s lots of cool stuff to do and see on this site, so don’t be shy!

Opinion time!

Are you excited about the triple party? What do you think of the redesign for Daybright and Firebright with the armature? Granted, you have yet to see it, but be imaginative for a moment. It’s a blue Pegasus unicorn with a complete armature that makes it poseable. Here’s Daybright in the shop as he is currently. Now, imagine a more realistic redesign with the armature.

Storm of awesome coming!

There’s a storm of awesome coming! One you won’t want to miss at all! Dream Angel #23, Techwarrior #4 and Hillbilly Hoot #1 will all be released soon in a fun triple party.

All three of these have knock-your-socks-off fun just waiting for you. Dream Angel’s in trouble again in #23 as her friends and family have been captured and she’s left almost alone to save them. Techwarrior is visiting an old friend when trouble starts again for him in #4 and Hillbilly Hoot is the premier book! I don’t dare spoil it other than something is missing!

The art has taken a definite jump for the better lately and stories are better than ever. Sweeping landscapes, huge battles and awe inspiring villains await in these books.

These books are so full of beauty that the computer can barely handle it! Scenes have taken 12 hours or more to prepare for rendering and much longer than in the past to render. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an excellent computer with enough power to do the job of course, it’s just been having trouble because the scenes have so much going on.

In other news, the plush action figures also look awesome! The new 11″ Arora/Dream Angel is a redheaded knockout. I’ve also acquired a new horse pattern for Daybright and Firebright that’ll be appropriately modified for them. These more realistic characters feature a soft body with a strong wire armature inside the body so they can be posed. Even the horses likely will sport these wire armatures once the pattern is modified and finalized.

This storm of awesome will definitely take you by storm. Don’t take my word for it, though! Stick around and find out for yourself!