Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Minecart texture, part 2

Fiddling with things while my work computer is busy compiling software.

That's the basics of it. The sides fold in half, and I'll add tabs that get sandwiched between the sides to hold it all up. I hope it doesn't look too cartoon-like, but it's the best I can do currently. I suppose I could try this exercise by taking real wood board textures.

Next step is to make a bottom. I think I'll reuse the board texture to make a base, then I'll make some pieces that can attach for wheels. I just need to re-measure my mine tracks to get them the right width...

Minecart texture, part 1

This is a work-in-progress of a texture for the base of a minecart. I need to re-measure the mine tracks I made, but I think the dimensions of the cart might be something like 1.5" wide, 2" long and .75" deep. I'm trying to make all the textures from scratch.

I think I've gone and made the boards .25" wide, so I can accomplish a 1" and 1.5" grid by simply lining up the seams. If 1" == 5', then that means each board width represents... 15"... That's not TOO wide, so I'll leave it as is.

I will try to make some metal bands around the edges to tie it all together. I'd like to also make a metal minecart texture, if only so I can practice making a metal texture.

I'll darken these wooden boards and make a buffer box, too. I think the buffer box will be 1"x1.5"x.5", so it'll be smaller than the mine cart.

For the mine carts and the buffer box, I'll make it so it's a textured, empty, lidless box. Then I'll make some simple inserts for it - dirt/rocks (for the buffer box) and dirt/rocks/coal for the mine cart.

Monday, December 30, 2013

December round-up

Work has been very stressful over the last couple months, but there's a light at the end of the tunnel. I'd rather have a stressful job than no job at all, though, so don't take me as complaining!

So, this was a bit of a rough year for my papercrafting work, too. WorldWorksGames has been in a bit of a death spiral since the fellas there went to form Cloud Head Games. They're now working overtime on a video game, and are no longer putting any effort into the WorldWorksGames store. Bummer. The community has taken notice, too, and so traffic has died down considerably and the general mood is negative. The kitbash judges are all still available and active, and have pushed through a number of my works. We all just hope it's enough to keep people around until *something* happens with WorldWorks.

So there was a December kitbash release. It included my DeadFall Mines set, which is pretty cool. I'd really like to continue tinkering with it - adding a cave-skinned version of the Hinterland Cliffs geometries would be a great first step. Also, there's a slew of 3d props that the mines need - I need a mine cart or two, and I'd like to make mine track ramps to go up/down levels in both straight and curved forms, raised tracks in both straight and curved forms, and possibly a bridge.

Along with that, I kind of teamed up with Curt Voiles - a WorldWorksGames community member from before I knew they existed. He's had some kitbashes lying around that never made it through the channel and onto the storefront. I've tried to carve out some time to get pieces released, and the December kitbash roundup contained two little sets that go with the Lost Halls of the Dwarven Kings set.

I have been watching YouTube videos to learn some techniques on drawing (they've actually been VERY helpful - thank you Alphonso Dunn!), picked up a book on sketching people, and will hopefully be spending more time sketching out some minis. It'll be a long slow climb to where I can do anything of quality, but I'm hoping I'll find it fun.

I'm also planning on buying a full version of Pepakura Designer so I can more easily unfold 3d models and export them as templates to texture. That'll help me be more creative with making props and such.

My plans for 2014 are to diversify a bit and expand my skills so I can be more self-sufficient. We'll see how that actually plays out, but as always, I remain optimistic! :)

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Been slacking - The Garden City Walls was submitted

Twice, actually. I will dig up some pictures to post here. I submitted a couple types of walls and new posts to allow making some brick buildings in The Garden, to go with the City tiles.

I'm thinking I might even tackle a new set of roofs (not an easy task!) for this, really competing the set.

Update - here is a picture of the type of wall you can expect:

There are options for interior only walls, interior/exterior walls, walls with just the door, just the windows, just some crosses, or a door with those features. Here's another wall picture I had lying around:

I actually submitted the crosses filled in in black. If you want them cut out, just do it after gluing the wall together. I did a set of regular posts for the walls, too. That allows the interior parts of the wall to look normal, since the standard Garden set only has exterior textures.

Fingers are crossed that this will be accepted soon, along with the city tiles.

TLX Caves!

There's so much to do, and so little time to do it! What's really got me thinking are TLX Caves. I think the dirt tile of my mines is a good start. I'll use that as a base to build on. I want to make some tiles matching the Hinterland Cliffs set, so I can make more 'organic' structures. I've played a little with the walls, as you can see here:


I need to experiment with some things like different rock formations, less regular stalactites, and adding some stuff to the tiles to make them a little more like uneven terrain.

For props, it'd be cool to be able to build some 3D stalagmites, maybe a cave pool... Other things like that. But, for kitbashing purposes, I think the tiles and walls have to come first.

Update: Here are a couple pictures of in-progress walls:

These are not at all final (nor are they really what I'm striving for. The wall texture is OK. I've also tried reducing the number of stalactites, and I think that'll help a LOT. There's too much texture on the floor/ceiling though, so I'll have to work on fixing that. Even the wall background is a bit much. I'll play with warping it around to see what effects I can pull off.

I'm just getting started. :)

DeadFall: Mines has been submitted (kind of!)

After a complete redesign of the rail tracks, there's finally a light at the end of the tunnel. Hah! See what I did there? 14 pages of tiles, 13 pages of walls. D'oh! As I type, I realize I forgot to include the anchors in the PDFs! Hah!

I passed a link off to the judges so they can get a head-start and look at what's there. I still need to do the cutfiles, the tlx planner files, and some promo pics. This is really pushing the envelope of what would normally accept as a kitbash... I'm not gonna get my hopes up. It was fun to make though.

Update: There were a couple of errors discovered in the files - simple things that I quickly cleared up. I've gone and made the cutfiles, the Terrainlinx Planner file and the preview picture. The last thing that was an issue was the lantern light. One of the judges felt it was too faint and blended in too much with the wall. I'm playing around with a couple ideas now.

That's where I'm at now. I made the light more directional since it wouldn't be shining through the top/bottom of the lantern. I've also pulled the light away from the center beam a little, since in theory there'd be shadows cast from the beam. Also, the light is stronger than before - I tripled the number of layers that make the light. Fingers are crossed that I hear positive things about this. If I do, I have to update a couple of walls and rebuild a PDF, then it'll be DONE!

Friday, November 8, 2013

How did I forget? Dave Graffram's Patrol Boat has cutfiles now!

I'm really getting lazy with posting things here! I've been busy with things, really!

I don't know why I like paper boats. I really don't like boats all that much, but I find them very interesting as paper models. Dave Graffam has a couple different boats available, and I thought I'd try to make cutfiles for one of them, the Patrol Boat.

What was a challenge for the cutfiles was the fact that this model comes in two single-layer PDFs (one is pictured above) and a multi-layer PDF for really customizing things. I made cutfiles for one of the single-layer PDFs, then I made cutfiles for the multi-layer PDF complete with optional cuts you can turn on and off, so it will work with any configuration you can make!

You can grab the cutfiles off of the cardboard-warriors forum. Just click here.

I look forward to taking a stab at his other vehicles.

Recent additions to the Standee pile

I've been workin' on some cutfiles,
All the live long day...

I'm trying to give back a little bit to the community at cardboard-warriors because it's such a great group of people. It's been hard for me to maintain enough focus and energy to make my own standees (though I'll keep trying!) so I thought I'd help by making cutfiles for many of the wonderful figures that lack them.

These are all free miniatures available from the Downloads section of OneMonk.com. Well, the top three are part of one of the hoards that will be released soon (and will be free) but the bottom four are from the downloads. Soon enough, they'll have cutfiles available. My crummy photos don't do them justice - very nice looking figures!

Also, I provided cutfiles for the High Elf Tower, along with some alternate roof colors:

I made blue, green, red, orange, yellow, brown and black. I forgot purple! D'oh!  If you look at the top one, you can see that I had to liberally color in some spots. I screwed up the cutfiles - there was some text on the page that overlapped the registration marks, and so the cutter got all confused about how to cut. Glad I test these before I hand 'em out!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Codex Manesse Complete

A panoramic picture of the standees I've been making cutfiles for. Enjoy!

Monday, October 28, 2013

More Codex Manesse Standees Coming

I've been slacking off on posting stuff, but I had burnt myself out a little getting some kitbashes done over on the WWG forums, and I did a bunch of stuff with standees. I finished the cutfiles for all the manesse standees, and have finished edging too. Just one or two more batches of gluing and I'll be done:

That's the power of a machine cutter! Lots of detail to the minis, and they were all cut in one evening. I <3 my cutter.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Halloween Fungi Special!

I submitted a pair of shroom brutes for the Halloween hoard over at Cardboard Warriors.  I opted for an orange color theme, and I made one guy trick-or-treating, and the other clearly frustrated with the kinds of candy he's been getting:

When they're released with the forum's hoard, they'll have cutfiles available, too! I've still got a lot to learn, but this was a fun one-hour project for the forum.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Lastest Fungi

I've improved the sword, I think, and I've fixed some coloring issues. Two things I think I'll try to do:

1) It was correctly pointed out to me that his left foot is lower than his right, but given his hand positions, it implies his right foot should be forward (and therefore lower). I think this will improve the appearance of rotation in his body.

2) It was also pointed out that the shield is useless behind him. If I put it in front of him, I'll have to figure out what to do with his arm. It really means just making a layer that makes his arm bend a little (since most of it will be covered by his body when viewed from the back). If that makes it better, I'm all for it.

Oh, and my son helped me color in a 3rd guy. I think the grass texture was a good idea, but makes the figure look too flat because it doesn't follow the contour of his body. We'll keep trying.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

More Mushroomy Goodness

I'm tired, and pictures are worth 1000 words, right? So, here's 3000 words:

That's the latest version of my mushroom dude. I added more shading around him to give him a little more depth. I'm not going to "fix" his hands any more than they are there. It's good enough for my first mini.

To him, I added layers to give him a staff of some sort. I might change this up a little bit, like add some leaves to it, or something. I dunno. It's kinda boring. Maybe I'll make it a spear. Or both.

Lastly, I started working on a sword and shield kinda thing. I will need some time to play with the shield to give it depth and texture. The sword... I'll probably increase the size a bunch to make it thicker overall, then extend the blade out to almost the edge of the shield. As it is, it looks like a baton.

Boy, I don't compliment myself very much! How about this - the guy is coming along better than I expected, and it won't be long until I have three or four variants in three or four colors! It'll be fun to lay out my first PDF.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Codex Manesse Standees

One of the cooler sets of standees to come up on the cardboard warriors forum is from someone by the name madarchitect. He's been pulling figures out of the Codex Manesse with great effect. Take a peek at his blog - he's got lots of amazing things that push papercrafting beyond what I have time for, but it sure is amazing to look at.

Here's my first four figures from his work with the Codex Manesse:

I printed them on photo paper, and the colors are really beautiful. I modified the images to put a larger border around the knights, and I put together cutfiles for them. They're fantastic!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Mushroom men on the rise!

I'm going to try to put together a line of mushroom standees. It's a bit out of my comfort zone - I'm used to manipulating pictures other people have made. In this case, I'm trying to sketch out my own thing and make something from scratch.

Here's my first little guy. I haven't figured out exactly how big he's supposed to be in print. I'm surprised I've gotten this far...

That's actually the second recoloring. The first coloring I did looked beyond terrible. My kids thought he came out awesome, but they're a little biased.

I've got six more shrooms sketched out, and I've got some bugs sketched out as well. I'm hoping to make some complete sets and get better at the process.

Update - I will try out some different color schemes for the shrooms. I should really write down the color palettes and the brushes used... Here's the two I'm ending with tonight:

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Beautiful Boats by Grendelsmother64

I finally got around to trying some of these out. Over on Inkjet_Paper_Scissors, Grendelsmother64 has put together some fantastic, easy to build boats. Pics will have to come later - it's getting late and my eyes are wearing out. But, I've built the canoe and one of the faering boats. Tomorrow I'll finish up the viking drakkar longship model.

They're all wonderful models, and there's lots more there, too!

Friday, August 30, 2013

The Garden - City Streets

I sketched out a minimal set of 15 different tiles. I've got nine of them done now, and the hallway/3" tiles (that's another 3 of them) should be easy peasy. I'm debating just leaving the paths the way they are for a 1.5" grid, but I might consider widening the paths to be 3" wide for the 1.5" grid.

I think with this set, I'll make one... no two new walls that feature wooden doors. I have in my mind a wooden door with a rounded top, a square window with iron bars on it, and an iron door handle. Maybe if I'm on a roll when I get that far, I'll consider a double-height wall with a large door on it. Kind of fun to do those for more imposing buildings.

Here are tile tiles so far:

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Garden - City Streets

I think I'm onto something here. I kinda like the design. I might make some of the tiles with different bendy parts from the walls, and I should probably make a whole bleepin 6" tile of road textures so I don't have to contend with rotating the herringbone pattern.

Now, if I do like how this is going, I really need to create the road textures in all the grid formats before I forget how I did it! It amounts to making a grey-scale version of the Himmelveil Streets tile I used and apply it as a bump map to the layer of bricks from The Garden walls.

The Garden - City Streets

I'm playing around with the idea of making city streets out of the available textures from The Garden. Here are a couple images I've come up with to try out a straight street tile:

Still a ways to go before this turns into something I "like" but I certainly like the idea of it.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Roof Redesign - Making good on an old threat

I don't care too much for the Terrainlinx roof system. Sure, it works, but there's a fundamental design decision that limits how the pieces can be interchanged. The trusses that support the roof pieces have some of the roof texture on them. That means, they can only be used with that particular roof type. I would love it if my Thoumonts and Friar sets could swap roof pieces whenever I wanted, but doing so requires tons more trusses to be custom built. Poo.

Here are some shots of a quick idea I'd like to push on:

All I did was make the roof pieces rectangular so they cover the trusses. I modified the trusses so the notch the roof slots into is along the outside wall. I also removed some of the square brace, so there was less material in the way of the roof's tab. I think it works well enough to try to kitbash some real textured pieces. I might need to make the roof pieces 1mm or 2mm wider on each side to better cover the truss, but it doesn't seem any worse than the real truss system.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Atlantis TLX Update

It totally doesn't LOOK like I'm cleaning the office, but I'm actually slowly eliminating the half-built stuff on my desk, whether by assembling stuff or throwing it out. At the same time, I'm building good quality versions of Atlantis TLX stuff in preparation to take some good quality photographs.

Here's a little building I've got assembled:

Ignore the background, and yeah, it's not a "good quality photograph". I'm just piecing together the set that I will ultimately take pictures of. By doing this, I hope to finish finding the little errors in the set, and finally complete the conversion.

I continue to add to my wish list for things to add to this set. I'm seriously considering providing a simpler type of railing. The railings here have a great fish motif, but squared-off ends would be quicker to build. It would be extra-cool if I could have a variety of mixed ends, so like in the picture above, the end of the catwalk would have the ornate fishy ends, but the middle bend would have squared-off ends. I doubt I'd go that far though. Maybe that'll be my first attempt at using layered PDFs!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Markers used for edging

I just need to keep track of which markers I use where...

  Water     452
  Beach    990
  Marble   Bic Mark-it Cloud Nine Gray

  Green    158
  Brown   N57

Friday, August 9, 2013

Inn of the Feisty Friar, update 2

Got some good code checked in today at work, but also was able to get some more posts and walls edged.

It's not much, but it should be good enough to use for some small layouts. I've only got eight more posts to edge, but 17 more walls to do! Yow. I am not going to hold up progress on other fronts just so I can have the anti-warp versions of the walls done. I will, instead get a couple tiles done, and start adding some useful roof pieces to the mix. I will print off two large end trusses, two large roof pieces, and two 6" floor tiles. That'll be enough for a building, so I'll be able to take a break and do more fun stuff, like some props.