Saturday, January 12, 2013

What does progress look like?

I told someone at work that to me, "progress" feels more like "a long series of demoralizing setbacks." I guess that's true with my day job, but with papercraft, there usually aren't any setbacks. There are doldrums, however...

So, I've got a number of papercraft projects on my plate. Here's what's been going on:

1) A SwiftScenics Thoumont's conversion.  This has been "done" for months now, but I have so far failed three times to produce adequate photos for promo pics.  There are a bunch of things that make my pictures suck:
  • Bad printouts. I print on cheap cardstock, and I have to lighten the printouts considerably. This reduces contrast quite a bit, and makes the printouts look pretty blah. I've recently picked up about 1000 sheets of matte photo paper, so that will be my medium of choice going forward. Photo quality prints all the way.
  • Bad edging. I edged most of the stuff in the pictures in black, and that just isn't good enough for promo pics. I need to either try different grays, or I need to invest in more suitable colors. The edging really sticks out and ruins the shots.
  • Bad photography. Either the lighting is too cool, too warm, overexposed... I have extra lighting now so when I try to snap shots next, I'm going to hope I've got enough ambient light. Also, I'll play around with setting the white balance for the photos. It's a good learning experience, but it's work I'm not very good at right now.
  • Bad composition. I don't own any miniatures, and I'm not sure it'd be OK to use paper standees from other people's works. I've purchased the WWG Himmelveil standees, and will make them when I'm ready to snap photos.

2) The Atlantis TLX conversion. This texture work is "done" I think. I might have a couple pieces left to do, and maybe I'll make a couple new things for props. I did get to experiment with making my own textures for some new doors, and that was a lot of fun. But, now I'm at the build-and-photo phase. I'm edging all the marble textures with gray. As I build, I'm trying to make all of the cutfiles for the set - there's a bunch of custom stuff I need to make. And lastly, I'll need to cobble together set-specific instructions! Oy. Not sure how well that will go.

3) Kitbashes. A while back, I submitted yet more kitbashes. There were issues with most of the things I submitted, so I need to dust them off and fix them. Some are little details, like the promo pic I made for a simple Roll Arena kitbash had a modification that I didn't actually provide in the packaging. I need to actually make that piece, or redo the promo pic. Some are big details, like I need to redo the destroyed wall pieces. At least now I own sets that have real templates I can use.

What happens is, I end up with lots and LOTS of kinda finished pieces all over my workspace, but I never really get to cross things off the TODO list. As things drag on, it's hard to keep motivation high. I really hope someday others will get to enjoy some of this stuff. I enjoy the texture work, but that's not really shareable until I complete the absolutely not fun stuff too.

So, yeah. There are doldrums, but I will try to remain optimistic and catch whatever breeze will keep the boat moving, however slowly.

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