Wednesday, February 27, 2008

an odyssey

an odyssey
Originally uploaded by mrlovegrove.
Well, an odyssey in that it was long, and filled with hardships. Maybe less so than everything else I've done though. Lemme explain the process, roughly, of doing this stuff in photoshop.

I sketched the dudes on paper, drew the ship on different paper, took pictures with my phone and uploaded them to the computer. Then i put the pictures on-top of each other and streched/rotated/scooted them around in photoshop, till i thought the guys and ship lined up how i wanted, then just had to drop the opacity of those photos to like 25% and trace right over them onto a new layer to get my main sketch. and all of that, i've found out, is the quickest, easiest way to do it. (I knew thats mainly what people did, but never actually gave it a try before. )
Before this I've always just drawn from scratch on the computer, looking at what i had on paper. That's difficult, by the way, because this file is like 3,000 pixels wide, and to fit that all on the screen you have to be all zoomed out to where you're looking at it at 20% size. So if you're drawing with a brush 3 or 5 pixels wide, basically not only can you not see your cursor, or the lines you're making, but the accuracy goes way down. Once you get zoomed into 100% the lines look like they were drawn with your left hand with parkinsons.
So, basically, you have to zoom in, zoom out, zoom in, zoom out. (while on paper you just look at it closer).

Anyways, I also dealt with more complicated colors on this picture. Meaning, for a lot of these effects I needed to make layer over layer over layer, and my computer just can't cut it. when hitting quicksave it takes a good 40 seconds to build the file every time.
i.e. this is what i mean by layers-- the green "paint" on their suits and the ship has to be a separate layer on TOP of the base color of the ship/their suits, but underneath the texturing (bumps, scratches, splots). (otherwise if you wanted to, lets say, make his helmet a bit darker, you'd draw right over the teal "paint", making it grey,and also wiping out the textures. then you'd have to go draw them both again, over and over as many times as you wanted to touch up/progress the picture. Also, i originally made the paint on his suit red, not green; but since it was its own layer, i just had to slide a bar to change the hue of the whole layer, rather than re-painting it to make it green. ) The same goes for the stars,and for each layer of clouds (there are 6), and for the little lights and plugs on their suits, etc...

Anyways, I always try to use the bare minimum of layers, because it's easy to get obsessive-compulsive about it (making a seperate layer for each piece of clothing, etc...) but mainly because it just frags my poor old laptop.
Well, when I get back, time to finally fork out the dough for a giant screened macintosh.

Hope you learned something about the... diligence of artists, if you had the diligence to make it through this whole post . (and keep in mind i'm still pretty elementary with this program)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

"It sure is cold today, you don't want to go out there without your Barack Obama"
"I was feeling a little stuffy, but since popping a couple Barack Obamas, I feel pretty good"

maybe that's pushing it, but here's a widget showing all the words that have been "officially obamified" by

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Things to do& the "future"

I'm not used to being in this predicament ~ I mentioned in an earlier post how I look around my apartment and can't fathom how I'm going to get all of this home. It's worsening; before, I saw everything as just balls. You know, big, black, immovable cannonball looking things. Now there are chains attatched to my ankles. I've devoted today to cleaning. I dunno, it might help somehow.
Sorry, I'm not going to talk about sci-fi. So if all of my shit is a fat ball and chain around my ankles, the future has it's needy hands around my throat, pulling. I am trying, but not trying hard enough, to get a good portfolio together. There is this "concept artist" job at bioware i want, badly, to apply for, but basically I don't have a portfolio. I realized I have just barely learned to color. I mean, I've been drawing my whole life, but i really have nothing to show for it. So, now I have 2 pieces that i'm willing to submit. A measly TWO. It's hard to get this shit together when I don't even have a desk.
Anyways, here they are.

oata archmages
Originally uploaded by mrlovegrove.

Originally uploaded by mrlovegrove.

Now, I need to get some life drawings done, which is easy, and i need to show my ability to draw "architecture" and the evolution of a drawing from idea to finish, and nature together with structures, and my ability to draw in all genres (a.k.a. i've gotta draw some sci-fi. I'm working on sort of a steam-punk picture now.)
So the art thing, i love it, but i'm stressed because it's already been a month, and i'm not even close, and i know that job position will be gone soon.
Besides that, I'm leaving april 20th, but they're telling me i need to be out of my apartment march 31st. So... um.....
I need to get mikey's visit organized, and i can't afford to stay at hotels/ryokans/even internet cafes for a whole 17 days.
On the bright side, obama seems to be taking the lead. God, I wish I made more money. I spent like 40,000 yen last weekend on my birthday. (tattoo plus everything else) Although I usually don't leave my apartment, and just eat peanut butter sandwiches and ramen, I make such measly money, and japan is so expensive...agh.

P.S. notice i changed my banner、which had actually turned embarrassing a long time ago. I had the little "Aeon" logo up there, from when i made this page before i started work, about 2 1/2 years ago.. I was feeling so full of japan frenzy, excited to start work over here, but let me make clear I have hated that company for a full 2 years at least. Anyways, well over due. Enjoy.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

rave reviews

Hear what people are saying about dan's new tattoo:

"Your hair looks so good like this!!!!!
Don't cut it ok??"

"o - m - g
that's the most awesome shit ever
your hair is getting badass too
man, that makes me wanna get a sweet ass tat"

"holy shit
it looks awesome
probably the best tattoo i've ever seen
that is nuts
and you have a lot of hair"

"dan.... that is insane. it's freaking huge and it looks freaking sweet. "

Friday, February 08, 2008

a chill pill or 4

After that beer I mentioned, and a few more, I've mellowed out, and am going to make a post chronicling the music that's I've been diggin for the past couple months.
I'm at the end of the stretch here in japan, I've just realized it'll very soon be march, my last month here, then my ass needs to be out. I have no idea how to reverse the moving in process i've done into this country. I'm looking around my trinket-stuffed apartment, looking at my guitar and sanshin and x-box and wii and boxes of junk and i feel like something just got wedged into the gears in my brain.
So, I also bought a melodian, which the kids here play in school. Here's what finally pushed me over the limit and made me buy it.

that's ratatat, head to and DL their remix2 album for free~ they toss their music behind some rappers, here's their version of jay-Z's "allure".

Jay is a pretty great rapper but his beats are usually shit. Danger Mouse was also kind enough to re-do one of his tracks. This one is from the grey album, danger's remix of jay's black album and the beatles white album

Also, 9th wonder also re-did the black album, called "black is back". But I'm not gonna post anymore of that.
I'm getting really stoked to come back to america, and am trying to get into the spirit of the country reading politics, etc, so lets take it back from those guys and show an american hero. Marvin Gaye's "What's Goin On?" has made a full circle, sadly, in it's cultural importance. Please sit through this whole track -- it actually is two. What's goin on, and what's happenin brother. I wanted to post "Inner City Blues (make me wanna holler)" cause that's my fav. track on there, but this live is out of this world, so here you are.

here's a pretty famous MC named Insight, who put out an album with this japanese DJ Shin-ski. Dunno if he was just here long enough to get the album together or what? But this video's taped in japan. The 2nd track on this vid is good, Early Days Amazement, but they have this song called "passin by" i really like but couldn't find.

and finally probably the hottest of the lot, MF Doom, the mad flows supervillian, I love this super low production, like he's rappin into a mic over the soundtrack of some 80s show on his VHS, and the vids got the same quality

he's also got out these instrumental volumes, called "Special Herbs" and instrumental stuff is my heaven so these albums are gonna get a lot of listens, i bought vol 4,5,6 on iTunes (Thanks mom!) Here's some samples~

alright, i'm out for now

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


So, in my news scouring of super tuesday, I came across someone's mention of "NSPD-51" or national security presidential directive #51, which gives bush the power to halt elections, if he feels like stepping the war up a notch. Here is an article about it, which wasn't reported in LA, or New York, but the chattanoogan.

President Bush, without so much as issuing a press statement, on May 9 signed a directive that granted near dictatorial powers to the office of the president in the event of a national emergency declared by the president.

The "National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive," with the dual designation of NSPD-51, as a National Security Presidential Directive, and HSPD-20, as a Homeland Security Presidential Directive, establishes under the office of president a new National Continuity Coordinator.

That job, as the document describes, is to make plans for "National Essential Functions" of all federal, state, local, territorial, and tribal governments, as well as private sector organizations to continue functioning under the president's directives in the event of a national emergency.

The directive loosely defines "catastrophic emergency" as "any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government functions."

When the President determines a catastrophic emergency has occurred, the President can take over all government functions and direct all private sector activities to ensure we will emerge from the emergency with an "enduring constitutional government."

Translated into layman's terms, when the President determines a national emergency has occurred, the President can declare to the office of the presidency powers usually assumed by dictators to direct any and all government and business activities until the emergency is declared over.

Ironically, the directive sees no contradiction in the assumption of dictatorial powers by the President with the goal of maintaining constitutional continuity through an emergency.

The directive specifies that the assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism will be designated as the National Continuity Coordinator. Further established is a Continuity Policy Coordination Committee, chaired by a senior director from the Homeland Security Council staff, designated by the National Continuity Coordinator, to be "the main day-to-day forum for such policy coordination."

Currently, the assistant to the president for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism is Frances Fragos Townsend. Townsend spent 13 years at the Justice Department before moving to the U.S. Coast Guard where she served as assistant commandant for intelligence. She is a White House staff member in the executive office of the president who also chairs the Homeland Security Council, which as a counterpart to the National Security Council reports directly to the president.

The directive issued May 9 makes no attempt to reconcile the powers created there for the National Continuity Coordinator with the National Emergency Act. As specified by U.S. Code Title 50, Chapter 34, Subchapter II, Section 1621, the National Emergency Act allows that the president may declare a national emergency but requires that such proclamation "shall immediately be transmitted to the Congress and published in the Federal Register."

A Congressional Research Service study notes that under the National Emergency Act, the President "may seize property, organize and control the means of production, seize commodities, assign military forces abroad, institute martial law, seize and control all transportation and communication, regulate the operation of private enterprise, restrict travel, and, in a variety of ways, control the lives of United States citizens."

The CRS study notes that the National Emergency Act sets up congress as a balance empowered to "modify, rescind, or render dormant such delegated emergency authority," if Congress believes the president has acted inappropriately.

NSPD-51/ HSPD-20 appears to supersede the National Emergency Act by creating the new position of National Continuity Coordinator without any specific act of Congress authorizing the position.

NSPD-51/ HSPD-20 also makes no reference whatsoever to Congress. The language of the May 9 directive appears to negate any a requirement that the President submit to Congress a determination that a national emergency exists, suggesting instead that the powers of the executive order can be implemented without any congressional approval or oversight.

Homeland Security spokesperson Russ Knocke affirmed that the Homeland Security Department will be implementing the requirements of NSPD-51/HSPD-20 under Townsend's direction.

The White House had no comment.

Matthew Hine

I'm guessing around summer '08 would be a good time for him to carry on a nuclear strike on Iran, and the ensuing catastrophe would be a perfect time for him to declare himself dictator of america. Literally, did you catch that part about congress? and how it negates it? You can find the real thing on the whitehouse webpage, but it's basically written in code.
And he's got the 2008 budget all worked out, at 3.1 trillion. (note, he was the first to propose a 2 trillion budget) Here are some of the programs that will get burned in order to make room for more military spending.

– “$77 billion in funding cuts for Medicare and Medicaid over the next five years, and $280 billion over the next 10.”

– $223 million in funding cuts (4 percent decrease from this year’s levels) to the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

– “$4.9 billion, or 8 percent, cut in education, training, employment and social services” grants.

– $100 million cut for Head Start, which provides child development services to economically disadvantaged children and families.

– “$2.4 billion cut in community and regional development grants — which often provide funding for low- and middle-income communities — to $16.5 billion from $18.9 billion.

– $400 million — 18 percent — cut in the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, “which provides $2.2 billion to help people pay heating bills this year.”

– $172 million — nearly 25 percent — cut in funding for housing for low-income seniors.

Also, tax cuts will remain for the wealthiest people in america. The rest of us are screwed.
Meanwhile, the projected deficits do not even take into account funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. CongressDaily (subscription) reports this morning that Bush "is expected today to ask Congress for $70 billion to cover" the cost of the wars "for the first few months of FY09 -- a request that, if approved, could ultimately push the total amount of supplemental spending for military and civilian needs over the $1 trillion mark over the life of this administration." (more)

I'm starting to remember why I usually ignore politics. Time to have a beer.

p.s. i'm reading barack obama's "the audacity of hope" and it's pretty brilliant. He is genuinely interested in closing the chasm, which is full of boiling lava and fire, between the red and blue. You know, healing our country, and stuff. Maybe I'll read it later for a little bit of optimism.

Friday, February 01, 2008


today's penny arcade made me laugh so hard, out loud, that I almost rolled on the floor. Well, not quite, and i still hate the expression, but here you are~

I don't actually know what it would look like if a lightsaber cut through a chunk of red crystal embedded in a mound of onyx. If you were to simulate it, as long as things are mostly lining up I'm going to accept it and move on. Same goes for a set of plasteel blast doors crumpled by The Force. Actually, most materials can be simulated in such a way that the mind could carry the one and make it work, in science fiction especially. But when people move in ridiculous ways, all the hard work you put into the rest of that world is obliterated. If a crate hits another crate, that's fine. If a person tries to grab a crate, that is also fine. The trouble comes when people grab onto other people and pirouette off into infinity.


today's penny arcade made me laugh so hard, out loud, that I almost rolled on the floor. Well, not quite, and i still hate the expression, but here you are~

I don't actually know what it would look like if a lightsaber cut through a chunk of red crystal embedded in a mound of onyx. If you were to simulate it, as long as things are mostly lining up I'm going to accept it and move on. Same goes for a set of plasteel blast doors crumpled by The Force. Actually, most materials can be simulated in such a way that the mind could carry the one and make it work, in science fiction especially. But when people move in ridiculous ways, all the hard work you put into the rest of that world is obliterated. If a crate hits another crate, that's fine. If a person tries to grab a crate, that is also fine. The trouble comes when people grab onto other people and pirouette off into infinity.