Arts and Crafts

I’ve had a few odd art requests from various acquaintances over the last week, and as they seem to be happy with them, I’ll post there here for posterity.

First was my HR director at work; he’s been working on a roleplaying game called “Athia” for like a decade now, and it has recently been published. He’s had all sorts of art made for the book, and last week asked if I could arrange a few of the banner images into a poster for him.

I said sure.

The way art usually works is that people don’t know what they want – they only know what they don’t want, once they see it of course. So, any time someone asks you to do a thing for them, be prepared to do it over and over and over and over.

To avoid this as much as possible I never really charge anyone for anything I do, because people tend to be a lot less picky when they feel bad for making you work for free. So I got away with only redoing the poster once… So far…

The first one was to-the-letter of what he asked for; “Organize the banners into a decent sized poster while making sure the banners are the central theme”. I explained that the banners were wide and narrow for his book, and due to this would be about 7″ wide and 3″ tall when printed without some trickery to make them bigger – but even then the aspect ratios were sort of set in stone… So he was looking at them being stacked artfully as the upper limit of what was available for free.

He agreed to this and sent me the site for where he would be getting the poster printed, with the 36″ x 24″ size and aspect highlighted.

And given the okay and the working dimensions, I did this:

The banner art was done by a different artist, I just did the background and the layout.

He was pretty happy with the layout, but the “Athia” world is apparently frozen tundra or something, so he asked if I could do the same layout but make it look ‘colder’…

The banner art was done by a different artist, I just did the background and the layout.

He was pretty happy with this one too – and then asked if he could get both done as 24″ x 18″… Which is a different aspect ratio and would require redoing everything – of course.

I explained this (along with the redoing everything part) and have not heard back on if he really wants me to do it…

Then on Friday someone I know in SecondLife, out of the blue, asked me if I could make a 3D model for them. How they found out I do 3D stuff I assume came from my roommate volunteering me – which happens on occasion.

The request was for a jukebox – specifically a late 60’s Wurlitzer “Americana II” – to hold a jukebox script that people can use to play music. He was kind enough to include a link to the machine in question at least.

So I set bout finding some old photos of the thing, along with a manual that had some rough dimensions, and banged this out in Blender…

This had to be done a couple of times to get the geometry complexity and physics down low enough to not be a problem for SL, and then I had to argue with SL’s weird implementation of emissive masking for the subtle lighting, but it eventually worked out.

The model, at 1:1 scale, fully textured with specular and bump-mapping, and with an LOD that makes it visible more than 5 meters away, weighs in at 5 P.E. Not bad.

And that’s pretty much what I’ve been up to for the last week – outside of work at least.

Listening to "Leave It" by Yes