Hello & Happy New Year to all you Dan-imaniacs out there.
What with the completion of Edge of Tomorrow & the dawn of a new year I though it would be a good time to just let everyone know what to expect in the coming year. Or at least what I am going to aim for, since last years predications were… a little off.
But first I want to say a big thank you to everyone who liked, re-tweeted, followed or in nay way engaged with the release of Edge of Tomorrow & especially for your nice comments & messages. I get a little down once I finish a big project. Having spent so long with this thing in my life, working on it every day, rendering every night, once it’s finished & gone I’m always left feeling a little empty, like something is missing & I get all depressive. Who would have guessed that someone prepared to spend all there free time making weird animated porn for strangers might not be super well adjusted! Wonders never cease. Anyway, my point is that you guys were a real boost when I needed it & I’m super grateful.
As for Edge of Tomorrow it’s self I am very happy with the final product. I really tried to include stuff that you don’t see very often, anal beads for example are somewhat of a rarity & I think I did a good job with them. A lot of the bondage stuff was deliberately difficult, to try some things maybe a little beyond what I’m comfortably able to do & I think most of it turned out quite well. The last bit with Namine hanging form the ceiling was a challenge since I was getting about 12 FPS on playback for that even with as many optimizations as possible so that still came out a bit janky in the end but over-compensating with the smoothing modifier & crossing my fingers took a lot of the edge off of that.
Admittedly, it’s not the most excitingly cinematic piece. But what I was aiming for was by keeping the camera in generally the same location & keeping movement to a minimum up to the bondage break it would feel more voyeuristic & intimate. So then when we do get into the final act where the camera starts moving more & using slightly wider shots the shift feels more dramatic. That was the intent anyway.
The sound is definitely better than last time but still somewhat of a mixed bag. All of the audio was dubbed in afterwards with only minor tweaks where needed. This was to see if perhaps this would be a more efficient way of working. It certainly was faster but I feel like a lot of the precision was lost & using audio to guide the action & more importantly the tempo of the scene is very advantageous. Another reason was to get around the fact that you have to scale down the quality of any audio you put into SFM, but for reason we’ll get in a moment, that’s no longer going to be an issue.
But on the plus side, I absolutely loved how the soundtrack came out. Absolutely worth all the time I spent narrowing down 200 KH tracks to the best 5 in the best order. The Lifeguard animation was seriously impacted by that goddamn ukulele track that STILL somehow haunts my dreams so getting it right this time feels pretty good.
As you may remember, the Kingdom Hearts animations get done in rounds so now that Round #2 is done we’re going to be taking a little break from KH to catch up on everything else. KH will return. The choices for round #3 have already been made & I have big plans but in the mean time in terms of more immediate big plans the first order of business is to finish the Little Mermaid animation which got put on pause so I could finish KH. I’d say it’s about 75% done at this point so my main focus is going to be getting that finished. Hopefully I can wrap animation in a couple of months-ish, maybe. I’m not committing to any more than that because I’ve learnt to do so is to invite disaster. And disaster is not welcome.
After that is the secret Medli project that I was hoping would be done for a nice surprise this Xmas/New Years just past had EoT not happened. I’m about 25/30% through that as I would just chip away at it, a scene here or there so once the mermaid one is done we will power through that. It’s not going to be as long as the others so, if we’re lucky by mid-to-late 2021-ish those two will have been finished. Maybe. It’ll be called: Medli Cucks Link, because everyone else has cucked him already & it seems that’s what you do.
After that it’ll either mean starting Mei in Overcast or the next big KH project which will involve Kairi & shadow tentacles. Which one I do will largely depend on how long it takes me to get there. If Mermaid & Medli are quick then I’ll get some Mei started before KH, if they run long then we’ll get KH going right away instead.
In terms of short animations, I’ve got a bunch of stuff that I’ve been waiting to play about with so we’re going to do some light, easy & quick stuff over the next few months on the side and once I’ve ticked a few boxes Kingdom Hearts Round #3 will start here since only one film in the next round is going to get the full treatment. The other three will be shorter, looped affairs. I was originally going to start those a few months ago & some work has been done but something else has happened as well.
Now we come to the BIG news. Ever since I finished animation on Edge of Tomorrow I have been very quietly working on something else & that is – Blender. That’s right, I’m finally sick & tired of seeing all those better, shinier models that I can’t use. Finally sick & tired of being at the mercy of other peoples models rather than making my own. This was always the plan but I have decided now is the time to start making the transition.
The very first thing I’m working on though is asset creation. No animation or anything like that just yet. Mermaid & Medli animations have been started in SFM & will be finished in SFM. Also the short looped animations I’m planning to make in the coming months will also still be in SFM. Once I’ve closed all the open projects then we’ll switch over the Blender proper with Mei in Overcast being the first full Blender production, or the Kairi Tentacles. Which ever order they’ll both be Blender.
But that’s then, what have I been working on now? Well I’m still learning the ropes Blender & Daz in terms of building bodies & hacking heads onto them, but I’ve got a number of thing’s I’ve been playing around with.
Project #1 - Eldar Narn
I used my comic Eldar Narn as a way to practice doing a variety of thing in SFM. Since the animation projects largely have me working on one thing for long period time. Eldar Narn gives me a slew of different things to try & I really think it helped me grow. I’m keen to re-apply this method of learning to Blender so to learn the basics I’ve been working on building models of the main cast.
These models don’t need to be animated. Don’t need complicated hair controls. Don’t need much in the way of body morphs. Don’t need costume changes (not for a long time anyway). These are never going to see any kind of public release so they don’t need to be neat & tidy, just to work for basic posing. Good for practicing different ways of headhacking & figuring out how to blend textures & such.
Project #2 - Kingdom Hearts & Overwatch
One of the things that has spurred me to make the Blender switch now is my desire to have access to a wider range of KH models. I need to get Xion & Larxene in the mix, especially since I get so many Xion requests. However I thought it best to start with Kairi so she is the only KH model I have worked on so far. Here is what we have:
She is on a custom Daz Genesis 8 body, with all the benefits that come with. Skeleton, correction morphs, custom morphs & a full suite of genetalia from Renderotica so give me maximum options for what I want to do with her. All bought with the generous donations the Patreon has taken over the last year. Thank you so much to everybody who has & everybody who continues to contribute. Every little counts & I intend to put it towards making better content for all.
Since I actually built Kairi’s body in Daz & then exported it over to Blender for the hacking I am also able to fit her in any Daz Gen8 outfit & have even succeeded in getting her canon outfit through Daz as well, meaning her outfit fits perfectly on her new body & as has it’s own library of controls for ease of animation.
As do all her other outfits:
And there are a lot more than just those three.
She’s damn close to being ready since she is the first model I want to have finished so I can start making some posters & such for practice. I’d rather wait & use a model I’m excited for than just force something out using the models currently available. Currently I’m re-rigging her hair as the SFM hair is horrible to work with. Then the same for her eyes & at that point I think she’s usable. There is still a great deal of texture work to do to get her looking A+ & doubtless some weight paint corrections will be required too.
In addition I’ve started moving my custom Overwatch models over too since the SFM ones are WAY janky. Mei has been my guineepig so to speak for these higher difficulty head hacks. I practice on Mei ’til it works then we apply the method to Kairi to make sure she works too. Currently only Kairi has her head connected, but Mei is almost ready for that too. Apart from the fact that I’ve made some revisions to her body requiring a new head to be attached she’s pretty much on pace with Kari so I think be ready next.
I’m working on Symmetra too, but that’s still really early days because she has a new experimental texture that requires only her face to be transplanted, rather than her whole head. If it works (& I think it will) I’ll be able to give her a seamless, high-def, Daz Gen8 quality skin texture with elements of her original face blended in so it looks totally natural. It’s only a diffuse map with blanket subsurface for now so she’ll look much better once I get all her other maps in play.
Good news is it’s looking really good. Bad news is Kari & Mei need to be done over AGAIN because the hack has to be just the face. I can’t figure out how to accomodate for all the different ways the neck verticies come together on different models. But there is always a certain commonality to the way faces are put together that IN THEORY will line up with the daz body & since it’s the same texture on both models you wont even see the seam.
Although I need these models to be of a higher standard than Eldar Narn ones & fully equipped for animation I am not currently planning on releasing these models publicly at this time. These are largely for me to use for my own projects & don’t want to have to worry about getting them up to release standard. Also I don’t have release licences for most of the stuff I’ve used. But that doesn’t mean there wont be anything for you guys because:
Project 3 - Public Models
There are some models that I’m going to make not just because I want them but because you went them too. These ones will be made for the specific purpose of releasing them to the public and the very first character I felt needed the full treatment was Medli:
Now, full disclosure I did all this before I discovered what Daz was & how it worked so she is not on a Daz Gen 8 body. This body is functional, but it’s not got any of the daz stuff & I need to rig the whole skeleton myself. It’s annoying since I’d made a lot of progress that I’m actually quite happy with here, but since she’s going to be public she really needs to be as good as she can be & I don’t trust myself to rig a whole skeleton from scratch so unfortunately I think she needs to start over in Daz. I’m tempted to try because it does mean throwing away a lot of work but I think the final product will better off for if I let Daz. Either way I’ve already got a bunch of outfits in mind for her, some already work:
Some are secret for now but since she is a public model I’d like to know what you guys would like to see her dressed as so if anyone has any ideas they’d really like to see let me know & I’ll see what I can do. Leave a comment here, DM me on Twitter, hire one of those singing telegram people, however you like. Please do the singing telegram though, that’s on my bucket list.
Then once Medli is done, next will be Catra. Then we’ll see.
THESE MODELS WILL NOT BE PRIVATE OR PAYWALLED. They will come out for free in all the usual places, hopefully in Blender, SFM (& Gmod if it turns out not to be that difficult, might outsource that bit though. I know a guy). But they will take a while, I’m still learning all those & exporting to SFM will be it’s own thing so they probably wont be coming any time soon. But this is an avenue I’m going to start going down & hopefully once I’ve done it once number 2 wont take so long. But this is all new ground.
While all this is going on the big animation projects are still the main focus. The Blender stuff will quietly tick along on the background for the next six months or so until my SFM plate is cleared & I’m ready to start switching over proper. Hopefully you should start seeing some Blender pics soon though as I start to get some working models.
So there we go, that’s the direction I plan on taking for the coming year. Kingdom Hearts will return in full force with better shinier models. Hopefully there should be a fire-storm of long content in the first half of this year! And a whole new type of content for me to bring you fine people in the form of new nudie models. The future is bright.
Thank you for your time,