I'm making a little game using Unity, a very simple word game that hopefully I'll soon publish for Android, iPhone and iPad.
Here's the thing, I'm not that good a designer but I don't have enough going on to justify hiring a proper one. Good news is, if you're in a similar situation there's hope for you.(more...)
Well, well, well... I finally used the multilanguage support I added long ago. In essence it detects the language you are using and displays images or text based on that. Today I translated the latest Paul the innovator comic to test this feature.
The trick is doing this all in one site without changing URLs so that the facebooks and googles of the world can see just one site. Hope it didn't break anything, let me know if it did.
Bueno, bueno, bueno... Por fin he empezado a usar el soporte multilenguage que añadí al sitio hace un tiempo. Básicamente detecta el lenguage que utilizas y cambio el texto y las imágenes. Hoy he traducido el último Paul the innovator para probarlo (por cierto, no tengo pensado traducir el título del cómic, creo que queda más cool en inglés, pero se aceptan quejas).
La gracia es hacerlo todo de manera que feisbuk, google y compañía vean sólo una página para no tener que liarla demasiado. Espero no haber roto nada, si no, decidmelo.
Comic: Paul the innovator 38(more...)
A short post for the benefit of those struggling with this as I was: the little parser that Facebook uses when you share a link is insane, don't trust it.
That parser is what creates thumbnails for links shared in Facebook. It reads the contents of a page and allows you to choose an image. The problem is that more often than not, it can't find the images. It's got a lot of limitations: image size, image position in the document and it also has a tendency to just randomly stop working.
It's particularly bad when you start adding images as CSS backgrounds since those are completely ignored, even if you have fallbacks for crawlers like google etc. So today I once again found myself with this problem, Facebook refusing to use my images anymore. So any link to a comic would not show the actual thumbnail of the comic, which I find extremely annoying.
That meant I finally needed to cave in and use their extensions: I created a thumbnail for each post and added a few tags at the top of the page so that Facebook can find the right image.
To fix it, Create a thumbnail for your images and add the following to your HTML document (head section):
<meta property="og:image" content="http://address.of/your.image_thumb.png"> <meta property="og:title" content="Optional text">
That's it. Want to check if it works? Use the Facebook URL debug page. It will tell you whether the tags were interpreted or not.
Note: for creating a thumbnail you can use Imagemagick, for instance using "convert -crop 300x300+0+0 image.png image_thumb.png".(more...)
Some changes to the site: links to the archives (yes up there near that little monkey) and horrid Facebook and Twitter Like buttons.
Upgraded the comment system and now every post shows as '0 comments' even if there are comments, but too tired to worry about that now... Fixed now.
But the most interesting bit is that I added hi-res comics in the Paul series and the header logos. This means that if you have a retina display (iPad or iPhone 4), you will see much crisper and detailed comics. All of that thanks to me using Inkscape from the start, which uses vector graphics.
So you are asking, what's the difference, well here's an example. I captured screenshots before and after enabling this, on an iPhone 4. The pixelation that the iPhone had done on the first one is obvious.
So what's next... well I have a huge pending thing in the form of translation. To Spanish, mostly. I've promised to translate these comics a few times, and have some actually translated already so I guess at some point I'll have to put them online. Another biggie is making the website react to the device you are using, so to make it easier to navigate from a mobile.
Oh, and you know, maybe write some comics :).
Yes, I could do that.
Final note: I discovered there's a limitation in the actual size an image can have on an iPad's browser. That doesn't bode well for the super long images I used in LIFE/interior. For the time being I sliced the large pages into smaller ones but haven't yet added hi-res versions as they are still too big. More info in the official documentation, found here.(more...)
Well I finally decided to get rid of wordpress and regain control of the site. Expect a few more changes in the future.
Please let me know anything that is odd or any links that are not working. Hate mail is welcome too.
There are a few known issues:
The design is an evolution of a design that my friend Sergi made about two years ago as a draft thing I could start with. I'd say that taking two years to implement a design doesn't qualify me as the greatest web developer in the world... but I get there, don't I?
The site uses a nice thing called Jekyll and the code is in github for you all to peruse. I'll probably post some other entries with small details about that, to help people that might be trying to do the same thing. The comments have been migrated to Disqus, but you shouldn't see much difference.(more...)
In the eternal search for the Best Way To Do Things, I'm trying to do the unthinkable: write a whole, complete script before actually starting to draw the comic.
I'm not so sure this is actually a good idea, given that the process of creation for a comic seems to be intrinsically linked to drawing. It would seem more appropriate to do sketches and scripting at the same time, which is more or less what I've been doing so far. I do have an idea and some draft scripting, but it's usually not that much and when I'm actually drawing things change a lot.
So this is what's happening... I'm writing a script, a short one. I've explored a couple of ideas so far but none seem to what I'd like to do next.
On the journey to scripting aside from, well, a notepad, what seems to be working very nicely for me is Celtx. It's very fast and simple. It's supposed to be able to work with sketches and things like that, but I'm using it as a task-oriented word processor. Typing is fast, you just press tab to iterate between the typical structures in the script of a comic, and that's about it. It does generate nice looking PDFs too, which makes you look more professional.
PS: I try character drawing from time to time, but they all look more or less the same --I'm going to take that as meaning I've found 'my style'.
and another PS: Oh, I started also translating LIFE/interior to Spanish, just because.(more...)
Well it's been a few weeks without updates. I actually have a few pages almost finished, this time I just wanted to try to make sure they are a bit more coherent. Not sure if it will work, of course...
I'm having a bit of a conundrum here, well I would if I knew what the word conundrum actually means. Thing is, I've tried color with some very nice results but most of the time it doesn't feel right. I feel I really need to set on a small palette, maybe grays or shades of blue or something. For the time being I decided I'm going a bit back and using shades applied in Inkscape and pencil shading.
I'll continue practicing with watercolors to see where I can apply them safely.
Take a look at this:
Here, I had a lot of fun drawing it with the graphite pencil. Then I applied some ink as usual. After that I would normally just remove all pencil, either erasing or on the computer, but I figured I could try to take advantage of it and keep some shades of gray which give it a very nice look. Considering it's supposed to be part of a kind-of-gloomy scene, it feels right.
Above you can see the original pencil&ink work, quite draft. I scanned it and then removed pencil via Levels (2nd image), then added a kind of sepia background and some shading for the final image. It still needs a bit more work, a bit more shading but you get the idea.
Finally, above you can see yet another twist on the style. It's a pencil image, which as I've mentioned I enjoy drawing, to which I added a bit of ink (just a bit), and then scanned. On top of it I layered the basic sepia/brown colors you can see. It's simple and very fast, which is a bonus to lazy people like me.
Anyway, I'm going to update the last comic page I posted in LIFE/interior because I didn't like the color. I'll just remove some color. It might show up in your Feed reader, sorry about that. The next page is coming shortly after that.
Oh, the meaningful conclusion is this: I want to do what I enjoy the most, and that seems to be more about pencil and real paper than computers and watercolor, so far. Both using the computer and watercolor have a big drawback: they need a 'setup', kind of a chair space, sitting in a specific place, etc., while drawing panels with a pencil can be done almost anywhere.(more...)
I have an outline for the next page but somehow got distracted drawing with this graphite pencil. It's a lot of fun. Pencil doesn't really translate very well to the screen, so I did the trick with the auto levels of Mac OS X's preview and it looks better.
The pen is a Cretacolor Monolith, which is particularly interesting because it's essentially all graphite, no wood, but still feels like a normal pencil.
I've been doing some other sketches but maybe it's a bit too early to upload them, I'm thinking of a new character for the 3-panel strips (or similar) format.(more...)
I like to now and then, draw one of those three panel comics. It's really interesting how much you can say with only a few words. It's also fascinating how difficult it is to make it right.
Most of the time, the humor is so narrow that only a few people actually understand what's going on --and that doesn't mean they will all find it funny, which narrows the audience even a bit more.
Most of the 3-panel comics I follow have very well established characters, usually just two or three. What I wanted to write about is something that puzzles me: invariably, in the comics I like, you can identify the main characters easily and get to know their persona without needing to have them introduced first. It's as if they had always been there, always. Take Robby + Bobby as an example, he's managed to create two great characters. You can just read a strip and immediately understand it, even if there is absolutely no context.
My latest attempt, Paul the innovator, is probably only going to be funny for me and a few coworkers, as usual.
Paul is a so-called innovator in a corporate world. Still, I'd like it to be easily identifiable and funny for other people too, but the only way I can think of doing that is by writing a few strips to fully define the character. Which means, I'm not doing it right :).(more...)
Everybody approaches these holidays in a different way. I decided that, in order to avoid offending those with different religious sensitivities, I should choose a topic that everybody liked, no matter your origin and beliefs.
Hope you appreciate it. Next year will see the Spanish translation of my main webcomic, too, hence the bilingual message :).(more...)