Anyone remember this being on my wishlist? I have it now a friend helped me buy it from New Zealand! The original wishlist entry, for posterity’s sake:
J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. This edition only please – that means a paperback, standard-sized print, with illustrations by Alan Lee. If you have spotted this book on a store shelf in Singapore, or own a near-mint copy, please get in touch!
The reason why I want it so badly is because I have searching for 3 years for this edition of The Hobbit to match my core Middle-earth book collection, which takes pride of place on my bookshelf but has a conspicuously absent member. Three years! I have even bought The Hobbit from online sellers only to find that they have sent me the wrong edition.
looks really silly next to this:
I’m still alive.
More to follow in December.
WordPress’ new distraction-free writing space is truly a pleasure to use. But the font in the main interface has turned into Arial for me, which feels…colder. And the spell-check button in the post editor is still in full color while everything else is grayscale, which is pretty annoying.
So I’ve been learning some C++ for slightly over a year now. I still can’t do much more than read and write from files, but hey, I know what a class is now!
- cin.ignore() is not to be used indiscriminately!
- After closing, inf.clear() is useful //ifstream inf
- Open and close files within the loop if you need the file pointer to go back to the top with each pass
- In case of assertion failure/buffer overflow errors:
- have you initialized things that need to be initialized?
- have you tried replacing strcpy_s with strncpy? (“it just works”)
- Remember to close files after opening them
- When in doubt, add trace printouts everywhere so you know what’s going on
My logic or methods are probably totally against coding best practices. Also, you may notice that the Japanese-which-I-didn’t-know-how-to-pronounce-until-last-week (thanks for remedying that, _randName_) blog title is gone from the site, and that I finally put up a header image. It was liberating to finally get rid of those default blue leaves, but right now the header is just a rather badly balanced color-fest.
Okay, I just zoomed out. It’s just a bad picture. I’ll replace it with something better soon.
Edit: Right, I’ve changed the header image to a blurred crop of this photo.
Also did some reshuffling and renaming of the Projects and Tutorials pages. I don’t think anyone knew they existed before I switched to this layout.
Bear with me: this is a constant gripe of mine. Still, whenever I see something like this going on and get annoyed, I remind myself how much more I’m learning by not giving in to the photocopy machine ethos, and I feel a bit better (not that it will last when my result slip comes back with a ‘C’)
I have no issue with photo reference. I think photography is an amazingly liberating and helpful tool for all kinds of artists. What I do dislike is copying the photo blindly without taking into consideration the intent of the piece.
A Recipe for Instant Art
You will need:
- A camera, preferably digital
- An overhead projector (optional)
- Models (optional)
- Lights (optional, strongly encouraged)
- Pencil (2B) or thin vine charcoal
- Paint (oil is best to ensure the final work has an artsy flair)
- Support (canvas preferred)
Preparation Time: 1 day ~ 3 weeks
- Come up with a concept, and shoehorn it into a contemporary context – preferably one which you have easy access to (e.g. your messy kitchen).
- Draw three thumbnails and pick the one you like most.
- Scout for a location and conduct a photo shoot. If you considered lighting in step 2, arrange lights as necessary prior to shoot and do not experiment with lighting once shoot has commenced. If done correctly, you should leave with precisely one sharp, well-focused image.
- Make A4 print of image. If using a digital camera, be sure to print with an office color laser printer and ensure that a strange color shift is present before proceeding to next step.
- Proceed to paint image onto support. A paint-by-numbers approach is especially useful. Cropping is allowed but only use if absolutely necessary (e.g. you have ordered the wrong size of canvas). Take care to copy your photograph slavishly and always draw contours, not three-dimensional forms! Remember to follow the colors of the photograph as closely as you can. Doing otherwise diminishes the verisimilitude of your final piece.
- Allow painting to dry. In the meantime, you should write an artist’s statement about the painting. Include two or more of the following words/phrases for maximum impact: “mimetic”, “built environment”, “contemporary”, “disengagement”, “appropriation”, “question”, “social mores”.
- Exhibit and win awards at contemporary art shows.
The following steps can be performed between steps 4 and 5. They are optional, but they will shorten the preparation time drastically, especially if you are not a skilled draughtsman.
- Make print of image onto projector slide.
- Project image onto canvas.
- Using pencil or charcoal, carefully trace outline of photograph – including highlight and shadow areas – until you have something that resembles a contour map.
- Seal line drawing to avoid accidental smudging while painting.
Q. I started painting, but realized that I don’t have a good ‘feel’ for my subject. Should I do some studies to familiarize myself with it?
A. Resist the temptation. Extraneous studies will only slow you down. If producing the painting for school examinations, you may be required to produce studies; in this case, avail yourself of a lightbox. Remember the Golden Rule: copy contour, don’t think about form.
Q. I’ve started analyzing the scene I’m painting! I’ve come up with ideas for lighting and edge treatment to convey the forms and concepts more clearly (I think). Should I still follow the photograph?
A. Yes. You do not want to waste all the effort you have put in so far.
Yujian and I have just finished work on EMBclient. It’s a little program that grabs announcements from our school’s online notice board system, with offline caching for messages that you’ll need to refer frequently to, and it syncs with the (horrendously ugly) web version because it can.
I didn’t actually code (I tried though!), just helped get it from this:
A substantial improvement, if you ask me. Could be better, of course, but…
Anyway, you can get EMBclient from http://bit.ly/getembclient or look for it on SourceForge.
Tested with: Windows Vista Home Premium, Photoshop CS3
I loaned a Spyder 2 express from the school, with the intention of making my monitor color more accurate because I’ll be doing a lot of digital art this year. It was pretty good to begin with, in my opinion, but I just wanted to be sure…
I’m not complaining about the Spyder itself – very easy to use, and most of my screen did look better after calibration. Except the blues in color-managed applications like Photoshop. Behold:
So how did I get my (0, 0, 255) blues to look like their normal selves again?
The Somewhat Lacking Fix
Go to View > Proof Setup then check Monitor RGB. Mine was at Working CMYK before I changed it. Basically what this does is let you quickly change the color space you are working in. I think.
Now when you press Ctrl-Y to toggle the proofing, your colors should revert to their normal sRGB selves. The problem with this is that the color picker still displays the whole stretch of pure blues as purple, which is not so much a problem for photo editing but a huge issue for digital art. Which brings me to the…
The “Dirty Hack” (as described by a friend)
This is essentially breaking the path to the calibrated color profile created by the Spyder. This probably makes color-managed apps unable to find it, and so they revert to sRGB or whatever other default Windows is set to use.
Navigate to C:\windows\system32\spool\drivers\color and look for the profile that the calibration software created. In my case it’s called Spyder2express.icm. Either a) delete, b) rename or c) move to another folder (I renamed mine). The effect was instantaneous for me. I Alt-Tabbed back into Photoshop and my blues were back.
The Ideal Solution
Haven’t found this yet. Feel free to share.
I cleaned out and painted my cubicle during Open House, in between choir performances and miscellaneous rubbish. Most of my breaks will be spent here, so I thought I might as well make it more comfortable to be in. Tingchih and Weichuan very kindly let me use their leftover paint for free, so now my cubicle is actually quite nice to be in.
Necessities: kettle, tea leaves (not shown), extension cord.
took over the cubicle that previously belonged to senior Lingxue (Animation God Sr. – her position will be taken this year by Ruofan).
It was pretty dirty when I first arrived. There was no rag handy, so I managed to clean a little bit with tissue and water. Proceeded to clear out the junk, sweep the floor (disgusting) and take the instant noodles (they expire in April). I carried her locker to the adjacent room and swapped it out for mine.
Also important: food, computer, art materials.
I also removed the dirty yellow beanbag. In hindsight I could have just put a cover on it or something…but my main uses for this computer are playing music and searching for ways to salvage watercolor spills, both of which only take at most 10 minutes at a go. I figure I can just sit in the seiza position when I need to use the computer.
I wonder how many coats of paint it will take to whitewash the purple wall at the end of the year.
There’s not much to post about today. The school holidays have started, though this year’s hols are far busier than ever before. Choir practices just ended last week, but they’re having a chalet tomorrow and I haven’t prepared the stuff I should have learnt for it. The computers are having a karaoke outing on the 18th, the prospect of which seems quite daunting. I’ve never done karaoke. If my singing sucks it will be twice as bad because I’m now a chorister. And how interesting can listening to other people sing be? It might be all right for half an hour, but hours at a go just seems strange.
In LOTRO news, my hobbit minstrel Cedia reached Level 16 today, and I finally ventured out of the Shire to Bree-land. I found a cosmetics dealer and finally changed her out of her previous outfit.
After spending 16 levels in the Shire, Bree is a big change.
Cedia lives on Elendilmir, in case anyone wants to join up.
All right, I lied. I’m not releasing two versions.
Vaarsuvius Wallpaper Pack
Current version: 1.0.1
The following are wallpaper-sized versions of a simple illustration I did over the past few days. The character featured is Vaarsuvius, elven mage of unidentifiable gender from Rich Burlew’s webcomic The Order of the Stick. Available in 2 versions each for standard 1024×768, 1280×960 and widescreen 1280×800, 1600×900.
- Fixed unclear collar. Thanks to Glass Mouse for pointing it out.
- Initial release.
Known bugs (spoilered)
- Highlights on skin (they don’t look good – but thanks anyway, Dispozition)
Glass Mouse, Dispozition, Kaytara, Zanaril, EvilDMMk3, half-halfling, Mercenary Pen, Irbis, zyborg, TheArsenal (?), licoot, Discord, Veros, Kumori_Ekisu, Lira, TheSummoner, Herpestidae, Serpentine.