I have always been interested in doing art. Anything from painting miniatures, drawing, making websites, writing stories and running tabletop roleplaying games. I have also always been incredibly self conscious (except maybe the website and GM thing) and reluctant to show anyone my art.
The last time I created visual artwork such as drawing, I was a teen to very early 20s. I would draw, mostly gaming characters or scenes, on very cheap art pads that cost way too much. I even won a trophy in high school for an anti-drug poster (it was 3 x 4 foot drawing of death, holding a staff sized needle and a list of cities on a gravestone). I even won a gift certificate for it to Black Angus (I gave that to my parents for their anniversary).
When I was 19, I got together with my hubby who is way more artistic then me. He has always encouraged me to draw, write stories, etc. I have on occasion bought an art tablet and tried to draw, but then quickly throw anything I did in the shredder. The website design and storytelling are the only things I kept up on. I always was hard on myself, especially when I saw the artwork Wolsey did. That being said, he was always supportive though and strove to get me to do more.
For the last few years I have really wanted to draw again. I tried an artpad, but that didn’t work out. Then I have played around with photoshop a bit with images that were able to be used by public. I played around with a few different things and I discovered I liked using 3d programs to create art. The fact you can create a character or scene in 3d, and then save it for future use really appealed to me.
I have considered doing a webcomic in the past, but the thought of drawing every single scene from scratch and making the characters look the same each time seemed daunting. It is why I played with photoshop for awhile, hoping maybe I could use that to cut the grind. I discovered though with the 3d programs that you can keep your assets, move them around, reskin them for different clothing, poses, etc and your initial time investment still remains. Making it easier to create scenes regularly involving the same characters. I think I like that idea.
So I have been scouting out the vast numbers of art programs. I was really surprised by it. Ranging from simple little things to huge programs that can match anything Pixar does. What really caught me off guard was the prices and what you get for them. It isn’t a straight, the more you pay the more you get. Some programs cost thousands of dollars while others are free, and can do the same things.
After a lot of looking I am focusing on three different programs. The base program for of them come free, but have various learning curves. All three use the same vein of theory though, so skills learned with one will help with the others.
DAZ3D, a free 3d art program that you can buy (or create with other tools) assets, move them around, reskin them, make them look nice and then render them into images. At first I wasn’t so sure about it because a lot of the art I have seen isn’t the level I want to get, so I didn’t think I would get what I wanted out of it. However, after looking at what people have done, I am wrong, it is a very powerful system.
Yes those are both created in DAZ3D
Poser is similar to DAZ with a few more bells and whistles. This costs a good bit more money if you want the pro version (but you can do more with it). I figure if I like DAZ and the little investment I put into there, I might consider adding Poser to my portfolio. There was a 40% sale right now which is why i was considering it immediately, but there is Black Friday type sales coming up in a few months. If I continue with DAZ then maybe I will hit a sale and get it.
Blender, a full blown 3d system that can render movies on PIXAR’s level. It is a completely free, open source software and I am blown away by what I have seen (some of the stuff I wouldn’t notice not being real).
That being said, of course it is going to have the hardest learning curve of all of them. The advantage is its free, the community is very warm and welcoming and there are a LOT of tutorials for beginners. This is my ultimate end game thing I want to use. Like Maya or other programs on this level though, its not something you get as proficient as I want in a short time period.
I figure DAZ/Poser will work well for a helping me in the beginning. It is also easier to push something out that can then be imported into Blender to do more advanced things with. So for now I think I will play with DAZ and Blender, get some tutorials going and learn this. I figure I still have a good 30+ years before I die, maybe I can get good at it.
So you will be seeing probably some horrible artwork. I normally would hide things, but I found its easier for me to post things to my website then actually show people in real space. This will force me to get better, or forever live with the starting crap I do :). So expect to see me talking about tutorials, showing my art, and maybe getting better at it.
I was thinking I need to post about my goals in 2017. I have been thinking a lot lately about my life. I have a great life, I am married to the greatest guy ever, 25 years this year! Everyone does their New Year Resolutions, so I guess I will put my goals out. These are just goals; the details will change as we go. They are kept vague so I can adjust and I don’t get frustrated too much, which will end up with me just quitting. Oh and no I am not going be a “better person” that stuff is bullshit. I am who I am, there is nothing wrong with me.
Physical Health: I will work on my health. Not by getting out there and losing a hundred pounds, working out three times a week, etc. We have seen that is hard for me to do that and I will put some attempt instead I want to focus on sleep. This is my single biggest problem. This is what I need to work on. I also am going to work on my current physical ailments and I aim to get all of them looked out in the first six months of the year.
Mental Health: I need to clear out distractions in my mind. The low-level anxiety that is spewed out by our news and social media. Don’t get me wrong, I am a social warrior white knight and that won’t change, but I need to take care of myself. I need to discard toxic people, toxic websites, toxic anything. I also think I am going to meditate more on my butsudan.
Time: The deaths of my parents last year were a wake-up call. I have less time in front of me probably then I do behind me. I have a lot of things that are spinning wheels. I don’t have a big plan on how to fix time, I just know I need to do it. Mostly I need time for myself, and this may help my mental health item above.
Hobbies: I have several things I want to explore that include writing, computer generated/3d art, photography, continuing my YouTube channels, roleplaying games, and video games. These items are my focus right now in various levels of pursuit. There are a lot of gaming like things I think I may drop though. As I work this out I will post more about it.
Relationships: Just to be with my wonderful husband as much as possible. Everything else is negotiable.
This isn’t a super in-depth list intentionally, I just want to do generalities, that way I don’t judge myself harshly if I do poorly, or to get a big head if it goes great. I think the one other big thing I want to do is just journal more here, and AccidentallyGay.com at the very least.
Well, even though I am tired a lot from working, evidently my current job is less draining then my higher end prior job. I feel like doing things. I am running Shadowrun fairly regularly, I am starting to collect Warhammer 40k (and will start playing when I get my army built up enough), and I am considering a D&D or some other “easy running” game for Sundays.
I wasn’t sure if I wanted to get into Warhammer, but Vince and Chuck have gotten me interested. So interested in fact that I bought a Space Marine squad and Captain (Space Marines because they are a good neutral army to start with). These are the first figs I have bought and began to paint in 20 years. Also I just noticed how bad my eyes are, I am going to have to buy one of those lighted magnifying setups so I can paint, so I can keep my lines straight.
I decided to play a no-name Chapter. I don’t want a Chapter of Marines that has a specific paint scheme, I want to paint all different types of colors, above is the first squad painted about 3/4 of the way, of course after getting this far I have decided to paint my future Marines in German Wehrmacht colors (color scheme depending on squad). But I can always add four extra standard Marines painted differently if I need to.
I do plan on collecting a sizable Space Marine force, and then a second army that I am debating on. Once that is underway I want to also collect Bolt Action (World War II miniature game) and then finally Warhammer Fantasy. If nothing else I really like painting figs (and they will only get better from here).
I also want to play some Song of Blades, I need to pick up some generic fantasy figures for that though.
One other hobby I have gotten into is expanding my Youtube experience by opening a channel called “Things You Should Know”. Basically it will be short 5-10 minute videos on different subjects such as accounting/auditing, government workings (I find a lot of misinformation here), historical things, biography and gaming (such as reviews of game systems, gaming techniques, etc). I put the first one up last week. I am working on a sizable list of future videos, should have them regularly starting sometime this week.
I posted my first video for the channel. I talk about the common myth that we pay a flat tax rate and thus if we get a raise, sometimes we actually lose money because of taxes. Fortunately for all of us, that isn’t true.