Tourism of the Mind XII - Immersion and Book II cover
Update: Final (unless someone convinces me otherwise)
As usual Drupal has made it redder than it should be. But you get the idea. Fortunately it's not so shrunk that you can't see the droplets of sweat I painted on Chevenga, though the ones on Riji are pretty much lost.
This is the first piece of work on which I have used my brand new Wacom Bamboo Create tablet, by the way. It is a wonderful piece of equipment; it is, for instance, what in my musical keyboard world I think of as "velocity sensitive," i.e. the harder you press the pen into the tablet, the thicker the line, analogous to the loudness of a note when you hit the key hard. It will be even more wonderful once I really learn how to use it.
[Original post:] No it doesn't quite mean I'm doing more than dipping my toes in yet. It's a thought I have about how people consume Internet entertainment, and why my archive is a liability for attracting new readers.
Basically, we dip rather than immerse. We want something that lasts a few minutes tops--then onto the next. Maybe it's at work when on breaks, or sneaking one... maybe it's at home while doing Internet projects or research of whatever sort. What do we call it? "Surfing." "Browsing." We like to jump from one site to another, following our whims. And much of the entertainment we find satisfies that, delivering its impact in minutes if not seconds. Webcomics, videos, animations, blogs... they all do that.
However, when a person purchases a dead-tree book, or an ebook to load into their ereader, it's because they plan to immerse themselves, for an extended time, in an imaginative experience. (Same when they rent a movie.)
So--you can dip into a weblit posting shortish posts if you are caught up. But you cannot dip into something, say, like the PA archive. That requires immersion. And people don't want to do it on computers; they want to do it on ereaders. Because they associate the computer with dipping and the ereader with immersion.
The PA archive, some might associate with drowning.
Accordingly, I've decided I'm going to chop it up on the site into the same chunks I've already planned to chop it up into in ebooks; in other words, break PA into eight or nine, whatever I'm up to now, and make ak go dark. (Bookmark it if you want to hang onto it, folks. I think I will make the TOC into premium content, though, so there'll be an easy way to get to it for you Patrons.) So the PA page will become a TOC of titles, and if you click on one you get taken to it, its cover image (once it's done) and its TOC.
I'll do this maybe today, maybe later. I had... not exactly a request for it from a reader last night, but an urging in that direction. I'm also thinking I should run the idea past MeiLin in case there's something that it will screw up or be screwed up by that she knows and I don't.
With any luck that will make the mondo archive less intimidating.
Now here is a very preliminary image for the cover of PA Book II : Mourning Dye, which covers Chevenga's time in the Mezem of Arko. VERY preliminary... there's no Mezem or crowd or Ring surroundings yet, just the figures and some sand that I don't like and plan to replace. Also Chevenga's missing some things, like the chain that will be in his left hand, his crystal, his chains and maybe a few other things. Oh and I forgot "Book II" and will add. Riji, however, is complete, and I'm really happy with how he turned out.
I had to take things up a level even for this image so far. First of all, I've never done a DAZ image with two figures in it before, so I had to figure out how. I've never painted so much of a piece of clothing as either of them are wearing; Riji's rags were easy because they're a) rags, so it doesn't matter if lines are straight or things look random and b) black, so very little shading is required. Chevenga's outfit? Oh what a PITA.
See, when I do computer art, I avoid actual painting as much as I can, for two reasons: I don't have anything fancy like a Wacom tablet, so I just use the mouse, and, I don't consider myself good at it. What I do is use photos as every opportunity and enhance them by painting. (What PhotoPaint and Photoshop were originally intended for.) But I couldn't do that here. I have learned new things about doing it just in this one little segment of this one project.
Anyway--imagine hard to put that crowd there--here it is.
All right... after more work, here's something much more like what the final will be. I still have to file more digits of the serial number off the real place that's a photo of, Chevenga is still missing some things and there's a whole lot more fussing I'm bound to do, but we're getting there.
One thing I did that I like is bring the figures much closer, so Riji now really dominates, and you can see better how he's preening. It meant losing Chevenga's hands, which are fairly expressive, but then bringing him closer is more dramatic, too. All comments welcome.