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Ep. 22, Page 17
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Comic 1643 - Ep. 22, Page 17

13th Jun 2014, 3:48 AM in Episode 22 :: Save My Place | Load My Place
Average Rating: 5 (2 votes)

Author Notes:

smbhax 13th Jun 2014, 3:48 AM edit delete
This was the second attempt at this page, done in a frenzy of super-late drawing and erasing and drawing—which I think is a mode I should try to get into more, except that I have to figure out how to do that while also getting decent amounts of sleep. : P But there's a certain mindset in that crunch mode that sometimes helps, because I know I need something better than the last try, and I know I don't have much time to do it, so I know I need something very pure and clear yet also interesting, and I give up trying to think out and construct a scene carefully in my head, and just start letting figures arrange themselves on the page, and keep erasing them and starting over until they start to fit themselves into a dynamic layout; sort of giving up a level of conscious control over the composition, I guess. I've been flirting with that mindset a bit in the previous scene, in the spacial relationship between Selenis and the Margrave—the previous page was probably the most abstract I let it get, and I think that design was probably the best of that bunch, although it could have been executed more vigorously—but the yardstick for it so far for me has been a couple consecutive pages way back in episode 18, when Selenis was in the General's office: the two pages starting here; I'd been struggling with how to arrange the two around his desk in his tiny office, when I realized that I didn't have to limit myself to straight lines and fixed scales and distances and perspectives: I could bend and pull space a little to get a more interesting composition. At the time I worried a little that the figures in those two pages came out a little too cartoonish, I suppose as part of the response to realizing I could stretch things a little, but still they've endured in my mind as some of my most successful A* compositions. I wonder if I was low on sleep when I did those, too. : o

So anyway I'm going to put off part two of the pen inking article again because that requires photos and analysis and a little thinking. : P I will though drop a news link for you: Paraplegic in robotic suit kicks off World Cup (BBC), which is a follow-up to another BBC article I mentioned a month or so back that was talking about how they were going to have a paralyzed person walk out in an exosuit and kick a ball to start this World Cup—it seems to have come off okay, although the footage I was able to find doesn't show as much as one might have liked. This other video has even less of the actual kick (why??) but does show training sessions, with a paralyzed person walking, with some additional support, using the exosuit; it may not look that impressive to see a person walking unsteadily with clunky armatures strapped to their legs, but when you remember that said person actually cannot move their legs on their own, and is doing it here with the help of a mechanical suit that is reading their mind, it becomes a little mind-boggling to think about.

The BBC article goes into some detail on the set-up: how the suit has sensory skin against the soles of the pilot's feet, and that, combined with readings from their brainwaves picked up by the special helmet they're wearing, tells it what action is wanted by the pilot; and how it provides sensory feedback to the arms of the pilot, which they will learn to "feel" as their legs. Man!

The guy leading the project is Brazilian neuroscientist Miguel Nicolelis, of Duke University, and in fact his pioneering work with teaching monkeys to move mechanical arms (via joysticks) is an important part of Wikipedia's "brain-computer interface" article that I referenced a while back in a blog entry about neural interfaces and how they relate to A*.

I don't think Selenis has an implant for playing soccer, though.

Uh and if you want to see the first attempt at today's page, well, I'll link you to it, but be warned: it is extremely weak. : P *That's* the kind of drawing that happens when don't keep making myself erase and redraw until something dynamic starts to happen—I get just a "well here is this scene." : pp


cattservant 13th Jun 2014, 4:12 AM edit delete reply
No wonder they were walking!
smbhax 14th Jun 2014, 4:38 AM edit delete reply
Good point!
moizmad 13th Jun 2014, 10:36 AM edit delete reply
I still think she's better off with the camel.
smbhax 14th Jun 2014, 4:38 AM edit delete reply