News from April 2011

KAMEHAMEHA-Chooo

Apr 06, 2011

I hate spring. I have what pharmaceutical commercials call, “seasonal allergies” and whenever I go outside I feel like I’ve been shot in the face by whatever plant is growing, mostly trees. I know trees (probably) don’t have a thought process or emotions, but it damn well seems like they hate me and enjoy seeing me emit fluids from every hole in my face. Those smug tree bastards think they are so cool, sprouting flowers and growing leaves.

Nathan

Presidents

Apr 13, 2011

I’ve had this idea tabled since I finished Teddy Roosevelt choking a tiger. I couldn’t figure out what was funnier for Washington, brandishing a mini-gun or just laying down a wicked solo on the way across. Obviously I chose the guitar because I felt it was more American than the mini-gun. In my head I always hear the really poorly compressed “Guten Tag!” from Wolfenstein. I know you play as an American soldier trying to kill Hitler, but it still seems like a German thing to me. In my head Washington is playing the Team America theme.

Portal 2 is pre-loading right now and I couldn’t be more excited. I don’t really nerd out on many video games anymore, only ones that introduce some new mechanic or allow for more creative problem solving. I spend all day building websites and sitting in front of a computer, it takes something really ingenious to make me want to sit in front of one for another few hours. To illustrate how much I loved the first game so much I got gold in all the challenge maps. I’ll be absorbing as much of it as I can next Thursday and try to make a really good illustration of the co-op. I’ll have plenty to draw in with my friend I plan on playing with. We have a long history of murdering each other for laughs. The most noteworthy of these tendencies was in counter strike, it would start with a knife poke and escalate to an all out battle in the spawn. I have no assumptions this will be any different, and I just hope I can capture the anger/comedy/frustration/joy of it all on the 20th.

Nathan

Didn't See You There

Apr 20, 2011

So for this illustration, I made this giant elaborate fake test chamber full of traps and emancipation grids with this intricate planning and jumping, then half way through polishing up the details I noticed a logical flaw. I had a portaling surface right over the exit and all the crazy test I came up with became invalid. I think that pretty much sums up my respect for Valve creating all the puzzles in this game, especially the co-op campaign. I can not fathom the time and frustration it took testing and creating these puzzles. I couldn’t even come up with one decent chamber in 2D in illustrator.

Co-op is extremely satisfying when you get it right, and when you get it wrong it’s almost more fun. There are plenty of occasions where your partner will do something completely moronic, like right click instead of left click, and send you hurtling into a wall then splashing into a pit of acid. Some times they even murder you on purpose just because you’re doing so well in the chambers. Either way, death is a hilarious respite from thinking with 4 portals instead of two. I’m glad they added the ping tool to the game, otherwise it would have been a shouting match of “THERE! WHERE!? NO THERE!?!”

Nathan

Informative

Apr 26, 2011

I’m not really a big subscriber of infographics. I think they have a place in humor like the oatmeal and magazines where there’s some complicated engineering technique being explained. Magazines like popular science do this very well. I’ve seen some really informative graphics to help me understand things I wouldn’t have had a chance before, like a graphic explaining how the elliptical motor Mazda made for the RX8 and RX7 works. Actually seeing a cut away of the motor and explaining what each step of the motor’s stroke really did inform me visually.

It seems like more and more people feel like most all information should be visualized in this way. I’ve seen some pretty shitty infographics lately that are there just to exist, they do nothing in the way of trying to inform so much as just look cool. A truly unique and informative one takes a long time to accomplish and the effort that most people put forth isn’t really tapping the core of the problem, myself included.

I could claim that I made a crappy infographic as satire and that I spent tons of time making it crappy on purpose, but that would be sort of a lie I invested about about 8 hours of effort conceptualizing, drawing and re-conceptualizing the infographic infographic. I make a point to work as much as I need to so I can convey the concept I’m going for. I don’t want to create perfect art, I just want to create good enough art. Good enough to where you get the point and don’t take it so seriously that you miss the meaning. A picture of magneto bucket brigade’n ice cream into his mouth with metal spoons is funny with a quick vector approach and just sad with a gritty realistic one.

Nathan