How It’s Made

Lighting effects for the “Brain-drain” hive scenes

In response to Oarboar’s request last week for the down-low on the freakish lighting effects in recent strips, I put together a mini-tutorial on how I created the lighting effects for Miss Dewey’s “Catalogger” hive room.

It can be found here:

BritChick: Brickham City

New Direction, New Desktop

I’ve never played the game (not being much of a gamer), but I love those “hero renders” from the Batman: Arkham City game – the desaturated black & white with a single splash of muted color… Great stuff. Add to that the recent parody renders from TLG to pimp their Lego Batman 2 title, and I just had to make one of my own. To mark the new (but inevitable) direction the strip is taking to finish out year 2, I’ve done just that and added a new desktop pic to the Downloads and Member Downloads sections of the site.

Funny story with this one… I generally save the more advanced lighting effects for desktop images, partly because I’m still learning in that area, and partly because they often take longer to render. I’m talking render times of 30-40 minutes, compared to the 5-8 minute typical render times for each panel. Well, this one was over the top – so much so that my trusty Macbook Pro refused to even start the deed in the 4 hours I let it try. I set up my work laptop (a still respectable Lenovo W510) as a render node, and let it fly – it only got about 20% through the process after 40+ hours of rendering.

Enter my NEW work laptop, a Lenovo W530 with 32 GB of RAM, a fast SSD, and dual quad-core 3rd-gen i7’s running at 3.4 GHz. Picked it up at the office at 4pm, and by 5:30, it was my latest render node – which could successfully render the frame with the lighting effects!!! And it only took 38 hours to do it. 0_0

Since the render time was so precious on this image, I did a lot more in the Photoshop post-processing than I normally do. I might work up another tutorial page to describe the process.