New Logo for RPG Roundtable

October 4th, 2011

One of the projects I’m working on is to skin and promo the RPG Roundtable. So far I’ve redone the logo, created business cards and redone some of the icons. I’m really happy with how the logo turned out. Take a gander 🙂


This Shit is HARD

September 21st, 2011

So, last week was the first of Mock School! It went… well, it sputtered really. I sat down at the PC on Tuesday last week, made it through the first half of a three hour tutorial on Adobe Illustrator provided by the company I worked for. Now, I appreciate access to tutorials but the audio quality and pacing were really poor. I don’t need to spend 15 minutes going through how to save a file… sheesh. I then turned to actually using Illustrator and did a few doodles. I puttered out before the 3 hour mark and didn’t return to stuff at all last week.

Nope, not a great start.

So tonight, after struggling to wake up from a nap, I sat down with both Illustrator and Photoshop. I decided to forgo the tutorials for now since they seem to be a complete mental drain for me. I learned more tonight from trying out different things and reading a bit this afternoon on how to setup pressure sensitivity in the programs to take advantage of the Wacom’s abilities.  I completed one project, which resulted in a shitty segmented illustration of a flower. In each box I used a different brush type. It’s a technique I remembered using in a high school art class… It’s the process that’s important, not the final result… Well, that’s what I’m telling myself anyhow.

Regardless, the number one thing I learned is that creating something in Photoshop is going to be very different Illustrator. Obvious? Probably, but a good lessen to learn at the start… I’ve never actually had access to illustrator before this month 🙂

I’m also learning quite a bit about my own style of learning. Basically, I need something to work on, a problem that needs to be solved. Simply repeating steps in a process to do something, while useful to some, doesn’t seem to hold my attention much…

Aside from that I also find that I might need to get a bit more sleep…


Bumpity Road

September 10th, 2011

The Wifey pointed out to me that Monday is the 12th of September. As such, it’ll be the start of my ‘My Mock Return to School” or MMRS… 😛

Progress so far? Well, the computer is mostly up and running. Still having some issues with weird humming and the occasional squeal. Troubleshooting is ongoing… New replacement parts put us over budget a tad but I’m hoping we’re building a machine that will last a good chunk of time…

Regardless of the hardware issues, I’m moving ahead and getting the software and work space ready. So far Windows 7 is a LOT more user friendly than Vista and I’m glad I made the switch. I’ve also found that there is a need for dual monitor desktop backgrounds. I’m seriously thinking about making it a project 🙂

I’ve also obtained new glasses.  The new prescription and type of lenses, high index, is going to take a bit of time to get used to. The clarity is nice and I like the look of the frames. However, everything has a bit more curve to it than I’m used to and objects actually appear smaller than they once were. I’ve read around and it appears this is a normal transition, I just hope my brain adapts quickly to the new pair… I’m not sure I could draw a straight line at the moment.

Other than that, I’ve spent a lot of time cleaning and organizing various portions of the apartment. I’d like to think that this is just me getting ready for MMRS. However, if I’m completely honest, I’m feeling the changing of seasons this year more than I ever have in the past. The rapid approach of Fall and the immense thereafter of Winter has gotten me into a ‘nesting’ mood. I haven’t felt this way since living in Fargo. Weird, perhaps my body is saying the this winter may actually be one of deep snow and cold temps… I guess we’ll see

Foxy – Sketchy Sketchy

September 7th, 2011

I’m messing around with Windows 7 and seeing if I’m gonna have any problems with some of the programs I plan on using for art and whatnot. Here is a little ditty I did with the Wacom tablet and GIMP…

New PC Guts

September 4th, 2011

Late last week the replacement guts for my desktop machine arrived and I began, with the help of a friend, to assemble it. The install went rather smoothly though there were a few hiccups here and there. But, that’s to be expected on any build.

The specs are as follows:

CPU: Intel i5 2500 – It’s a quad core running at stock settings, 3.3 Ghz (3.7 Ghz turbo boost)
Memory: 16 GB of G.SKILL Ripjaws Series DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) memory
Motherboard: MSI P67S-C43 (B3)
Videocard: EVGA Geforce GTX 260 (Core 216) with 896 MB memory
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium (64-Bit)

I was amazed at how quickly Windows 7 installed on this machine and it chews through everything that I’ve thrown at it. It’s a good feeling

Still there are two issues that will need to be remedied going forward.

First, the system seems to run a little hot. I was hitting a CPU temp of 80C in Prime95 at full load. I stopped the tests when I hit that. Intel recommends an operating temp of no more than TCase temp of 72.6C. While I am aware there is a lot of debate/confusion regarding exactly what the TCase temp refers to, I’d rather not ever see those temps under normal operations. I’ve got about 2 weeks until the thermal grease finally settles in and that should lower the overall operating speed. I don’t plan to over clock the system so I was hoping the stock fan would be good enough. If not, I’ll save up my pennies to by an aftermarket cooler.

Secondly, since the fan on the old CPU was going it put off a lot of noise it masked the fact that my hard drive is making some rather disturbing squealing noises. Not clicking, squealing… ugh. So, I’m planning to order a replacement this weekend. I’ve found a good deal on a Western Digital Caviar Black 500 Gbps hard. Once this arrive I’ll reinstall the OS and really get the machine up and running with all my programs. I can’t wait!

I have done some testing on videogames and I’ve been really impressed with the performance. I’m getting around 75 fps in both Dragon Age: Origins and the new Deus Ex game with Vsync enabled at a resolution of 1028 x 1024. The temps during these games have never gone about 65C which I’ve been relieved to see.

Well, that’s enough ‘bragging’ on the computer for this fine Sunday morning… The Wifey is still sleeping so I actually can’t play on the PC yet. Hmmm… maybe I can convince her to move the bed to the living room so this won’t be an issue again…

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