This is not the San Diego Comic Con, it’s better. Smaller but better.

I had a blast and learned stuff.

They had a full schedule on Friday starting at 10:00. That meant I had to leave the house at 5:00 AM. I made good time through all the traffic jams in LA, Long Beach and Orange county until I slowed for traffic accident about 7 miles before Santa Fe ave 10 or 20 miles north of San Diego. One lane closed and traffic slowed to 5 miles an hour. Took 20 minutes to get around the blockage.

The first talk I attended was by Ryan Magnusson on Basics of Digital Illustrations. He did get into a side talk about working in digital art and how free over time was asked for and demanded at some of the companies. Also, work is being out sourced to Asia and he talked about the glass ceiling at the big houses. He stressed that shops are looking for people with specific talents, like inking. They don’t want artists that are versatile. A versatile artist can free lance (and know what the market will pay) and can quit and go work for someone else for higher pay, start their own business or try to move up in the ranks. The shops just want to pay the least they can. I think Indie publishing never looked so good.

Chris Fox gave a talk about 3 D printing under the name of Moving From 2 to 3 Dimensions. He had many samples to show. They were better than the home machine made things that I have seen, but still had lines and lumps in them. Chris said that, for jewelry he would go to a commercial site and have them make the object from a file he sent them. He could have it made in gold or stainless steel. Some shops will make a wax positive and then mold the object in gold or what you want it cast in. Other shops will laser sinter the object.

This being a smaller convention I was able to get some one on one time with an artist and heavy user of Photoshop, Tom Luth, along with some time with another person who knew the insides of Photoshop. With an engineering back ground I don’t think like an artist.

Simple problem, I have asked five digital artists what the multiply command does and I got seven answers. With Tom going over and over (I attended two sessions) I got a feel for what multiply does. I have problems with blending and these guys were a major help.

On Friday there was not a big crowd, but those that were there were hard core. I ran into two guys that drove in from Las Vegas, and I thought I had a rough drive.

A couple of digital artist commented that they liked to make their own brushes. The ones they showed were roughly round. They like the effect that that gave the edges of a line drawn with a rough shaped brush. Some of the personal brushes were squarish shaped. Having some exposure to traditional oil painting and a painter that said “I can do everything you can do with a air brush. With a number two sable, and faster.” I just use a round brush or a G4 pen, except for drawing grass or leaves. I bought a brush for leaves and grass and it saves a ton of time.

I got some serious information on how to shade in Photoshop that I can use in Clip Paint Studio.

Got more shading information form Anthony Washington. He likes to start with a blob shape and turn it into something. Something I saw Frank Kelly Freas do. Some of Tony’s drawings have over 500 layers (thick?). He showed how to take a picture of a cloud and make it into a fog background. He works with very short and hard time limits to get drawings done, so he needs all the short cuts he can find. He has a disk full photos he has taken of rocks/cliffs, clouds and buildings that he can modify and include in pictures.

In the panel on Saturday on Jack Kirby it was mentioned that Jack wanted to be an editor. I think he could have given Stan a run for his money. They talked about how the Hulk was gray in the first issue and green form there on. It was speculated that he was made green because Frankenstein’s monster was green. Was Kermit the frog green because of the Frankenstein monster?

There was a panel titled Killer B’s. It was not on Bees but a group of San Diego writers whose names can be construed as having a B in it. The four authors were Greg Bear, Gregory Benford, David Brin, and Vernor Vinge. Mr. Benford said he was 77 years old, that’s after he mentioned that he had four books in the works. That puts a lot of young authors to shame. Brin has a coming book I think it’s titled Chasing Shadows with a theme of everyone is so connected and knows what’s going on. It’s taken from a non-fiction work.

Greg Bear is doing a fantasy book The unfinished land.

David Brin mentioned that there are more sword makers now than in the middle ages.

Vinor Vinge is plotting a Singularity. A group of home owners out law the Internet of Things. What happens if they have to go into the connected world.

Gregory Benford wrote the Berlin Project. An alternate history book about the Manhattan Project. The General in charge of the Manhattan Project had to decide between separating uranium 235 from 238 by gas diffusion or centrifugal diffusion. He had the best scientist in the world arguing about which way was best. He chose gas diffusion and is now blamed for delaying the program a year.

In the book he chooses centrifugal diffusion and they drop the bomb on Berlin.

The poor General, and engineer. The brightest minds in the world can’t figure it out, but it’s the engineer that gets blamed when the project doesn’t work right.

Next year the Bowl of Heaven series ends with a book by Larry Niven and Benford.

There is an Author C Clark center for the Imagination at UCSD.

They got into a discussion about Libertarian and how the definition of the word has changed.

They agreed among themselves that Pohl Anderson wrote the first post singularity story.

Vinge wrote Bookworm Run. I remember reading that when it came out in Analog. They need to write more books like that. Benford read the story and recognized the author’s name. He walked down the hall to Vinge’s office at UCSD and met him.

Robert A. Heinlein came up with the word sci fi.

Brin, I think said that there is a 35 year limit on copywrite being held by a publishing company. He is going to offer all his books to the next company that gives him a contract, since his books are over 35 year with the publisher.

More on 3D printing. There are free models on Thingiverse. You take a model as a base and change it to what you want.

Heroforge is for gaming figures.

If you get a 3D printer get one with a metal frame. That’s his advice.

If you get a ABS printer get a heated bed and it should be enclosed. ABS warps. PLA is a better beginners material.

Mars rover.

2000 sols (Mars days) five years and 11 miles. Mars sky is not black because of dust.

The pictures he showed were color balanced so rocks would look like the rocks on earth.

Cameras have had pixel damage, but it is not bad.

Stay strong, write on.

Professor Hyram Voltage