Issue 7 - Page 26 (Back Cover)

21st Dec 2018, 5:00 PM in Into the Darkness - Part 3
Issue 7 - Page 26 (Back Cover)
Average Rating: 5 (12 votes)
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Author Notes:

Steven-Vincent 21st Dec 2018, 5:00 PM edit delete
Well, that's it, folks. We have come to the end of the Liberty Lass series. I know this will come as a surprise, so I want to offer an explanation.

I love these characters and I love writing this story. But I just cannot continue doing the artwork. It takes like 2 weeks (if that) to write a script and then 6 months of agony plus hundreds to thousands of dollars in virtual resources to do the artwork. I enjoyed it to some degree early on, but doing the computer art is just not where my love is -- my heart is with the writing. This is why I have said all along, I am a writer, not an artist.

But I might have been able to struggle along, until I hit this issue. The giant battle scene in the city pretty much broke me. It's one of the last bits I did, because I knew it would be hard to render. But long render times aren't the half of it. That scene, with all the characters, vehicles, and buildings in it, was so big that it regularly crashed DAZ studio while I was trying to work on it. I'd get characters all posed and then hit 'save' and CRASH -- I'd have to do it all over again. I'd hit render and CRASH. Multiple times it did not just crash DAZ -- it crashed my whole computer, which is a high-end gaming rig.

I therefore concluded by the end of that scene, which took me months to complete thanks to all the crashes and slow render times, that doing artwork for this comic was no longer viable. I have scripts written through issue 11 or 12, and a GREAT story planned (the "Trial of Liberty Lass" was going to start in issue 9, wherein Kludge was going to sue her for all the damage to his truck and property from Issue 5). But I could not face the idea of a courthouse, jurors, witnesses, and all that other stuff -- my computer would never have been able to handle it.

And so I have had to sadly admit to myself that, although I love writing LL, I simply cannot do the artwork for it anymore. Therefore, this issue is the end. Honestly, if it had not been the final issue of the arc, I would have stopped on issue 6 and given up. But since it was only ONE issue and since half of it was shot against a blank background (which was easy to do), I soldiered on. But no more. This is the last artwork I will do.

I hope everyone enjoyed it. And it's not all bad news. I am currently working on a fantasy novel. In fact, because I'm too stupid to ever do anything small or manageable, I'm working on book one of what I think will be a 5-book fantasy series. And the main character is a 16 year old girl with an 8 year old little brother. So in some sense, the spirit of LL and TJ will live on. (Although otherwise these are very different characters.) Of course it will be many years before I publish them, if I ever do.. but at least novels let me do what I love (write). And in the mean time maybe I can use DAZ to make my own covers. You never know.

So long, and bee good.
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MK_Wizard 21st Dec 2018, 6:38 PM edit delete reply
Such a shame. It was a great read, but I understand why you ended it and least it ended on a great note with the heroine being saved. Who knows? Maybe someday, someone will pick up the mantle.
DLKmusic 21st Dec 2018, 8:15 PM edit delete reply
I agree with MK, this was an awesome read, and on one hand it's breaking my heart that it's stopping, but on the other I see your point. if your heart is in the writing, that's where your efforts should be as well.

You have a solid base of fans now, so if you do decide to start something less ambitious, or maybe co-create with another artist, please let us know!!!! I wish you both joy and success in your endeavors, my friend.

So long Liberty Lass, you were loved!
Brian 21st Dec 2018, 8:51 PM edit delete reply
This was a fantastic series. One of my favorites, and I always looked forward to the next page. Might I suggest serializing your novel on Tapas?
Steven-Vincent 21st Dec 2018, 9:53 PM edit delete reply
The book(s) won't be ready for a long time. I write as I go, without much pre-plotting, but that means I won't know if the story is going to work until it's done.
Dragonrider 21st Dec 2018, 10:22 PM edit delete reply
Best of luck I have played with the DAZ Universe and understand how one tiny wrong setting brings frustration and tears. Hope to see your paper and ink works down the road.
Steven-Vincent 22nd Dec 2018, 1:34 PM edit delete reply
It will be a while (as in several years), but I will be sure to let people know when the novels are done.
el848484 22nd Dec 2018, 10:44 AM edit delete reply
Oh NO! Our disappointment must be nothing next to yours.

Do you know the old Big Little Books? Thick books with small pages, text on the right and a picture on the left.
BeeMKay 22nd Dec 2018, 12:03 PM edit delete reply
I'm sad to see Liberty Lass go, but I understand your reasons. Thank you for sharing her adventures with us, and I'll hope to still see you around in the 3D community. <3
revzet 22nd Dec 2018, 5:17 PM edit delete reply
Sad to see this ending :(. I enjoyed reading though, thanks for a great comic!
Steven-Vincent 22nd Dec 2018, 8:44 PM edit delete reply
Thanks, Rev.... and thanks for doing that fan art all those months ago. It was so cool to have someone do fan art of my comic. :)
DizzasterJuice 23rd Dec 2018, 3:45 AM edit delete reply
Well that makes me sad to see you leaving, but I do understand your frustration. I had the same crashing problems when I tried to go to iRay so I went back to 3delight and haven't had those problems since. In iRay I was having problems at 6+ characters in a scene but I have no crashing at all with 3delight up to 30 characters (I did a scene with 40+ and I think I remember that it crashed maybe twice) but I do get some lag above 15-20 or so.

Have you tried using Scene Optimizer? A lot of people using iRay swear by it, but I've never tried it.
Steven-Vincent 23rd Dec 2018, 7:27 AM edit delete reply
My crashing was not occurring during rendering but during scene setup. So I am not sure iRay can be blamed on that, as it's not like DAZ could know while setting up the scene which rendering engine I will use and only crash if I'm planning to use iRay. 90% or more of the resources in that scene were retrofit to iRay from the older models, so it's not really even possible to argue that the newer models, being higher in poly count, were doing it. NC, LL, Dawson, Dawson's partners, three of the four cops, the bystanders, the set, and the AEGIS heli-tank were all pre-iRay objects. I believe only TJ and the lady cop protecting him were 7th gen objects, in fact. And maybe 1 of the cars.

As a matter of fact, I'm not sure DAZ crashed much on me *during* the render... because I would look through the camera and then delete everything that was not visible once the scene was posed. But while posing it, I could not delete things until everything was positioned and that's when most of the crashes occurred. Almost always right before or as I tried to save. Or, I would get a 2 hour render done and realize that I had deleted something by accident that should have been in the shot and now I have to reload the entire scene, re-delete (except for that) and then render again.

So, yeah... it's not just iRay that was the problem, although iRay is more expensive for sure on system resources.
DizzasterJuice 23rd Dec 2018, 2:45 PM edit delete reply
Same here. My crashing never occurred during rendering but it was during scene setup, usually when rotating the view cube. Changing the view style in the Pose&Animate window from NVIDIA iray or texture shaded to smooth shaded helped only a little bit which led me to believe it's a shader problem as opposed to a texture or mesh problem. Researching it led me to believe that the converter I was using was probably at fault.

All of this, combined with the fact that you can't tile textures in iray (I do most of my own textures and I like to tile some of it), was too much to deal with and I ended up giving up on iray altogether.
Steven-Vincent 23rd Dec 2018, 3:05 PM edit delete reply
I never, ever, used iRay in the pose/animate windows except as a quick lighting check. Always had it on texture shaded for setup. Still crashed regularly.

At any rate, the art was never what I really wanted to do, so I am not inclined to try and find a bunch of workarounds for it. When shooting scenes on the simpler sets for the first few issues was fairly easy I was willing to put up with it. But there is just no way I can do what is in my mind's eye for the future stories in DAZ, at least not without a lot of fighting and cursing.
Centcomm 24th Dec 2018, 1:07 AM edit delete reply
i do a lot of cursing.. and fighting.. i also have a strict cap on the number of people in a scene.
ShadowCat 23rd Feb 2019, 1:09 PM edit delete reply
Crowds? I feel the pain. Were you keeping subd enabled on characters? Disabling subd, using instancing for crowd members, reducing texture sizes and reusing textures (if everyone has a unique 3-4K eye texture and 4K hair texture that's gonna be hell on your computer), and removing textures for channels that don't improve the asset at a distance can cut down on the pain and suffering and technical instability.

I also tend to reuse bump/normal/spec maps across figures who share a UV, and using diffuse multipliers on the same skin and hair textures (at a reduced resolution) for background characters.

I'm sure you've noticed Daz stuff is far more resource intensive than your typical AAA game asset. If you run into problems while doing art with multiple characters in the future, maybe these suggestions will help? Unless of course, you've already tried them.
Steven-Vincent 23rd Feb 2019, 8:13 PM edit delete reply
Already tried a lot of them... but thanks for the feedback.

I won't be doing DAZ again any time soon. Maybe by the time I pick it up again we'll be able to do the crowd on Super Bowl Sunday. ;)
tautaula 10th Jun 2019, 11:21 PM edit delete reply
I wonder if you can cheat the count down, such as perhaps using single-object crowds? One item, but it looks like a group of people?

Then again, for all I know none of those look right.
Steven-Vincent 14th Jun 2019, 2:36 PM edit delete reply
Those kinds of things exist but only work in distant shots.
DizzasterJuice 23rd Dec 2018, 2:55 PM edit delete reply
In short, what I'm saying is that it has nothing to do with high poly counts or even texture sizes, but more to do with the shaders getting messed up during the conversion process, which you said involves 90% of your work.
Centcomm 23rd Dec 2018, 11:20 PM edit delete reply
aww i'm sorry to hear that HUGS Ill miss this a lot.
Comic Fan 24th Dec 2018, 12:21 AM edit delete reply
I too am sad to see the series end! But I get it totally, and quite frankly, I'm not surprised at all. It's easy to underestimate the sheer amount of work needed to do a good job in any sort of animated or digital art, while also telling a compelling story!

But what you have accomplished is amazing and you should be proud.

I wish you the best of luck and I hope your writing brings you a lot of success and satisfaction. You certainly have a great command of the essentials necessary for excellent and engaging storytelling. That is your forte, and I hope you continue to leverage your skills to their fullest.

Best of luck to you. Merry Christmas and a productive and happy 2019 to you and yours.
Steven-Vincent 24th Dec 2018, 8:03 AM edit delete reply
Thanks for the kind words.

One issue with the CGI is that the story took me to places I just could not realistically go with the CGI artwork.

Now, that said, I have had one of the artists here offer to do the line art for this series so that it can continue. We're still discussing it and I haven't made any decisions yet. But the 1st thing I would do is finish up the script for issue 12 and then send the artist all 5 of the upcoming issues and make sure it is something he feels like he wants to draw. Again, crowds and things like that are no less difficult to draw than to animate.

No promises right now, and the art would clearly be dramatically different. We'll see...
el848484 25th Dec 2018, 6:56 AM edit delete reply
Hope this works out. If you set up a Patreon I for one would sign right up.
Fan 28th Dec 2018, 10:21 AM edit delete reply
I have loved reading your comic so far. Have you thought of looking to see if you get someone else to do the virtuals?
Steven-Vincent 28th Dec 2018, 11:50 AM edit delete reply
Someone has offered to do B&W visuals for me.

However, the problem is that the story is already long enough to go on for at least another 7-8 issues if not more, with no good stopping point between here and the end of what I had planned. That is a 4+ year commitment. I'm not sure I can commit to that and I don't know that I feel comfortable asking someone else to commit to it if even I am not sure I can.

I think my time will probably be better spent working on my novels.
chk 31st Dec 2018, 10:35 AM edit delete reply
Thanks for a wonderful comic. You will be missed.
Steven-Vincent 31st Dec 2018, 3:16 PM edit delete reply
Thanks for the kind words.
Cuddle Lion 2nd Jan 2019, 8:43 PM edit delete reply
Cuddle Lion
UnitMComics 9th Jan 2019, 3:23 AM edit delete reply
Thanks for the great read.

I really appreciated the comments you provided with each page. They were very informative. Almost like mini a director’s commentary on the ins and outs of comic creation through DAZ Studio.
Steven-Vincent 9th Jan 2019, 3:07 PM edit delete reply
Thanks. Glad you enjoyed them (and the comic).
Marcel 20th Jan 2019, 12:54 AM edit delete reply
AWW, bye bye Liberty Lass! I've fallen in love with this character. You say you're not an artist, but I have to disagree. Your compositions and the way you work with your medium belie that. Your writing is top notch, and the whole thing shows a lot of talent and skill. I'm glad you have a line artist to volunteer to continue her story. Maybe you could do thumbnails for him? And maybe get someone to do the coloring too. Not me, I'm afraid because I suck at it. Anyway, I hope you do the next chapter at least as an experiment.
Thanks, and best of luck with all your future endeavours!
Steven-Vincent 20th Jan 2019, 7:07 AM edit delete reply
I appreciate the compliment but I prefer to write than make artwork.

As for line art, I've decided not to go that route. The next storyline which begins at the end of issue 8 would take us to at least 16. That is a 4 year commitment and I can't ask someone else to do that for my comic, when I'm not sure even I want to.

So this is the end. Sorry to disappoint people but, I have moved on to other things and am enjoying novel-writing again (which I have not done for the whole time I have worked on LL, which is over 4 years).
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