SHOOTING STAR (V.M01D)
Shmup Opening stage song exercise
Original FL Studio/ KORG M01 Composition

I revisit certain songs I’ve written as an exercise. This version of SHOOTING STAR was the song I used as KORG’s streetpass data on my 2DS. My 3DS used another old song, MAGIC WRENCH. I will eventually extend the length of this song when I can figure out where to go with it!

ORIGINAL MUSIC by BLK MKT

My sketchbooks are filled with little studies and doodles like these, done as quickly as I can make them. I tend to draw in pen to practice my draftsmanship and precision, as well as to force myself to make decisions with the shape language I use. Lately I have been expressing things with fruit and vegetable shapes! See if you can find them all.

Working with pen exposes the areas where I need to study harder. So far, I’ve been attempting to memorize the major muscles of the torso, and lately I’ve moved on to studying necks. I cannot post my anatomy studies here, since they contain nudity.

I spent the last several days in Boston attending PAX, and before that I was busy with school and work. Apologies for my absence! Pax proved to be an invigorating experience, and I met many artists there. There’s nothing quite like talking shop while getting some art done! I spent most of my time at the Wacom booth. I worked on a piece from start to finish there. I’ll post it when Wacom emails it to me.

Sorry I’ve been scarce lately! School has kept me busy, along with life. That said, I’ve been doing a lot of sketchbook doodling and experimentation. Here’s chevuron's mascot, drawn to test my pens, gel pens and graphite dust. I'm not too happy with the values of this picture, but I was unsure of how to work with the tools I was using. It was interesting to use graphite and brush to lay down basic washes. I'll probably try it some more later!

NEW AGE OF BREAKFAST
June 09, 2006
Vector art created with Adobe Illustrator

I found the source AI for this old chestnut, so I’m finally uploading it at a higher resolution. I made this thing for practice years ago. If I remember correctly, I finally learned how to make good use of the pathfinder tool and the Offset path effect when making this. It was a long time ago; I’m lucky I still had the file laying around in the first place.

starstrikerz replied to your post: MAGMA HAMMER (V.BC///EARLY WIP)L…

I really love your music clips. How much for a soundtrack release?

Thank you so much! I probably won’t be releasing a soundtrack for a while, I’d like to have enough tracks of consistent quality to support such an endeavor first. I might make a patreon or reopen commissions or something to be able to afford the equipment I need… I can’t post any more new KORG M01d work until I can get an audio interface, for instance. Some day!

One of the earliest hurdles I had to overcome while working on my game project was managing my expectations of myself. From the very start I knew that I could not expect myself to match the level of graphical fidelity of a Playstation era Capcom like I secretly wanted to, so I tended to stop myself from fooling with pixel art if I found myself getting too deep. There was a short while where I tried to study the Mega Man 8/ Mega Man X4 tile looks, but I abandoned that after realizing my tileset fundamentals were not the best, nor were they the most efficient. 

Working alone means being economical! It also means tossing out a whole lot of things that would make the job impossible to complete without destroying oneself… Pretty much only the parallax background assets are being used at this point.

Here are a bunch of old mockups and tile tests for my game project. When I first started the project, I made lots of animated mockups to try to get the feel I wanted down. These screens do not reflect the current look of the game. I’ve been somewhat secretive about the work I’ve been doing while getting the game to look and feel right in motion, but I think it’s a better idea to share some more of that going forward.

MAGMA HAMMER (V.BC///EARLY WIP)
Lava stage song exercise
Original FL Studio Groove Composition

I haven’t been regularly uploading music since my audio interface broke last year, but I’ve still been working at it. Here’s a short sample of a WIP transcription of a song I wrote in FL Studio Groove, as presented in Bosca Ceoil. Bosca is a wonderful, minimalist tool for composing, but it’s still a bit rough around the edges. This song rendered with clipping for some reason, and other songs I’ve rendered have had all sorts of random issues. Here is the previous KORG M01/d version of the song for comparison.

ORIGINAL MUSIC by BLK MKT

Rabid the Radioactive Birthday Bunny
2004-2008
Pixel art created with Graphics Gale
15 colors used.

The main character of a project I once worked on. Now that I’ve relaunched, it’s about time I brought this back to my site. I’ve improved as an animator since I worked on this, but the experience was valuable.

For practice, I like to revisit old concepts and play with them. Before the relaunch of my tumblr, I had a throwaway idea for a game that involved a mysterious cowboy with a Werewolf hand that rolled into town to clean up crime. The original doodle was discarded, but later I decided the player should be able to choose their gender. The game involved using the werewolf hand to block bullets, traverse platforms and that sort of thing.

All three protagonist design tests involved indicating a werewolf scratch on one arm and an oversized forearm/hand combo. I gave them each a little wheat somewhere on them, and tried to maintain a vertical stripe pattern on each torso.  It was a fun exercise!

METEOS ATTACK
March 15, 2007
Pixel art created with ShiPainter Pro
90 colors used.

Work from my back catalog, made in 2007. One of my big fascinations in my youth was video game parody art and mashups, such as this mashup of Meteos and Tetris Attack. This piece, while unrefined and sloppy, taught me quite a bit about planning my pixel art. My understanding of dithering was put to the test with this piece, but it also convinced me to get better with anti-aliasing.

Surface Pro Quick Tip: Reassigning Hardware Buttons with Autohotkey

The Surface Pro’s functionality as a digital art tool can be extended with accessories, but this comes at the cost of its portability. Unlike most graphics tablets, the Surface Pro’s face buttons cannot be reassigned without external software. With AutoHotKey, the functionality of the Surface Pro’s face buttons (even its capacitive Windows button) can be temporarily reassigned at will.

To begin, download a copy of autohotkey. This utility can automate keystrokes, mouse clicks and other macros by running scripts that you write. I use such a script to change the Surface Pro’s volume rocker into undo and redo buttons – that script can be found here. This file goes into the PC’s Documents folder by default, but you can simply double click the .ahk file to run it with AutoHotKey once you’ve installed the program.

I tend to use this only to make the volume rocker an undo-redo rocker for Mischief. The script I use in order to do so only contains the following commands:

SC12E:: SendEvent ^{z}
SC130:: SendEvent +^{z}

This makes the up volume button press Ctrl + Z while pressed and the down volume button press Ctrl + Shift + Z. A full reference of Surface Pro commands for AutoHotKey can be found here.

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Scripts can be exited by right clicking the AutoHotKey icon in the windows tray.

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