Photoshopping Old Art

With a top secret project (not really) project in the works, the need arose for some artwork. I am proud of my own drawings, bit recognize that they are subpar in terms of art for a roleplaying rulebook. I wandered what I would be able to do if I applied some photoshop magic to them. That led me to purchase photoshop (after going an entire dreadful month without it!) and seeing what could be done.
This first one may be my favorite simply because of the simplicity, cartoony style, and goofy oversized club. The first image is my original drawing from a few years back. The second image is the photoshopped version, enhanced with color, shadows, and other blending options. I split each piece of the goblin into a separate layer so I could blend them together with the capabilities of photoshop, rather than having a flat image. This means that I had to crop out the club, eyes, boots, clothes, and more in order to individually apply color and shading.

This next image I also really like. I found …

Pen and Marker Drawings

A few years back I followed a map making tutorial using these utensils. The end result was surprisingly elegant, had deep colors, and shading that made it pop off the page. You can see my results of these original efforts in the drawing blog post collection. This includes forests, rivers, and maps drawn with pens. This took me down something of a rabbit hole of pen and marker drawing that I have recently been exploring again. I started by creating a set of icons to use for a new project that I am working on. I needed swords, shields, banners, and other reusable icons. I started with a simple shield.

In a future blog post I will go into a tutorial of how to draw pictures such as this. However the process is #2 pencil outlines, .005 marker over the pencil lines, erase pencil lines, 0.05 marker over the marker lines, and then shading with a few different types of markers, from light grey to dark grey.
I then fixed them up in photoshop. I didn't do much here, because I wanted something r…

Agile Story Estimation: Points are not Associative

A key part of Agile development is estimating the effort of tasks. This usually comes in the form of estimating stories with points. A story is a description of a feature told from the perspective of the user. The points are supposed to be capture some idea of the relative effort required to complete the stories. It is an intentionally relative concept, such that 5 story points for one development team has no meaning to another development team.
Their are two primary benefits to estimating effort in points instead of time. The first is for the development team. It is easier to estimate relative sizing vs trying to estimate the hours it will take. For example, a new requirement comes to the team in the form of a user story. They compare it to recent user stories that they have completed and determine that this new story is 3 points. It's bigger than the 2 point tickets that they have recently worked on but smaller than the 4 point tickets. This relative sizing is easier for human be…

Static Websites Can Be Progressive Single Page Applications

The word 'static' often has negative connotations. It can be used to describe something as limited and rigid. A 'static website' is often used to describe a website that is small, simple, and does not do much. Lets take a second look at this, find out what 'static' really means when it comes to the web, and find if those limitations are true.
A static website is actually just a website where the views are pre-rendered. Let's define our terms. First, a view is simply a chunk of HTML. This could refer to an entire webpage, or a section of a page. To render a view means to take some data and plug it into some sort of template in order to generate the HTML. So, to pre-render a view means to combine the data and the template to generate the HTML before. But before what? In this case it means before the user requested the page.
A walk through history
Historically (you know, in the ancient times) this was the only way the web worked. The world wide web was a collecti…

Podcasts are the new Reality Television

There is reality television and 'reality television'. The existence of the former is in serious doubt, although Les Stroud made an attempt at it with Survivorman. The idea of course was to see the real lives of people, filmed for TV. The reality of reality television of course is quite different, because life does not fit into hour long segments with interspersed commercial breaks. Life is too complex for that medium. Podcasts can be any length, often with no editing, and no breaks for advertising. More often than not they are simple conversations between a few people, sometimes on a radio style set, other times just at a table. These conversations provide windows into the hosts and guests lives and often go off topic, if there was ever a topic to stay on.
Podcasts are capable of duplicating a classic interview style format. They can also be in the format of news or opinion journalism. They can also be more raw, and simply be a few people talking about their own lives or curre…

Battle of Shiloh

Recently I played in a multi session long game of Fire and Fury. We played the south side of the battle of Shiloh. As we played I took some pictures and wanted to show off the awesome looking table. A lot of lead flew through the air!