Saturday, March 28, 2009

3-28-09: The Day of Cloud


Well here he is. I've had this model ready for release for a few weeks now, just waiting for Ninjatoes to finish his Kingdom Hearts version, and he has. You'll notice there are some changes I've recently adopted in my layouts/finished photos/instructions that aren't present in this model. Like I said...couple of weeks.

Well...what are you sitting around here for? Get over to Ninjatoes' site and get started on the better of the two models.

If you'll excuse me, I've got a spikey haired blonde boy to get building.


Just finished up. Are you ready for it? Here's my patented "why I'm so slow," excuse: Would've finished last night, but in the last few weeks, Sunday has become reserved for D&D. That and when I got home around 2 this morning, I had to start doing late homework and cram for a Japanese exam that took place about 11 hours later (I'll make a B if I'm lucky...).

I was considering doing this big Red Hollow Cylinder gag, joke about one showing up in my apartment, despite never having built one, then it attacking me, series of funny pictures, etc.

Laziness says I'm not gonna bother...

Oh! And would you look at that, he's already right at home amongst other Ninjatoes models.

Righto, back to work for me.

Good lord, did I really just mention both Dungeons and Dragons and studying Japanese in the same paragraph? That really can't be a good thing...



Got through the edits yesterday and started the build, just finished about an hour or so ago. Plenty of people have mentioned wanting Zack to complement Aerith, so here you go.

The hair was actually pretty easy. He only has a few big spikes in a symmetrical arrangement, so it's not a terrible build. I'm trying some new things with the layouts and instructions. Pages are packed considerably tighter, but I think it works. The instructions are getting more concise, but I think I've got a good method to compensate for that. Let me know if it's no good.

I won't lie, he has some balance issues. I'll try to get back to work on making stands. I'm probably going to need to make a new template that will support models as large as Barret or Cait Sith, but still fit reasonably on a page.

I've got all the parts of the Goblin Pack either tested or out for testing, so the gears of the machine are beginning to turn on their own. I still need to get layouts for weapons, and I still need SUGGESTIONS for which weapons to include (hint hint: start talkin' kids, or you won't see anything you want in the pack). I also want to see some results on the custom texture contest. What's the point of giving you the chance to participate if you don't participate?

Well, back to business as usual. Still got Tifa, Yuffie, and Vincent to take care of. Anyone working on some new FFX/FFXI models yet?

And on a completely unrelated note, having watched all four seasons of the new series of Doctor Who in under 72 hours, I can safely say, that show is fantastic.

Torchwood's not bad either...

Thursday, March 26, 2009

On testbuilds




Thursday, March 19, 2009

Video 6: Birth of a Stand

Just a simple video showing some things to consider playing around with in Sketchup. I wanted to do this because it doesn't require that you have game data, doesn't require you convert/extract/whatever. Just use your imagination and play around with things.

Unless anyone is interested in watching videos of nothing but me working (no narration, just music), this is the last video for a while, promise.

Also added an "Official Project List" on the sidebar. Still working on getting it fleshed out at the moment.

Should've played something by Miles Davis during the video and called it Birth of the Stand...

Get it? Ahaaaa~


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Video 5: FFXI Process

or: Why the Goblin Project is taking me so God damn long

Oldest method I know how to do, probably doesn't need explaining, but there it is. I figure those of you who learned about the blog through FFXIDats may be more interested in this than anyone else.

Again, the narration started to drift out of sync. Not sure what's going wrong this time, but whatever. It's close enough that it still makes sense...sort of.

As always, file posted on Megaupload is higher quality than the streaming Megavideo.


Folye's Model Viewer

Furniture Add-on

3DS Max 9 MQO Import Plguin (you're looking for mqoimp9_112.lzh)

Going to keep plugging away at the Goblins. To any of my testers: I should have your packs ready by tomorrow, I just need to make sure the necks/arms/hands work properly first.

Once I get Goblin parts out to my testers, I'm going to get started on the edits for Zack, try to get that released before the end of the week. I may also put together another short video on how to make a simple textured stand in Sketchup. Not sure if that's really anything anyone cares about, but whatever. It's easy and you don't need any game data to do it, so I figure people might want to see how to make their own little stands for other people's models or something.

Wonder how long it'll take the next copycat to pop up...

Video 4: FFX/X-2 Process

There've been a handful of people who've asked about requests or how to go about this, etc. and it's much easier to just show you how to do it than try to explain. I'm sure more people want to see this than just the few who've asked, so, enjoy.

I'm not sure what went wrong, but in the recording process these little millisecond skips started to accumulate in the narration. For the first...third or so of the video, it's in sync, but by the end there's a solid few seconds between what I'm saying and what's actually happening on screen. Apologies. I tried what I knew to correct it, but to no avail.

As always, the download is the original video, which is completely legible. The Megavideo version is pretty blurry.

Links, as promised:

DVD Decrypter (home of just about everything used in this video)

Rumiano's Blog (home of Chargeur)

You'll need to make an account on FFproject to download files, I think, and you'll need to do a little searching around, but that link should be all you need. As I said, the Collada plugin comes with Chargeur so that just leaves you to obtain 3DS Max. I'm going to just assume you've already got copies of the games.

I'm going to stop posting these videos for download in the Mediafire folder because, well, no one downloads them. It's a lot of extra trouble for me, and it's not worth it (plus the process of splitting the videos for Mediafire size seems to be corrupting this video...rather just scrap the whole notion). I'll still upload the higher res videos to Megaupload, since I don't have to do any chopping after the fact to fit within their size restrictions (no need to upload videos 2 and 3, because they were only recorded at 640x480; Megavideo is true to that).

As I write this I'm about half way through my spring break. Really wish I could be accomplishing more but...well, I enjoy sleep. Recorded this video last night, and after my general morning routine (should be read: lazy process of waking up around noonish), I'm going to get started on the next video, which will be for the FFXI extraction/basic editing process (as well as some demonstrative excuses as to why the Goblin Project is taking so God damn long).

Now if you'll excuse me, I believe I have some leftover Quiznos to consume.

Monday, March 9, 2009



Would've had this finished and uploaded last night, but a friend of mine managed to talk my into playing D&D with he and his pals all yesterday (it was my first time playing and I must say I rather enjoyed it). The mane is a little tricky, and I briefly considered simplifying it like I did with part of Cloud's hair, but I really like the finished product (even if my build looks like crap), and with the right instructions, it isn't too difficult to follow.

Combined, little twists and whatnot in the body can cause the front paws to pull up and not touch the ground when seated. Honestly, it isn't obvious enough for me to care about, but I know some people do, so I'm planning to use this as an excuse to do stands for all the FFVIII characters I've done so far (as gluing his feet down are the easiest, though perhaps not the most elegant, way to forcefully correct the issue). However, I've got testbuilders waiting for me to get started on stuff in the Goblin Pack, and that takes priority. I'll probably tack the stands on to whatever my next update is, possibly another short video, possibly just a visual update on where the Goblin Pack Project stands.

Edit: Forgot to mention, if you've downloaded Red XIII, you may have noticed I packed the pages a bit tighter than usual. I've been cramming the Goblin Pack pages as tight as I possibly can, and I was trying it out with something I would be building more immediately. I think it turned out alright. As long as the parts are numbered, you can kind of let logical processing in the layout slip a bit.

Anyway, you know the usual deal. Requests, questions, complaints, knockers, blah blah blah, contact.

Also Edit: Just got a rather sophisticated model request, and I ended up spewing so much text at him in e-mail that it was worth copying and pasting most of what I said into an Official Request Policy post (look to your left).

Friday, March 6, 2009

Video 3: Horizontal Banding

Video 3: Horizontal Banding

This is pretty much my whole deal when it comes to layouts. It's a simple concept, but it's not endorsed by everyone, so I figure it's worth elaborating a little upon.

A thought occurred while watching this: every instance of the word "design" should be replaced with...something. I don't know. Not design. I don't design anything, I just unfold it. Like I (and many trolls) said, I'm not really doing any work here.

Here are the pictures promised in this video:

So here's the thing about thing about the little FPS counter. My webcam is actually a Playstation Eye, for the PS3. I'm using some software to get it running on a PC, and the viewer has a little FPS counter you can't get rid of. The way I'm capturing these videos is with external programs that are basically just watching the screen where the video feedback comes in. In the first video, I was using Fraps, which is great. For the second, however, I wanted to switch back and forth from live video to shots of the PDOs, and I didn't want to have to record several different clips. So I used Camtasia Recorder and set it to watch the same spot, where I put all the stuff I was going to be using under the same 640x480 window. Problem is, Camtasia doesn't seem to like capturing live video at the proper framerate, so while the FPS counter says 30, and on my monitor, I saw 30 FPS, the video you see is only about 15. However, it jumps back to 30 when it's over the PDOs. No idea why.

Apologies again, as for some unknown reason, the music started to go horribly horribly wrong at about the 16:30 mark. I had to split the video there and continue the rest without music. Sorry, from 16:30 forward, it's just you, me, and some paper toys. I'd say it was because I was using Camtasia instead of Fraps, but I used Camtasia for the Cloud WIP video, and that worked fine for four whole hours...

Oh well.

Edit: Apologies, yet again, as I didn't realize how loud the music was in this one until after I had it uploaded. In the process of fixing the busted music, I accidentally turned up the working music in the first section. If you're actually trying to listen to me (and I have no idea why you would) it may be a little difficult.

I'm still looking for testbuilders fr the various Goblin poses, and I've got a few PDOs ready for mockup. I'll spend the rest of the weekend working on getting as much laid out as I can. I've also talked to Zen, the proprietor of who will hopefully get some of her people in on this deal. So if you want to get in on the custom texture contest, you'll have some interesting competition.

Also going to try to get Red XIII edited and laid out some time in the near future. I'd like this Goblin thing to go on in the background while business continues as usual.

Anyway, contact me if you want in on any testbuilding, want some weapon textures to play with, have any requests you'd like to make, wanna show me your knockers, whatever. I'm metaphorically open for business.

Oh and I've already claimed the Bugbear testbuild for myself. Deal with it.

nyahnyah-nyahnyah-nyah-nyah, haha-haha-ha-ha (18:10)

Video 2: Why I Like Scissors

Video 2: Why I Like Scissors

This is kind of a primer video for a the next video, which really illustrates why I lay things out the way I do.

Here's the picture promised in the video. Sorry about the blurriness. Natural light really brought out the edges of the paper better than flash, and I don't have a tripod, so I couldn't keep the camera perfectly still for the long exposure time of a shot with no flash.

Honestly, it isn't important that I made my point here. If you accept that scissors reduce white edges, great. If you don't, I don't care. I just wanted to give a little primer for why I break things up the way I do, which will be elaborated upon in the next video.

Oh and sorry about the little FPS counter in the corner. It'll be even more ridiculous in the next video. I'll explain in that post.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Testbuilders Wanted! (inquire within)

If you check regularly, make sure you don't overlook the EDITS (scroll down)

I'm not sure I made this clear yesterday, or if it's just that no one's interested, but:


Thought I'd just make another post to re-emphasize this.
The Goblin Pack Project is probably the most labor intensive thing I've undertaken, and for the sake of time, monotony, and my overworked brain, I could really use some helping hands.


Build on 110lb (200gsm) cardstock

Build a fairly detailed, 20cm (8in) tall model without folding

Take pictures of your work (even a cell phone camera will do)

Work at a decent pace (not as important as the previous requirements)

However, I'm not interviewing people for a job here, so if you'd like to tag along and can't access any cardstock, or don't feel you're up to the task of no-fold, or don't have a camera, don't worry. I'll take all the help I can possibly get.

Here's the plan: I'm going to be breaking Goblins down into their constituent components so that I can produce lots and lots (seriously, lots) of PDOs, which will contain each little part of a Goblin (or Moblin) in various poses and permutations. I'll be leaving the finished PDOs "texture change" open, and include all the textures you could possibly want (including some from Fleyon's Goblin Pack), so you can apply any texture to any part to create a completely customized Goblin. Mix and match parts, textures, whatever.

Thankfully, Goblinguy chose a nice scale for his original model (to which all this is an homage, of course). The model is quite detailed, but at 20cm (8in) it's not excessively difficult, which is good news as far as I'm concerned (I think it's obvious by now that I've never been one to challenge myself with tiny little models). I do want to do the Bugbear at the same scale. It's much...much larger, and about as detailed (if not moreso), but a necessary complement, I think.

As for the bit about the camera: I don't intend for you to take shots for instructions or anything, I just need to be able to see how it turned out, or where you're running into trouble. I realize it's really best if the designer testbuilds all his own stuff, but honestly, it'd take me months of working every day to get a project of this size knocked out all on my own.

So, if you're interested in helping out, please contact me by email, instant message, carrier pigeon, smoke signal, or semaphore.

AIM: Mister Klownes
Yahoo: Kaizo107


I forgot to mention last night, please, I'd love any suggestions on which weapons to include. I'm thinking of treating this as an excuse to just do layouts for every weapon anyone could possibly want. Just post suggestions in the comments, if you like. Remember that most of the weapons have multiple textures, and the more common a mesh, the more permutations it'll satisfy. Of course, the unique weapons are always the coolest looking...but yeah, I'll probably do those anyway, just because I want to. Keep in mind as well, weapons can get pretty detailed, and though the scale isn't tiny by any means, some of the more intricate weapons could wind up pretty tough to build.


Project Goblin Pack Custom Texture Contest!

As is my usual method, I like to customize models I'm building for myself, and I thought, what with all the hype I'm trying to pack into this project, it might be fun to have a little contest. So here's the deal: I supply you with the raw materials, and you make them into something great. The pack below contains all the main model types of the release, as well as the original textures. You modify the textures, apply them to the model to get an idea of how they'll look when finished, and submit them here. The best of the lot will go into the final release as another customization option when building your own little Goblin.

As you can see above, I've already tried a bit of texture editing. Is it the same, boring, purple crap I'm always guilty of? Yes! But it's also something completely new and unique. Imagine what you could do if you actually had talent or imagination (unlike yours truly). The result could be spectacular.

So go for it already.

Also: if you want to try customizing a weapon and don't have access to the raw goodies, shoot me and email and I'll get you set up. Just gotta promise to share the end result.


Monday, March 2, 2009



Got the editing done yesterday, built the model today. The page count is higher than some of the others, but they're all big pieces, so the build goes remarkably fast and easily. Continuing on with the party, as planned. Next will be Red XIII.

If you noticed, I've got a new backdrop for my finished shots. It's not a proper lightbox, just an old black bedsheet tacked up on the wall around the kitchen table. Either way, it looks better than my beat up, dumpster-salvaged table, and the poorly painted, faux-wood paneling on the wall. I moved the posters out from behind it, so I think I'm just going to leave it. In the three years I've lived here, I haven't once eaten at that table...

Only problem is, with a cleaner looking background, the flaws in the model are much more obvious.

Anyway, I really didn't want to do the tease thing, but I also didn't want anyone thinking I was just sitting around doing nothing. The party's growing, and Cloud's ready for release whenever that date arrives. Also I just want to keep showing off my (not)fancy new photobooth.

Now, something of moderate importance. When I put together my build roster, I started thinking, doing so many of the same kind of model in succession might get a shade monotonous. Well it is, and I'm aching for a model with real texture. So, since the Goblin Pack is a pretty massive proposition, I figure I could use some testbuilders to speed up the process.

So, if you're interested in doing some testbuils, shoot me an email or instant message or something of the like. I would prefer that you be able to use 110lb (200gsm) cardstock for the build, as it's the standard I intend to base them on. I also intend to build these with the "no-fold" curved look, so I'd like any tests done in the same fashion.

If I can get some help doing different poses and base models, the whole project will go much faster.

Also added a little poll. The question is one of preference, and there are lots of nuances to each option, but yeah, I figured it'd be worth gauging the general opinion.

My printer is already threatening me with "empty" status, so I may not have any new releases until I get a new cart in from Amazon, but who knows. It said it was empty before I started Barret, and I got 10 relatively clean looking pages out of it...

Anyway, you know the usual nonsense I say at this point, so I won't bother repeating myself.