Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Ends and odds ... hey, first day of summer here!

Not much new art today ... with the exception of a rather lovely cover I just finished for Christmas story. See, I haven't been idle! Just insanely busy and nursing my health. This is only one of four covers I've done in the last week, and there's another still to do.

As always, Abraxas is updated. Here's the link to the beginning of today's excerpt. It's interesting to see a pattern emerge as the site settles down and matures after the first rush of interest. What looks like being the routine is an enormous spike at the weekend, and then relatively modest numbers mid-week. Which means a lot of readers are "saving it up" to savor it when they have the time!

This is fine by me, guys. As the number of people following it goes up, even the mid-week numbers will be very respectable. And of course that's the name of the game. Have been asked a couple of times how come I'm making it available for free. Well, it's all about getting the traffic to make the ad space lucrative. If the numbers are good, advertisers will make it quite attractive. So I'm continuing to push the software as far as I can make it go, to get the best possible artwork to depict a story which is heading in great directions.

Also, am finding out just how far you can push the software on a system like this. Not quite as far as you'd like it to go! There's a limit to how much you can stuff into the scene without getting odd little dialog boxes saying things like, "DAZ has encountered a runtime error that requires the program to close unexpectedly," and "DAZ has encountered a memory error. Please close the program and repoen it as soon as possible." You get to know these dialogs. Hmm.

So the trick is to configure the scenes very, very carefully, and delete anything in the scene that doesn't show in the render. I still have to get this figured out fully. I'm going to call this a "memory management" challenge. This takes me back 15 years to the mild-1990s, when the Pentium I was the fastest computer you could buy, and Macromedia Director 5 was out there on the cutting edge, and boy, did you have to think about "unloading" elements from the RAM in order to not only keep your PC up on its aching feet for authoring, but not crash the user's machine, when said user came to run the multimedia show you were making!

The computers might be 100 times more powerful today, but what we're trying to do with them is so far beyond anything that was done in the days of yore, the bottom line is the same. Full circle, I guess. The more things change, the more they stay the same!

Jade, 1 December

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