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Archie

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Everything posted by Archie

  1. The ending was pretty disappointing considering they've been building it up for about two thirds of the series. I mean yes, it's not the ending I was expecting, but it was in an "oh. is that it?" way, not a "holy shit" way. I've come to expect cliffhangers, but there's no particular hook about the ending to get me watching series three, which strikes me as lazy after the intensity of much of this series. Of course I will be watching series three, but not to find out why the events at the end of series 2 occurred because I already fucking know. The bit about the caught me off guard, though. Very cool.
  2. I just finished The System of The World by Neal Stephenson (having read its two predecessors too). I'm glad I read the series (I think The Confusion just edges out STotW as the best) but I know I didn't get everything possible out of it; a lot of time I simply didn't have the energy to concentrate on who everyone was and what they were doing. Characters kept popping up whose names I recognised but just couldn't remember what their history in the novels was, or why I cared why they were doing what they were doing. Also I struggled to keep up with the plot and see what people's motives were sometimes. Stephenson is a gifted prose writer, but he could use an editor with some balls. I won't be reading Anathem until I've knocked down some lighter stuff. Cryptonomicon is still my favourite book of his by far. I'm now reading The Atrocity Archive by Charles Stross - very interesting mix of scifi and the occult, although the writing is a bit woolly and he throws around big words not unlike a typical Star Trek TNG episode, putting them up as "explanation" without saying what they actually mean. He seems to be trying to be Lovecraftian from what I gather (I haven't actually read any Lovecraft, but I hear about how effective his vagueness with detail is), but it actually comes off as a bit lazy. There's plenty of good moments in there though. Certainly much lighter than Pride & Prejudice, which I'm also reading for the first time. Thought I should for a while now. I'm actually quite liking it so far (the first bit of romantic fiction I've read, unless So Long And Thanks For All The Fish counts), but seeing the tiny single-spaced text with 5mm margins after going through about 2,600 pages of (equally small, but bigger-margined) Baroque Cycle was rather dismaying.
  3. I've probably only seen about 15 films this year, but Body Of Lies was by far the worst. After 90 minutes my girlfriend and I couldn't take it any more. It didn't help it was a bad cinema where we struggled to make out the dialogue above the background noise, but the film felt like a flat mush with a complete absence of drama or tension (and why they bothered with Russell Crowe for a role that could have been done by a 50 year-old Keanu Reeves is beyond me). Oh Ridley, how you have fallen. Actually, I just remembered I saw Be Kind, Rewind too. Hmm, close one.
  4. Archie

    New drawing

    Patience seems to help. Seriously though, I think people would be rather disappointed to see what I actually do for texturing and things. It basically consists of doing very light squiggles with the pencil and applying pressure at what seems like the right time. Well, I didn't find much effect at all past 6B, which is why I didn't bother much with those pencils. It does help to have a decent edge on the pencil; this seems counterintuitive for soft pencils but it definitely makes a difference. Certainly going from 4B to 6B.
  5. Archie

    New drawing

    Here's the promised scan: I did some final prodding today, including trying to add a bit of texture with 8/9B, though I didn't find they made much difference, especially on heavily-shaded areas (which was where I wanted them ,really). It's also worth pointing out this has been processed, as it's a composite of three separate scans stitched together, and I had to do a little skewing in the process. I also messed with the levels a bit as the scan didn't help the contrast. I am having rather a dual reaction to this. Some times I think it's my best work, others I don't like it much. As much as I wanted it to be as dark as the source, I think going as dark as I have has cost some of the texturing and detail it had earlier on (I'm thinking cheeks and eyes, but eyes in particular). On the other hand I've never been totally happy that I've quite 'got' the severity of expression in the source, which I think is related to depth of shading. It isn't bad though. I did do a wee animated gif of all of the progress photos but it's a bit big. Again, thanks everyone for watching and commenting - hope I didn't bore you too much with the excessive updates.
  6. Archie

    New drawing

    It's about done now, folks: I'm going to leave it overnight and probably give it another tickle tomorrow (I didn't go any farther than 7B, as it didn't seem necessary), but there's only tiny bits left to do and I've virtually exhausted my will to carry on. I'll be posting a proper scan when it's complete. Thanks all, for your interest and comments throughout.
  7. Archie

    New drawing

    I've been going at this some more today, trying to darken it overall. Wanted to get the hair closer to where it should be, and as I expected/hoped it's quite helped the general look of the thing. Still lots of work to do - the left (his right) side needs darkening much more and the shading on his forehead needs tidying up, but I'm fairly happy with it considering.
  8. Archie

    New drawing

    Ah well, my limited experience has shown that as you go down to softer leads, the proportion of the picture that you're shading with them gets progressively smaller. B)
  9. Archie

    New drawing

    Cheers guys. Where I'm living right now doesn't have any decent work surfaces so this is going to take a while, so thanks for the encouragement.
  10. Archie

    New drawing

    Attacked this for a few more hours the other night. It's looking quite nice now I've shaded evenly on one side at least (apart from the hair), but there's tons left to do as I've only gone as far as 4B so far. I got 7, 8 and 9B pencils now so hopefully I can get some decent depth.
  11. I've seen Shameless and most of his stuff floating around Gootube, and have Chewed Up waiting for me at home. Amaze.
  12. I am so envious of you. I've spent a month on The Confusion so far and I'm only about 3/5 through it. This is attempt two, and I'm only clinging on as far as following the plot goes (too many people, places and sometimes, I hate to admit, fucking words). I've got System and Anathem waiting after that. If there were ever an example of life being unfair, it would be the combination of my love of Stephenson's stuff and my being such a slow reader.
  13. I must say, I couldn't care less. That's not an insult, just a statement of fact. I don't even know who he is.
  14. I ended up doing the same thing with TC as I did with Quicksilver - I stopped, went back to the beginning and started again. It really paid off, and I only wish I'd make the decision earlier with Quicksilver (which I didn't decide to restart until I was over 500 pages into). I'd been leaving too long between reading sessions and kept losing the thread. I'm now just past where I was before in TC, and liking it much more. It's still very detailed so requires some concentration, but I'm enjoying it.
  15. I'm presently trying to read 'The Confusion', the second in the Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson. I only made it through 'Quicksilver' on my second try (though the first attempt was hampered by leaving far too long between reading sessions and losing the thread) so I almost feel obligated to read the series now (and since 'Cryptonomicon', Stephenson has been my favourite author) but TC is even harder going than Quicksilver, which I'm rather dismayed about. I read a comment on /. that TC was "Stephenson's way of saying 'thanks for making it through "Quicksilver"'", but so far I prefer its predecessor. I'm about 220 pages in and have virtually given up keeping track of anyone beyond the characters of Quicksilver, and a few scattered others. I keep reading names it seems have been introduced before but I have no recollection of them, or what their relevance is to the plot. I still love Stephenson's style but I'm choking on the detail, having little success following what is happening or why. I know the guys have a boat full of gold and are going somewhere with it, but that's it. Someone tell me to soldier on, please - I bought the whole series! In other news, I gave up on Blish's 'Cities in Flight' not long ago. Just not engaging enough, and doesn't stand up very well against modern science fiction. It certainly only seems to nominally be science fiction (apart from the whole anti-agathic thing) - like, it needn't really be. I read book two first (as suggested by Stephen Baxter in his foreword), and got about halfway through book one before chucking it in.
  16. Archie

    New drawing

    Cheers sidechain. Here's more: Dunno if these incremental updates are worthwhile, but I'll carry on regardless. I've been concentrating on adding depth, but thinking 6B might not be enough! Anyway, all of the changes are on the left side around the eye, cheek and nose, but they're not showing up very well in these photos. Just as a sidenote, this has been desaturated in Photoshop. I might mess with the levels a bit in future updates too, as my snapper isn't getting the contrast very well.
  17. Archie

    New drawing

    Here's a small update. I finally went back to this last night - I wasn't too happy with what I saw when I opened the book to be honest, but on we go. I put in a few hours, mostly on trying to improve the definition on the left eye and forehead, and trying to increase the depth of shading (something I'm doing very tentatively).
  18. It seemed like the budget tailed off again in the last couple of years, as every time you saw inside the FBI headquarters there was noone else walking around anywhere, oddly.
  19. Something I knocked up during a dry couple of hours at work: Yes, this is inspired by a certain SCE game.
  20. I guess we have different reactions. I didn't understand much of it at all the first time I watched it, but it made me want to watch it repeatedly until I did, not dislike it.
  21. I have been caning this recently, but am going nuts trying to figure out the lyrics for Streamline (not the chorus). The vocal almost sounds like it's reversed (it isn't - I checked ). The track is absent from virtually all lyric sites I've checked and the ones it's not, all that's there is the chorus. Anyone know what the other lyrics are?
  22. I'm in the UK and it doesn't work. Here's the BBC's stream: http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsa/n5ctrl/progs/08...rlock_14may.ram
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