Interesting Gaming World Generation Algorithms

This is an interesting description of an algorithm for generating world maps. The author’s original implementation is in ActionScript to ensure that no one will ever reuse the code. But there’s also a JavaScript subset.

The website has some interesting concepts. I’m particularly interested in their algorithm for noisy edges.

10 Things I Wish Were Better in Clip Studio

I like Clip Studio Paint, and it’s my go-to tool for comics work. But that’s not to say that I’m not occasionally underwhelmed by some of its features. I have the Ex version. Here’s a list of 10 things I wish were better about Clip Studio Paint.

1. Weird brush settings

There are some default brush settings that I find really annoying, and it’s especially annoying that they’re default options.

The one that I find most irritating is the setting that makes brush sizes relative to zoom. So if I pick my favourite inking brush and expand it out to 30px — which means that at maximum pressure, the brush is 30px across (unless you’ve turned off pressure sensitivity) — the size is based on screen size, not paper size. So if I zoom in, 30px on the screen represents a larger area of the paper, and the weight of the line appears a lot heavier. If you want consistent line weights, zooming in screws you up. Suddenly everything you’ve inked at the zoomed-in scale is heavier than the lines you ink while zoomed out. I’m sure that there’s a scenario where you might want that, but I suspect that they’re rare. Nonetheless, this option is turned on by default.

I’ve personally found the pen pressure settings to be far too sensitive, and I tend to tweak the pen pressure sensitivity settings on my favourite brushes to reduce the amount that they respond to pen pressure. One of the YouTube artists that I follow, Sara Tepes, uses Krita and her main brushes have pen pressure sensitivity turned off. I don’t think I’m the only one who struggles with pen sensitivity; I suspect that a lot of the “what brushes do you use?” questions are really “when I try this, the brush size goes out of control” complaints.
Read more

Koans

Master Tung-kuo asked Chuang Tzu, “This thing called the Tao — where does it exist?”

Chuang Tzu said, “There’s no place it doesn’t exist.”

“Come,” said Master Tung-kuo, “you must be more specific!”

“It is in the ant.”

“As low a thing as that?”

“It is in the panic grass.”

“But that’s lower still!”

“It is in the tiles and shards.”

“How can it be so low?”

“It is in the piss and shit. And also mayonnaise.”

The Chuang Tzu

Four Things That Are True in My Book

1. I bailed on Game of Thrones. I stopped watching it around season 5. I haven’t seen any of the seasons since.

2. This is a good mantra: “Let people enjoy things.”

3. I think elements of the show are problematic (at least one of those problematic elements is the thing that drove me away).

4. You can be a fan of problematic things.

“I Will Put my Deeds Before my Faith for the Time Being”

On a pretty regular basis, I find myself thinking about this scene from The Trotsky, in which two of Leon’s colleagues are trying to convince the school’s students to back Leon’s (radical) course of action:

I particularly like the acknowledgement that Tony isn’t sure that he’s sold on the path forward, but is prepared to back it anyway.

Doing Lines

This video is surprisingly practical for improving digital linework:

It reminds me a bit about how Ty taught inking: the first class was all about how to move your hand.

Not in Seeking New Landscapes, but in Having New Eyes

I’m only now just starting to warm up to Star Trek: Discovery. But I am warming up. Season 2 looks like it could be fairly strong.

So, here’s me, thinking out loud about what I like and don’t like about the show.

The Gaze and The Gays

First, I’m glad that they’ve dispensed with the “let’s make sure we give our young, cishet, male viewers their requisite number of boners.” I mean, Star Trek: Enterprise was hyperactive about finding reasons to put T’Pol in her underwear while Archer rubbed suntan lotion decontamination gel on her skin. And that was clearly a thing they did because 7 of 9 taught them that having a hot chick in a skintight uniform helps with the ratings.

Read more

But that’s not how the story goes

Yes, there’s no happy endings / Not here and not now / This tale is all sorrows and woes / You might dream that justice and peace win the day / But that’s not how the story goes.

— Netflix’s Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events

Warning: minor thematic spoilers for A Series of Unfortunate Events and bigger spoilers for A Fantastic Woman.

Read more

2018 in Film and TV

Let’s start with TV, because it’s been another good year for TV.

Number 5: Altered Carbon. I went back-and-forth on my top 5 list. There have been a lot of good shows and I’ve been tempted to put different things in some slots, especially in position number 5. But at the end of the day, I think I enjoyed Altered Carbon more than some of the other candidates. It has flaws: I disliked how tightly every single plot point in the series fit together into one narrative. That felt too neat. And the casual misogyny that seems to always accompany anything with a noir aesthetic was annoying. But Blade Runner-esque visuals and cool ideas about tech and general good writing. I was there for all of that. Read more

A Rose by Any Other Name

Some time ago, I was pinged on Ancestry by a distant relative who was happy to have come across portions of my family tree that overlapped with her family. I try to always respond to folks on Ancestry; I’ve almost-always had good experiences there. My correspondent was much newer to genealogy than I was, and was therefore able to quickly learn a great deal about at least one line of her family.

She was a descendant of my great-grandmother’s brother. It’s a line of the family that I don’t have very deep records about. My info basically ended at her grandparents. But it was still helpful to her.

So, that’s cool. But because of that recent interaction, I found myself poking that part of the tree again. I located a picture of her great-grandfather, Alton Carol “Al” Kehoe (with my great-grandmother, Mary Ann “Mae” Houle), as well as an obituary, and uploaded them, then sent her a note with links.

But that’s when, all of a sudden, I noticed an unexpected hint that Ancestry was suggesting that I look at. The hint was a marriage record from Ohio, and I was originally inclined to dismiss it because this family lived in Port Lambton, Ontario. It’s not uncommon for my ancestors to get married in Michigan, but Ohio? On the other hand, Alton Carol Kehoe is a pretty unusual name, and I couldn’t overlook that.

According to the marriage record, Alton Carol Kehoe was marrying Rose Skeens on 10 Dec, 1927, in Ohio. Who was Rose Skeens? I’d never heard of her before.

Read more