Jaco’s Random Writings

My thoughts, my projects, and all sorts of other stuff

Cheese Wars – Part 2: Sharp Retribution

December 5th, 2009 · Cool Stuff, General Info, Project Work

So here’s yet another Cheese Wars sketch. I really should apologize for these. And yet, I’m completely unrepentant. So in this installation, Gouda receives swift retribution from Sharp Cheddar.

A swift chop from Sharp Cheddar

A swift chop from Sharp Cheddar

You know, in retrospect, maybe I shouldn’t have given Sharp Cheddar a katana… Seems a little inappropriate for an English cheese. But then, lasers on a Gouda doesn’t make much sense either. Actually, why am I even trying to apply reason to this? This whole premise makes no sense anyway.

In other news, I went and got myself a Sansa Clip+ last week. Arrived in the mail yesterday. I have to admit, I am very impressed by this little MP3 player. Actually, calling it an MP3 player is a little in accurate; it can play MP3, Ogg Vorbis, WMA, secure WMA, FLAC, and Audible. No AAC, though. Oh well, I don’t buy anything from iTunes anymore anyway (boo DRM!). Just one important note for any other Sansa Clip+ owners out there: It is very particular about tags in Ogg Vorbis files. If there’s even the slightest thing off, it will freeze when it refreshes its database. To my understanding, this appears to be a bug in the firmware.

However, there is a way to ensure that your tags don’t send your Clip+ into deep freeze. On a Windows machine, use Winamp or Tag&Rename to fix the tags (simply opening and saving will do the trick). On a Linux machine, go with EasyTag. On a Mac… well, that’s where it gets more complicated*. None of the Mac native editors that I have tried properly fixed the tags. The only remedy to this is to build EasyTag from source. There are two ways to go about this:

  1. You download the source and compile it
  2. Download MacPorts or Fink and install it through there

Personally, I would just install it through either Fink or MacPorts. It’s the same as compiling, except about 60% less complicated. Then, using X11 Extensions, you can create a custom launcher for EasyTag instead of having to launch it from Terminal all the time. Or you can use XDroplets to create custom launchers as well.

Seems a little round-about, but until SanDisk updates the firmware, the other Sansa Clip users and I will just have to deal with it. So, may the cheese be with us all.


* Fancy that: something being more complicated on a Mac than on anything else. It happens more often than Apple would want to admit.

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Cheese Wars – Part 1: Gouda defeats Swiss

December 3rd, 2009 · Project Work

I’m really tired… So instead of a very work-intensive sketch, I bring you: Cheese Wars. Tonight, Part 1: Gouda defeats Swiss.

Gouda obliterates Swiss

Gouda obliterates Swiss

Yes… It has come down to this: I am doodling various different cheeses blowing each other up with lasers. I’m going to go sleep now… However, I get a horrible feeling that this will happen again tomorrow night.

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And a Rough Head Sketch

December 2nd, 2009 · Project Work

Remember the guy in the hood from the previous post? Well, I thought I’d get a head start on him by sketching his… well… head. Here’s a doodle of his head from the side and the front.

He's got a webcam for an eye?

He's got a webcam for an eye?

Initially, I thought of him as quite a bit younger. Then, I thought he’d look better as an older fellow. I’d say he’s in his early to mid-forties. Since he pilots a heliplane, I thought he’d be a raider or some kind of outlaw. Everything he’s got has been fixed in some improvised┬ámanner. Hence the cobbled-together prosthetic eye that looks a little like someone stuck a webcam in his eye-socket. So that’s what MacGyver would look like with a cybernetic eye…

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And so starts December…

December 2nd, 2009 · General Info, Project Work

Man, that last week of November was completely insane. It has been a long time since I’ve worked that hard in that short a period of time. Well, it’s over, and I can go back to updating the Sketch Blitz as I did before. Man, that hiatus from the Sketch Blitz was not planned at all. Anyway, I’m not updating just because I felt like saying something to validate updating on December 1st.

Besides working on figuring out the hair* for Alita, I’ve been messing around in Alchemy trying to come up with some more inspiration. Well, here’s what I’ve got.

This is a man with a hood covered in snow?

This is a man with a hood covered in snow?

I was trying to come up with something in the background. I ultimately thought it should be a ship of some kind. Well, doodling over the original Alchemy sketch didn’t lead anywhere, so I created a different one just for an idea. Here’s what I got for that.

Inspired by something I saw in a C&C game.

Inspired by something I saw in a C&C game.

I’m thinking of putting this Heliplane in the background of the drawing of the man in the hood. Thinking that large eye of his is a cybernetic prosthesis. Anyway, I’ll probably make the next update a rough sketch of him.


* I still can’t find a good reference for moving shoulder-length hair. Not even on the internet…

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More Work on Alita

November 24th, 2009 · Project Work

So after a very hectic weekend, I’m finally able to get back to drawing. Well, I spent some time working on figuring out Alita’s hair situation. Here’s a rough of the movement I think her would look better with:

A rough sketch of her hair.

A rough sketch of her hair.


I’m still not quite happy with it. But, until I get a better reference, this will have to do. In the meantime, I’ll start doing initial filling in and shaping.

I had a Hell of a time finding any kind of reference online regarding the movement of long hair. No reference videos or anything. I can’t ask anyone in my immediate family, since no-one has long hair anymore. This is, for the lack of a better term, a very, very rough guess. I’m pretty much treating the hair like lots of little strings. I tried doing a simulation of it in Blender using the hair simulator. It then crashed Blender on my little lappy (didn’t drag down the rest of the computer, thank Heaven).

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