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Finding Ideas that Stick

Anonymous asked: “Hi Lizard! I’ve always wanted to write a book, but whenever I try to write, all my stories feel the same, and all my characters feel flat. I quickly quit stories, also, losing my interest on them in a matter of hours. Could you give me some advice so that I won’t have to sell my soul to the dark overlords in order to write a single paragraph?”

Writing is a process. No book is ever going to be just a matter of sitting down and writing it out in one shot. It’s drafting, redrafting, intense editing, often huge various changes along the way and ultimately then you get somewhere. Someone can take ten years to write a book. 

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Comic dub of an Overwatch fancomic by @nikanono - featuring the voices of @totalspiffage as Tracer, @hnilmik as D.Va, and Tiana Camacho as Pharah and Mercy! Tracer, please. Acting like you, yourself, haven’t been caught in equally (if not more so) compromising positions in the past, present and near-future? Pfft.

If you enjoyed that, why not watch some of my other comic dubs?

Check out Adrian Mann’s 18.5-foot-long piano!

He started building it in high school; today he’s a professional piano builder. It weighs over a ton, the strings are over 20 feet long, and the keys are each about three feet long. 

“A lot of pianists come along and the first thing they do is play the bottom notes and go ‘oh my goodness,’” Adrian says.

“It can be quite hard to pull some people away. I haven’t had a negative reaction yet.”

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Comic dub of an Overwatch fancomic by @artbytesslyn - featuring the voices of @totalspiffage as Widowmaker, @hnilmik as Sombra, and myself as Reaper!

Woof. This comic dub was QUITE the undertaking. STORY TIME: a few months back, I approached Tesslyn to see if she’d be interested in letting me turn her Patreon-only comic series “Ghost” into a comic dub. We decided that the best time to release said dub would be after she had done enough pages to put together a single comic on Gumroad, and I could drive some sales towards that. Perfect!

Cut to a month ago, Tesslyn shared her finished comic with me and my first impression was “oh no I  may have bit off more than I can chew what have I done”. Let me break down some of my fears going into mixing this, and how they got overcome. Or maybe the fears remained and I just got super lucky and this comic dub got done anyway. One of those!

First of all, atmosphere. While I’d done atmospheric comic dubs before, I’d never done one THIS long and where many sustained moments were held over several panels with no dialogue or very minimal dialogue. This meant a lot of thinking about “how long do I hold on this panel? how long would be too long or too short?”; I usually rely on dialogue beats for that (eg panel is revealed, dialogue starts, dialogue ends, panel changes, repeat) but now that I had something a little freeform it was time for a mild panic attack. In the end I went with my gut and “eyeballed” it (“eardrummed” it? no that’s terrible) and I think I managed to get this out all right! At least, I hope so.

Second of all, music. I was REALLY tempted to use the music I’d heard playing the visual novel “The House in Fata Morgana” and was weighing up the pros and cons of using music associated with another game and the possibility of having this video hit with a copyright claim. In the end I decided “what the heck, I’m really feeling that game’s soundtrack for this dub!” and went with it. At first, I was using the track “This Mutilated Body” by Yusuke Tsutsumi, which I thought was PERFECT (both in terms of the mood conveyed and the title); but I just couldn’t really make it flow with the comic dub as a whole piece, it went a little bit too hard and had way too much energy. Then I tried using “Everybody’s Crying” (also by Yusuke Tsutsumi) and that worked out much better; the piece flowed with the rise and ebb of emotions in the comic, and the title still works as well! In any case, there’s a second audio mix of “Ghost” with different background music on my computer and I dunno what to do with it.

Third of all, ACTING. For a comic centered around Widowmaker, I was not nearly expecting the amount of emotional heavy lifting Sombra had to do. And super lucky times for me: Kimlinh knocked it out of the hotdamn park. HOTDAMN ACTING. I actually got a little bit teary mixing the part where Sombra starts attacking Reaper; and completely put off the part where she realises that BOTH her friends are running out of time, because I felt like I couldn’t do the mix proper justice. Tamara was also super great as Widowmaker (and a surprise appearance from Amelie!) with both her usual cold demeanour, and a surprisingly gentle side coupled with the quiet, tired acceptance of her forthcoming expiration. And finally, I am also there. I smoulder with barely restrained rage. Is what Reaper does.

I’d talk sound effects, but at this point I think this has gone on long enough. Long story short: sound effects are both the blessing and the bane of my sound mixing existence. Finding the sound of a plasteel (presumably) mask hitting the ground? What kind of ground is it anyway: soft, hard, gravel? How loud should the simulated tinnitus be so its presence is felt without actually hurting the ears of the audience? What does the hum of a hologram sound like? I can’t find the sound of someone getting pummeled by angry hispanic fists, so it looks like I’m going to have to record myself hitting myself! Where can I sneak in the Wilhelm scream THIS time?

ANYWAY! If you enjoyed that, why not watch some of my other comic dubs?

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First Look: The Lamborghini Terzo Millennio

Automobili Lamborghini in collaboration with two laboratories of the MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), marks the first steps of a possible future Lamborghini electric super sports car.

On the occasion of this announcement Lamborghini presents the new design concept “Lamborghini of the Terzo Millennio”. The concept imagines design and technology theories of tomorrow, while sustaining the visual intrigue, breath-taking performance and, most importantly, the visceral emotion found in every dimension of a Lamborghini. It is made for future super sports car enthusiasts.

The technological goal of the project is to enable Lamborghini to address the future of the super sports car in 5 dimensions: energy storage systems, innovative materials, propulsion system, visionary design, and emotion.

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Comic dub of an Overwatch fancomic by @superrisu - featuring the voices of Elsie Lovelock as Moira, and Tiana Camacho as Mercy! Gotta give super special thanks to superrisu, Elsie and Tiana for giving me the raw image files/voice recordings so fast that I think this might be the fastest turnaround for a comic going up and an AWNN comic dub of it getting made! Guys, I think we just love Moira and her potential weeaboo-ness THAT much. I mean sure, the connotation that anime fans are actually all secretly petty, over-reactive, vengeful people with no souls is… entirely deserved and we should all be ashamed of ourselves for what we are: an abomination on this good, clean world. o:

If you enjoyed that, why not watch some of my other comic dubs?

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Comic dub of an Overwatch fancomic by @bluebloodtanuki-bbt - featuring the voices of Kamran Nikhad as Doomfist, Elsie Lovelock as Moira, and myself as Reaper! She were askin’ if you were around. How you was (“in a permanent state between life and death”), where you could be found (“working for Talon”). Told them you were livin’ downtown (“in a comfy four-bedroom Talon safehouse”). Drivin’ all the old men crazy (“specifically Soldier 76”).

… Sing it with me now: BAD GIRLS/BOYS ARE BACK IN TOWN (bad girls/boys are back in town) BAD GIRLS/BOYS ARE BACK IN TOOOOoooOOOOOoooooOOOOWN (bad girls/boys are back in town)

This new hero reveal could NOT have been timed any better, honestly - hon hon hon~

If you enjoyed that, why not watch some of my other comic dubs?

Transparent solar technology represents 'wave of the future'

See-through solar materials that can be applied to windows represent a massive source of untapped energy and could harvest as much power as bigger, bulkier rooftop solar units, scientists report in Nature Energy.

Led by engineering researchers at Michigan State University, the authors argue that widespread use of such highly transparent solar applications, together with the rooftop units, could nearly meet U.S. electricity demand and drastically reduce the use of fossil fuels.

“Highly transparent solar cells represent the wave of the future for new solar applications,” said Richard Lunt, the Johansen Crosby Endowed Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at MSU. “We analyzed their potential and show that by harvesting only invisible light, these devices can provide a similar electricity-generation potential as rooftop solar while providing additional functionality to enhance the efficiency of buildings, automobiles and mobile electronics.”

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