So far the evening had been absolutely top. It had started out as Gavin, Michael and Geoff bar-hopping and
drinking a different drink from each place. They’d danced, sung, laughed, and
generally had a good time. But then Michael had almost thrown up on some poor
lioness hybrid’s shoes so Geoff had called Griffon to take them home. Gavin
wasn’t completely plastered (yet) and at the time, staying for a few more
drinks – and to perhaps meet someone new – sounded like a great idea.
Now, however, as the hawk hybrid slides his barstool closer
to Gavin’s, a predatory smirk on his face as he repeats yet another fact about how great and wonderful hawk hybrids are in
comparison to lyrebird hybrids, Gavin wishes he had made a different call. When
the guy finally excused himself for a
few minutes to go to the bathroom, Gavin whipped out his phone and took his
Confession: I think Symmetra is going to be an antagonist in the Overwatch lore, but not really in the “For Vishkar” sense most would think. I was thinking more of an “Inspector Javert” type situation where Overwatch needs to be hunted down by the law (they ARE violating the PETRAS act in-lore, so they’re technically criminals now), and Symmetra is given the task of hunting them down one by one. It’d be really cool to see Symmetra and Winston face each other in a battle of wits, each one trying to outsmart the other, debating philosophy on what “the right thing” is, maybe even a literal chess match between them.
No but guys seriously consider: Snoke is behind Kylo’s obsession with Darth Vader.
It makes sense, and would explain why he goes to such lengths to emulate him.
I think it is safe to assume that as a child his family had “The Talk” about Grandpa Vader, and placed a lot of emphasis on him not always belonging to the Dark Side, of having returned to the Light eventually, etc etc. You don’t want your child to learn about his grandfather from someone else, because the rest of the galaxy will still first and foremost see him as an evil enforcer, murderer, etc. I’m sure they spent a lot of time explaining the rights-and-wrongs to him.
So how did he eventually come to believe that his grandfather, Vader and not Anakin, was “right” and/or on the correct path? And why for the love of the Force did Anakin’s Force Ghost not show up to set things straight?
If you aren’t paying attention carefully (See: not paying obnoxious attention to every single word for examination), it could be easy to miss a big hint from the movies. Kylo/Ben, in private, says this to Vaders helmet:
“Show me again the power of the darkness, and I will finish what you started.”
Again. Show me again. This implies that Ben Solo has been shown things before. And that he has been shown these things from his grandfather. Or at least by someone who is appearing/pretending to be Vader in order to fuel or encourage Kylo Ren to do things that he is conflicted and torn up about.
Anakin sure as hell wouldn’t be doing this. Everybody is wanting Anakin’s Force Ghost to show up and knock sense into Ben in the next movie, but the question remains: why hasn’t Anakin intervened before? If he saw his grandson being led down a path similar to his, full of darkness and pain and fear and anger, he surely would have stepped in at the earliest opportunity to be like “wait no please think about this”.
There are only two possible explanations for his absence.
One: it has been nearly three decades and he is no longer capable of manifesting himself as a Force Ghost, so literally cannot intervene.
Or two: he is being prevented from intervening (by someone currently more powerful than the Force energy Anakin’s spirit is capable of using).
So. The first is directly opposed by what we know. Someone has appeared to Kylo. Someone has been encouraging him to take the path of the darkness.
Who would not only be powerful enough to do this, but who would benefit from Ben Solo’s continued fall? Snoke. He is currently the only Force-Sensitive on the Dark Side (besides Kylo’s entire conflicted self).
If Snoke was powerful and subversive enough to manipulate and corrupt Ben Solo from birth, AS IS ESTABLISHED CANON, even against the Force-sensitive strength of Mama Leia and Uncle Luke, then he should certainly be strong enough to appear/manifest some sort of Vader image-ghost-hybrid to further the manipulation/brain-washing of Ben Solo. Any right-or-wrong moral issues that Ben has without a doubt felt over the years would probably be eased slightly if the ghost of dead Grandpa who walked on both sides of the Force gave you the proverbial thumbs-up. (I go into more detail about Snoke’s manipulation of little Ben here.)
And not only this. If Snoke is powerful enough to do these things, then it draws up the possibility of him also being able to block Anakin’s actual Force Ghost from Ben, or at least prevent him from manifesting himself. So it is very possible that Anakin’s Force Ghost has not only tried before to appear to his grandson, but he may have even tried multiple times over the years, and was somehow blocked by the then-superior Force powers of Snoke.
Snoke then succeeds in not only falsely supplying Kylo Ren with a weird justification and/or push towards Snoke’s end goal (whatever that is), but he succeeds in making sure that Anakin is helpless to do anything about it.
(Edit: For anyone interested, I made a thorough analysis on what I speculate Ben’s childhood was like, even without Snoke’s influence, here) (In addition, I speculate on his redemption here, and on his “temper tantrums” here).
The Deep Ones are a race of ocean-dwelling creatures from the Cthulhu Mythos. They are part-fish, part-human beings who serve eldritch gods and demonic beings.
The Deep Ones first appeared in H. P. Lovecraft’s 1931 novella The Shadow Over Innsmouth. It is here where much of their characteristics are revealed, including their deep sea habitat and their practice of mating with humans to birth hideous hybrids.
If someone had told her two years ago that Klaus Mikaelson enjoyed having his hair played with, Bonnie would’ve laughed long and loud in their face. If they had then informed her that she would one day prove particularly skilled at stroking aforementioned hybrid’s hair, her laughter would have intensified to a hysterical pitch. And yet here she was, on his couch, in his house - mansion, really - being warmed by a companionable fire, playing in Klaus Mikaleson’s hair and scrolling her phone while the man himself napped.
(The first time she had done this, touched his hair, he had drowsily accused her of casting a spell)
There is a lot of photoshop controversy with the new Black Widow poster. You might have seen the above image floating around tumblr.
People are upset and I definitely understand why. But there are also a lot of photoshop “experts” weighing in on how this image was manipulated, and many of them are close, but I don’t think any of them really know what the hell they are talking about.
While I can’t claim to know every edit that was made to this image, I can give you a close idea of how an image like this is produced. I’m not going to make too many judgments about the ethics. I think that has been covered pretty well.
First off, this is a hybrid image. An initial photograph is taken, and then a digital artist essentially paints over it. The painting layers and the photograph layers are blended together to create an almost surreal effect. Like the image could be a painting or a photo and it kind of blows your mind a little trying to figure which it is.
It’s both. So don’t hurt your brain too much.
You’ll see this done a lot with superhero movies because the images almost look like they could grace the page of a comic book. I think it is a neat effect when done properly.
The initial photograph is taken with very bland lighting. The subject is very evenly lit so there are no heavy highlights or shadows. If you were to see the original photo you would probably think it wasn’t very well done. That is because the digital artist wishes to paint in the dramatic lighting themselves. That is the main way they create the overall effect. They paint in highlights and shadow. They enhance textures. They will use the color of the original as a reference, but usually they will repaint or dodge and burn to get the effect they want.
The part of this image that people don’t care for are the adjustments to Scarlett’s actual features. Yes, her waist was absolutely brought in. This is done with a tool called “liquify” in photoshop. It’s a very easy adjustment to make and takes about 20 seconds. This is extremely common practice and it’s possible that 20 second adjustment is the most controversial of all.
The below image took me about 30 seconds total, and as you can see, it can be taken to some pretty extreme lengths with almost no effort at all.
I can’t say for sure, but her neck was probably lengthened in the poster. This is pretty standard practice, though it is very hard to detect. This is probably the silliest practice in retouching. I have never once said, “Man, I wish that person’s neck was longer.”
People say that her breasts are enhanced, and that is true, but I don’t think they are “enhanced” the way people think. In photoshop, if you want to enlarge breasts, you would use the “bloat” function in the Liquify tool. Again, this is another 20 second adjustment and it produces surprisingly realistic results.
I don’t think this artist actually enlarged her breasts a great deal, but rather made them more… pronounced. He added a heavy highlight on the top and a shadow on the bottom. This gives the illusion of depth and makes the breasts stand out more.
To show you some examples I did some very quick and dirty adjustments. Keep in mind if I had higher res files to work with, I could get much more realistic results. I just wanted to give you a rough idea.
This is the standard technique for enlarging breasts using the bloat tool.
The tool expands the area and makes it seem more spherical. Photoshop will probably tell you this function has all sorts of practical applications. But I’m pretty sure they created it for boobs.
Below is the “pronounced” effect I think they used in the poster. It is just simple shading and highlighting. Nothing is enlarged, but it still gives that effect.
And, of course, you can use both techniques at once. Which is also a possibility in the poster.
The only thing I am not too sure about is the length of the arms. I have definitely heard of people making legs longer, but I don’t recall arm lengthening being a general practice. In my opinion I think it was just the way the image was shot.
In photography there is a technique where you can use a wide angle lens from a low angle to give your subject a more powerful appearance. Think of yourself standing at the base of a tall statue. As you look up, it seems massive and imposing. That is because of perspective distortion. Close things seem large, far things seem small, and it is what gives us a sense of something’s size.
So if you create that same effect in a photo with a wide angle lens and a normal human, it creates that sense of power. Which is what I think they wanted to convey with the image. However, that perspective distortion can make a person’s features seem a bit unnatural. Limbs seem the wrong length. Proportions seem a bit off. For the most part our brain interprets the image correctly, but if you do a very close inspection of the photo, then these distortions become more noticeable.
I looked at press photos of Miss Johansson, and she does have long, slender arms. I think her naturally long arms + distortion is why they appear a bit funny looking. I don’t think it was a purposeful decision.
I think the sad part is that if they had not brought in the waist, pronounced the breasts, and lengthened the neck, this would have been a pretty badass image in its own right. She is a beautiful woman and I don’t see how making these unrealistic adjustments made this image any better.
It would be great if doll companies sold “resin swatches” like little disks of resin with the logo, year and color. You could see what color you liked best in person before picking resin for the doll. Swatches could help people with color matching for older dolls and hybrids too.