map detail

5

The emissive texture is done. With that, the retexture is complete.
Everything was redone on a fresh UV layout, resolution got bumped up from 2k to 4k, new detail floaters were made and baked.
As for the skin, I’ve painted and baked it in Blender, using an elaborate Cycles noodle setup that blends between several common skin types. The finest level of skin detail is a special detail map which lives on its own UV channel and affects roughness; this was the best way to make skin look like skin without using a whole new BRDF.
The one thing I didn’t have to touch were the eye textures, they were already good enough. This time I got to use them at their original resolution.

The preview as I promised :^)

only thing left to do is make the house(s), make some tile variations for sub-maps and add some details, as well as maybe fixing a problem with a diagonal tile I made for the fence.

In other news I also redesigned a few of the original maps and songs of the game, like the the Orange Plains  and the purple city and its rooms but, I won’t show that…yet

Astronomy From 45,000 Feet

What is the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, or SOFIA, up to?

SOFIA, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, as our flying telescope is called, is a Boeing 747SP aircraft that carries a 2.5-meter telescope to altitudes as high as 45,000 feet. Researchers use SOFIA to study the solar system and beyond using infrared light. This type of light does not reach the ground, but does reach the altitudes where SOFIA flies.

 Recently, we used SOFIA to study water on Venus, hoping to learn more about how that planet lost its oceans. Our researchers used a powerful instrument on SOFIA, called a spectrograph, to detect water in its normal form and “heavy water,” which has an extra neutron. The heavy water takes longer to evaporate and builds up over time. By measuring how much heavy water is on Venus’ surface now, our team will be able to estimate how much water Venus had when the planet formed.

We are also using SOFIA to create a detailed map of the Whirlpool Galaxy by making multiple observations of the galaxy. This map will help us understand how stars form from clouds in that galaxy. In particular, it will help us to know if the spiral arms in the galaxy trigger clouds to collapse into stars, or if the arms just show up where stars have already formed.

We can also use SOFIA to study methane on Mars. The Curiosity rover has detected methane on the surface of Mars. But the total amount of methane on Mars is unknown and evidence so far indicates that its levels change significantly over time and location. We are using SOFIA to search for evidence of this gas by mapping the Red Planet with an instrument specially tuned to sniff out methane.

Next our team will use SOFIA to study Jupiter’s icy moon Europa, searching for evidence of possible water plumes detected by the Hubble Space Telescope. The plumes, illustrated in the artist’s concept above, were previously seen in images as extensions from the edge of the moon. Using SOFIA, we will search for water and determine if the plumes are eruptions of water from the surface. If the plumes are coming from the surface, they may be erupting through cracks in the ice that covers Europa’s oceans. Members of our SOFIA team recently discussed studying Europa on the NASA in Silicon Valley Podcast.

This is the view of Jupiter and its moons taken with SOFIA’s visible light guide camera that is used to position the telescope.  

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com

Outlining your novel scene by scene (Part 1)

Did you ever feel bored midway writing a scene? Or lukewarm? Do you feel like readers will jump full chunks of text?

Well, I used to feel that all the time.

I disliked outline with a passion. I thought it stole the magic away from creation. I thought it would trap my story in a box. Whenever I tried, I had no idea where to start, so I blamed outlining all over again. I would just write the first scene and allow my story to unfold itself. Although it is fun to let your story take the lead, it’s also chaotic.

I realized the importance of outlining on my third book. After months and months of hard work, my story turned out just… boring. Weak characters. A plot full of holes. No defined theme. Useless scenes. And a story that started with a goal, but changed so many times along the pages and accomplished almost nothing. Slow. Tedious. I was frustrated. I had to delete more than half to make it work. Even after rewriting, I wasn’t happy. That project was a major fail.

Originally posted by failworldblog

And failing was good, because, on my next project, I outlined. 

I listed all arcs and, within the arcs, all scenes. I was mad. I wanted control. I wanted power. And I only sat down to write when I knew exactly what was going to happen from start to finish. I never wrote something that fast and effortlessly in my life. It didn’t take away the magic of writing, it simply gave me a sense of direction.

Outline is a map. And when you have a map, you have a journey to make.

Originally posted by artymissk

If, like me, you are a bit lost, here’s how you can create the map for your next novel, or how to outline your book scene by scene. I’ll share with you three techniques, but will divide them into three posts. This is the part one. Or the Map Technique.

I advice you to grab pen and paper, and move away from the computer. Find a comfortable spot, maybe a coffee shop, or by your window. And let’s work!

Originally posted by sashabloodsoup

Before outlining, write down your storyline in one phrase. I’ll be using an example to help you understand this technique. So, my storyline is:

Masked twins fight against a violent dictatorship.

Now, let’s start.

In every journey, we need a departure point and an arrival point. This is essential for a map. And, if it’s essential for a map, it’s essential for our outline. So, create the start (departure) and the end (arrival) of your story. With my example, it goes:

  • Twins have their lives destroyed by the government (departure)
  • They destroy the government (arrival)

Amazing!! Our map is taking form. 

What else a journey must have? Milestones. Without milestones, we don’t know how far we are from the arrival. They are essential as well. But how can we put milestones in an outline? Easy. Between departure and arrival, you will list every important arc (or event, or key scene, or plot point) that must happen in order to take the plot from start to end. More or less like this:

  • Twins have their lives destroyed by the government (departure)
    • Their family is destroyed
    • They are taken in by their uncle
    • Uncle and twins plan their revenge
    • Twins find their mask
    • Twins perform small acts of justice
    • They gain the respect of the citizens
    • Government sees them as threat
    • Government tries to erase them
    • Twins perform huge acts of justice
    • They are almost killed 
    • Uncle is killed
    • They perform one last act of justice by killing the dictator
    • Citizens claim for democracy
    • Democracy is installed
    • The twins destroy their masks 
  • They destroy the government (arrival)

All milestones are placed, nothing too fancy, just a description of what we’ll be seeing along the journey. Good. 

From milestone to milestone, we have roads, or sequences of roads. Between arcs, write down sequences of scenes that must happen to move the plot forward. For example: 

  • Twins have their lives destroyed by the government (departure)
    • Their family is destroyed
      • Twins live with their father (who is an important journalist)
      • Father is abducted by the government
      • Social worker takes them to lonely uncle
    • They are taken in by their uncle
      • Twins and uncle can’t adjust to new life
      • They are all filled with grief
      • Uncle comes up with revenge plan
    • Uncle and twins plan their revenge
      • Twins trains while uncle perfects his plan
      • Twins and uncle adjust to new life
      • They become a family
    • Twins find their mask
      • Getting ready for their first step
    • Twins perform small acts of justice
      • They destroy factory that uses slave force
      • They kill politician who closed hospitals
      • They kill a famous torturer for the government party
      • They find their father’s file
      • Discover that father was tortured and killed
    • They gain the respect of the citizens

We are almost there… 

Because, in every mile of the road, we have landscapes. Scenes are landscapes. And we need hundreds of different landscapes along the journey, beautiful ones, strange ones, unexpected ones… we need scenes. To every sequence, create as many scenes as you need:

  • Twins have their lives destroyed by the government (departure)
    • Their family is destroyed
      • Twins live with their father (who is an important journalist)
        • Father receives a journalism award
        • Twins enjoy the party
        • It’s time to go
        • Father drives them home
      • Father is abducted by the government
        • In isolated street, the car is stoped
        • Two man attacks them and abducts their father
        • One of the twins receive a scar on their face
        • Twins are left alone in deserted street
      • Social worker takes them to lonely uncle
        • Social worker takes them from the hospital
        • Drives them to poor area
        • Leaves them with unknown uncle
    • They are taken in by their uncle
      • Twins and uncle can’t adjust to new life
        • Twins can’t eat
        • Twins won’t leave the house
        • Uncle tries to get information on what happened to his brother, but fails
        • It’s believed that their father died
      • They are all filled with grief
        • Uncle and twins have a sincere talk about father, they tell past stories, they laugh, they cry
        • For the first time, they have dinner together
      • Uncle comes up with revenge plan

You can almost see the story playing inside your head like a movie. That’s the magic of a scene by scene outline. :D

This last step is optional. But it’s a great exercise to trim the rough edges. Under each scene, catalog which character(s) you’ll need, what place(s) will be used, what does the scene accomplishes and ways it can unfold. Example:

  • Father receives a journalism award
    • Characters: Father, twins, father’s coworkers, VIPs
    • Place: Banquet hall 
    • Accomplishment: To show that father is a famous journalist that gives no chills for what the dictator says
    • Possibilities: 
      • Father is announced as the award winner
      • Speech against the dictator
      • Ends speech by showing his love for his son/daughter(s)
      • Twins are proud (and kind of embarrassed as well)
      • Applause, applause
      • Nice food
      • Beautiful dresses
      • It’s the twins birthday
      • Or it’s Christmas
      • Open hall with garden
      • Fireworks
      • Rich people

Takes time, but, now, you have the most detailed map a traveller can possess. It’s easy to depart, just take a seat and enjoy the ride.

Originally posted by mr-nikolo

I hope it helps somehow. Next time I’ll show you a different technique. 

A courier gives you a package that says “To: [features that describe player in party] wearing green [colored item they have]”. You are wearing a red [item]. The package contains…

1. Drugs, and a map detailing where to take them.

2. Information on the location of a missing villager, and instructions on where to take them.

3. Information about a coup happening soon.

4. Drawings of you and your party members, scarily accurate and personal information as well as instructions on the best way to take you out.

I wonder if the Inquisition has debriefings? Like, after the entire crew gets back from a mission they have a meeting with the advisors regarding everything that happened. 

Or maybe everyone in the party is required to write a field report? I bet Cullen reads them all, just sifting through endless crap from the Inner Circle:

Sera’s reports consist only of crude drawings and obscenities – he actually finds those entertaining. She’s quite inventive and the point is always rather clear.

Cassandra’s are always perfect and detailed, if not a bit stilted. Not that he minds. 

Dorian’s are always about the lack of amenities or certain comforts. Can’t you order us thicker blankets? I was freezing the entire time and there was a rock under my back. 

Blackwall’s reports are always helpful, he makes notes about soldiers, or various things that need to be done in the area. 

Iron Bull’s are always just an account of the things he killed or fought. Sometimes he’ll share a good joke he heard too.

Vivienne’s are to the point, crisp and tidy, never wanting. She’ll also tack on notes about the Inquisitor, or her companions, bits of pertinent information.

Cole doesn’t write reports, but sometimes he’ll pop into Cullen’s office and tell him a few things of note before disappearing again. 

Solas’ are scholarly, recounting the areas they’d explored and interesting landmarks, usually with a very detailed map attached. 

And then there are Varric’s, written on fine vellum imported from a printer in Kirkwall, the penmanship always neat, and flowing over the pages. And there are many pages as Varric describes, in that detailed way only a writer can, the exact way his boots squelched while in the Fallow Mire; the damp, musty smell that clung to him after spending ten days soaking wet on the Storm Coast, without a chance to dry out; the biting chill that cut through him in the Emprise du Lion, and the way the dark branches of the bare trees struck a bleak contrast against the snow. The fucking endless snow. 

It’s when they return from the Hissing Wastes and Cullen sees that Varric’s report is eighteen pages detailing exactly where he found sand on his person, that Cullen informs him he is exempt from writing any further reports.

Tonight I was buying a gift at ZiNG (a pop culture store) and I asked the salesperson if they had any Lexa pops left since I saw Lincoln was on their shelves. They told me Lexa was all pre-sold out, and the only one they managed to order in was for themselves. I was like ‘fair enough’ in an of-fucking-course sort of way and they go 'I mean, she started a MOVEMENT’ and my eyes lit up because they’re clearly a part of lexakru and get it. They said they went to Melb Supanova and took pics with all the Lexas and I go 'You probably took a picture with my friend!’ ( @molliemashstash​ ) And then they threw their arm up in the air and shouted at the sky 'A fallen sister!’ I showed them the Lexa badge on my bag and they recognised it straightaway 'Her bindi!’ and I collected my purchase and started to leave. As I was walking away I hear them shout ‘See you later on the internet!’

Sigh. It’s these kinds of encounters to me, 14 months after Lexa was killed nevertheless, that remind me just how far Lexa’s reach goes and that she’s not going to be forgotten any time soon. I live 30 minutes away from the city in the suburbs and her pop figure was pre-sold out and the salesperson was a big fan. In what world! Also, while we were chatting I had that familiar feeling of ClexaCon where you could talk with ease with total strangers who never really feel like strangers because there is an instant comradeship there. I love it.

Lexa, truly a Legend.

4

Monday’s picture: a travel to Pasargadae, Iran [gallery]

estimated reading time: 3 min.

Once capital of the Achaemenid Empire, the city of Pasargadae was constructed under the reign of Cyrus the Great (559–530 BC). Located in ancient Persia, near the city of Shiraz, it is today one of Iran’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites…

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Flashes (Part 3)

Summary: Soulmate AU. “The fault, dear Brutus is not in our stars, / But in ourselves, that we are underlings.” - William Shakespeare (Julius Caesar)

Pairing: Bucky Barnes x reader

Word Count: 2,012

Warnings: language, fluff, angst, it’s actually kind of optimistic???

A/N: Well, I did it…at least I tried. The lovely @minervaem challenged me (sort of) to do an angsty story. I’m warning you now, it’s not gonna be pretty.

Reader has her first flash, and stumbles upon some intriguing information…

Part 1 - 2 - 3 - 4

Originally posted by rainy--blog

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If I could I would paint the soft lines of you. I’d shade with bold strokes and close detail. I’d map out the bumps and scrapes, and I’d capture those intelligent eyes.
—  Honestly, I’m pathetic

Some Klance things to consider:

  • Keith calling Lance pet names, but it’s hard for him at first.  He mumbles the names for the longest time and Lance makes jabs like, “What was that, honey?” and laughs at how flustered it makes his boyfriend.
  • Whenever Lance gets nervous, he can’t stop talking, and Keith can just tell that Lance is exhausted, so he puts his hand on Lance’s cheek and rubs his thumb along his cheekbone.  Lance slowly stops talking and meets Keith’s gaze, so full of love and admiration, and just melts into Keith’s touch.
  • When Lance gets hurt in a battle, Keith hovers over him so much and is such a mother hen like, “Are you sure your pillows are fluffed enough? Do you need anything else?  Feeling any pain?” and Lance secretly loves it.
  • Keith has always had a fascination with space, so whenever he goes on a tangent about it, Lance half-listens because he’s more focused on the expressions Keith’s making, more open and vulnerable than when he’s with the rest of the team.  He watches him, maps out every detail of Keith’s face: the almost invisible freckles dusted along his cheeks, the sparkle in his eye when he gets really into something he’s saying, the way the light shines off his hair, the stray strand in his bangs that bobs along with Keith’s animated expressions, the way Keith talks with his hands, arms flailing wildly as he really gets going…He may not have the same view on space as Keith does, but he really enjoys these little moments where all the walls Keith has constructed to keep his real self isolated start to crumble and the genuine Keith shines through the cracks.  
  • When they have their first fight, it’s more of a passive aggressive one.  They may be in the same room, but you can bet your ass they’ll ask Hunk or Pidge to relay their messages to one another because both of them have so much pride and heaven forbid they’re the one to apologize first.  The tension between them doesn’t last long though, the initial adrenaline from the fighting is replaced with an empty feeling.  They miss each other and that’s how it ends, both of them meeting in the hallway, apologies already on the tip of their tongues.  They both talk over each other, and it always ends with them retiring to one of their rooms together, hands intertwined.  
  • When Lance misses home, Keith spends every second with him, pressed close to his side and hand never letting go of Lance’s.  They stay up past lights out, cuddled close together in the control room and watching the planets go by, pretending one of them is Earth.  They’ll retire to Lance’s room when they’re both nodding off and curl up in his bed, Keith tucking himself as close as he can to Lance and placing kisses to any skin he sees.  Lance wraps his arms around him and Keith lets him cry into his shoulder until he falls asleep.  When he’s sleeping, Keith watches the sadness and fear drain from his face, a peaceful look taking its place.  He kisses Lance’s tears away as he sleeps and settles himself so his head is pressed against Lance’s chest.  He falls asleep to the comforting sound of Lance’s heart beating, slow and steady, and knows that everything’s going to be okay.