Illustrator is a very important tool for designers and creative
professionals. And no matter how familiar you are with it, there are
always some shortcuts you could learn to be more productive. Enjoy!
Building Soil Health for Healthy Plants by soil scientist Dr. Elaine Ingham
“A revolution in our understanding of soil has been taking place.
“Conventional” agriculture requires ever-increasing inputs and energy into the system to maintain production, while natural systems reduce the disturbances in the system, while increasing production.
Historically, soil science ignored or dismissed soil life as important, in large part because the methods used to study organisms in soil were mis-leading, inaccurate and missed about 99% or more of the species present in soil.
With the advent of microscope methods and genetic assessment of soil life, we are beginning to unravel the mysteries of the soil. A framework to help growers easily understand the differing specific sets of beneficial organisms required for healthy growth of different types of plants will be presented.
Understanding soil life is critical if we want to be sustainable; we need to work with nature, instead of waging war on natural laws as we do in our agricultural systems, to the detriment of people and the planet.
View the slides from this presentation at permaculturevoices.com/96
I wanted to expand a bit on that post with some additional points.
In my first journal I talked a bit about the things I avoid doing when designing characters, but I think I’d like to spend some time & attention on what I *do* focus on.
1. Avoidance of the overly remarkable visual hero syndrome
Now I know that title sounds like I’m once again talking about what I *don’t* do, but listen up; Most people do FINE at designing recognisable party members & protagonists.
And … to me that’s a bit of an issue. It reminds me a lot of playing an old RPG where they reuse the same NPC sprites in every town 5 times and then there’s one character in the town who stands out like a sore thumb, visually. Every time I see that my head just instantly goes: “GEE, I WONDER WHO MIGHT JOIN MY PARTY IN THIS TOWN”. Rather than care about various unique characters that make the town alive, visually those games already tell you “ignore the other stuff, this is the important thing."
These four people are hanging out in the local pub, guess which one joins your party/is the final boss?
Now obviously you can argue "Hey but sometimes important people stand out more!” which is fine, but here’s the thing: When your party member is supposed to be a totally regular villager who just happens to aid you (often the case), or when a village/location is meant to be filled with badass characters … inappropriate visual cues can ruin the illusion.
In the image shown above we’ve got dirt poor villagers & an arrogant isolationist hero who outright avoids hanging out where the regular villagers do. He’d stand out but he should and wants to.
These four random villagers are hanging out in the town square, which of these will give up their regular life to go adventure!?
Uniformity of style & wardrobe is a tool you can use to make it clear a person really was a regular villager until adventure got in their way.
Nobody expects the plain village girl clad in brown rags to step up and save our extravagant hero at the last moment, so it makes her step towards becoming a full fledged hero all the more impressive. She wasn’t someone designed from the ground up to be “miss iconic hero”, she started out wearing scraps and being just like the other villagers.
A GREAT example of this principle in action is the manga/anime Attack on Titan. The forced uniformity surrounding the entire cast combined with an avoidance of absurd haircolours/traits makes the characters feel far less significant and unique. Whenever you see people wearing the same uniform die horrid deaths you feel like it could’ve just as well been one of the characters you love, because everyone’s a redshirt.
Okay that all makes sense, but tons of your characters still have unique larger than life designs, what’s up with that?
Good question with a simple answer: Because the extreme can be taken two ways:
Here’s my comic’s 3 protagonists when compared to equals/peers of sorts.
Noah (line 1) has a strong social uniformity due to him and other students from his story all wearing school outfits. They’re uniform because they have to be.
Tobi (line 2) has what I call a strong cultural uniformity, she’s from an isolated location with minimal outside influence on fashion and wardrobe + strong environmental influences.
Burk (line 3) is hard to pin down because he’s always on the move, aside from arguably camping him in with pseudo-nudists his peers are other hero-like characters like himself. Usually anyone of this status has quite a bit of fame, a lot of travel experience and *a lot* of freedom in choosing how they present themselves. Considering it’s usually not a role taken by people who’d rather not have notice taken of them this leads to more extravagant outfit/colour choices.
The important thing I try to do is have these choices all be possible alongside eachother. Eventhough a character’s role & interests will obviously dictate who they’ll interact with, I never try to lose sight of the fact that every group, no matter how uniform or unique they might present themselves, is still a group compsed of different characters. The visuals simply que us in on how they present themselves.
This brings me to the final point of this particular post, character’s faces. (and to a degree body type/race/etc)
Would you believe me if I told you these were all the same guy?
As I mentioned earlier, changing a character’s clothes can indicate a change of attitude or role. But this does rely heavily on your character being unique enough to have a significant change in style/wardrobe without them turning out near-unrecognisable. And that brings us to an important point: If you give a villager clad in brown clothes a generic face you use over and over … spoilers: people know this character could never ever matter. And this isn’t a matter of actually making every villager significant, it’s a matter of not designing your world to feel centered around a few unique individuals while everyone else feels like a carbon copy extra in a low budget play. (high budget enough to clone identical twins*)
To summarise, these are some weak mooks at the start of Burk’s story. (weak, as in, Burk can take out 5 of them in one punch)
If you asked a reader which one is Norman, they could tell you. Because Norman is allowed to have a recognisable face.
Anyway that’s all.
1. As always, this is just my opinion & some insight into my thought process when designing characters, as I often hear people asking about it. I’m not saying how I do it is the best way/ideal or that other methods are a sin against creativity. Thanks for reading and I hope it helps some people out!
OMG YOUR ART IS AWESOME!!!!!!:DDD wait just wondering how do you shade? :)
It involves the following:
-a super soft airbrush -clipping masks with multiply layers for the darkening, sometimes overlay and add/luminosity for the lightening (depending on your program, I use Clip Studio so I’ll be referring to it as “add”.) -A decently hard, but not too hard eraser. -Pain, screaming and joy. (this last one here can be done any time throughout your shading process)
Apparently, my style of shading is considered interesting by a few people (these are their words, not mine), because while most people paint in their shades with strokes of pain, I erase where the lighting hits.
For this tutorial, I’m gonna use this drawing of a small child that I apparently have:
Step 1: Softly shade in your shadows Considering this is gonna be on a multiply layer, I would pick a different color like a soft shade of blue or a soft shade of purple. Depending on the drawing, you can use other colors, too. Like so…
Slap this shit onto Multiply and you get this:
Step 2: Put another clipping mask on the layer above the soft shade, set that to multiply, and fill it all. It’ll look jarring at first, but bear with me,
Step 3: With a somewhat hard eraser, erase where the lighting hits. This part will depend on your own knowledge of lighting. If you need help, there are countless tutorials on the web to assist :P
Anyway, this is my shading eraser’s settings:
and this is what this looks like when I apply it:
Of course, I’m no expert in lighting, but this is good enough.
Optional step: Add another multiply layer above this one to add more shadows in places that need it.
Like certain parts of his hair might need this:
With lighting, like for the hair, you put MORE clipping masks, but either in overlay or add (or luminosity). For the hair, it’s recommended you do one layer with soft lighting, and another above it for hard lighting.
In the case with the hair, it’s soft airbrush for the first overlay layer.
And I actually manually draw in the hard light rather than erase-shade. In the case with the hair, I use a pen.
And everything else you can just fuck around with. Optional things I do is use certain blending modes to smooth out certain areas, add an add layer above the lineart to add stray strokes of hair, and add a screen layer above everything to give it a soft glow look.
I certainly can’t speak for everybody, so try some techniques yourself and what not!
How do i begin to do magic or learn about? I mean, i do not believe in goddess, so where does magic come from? How do i learn? What can i do or not be able to do? Are there rules or something? By the way, thank you, your blog is awesome ~
Hello! I am going to try to break this down into sections, to answer a bit easier.
Please note, a lot of this is my own opinion, and others may agree / disagree, and that is okay. However, you did ask me, so this is what I have to say, and I hope it proves useful to you. If you don’t agree with something I say, or you feel differently, that’s okay, because magic is full of things like that. (I talk a little more about that further on).
How do I begin to do magic?
Well, you decide you want to do magic, you pick out some spells or methods you want to try, and you try them. :p That may seem really broad and not specific, but that is really it. Firstly, you will need to do some research (and I will talk about that below) on a branch of magic you are interested in (and there are many, but I won’t bring that up here just now). Once you’ve done your research, and you have an idea of where you want to begin, try some spells / methods, experiment if you feel comfortable enough doing so (though it can always wait until when you have more experience), and go from there.
Research. And lots of it. Look for as many resources as you can find, online as well as in the physical world. Books, guides, tutorials, blogs, web pages. Cross check anything you find with other sources, no matter where you see it - you will find conflicting information, because magic is such a personal thing and therefore varies from person to person. This is okay. Try out one thing, see if it works, and if not try it out another way. Magic is a lot of research, testing and experimentation, then making note of what works for you, and trying something else.
[Here] is a list of authors you should try to avoid - trigger warning for mention of various disturbing topics. [Here] is a post that talks about why your book on witchcraft might be full of it; if you have any questions as to why that might be, feel free to ask the OP or even myself. [Here] is a post that explains using discretion and critical reading in regards to witchcraft books.
I do not believe in deities, so where does magic come from?
Everywhere. The way a lot of us see magic is the manipulation of energy. Therefore, anything that has energy can be used in magic. Therefore, there is magical potential in anything. Mostly people get magic from the earth and the elements, or themselves; people also get the energy to fuel magic from objects that are known to carry potent energy for specific purposes - herbs, crystals, candles, etc.
What can I do? What am I not able to do?
Do whatever you want - try whatever you want. Not everything will work for everyone, so I can’t say what may work for you or what may not. For instance, sigils work for me, but they may not for you, for various reasons. So, it’s a matter of playing around with different methods and seeing what you like and what works for you.
There are some things I find magic can’t really affect - such as changing physical appearance or form in this plane, or completely removing illness from the body, just as a few examples. Magic is more useful for increasing the odds or likeliness of a thing to happen, but it cannot permanently guarantee a thing to happen.
Are there rules?
Well, there can be, if you want to set them for yourself. There aren’t really any universal rules for being a magic user. There isn’t any set dogma or list of things you can or cannot do to be classified as a magic user.
Some people will talk about cursing or whatever here, but that is still a matter of personal choice and individual morals. If you want to, cool, if you don’t want to, also cool. What isn’t cool is trying to tell other people how they should practice. (Also why I’m not really talking about rules here, because that’s up to you to decide how you wanna practice.)
Besides that, the only thing I can think of would be the limits of physics, but that isn’t so much a rule as boundaries of the practice, things it just can’t do at this time.
Do you know the difference between margin and padding?
Padding is the space inside a box
Margin is the space outside a box
Given that info:
Use padding when you want space between the contents of the box and the box’s edges
Use margin when you want space between the box and other boxes
Or, in other words, I’d say…
Do I want more space, aka “breathing room” inside this box? Use padding.
Do I want more space between this box and other elements on the page? Use margins.
When you have a background color or a border turned on for your box (i.e. a distinguishing edge), it’s easier to visually see why you would want to use padding or margin.
It’s just trickier when you don’t have some distinguishing edge to your box, because then padding and margin appear to be behaving in the same way.
In those cases, either one can get the job done. I.e. it’s not always necessarily a “you have to use padding* or "you have to use margin” situation.
Here’s a couple more points that distinguish margin and padding from one another:
When you use padding it adds to the overall width of your elements. Ex, if you set the width of a box to be 100px but have 10px padding, you actually will have an element that is 120px wide (10px padding on either side).
Margins collapse. This means if I have two boxes next to one another, each with a 10px margin…The distance between them will not be 20px (10px + 10px). Instead, the margins will collapse so the margin is for realz 10px.
As promised, this is your second stitch this week to make up for last weeks. Stupid shingles!
This is such a funky dunky stitch. It looks like a spider web but you can also fill it all in and it suddenly becomes a beautiful flower. Play around with this one. You can vary the length of the base stitches, try different thread counts (pictured below is 6 thread floss), get crazy with it!
The one thing you should be aware of is that you will want an odd number of lines in your base star stitch. 5, 7, 9, 11, 99 … it just makes the weaving part a lot easier.
Remember the Algerian Eye from a few weeks ago? Same approach. Build the star (with an odd number of stitches).
Bring the 2nd thread up from the back close to the center and start weaving (over, under, over, under) for as long as you like.
Once you are finished, jab that needle under the weaving to hide the end. Pull it through to the back and tie it off.
Tutorial (Parte 1): Como se tornar famosinho no mundo das webs (ou quase isso).
Aaah, a fama! Quem nunca sonhou em ser reconhecido e elogiado por aquilo que faz? Ser usado como referência/exemplo de alguém que alcançou o sucesso desejado por muitos é uma ideia realmente tentadora. Até mesmo aqui, na nossa pequena comunidade de histórias originais e fanfics, a popularidade é algo almejado por vários escritores. Afinal, que atire a primeira pedra quem nunca olhou para aquele Tumblr cheio de notes/asks e desejou ter ao menos um terço deles (ou quis roubar logo todos mesmo, porque a gente sempre tem um ladinho meio obscuro).
Pensando nisso, nós do WWresolvemos criar um post (que acabou sendo dividido em dois, mas enfim) que pode te ajudar nessa caminhada ao estrelato, reunindo algumas dicas de criação, divulgação, organização e interação muito utilizadas nesse mundinho das webs.Pronto para ficar famoso e ver o número de seguidores triplicar? Então pegue o caderninho e anote (com cuidado e muita atenção) as dicas a seguir:
Looking for new blogs to follow! Reblog if you blog:
Trans* (especially FtM)
Art/Art tips and tutorials
YouTube (Benton Sorenson, Skylar Kergil, Olan Rogers, Tyler Oakley)
Congratulations, you just saved the whole internet on youre computer, now you can call up Comcast and tell them you don’t need their internet any more. Just get internet once a year and follow these steps and then you should have enough internet for a year at least. Save big $$$$$$