So, I Made a ThingRecent events made me want to tinker with creative endeavors. Not huge projects, just small stuff for myself. I can't draw worth a crap, but the other day I bought a cheap Wacom Bamboo tablet to mess around with. Well, the first thing that came to mind was to make an ACHIEVE style shirt design inspired by Monty. I struggled when deciding whether or not to even make it, not knowing if it was appropriate or if I even had any business doing so as a non-artist. However, I could not find any similar designs out there. As a result, I decided to go through with it.
So, here it is.
I also made an alternate version, with the RWBY colors filling the text at the bottom. However, I wish I had taken the time to make the text thicker.
I must confess, I am not talented enough to make this from scratch. I first sought out an image of Monty that I could use as a base. Something wider than a face shot, but simple in the presentation of his body. In the end, I chose the following image.
As someone relatively new to digital artistry, I was surprised how fast this came together. Once you grasp the elusive simplicity of the ACHIEVE designs, it's pretty straightforward. Clothes and hair should be the same color, with exposed skin being the same color as the background. Though the background and skin are the same color, you just need non-skin objects to reveal the hidden contours of the body in order to guide the brain into recognizing bodily forms (that could be worded better). After that, it was just a matter of tracing and layering objects.
I'm not sure if his gloves translate over in the final image. I tinkered with making them more apparent but lacked the skill to do so properly, not to mention that any alteration made the image noisier. The ACHIEVE shirts are so minimalist, that I decided against addressing the gloves. I had a similar debate with the metal, belts, etc. However, I still felt that his jacket needed some attention. Not fully satisfied with how it came out, but I'm okay with it.
As for what text to put, I could not think of anything better than CREATE. It seemed appropriate. It was difficult finding the right font, but I think I came really close.
Admittedly, the perspective of the original image may not be conveyed. I've been staring at it for so long that I'm not sure what it looks like to someone who hasn't seen the base image. Hopefully the orientation of his silhouette is apparent, and doesn't look skewed or warped. If it's not apparent, then a different base image would probably have been a better choice. For that matter, I'm not sure if it's even evident that it's Monty in the picture. The Achievement Hunters are so iconic, that their images are easily recognizable on the ACHIEVE shirts. I'm not sure if that's the case with this image.
So, yeah, there it is. I just really wanted to make something Monty-inspired. I've wanted to for a while now. I didn't know whether to put this out there, or to just show it to a person or two. Whether that's because it's not my place to make such a thing, or because it's a novice's inadequate work, I don't know. But I just thought I would share this little thing I made with y'all.
My Favorite Monty Oum StoryI only ever had a handful of interactions with him, even so, I count myself lucky. There was the time at RTX 2011, when I told him I liked Dead Fantasy. He told me thanks. Then there was a time last year, when I was in the RT office. I was holding a small bag with some fragile equipment in it, when I walked into the RvB area. Monty was laying on a bean bag, looking intently at me. He then said, "Oh, I thought you were holding a puppy". I laughed and said it might as well have been, because I was trying to be careful with the bag. I'm glad I was even able to have those moments with him, knowing what kind of person he was and his level of drive and motivation to his craft.
However, my favorite Monty story is from RTX 2013. RT had released the RWBY trailers that year, and premiered the first episode that weekend. I was one of the Guardians working the mixer on Saturday. I was returning to my post, when a girl stopped me. She couldn't have been older than 14. She was with her mom, who appeared to be happy to come along and supported her daughter. The daughter asked me, "Do you know where Monty is?" I told her I didn't know, and that she could maybe look for him tomorrow after a panel or during autograph times. Apparently that wasn't a good option, as he wasn't on the schedule anywhere or they were leaving tomorrow. The daughter looked really disappointed. "I really wanted to ask him a question about Maya". I had expected her to want to get a picture or autograph, but she only wanted to pick his brain about animation software. She wanted to be an animator.
I continued to speak with them for a few minutes, trying to help the mom alleviate her daughter's disappointment at not being able to find him that weekend. They weren't mad, just really bummed out. Then the mom pointed and said, "Hey, isn't that him?" There was Monty, walking hurriedly towards the mixer right by us. I couldn't believe it. "MONTY" the daughter said loudly, sidestepping to him. Monty stopped in his tracks, and spoke with her. I couldn't hear the conversation. I was mostly in awe of the circumstances, and odds of Monty being right there. I told the mom that her daughter was very lucky to find him and be able to talk to him one-on-one like that.
After what could only have been a minute, the daughter said thanks and goodbye, then walked back to us. "Did you ask him what you wanted?" the mom asked. The daughter was just silently standing, holding her hands. "Yes", she said quietly. The daughter looked to be in a state of utter content. Pure and silent happiness. Her primary goal that whole weekend was to speak with him. That experience made her whole weekend. I don't remember where they were from, but I know they flew in. Pretty much just for that.
It's a memory that I sometimes think about. Especially now. This girl saw his work and was inspired by him. She wanted to be an animator, like he was. She flew to RTX with the singular goal in mind, to find him and speak with him. And she achieved that goal, happily. I was just lucky enough to be a bystander when it happened.
Monty entertained countless people, but inspired them as well. His work ethic was legendary. Motivating. Aspirational. We'll remember him for many things. For the content he gave us. For the universes and mythos he created. For his drive. For his being a damn good person (with fantastic dance skills).
I just know I'll remember him for influencing a little girl from who knows where, who wanted to be just like him.
PAX South Recap-Good con. Wished there was a bigger Microsoft or Sony presence. -Roomed with @Radius55, @agd2i, and @aithi. Solid roommates. We watched Bee and PuppyCat. -Got 2nd place in the Halo 4 tourney. Pretty proud of that. Didn't expect to do that well. -Favorite game there was Just Shapes & Beats. Really cool Geometry Wars-esque music game. -Bought some merch (dice, a shirt), and got like 5 free shirts too. -Had multiple meals with awesome people. -Saw someone get really fucking wasted. -Was surprised how much I liked downtown San Antonio. -Got drunk multiple times. -Now have a serious McNugget addiction.
Halo NightfallI finished it. Overall, it's decent. Feels like a solid B scifi movie but with good production value.
However, the weapons were really bulky and unrealistic. They just seemed like props and not weapons. Don't know how you can fix that.
Also, I have a huge bone to pick about the first episode. Right off the bat they introduce a new alien species and don't even give it a name or treat it with any ceremony. YOU CAN'T JUST INTRODUCE A NEW ALIEN SPECIES IN THE HALO UNIVERSE AND GLOSS OVER IT LIKE ANY ORDINARY PLOT DEVICE. Seriously, it felt like the writers were like "Hey, we need to have an alien smuggler guy that they capture and interrogate. Let's just make up an alien species for that character". WHAT?! YOU CAN'T DO THAT! Did anyone else feel that way? That stuff might fly in Star Wars or Star Trek, but in the Halo universe that's a big deal. In the story, humans only discovered they weren't alone a mere one generation ago. Each species of the covenant--and the Forerunners--are carefully documented and fleshed out in the Halo universe. There is no mention anywhere or any humanoid alien like the one in that episode. And I mean ANYWHERE. Not in any book, comic, game, movie, etc. They could have just used another elite for Pete's sake. Not cool guys. Really feels like a lack of respect or due diligence on the part of the creators.
Anyway, other than those two things, it was all right. I'd recommend it. It certainly felt in line with the aesthetic of other live action Halo productions.
2015I have good feeling about it. 2014 was pretty meh. This year has a lot of potential. New dog, new projects, going to PAX South, applied to be a Guardian again (looking at you @Radius55 & @Hotpocket36).
Overall, I feel pretty good about it. I'm still in a very stagnant place, and turning 30 soon, but I feel better about my life than I have in a long time. The end of 2013 through last year was filled with bad stuff. I truly feel that I'm exiting a bad patch. I just have to reach that threshold.
Also, in the wake of people becoming discouraged with the community for some reason, don't worry. I didn't log 10 years on this website to quit now. I'll be here for a long time, and hopefully be able to help others stay here as well.
Black FridayI don't really participate in Black Friday. However, I don't hate it either. I don't get up in arms about retailers being open. I sympathize with the workers, and feel for them, but I stop short of wanting to boycott stores or getting mad at companies. I agree that's a bit uncool to be open Thanksgiving morning, but I don't have much of a problem with stores opening up in the afternoon.
My mom worked retail for decades. She'd go to work Thursday afternoon, get out Friday morning, come home and take a nap, and go back in Friday night. She went 20+ years without having Thanksgiving off. I worked peak retail days throughout high school and college too. It's the nature of the beast.
Last year, at this time, I was working as a corrections officer at a juvenile corrections center. Let me tell you, I would much rather work at Wal-Mart or the mall on Thanksgiving than there. I understand not liking Black Friday, and voicing it, but when I hear people get to a certain level of anger I just think about what I was doing last year. Going into work early in the morning and dealing with customers in a store, pales in comparison to getting up even earlier and putting on combat boots and stopping over 20 minors from beating each other up and trying to steal each other's food. Oh, you couldn't watch the game and take a nap? I had to eat cafeteria turkey with a bunch of unstable felons, and then spend hours locked in a big room with them. One day of stress at that job is equivalent to weeks of stress at a retail store.
You know who I have the most sympathy for? Corrections officers, police, firefighters, EMS, hospital workers, city and government employees. Those people are the ones with the hardest jobs, and some of them don't even get to go home on Thanksgiving.