Sunday, January 13, 2019

Ever Wonder How I Do It?

When I make a comic, I start by building the character(s). In the old “stick-figure” days, the characters were made from scratch every time, but these days I have extremely large image files with all the pieces that make up any given character. I select and move these pieces around to form the completed pose and expression. Sometimes there’s a bit of airbrushing. Occasionally I’ll revise and update the character’s components if I discover a new way to make it look even better.

After that, I will select or build the scene(s). Again, in the old days I made the sets in the bitmap editor, but these days all the backgrounds come from a modified 3D game engine. Using my own textures, I’ve built several buildings. Brandon’s house is actually based on my own home, but the office building is an original design. So I load one of my maps, move to the point where I want to set up the scene, and take a screen shot. I then load the scene into the bitmap editor and tweak it as necessary. To be honest, I re-use a lot of those screenshots because “they work”.

The next step is to resize the character(s) into the scene(s). This is just a trial and error thing to find that spot and size that looks right. If the set would overlap onto the character, such as Brandon’s legs under the desk, I will carefully select the part that overlays and make a copy of it. After the character is placed in the scene, the copied section is pasted back on top of the character. I might even include a custom prop or two and paste them into the scene for good measure.

Using the square select tool, I would then crop the scene(s). There’s a lot to consider here too, like don’t cut off the feet, or putting a little extra space above their heads. It then gets resized to fit a template that will hold either one, two, or three panels. Carefully I paste the panel(s) onto the template.

Now comes the dialog. I have a speech bubble template that I created. I type in what the character is saying and copy/paste the bubbles onto the comic, taking great care to position them so they read left to right, top to bottom, and don’t cover anything important. After that I apply the tails and aim them at the character’s mouth. Finally, I clean up any stray pixels and add in the title of the strip.

Once the panel or strip is complete, I’ll save that version, and then make a copy that gets resampled to a smaller size for uploading to the web. My original stays with me as a kind of “Master” file in case there’s ever a problem. Since the originals are of a higher resolution, they might also be useful if I ever need to print a comic or make a T-Shirt.

Of course this is a rather time consuming process. Believe it or not, a single character on a single panel can take 30 minutes or more. A three panel strip with multiple characters in each panel can take several hours. Of course I also look for any time saving tricks along the way, such as reusing part of a character’s pose and the set, but making the comic is still embarrassingly time consuming.

Well, I really hope you found that interesting. If you did, be sure to click on that thumbs up button, and be sure to subscribe to our channel so that you’ll never miss another episode. As always, thank you for watching.

Man, I watch too much mBlip.

Settling Into the New Place

I wanted to mention if you are still having security certificate issues with this site, you might try clearing your browser’s cache. It could still be using the old certs from the previous host, and of course that’s not going to fly on the new server. The https://flushtwice.com address should always immediately forward you to https://www.flushtwice.com without any errors.


Kudos

The daily jokes for this week were provided by George. Thanks, George. It means a lot. If anyone else would like to add jokes to the site, you can do so on our submission page, or send an email to flush2x@gmail.com.

Pax,

-f2x

Sunday, January 13, 2019
So how would you rate this?

Sunday, January 6, 2019

You Can All Breath Easy Now

Saturday evening I went ahead and changed everything over. If Flush Twice was forwarding you to some hockey website in Canada for the past day or so, well, that’s just an unfortunate side effect of my rash decision making. Honestly, I could have left the old host in place until the DNS fully propagated, but I got a little overzealous and shut down operations on SiteGround shortly after things got up and running on DreamHost.

Keep in mind, SiteGround is a fine hosting provider. I just felt their renewal fee was more than I was willing to spend to host a couple of personal websites. If I had some serious commercial interests at stake and required timely customer support, I might have paid for that premium.

One group I will give a shout out to is the makers of “All-in-One WP Migration”. It’s well worth the $69 that I paid for the “unlimited” plugin, and let me tell you, it is a godsend! Even better, you can use it to make a backup of your site, and know that your site is fully backed up. I can redeploy my sites anywhere. It just overwrites any WordPress install with all the posts, media files, themes, and plugins fully in place.

So there you have it. We’re all moved into our new home, and the rent has been paid for the next three years.

Kudos and Promos

George had help this week from a user calling themself “Darkmare”. So thank you for the jokes, Darkmare. If anyone else would like to help out, please use our submission page, or send an email to flush2x@gmail.com.

Last chance to get a free Flush Twice T-Shirt: Gimme my FREE T-Shirt! (Limit one T-Shirt per household, and I reserve the right to refuse your request if I suspect bad faith.)

Pax,

-f2x

Sunday, January 6, 2019
So how would you rate this?

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Happy %^&*ing New Year

Boy, I hope your new year is starting off better than mine. I got the stomach flu, and let me tell you, I feel like crap! Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and head and body aches.

Tell ya what… rather than listen to me piss and moan, just check back in a week or so to see if I’m still alive.

Kudos and Promos

Again, the contributor of this week’s jokes is George, a man whom I’ve never met, and I probably never will, but thanks to the wonders of the internet, fate has brought us together. Thanks George. And if you would like to contribute, please visit our submission page, or send an email to flush2x@gmail.com.

Flush Twice T-Shirts are free! Be the first person to ever ask for one: Gimme my FREE T-Shirt! (Limit one T-Shirt per household, and I reserve the right to refuse your request if I suspect bad faith.)

Pax,

-f2x

Sunday, December 30, 2018
So how would you rate this?

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Merry Christmas

First, let’s get this annual issue out of the way. I say “Merry Christmas” because that’s what I’ve always said, and I’m old enough to have been saying it long before certain groups started imagining themselves to being persecuted for it. Whoever invented this notion that there is an armed conflict surrounding this specific holiday within the confines of western nations is a master at devilry.

I resent people who use the phrase as a divisive political tool in determining who is going on their naughty list. It’s not exactly a Christian thing to do. Being a Christian myself, I am offended by the use of my religious beliefs to forward your political agenda. You can bet your malevolent ass, I’ll be standing at that gate to testify that you are not a Christian if you do this. You are perverting the teachings of Christ, and you will answer for this on your judgement day.

As for the rest of you, I do wish you and yours a very merry Christmas. May your new year dreams come true.

New Header

I sprung it a little early this year, but the new header image for the website is in place. There has been a few subtle changes in the character designs over the past year, and I wanted to be sure the Header represented the look of the latest comics. I also decreased the height of the header from 200 to 150 pixels. I think it looks pretty good.

The logo text saw some changes as well. First, I updated my font, and I wanted to show it off in the logo. Next I mentioned the comic’s title since I differentiated it from the title of the site a while back. Finally, I specified which days had jokes. As usual, I kept the “Once for the bulk…” phrase, but this might be the last year I keep it.

I also changed the site’s tagline to just, “Jokes and Comics”.


Kudos and Promos

Thanks to George, who selflessly provides the jokes in his emails to me every week. But why should George do all the work? Submit jokes to Flush Twice! You can use our submission page, or send an email to flush2x@gmail.com.

It’s not too late to get your FREE Flush Twice T-Shirt. It’s a shirt! To get one, click on this link and follow the instructions: Gimme my FREE T-Shirt! (Limit one T-Shirt per household, and I reserve the right to refuse your request if I suspect bad faith.)

Pax,

-f2x

Sunday, December 23, 2018
So how would you rate this?

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Foggy Metrics

I’m still disappointed with the stat program on the back end. I want to know how many people visit the site, and generally where they are from. It’s not for advertising or marketing purposes. It’s not for super secret squirrel stuff either. I’d just like to know how many people are visiting.

Unfortunately my old nemesis, the bots, are back at it again. WP Statistics implies that their plugin can detect bots. After getting suspicious about the so called “visitors”, I did a simple “whois” on the IP addresses and found that most of them are coming from hosting companies.

Visits from hosting companies does not necessarily indicate that it’s a bot. The user might be employing a proxy or VPN. I myself use a VPN from time to time, so perhaps others are using them as well… Except when checking IP address owners, nearly ALL of them are from hosting providers.

I seriously doubt that over 90% of you are using a VPN, therefore you may consider that visitor count in the sidebar to be complete and utter fiction. And honestly I don’t know how many of you are real people visiting this site. Other than the middle aged dork from Dayton, I’m not sure that any people ever see this site.

To further enhance my depressing undertones, I posted this week’s comic to reddit yesterday. Compared to last week’s, it was practically ignored. My best guess is around 7 people voted with 2 downvotes and 5 upvotes. That garnered me 3 imaginary internet points with a 60% approval rating. What a way to kick off the new story arc.

So why am I ranting about it? Because why not? It’s not like any people are coming to the site to read this. Besides, according to the section title, it’s suppose to be a rant.

OK, so after getting all that off my chest, I feel better. Of course the tequila is helping a little bit too. Tune in next week when I discuss the pros and cons of giving your loved ones shitty Christmas presents.


Kudos and Promos

Another shout out for George, who generously emailed me the jokes that we’re reading this week. If you would like to Submit jokes to Flush Twice, please try our submission page, or send an email to flush2x@gmail.com.

FREE Flush Twice T-Shirts are still available. I will happily mail you a shirt! The instructions are in the e-mail link: Gimme my FREE T-Shirt! (Limit one T-Shirt per household, and I reserve the right to refuse your request if I suspect bad faith.)

Pax,

-f2x

Sunday, December 16, 2018
So how would you rate this?