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Journal Entry: Sun May 7, 2017, 8:23 PM
I did it. I completed a business plan and financial projections, with a bit over fourteen and a half hours to spare. Now I have to go to the bank tomorrow, but other than that, I can return to my normal life and make 3D art again. Yay!
But for now, I'm going to bed. :sleepy: remake 

Oops, I was too tired last night. I forgot to mention I'm going to drop off the face of the Earth a bit. I'll still be here, sort of, but not very likely to post art or comments. Got to work on real life stuff for a bit. Very scary real life stuff! Details here, for the curious:
my blog.

Read An Ebook Week

Journal Entry: Sun Mar 5, 2017, 3:10 PM
It's that time again...
Here's your public service announcement! Smashwords is celebrating Read An Ebook Week right now with major sales throughout the entire site. So if you need something to read, now's the time to go get some ebooks. Mine are all hanging out in the "dirt cheap" range, I think the most expensive is at $2.50 and they get cheaper from there.…

Yes, that's right, it's time once more for National Novel Writing Month. So if I disappear, well, I'm not really ignoring people, I'm just being good and staying off the internet in favor of writing. Like I should be doing right now, in fact...
Shameless self-promotion!
Look out, world. There's more of my writing coming to get you. Dawnfire, the third and final volume of the Hidden Game series, is now available on Smashwords and Amazon. There is also an omnibus edition of the entire series, and Smashwords coupons for half off the first two books (Luminous, code AV38N, and God's War, code JR27Q) if you don't like omnibus editions. The coupons are good until December 1, 2016.
Dawnboys by kittenwyldeHidden Game by kittenwylde
NOTE: There's something freaky going on with this. Everything displayed properly until I posted, and then a bunch of images disappeared and turned into text links. So if you see a bunch of links, well, please check 'em out. The artwork is amazing!

For today's feature, I think I'll poke around in my sci-fi favorites and pick out some cool scenes, ones that make my imagination go "Ooh!" Digital art is great for fantasy and science fiction, and there are some absolutely amazing artists hanging out here on dA. Of course, I'm sticking to images that don't have hundreds of comments, so hopefully the artists can get at least a little bit more exposure.

Peering into the Void by JoePingleton By JoePingleton
What can I say? Awesome concept, really cool colors, nice use of light... just plain cool! And I love the hat.
Renaissance by FlorentLlamas By FlorentLlamas
I just love the whole idea. Pure coolness.
99ers by L04D3D By L04D3D
Better watch out, you don't want this guy pissed at you.
Rocket Environment 3 by ltramaral By ltramaral
This place is filled with possibilities and stories just waiting to happen. I like the notion of a city--and a huge vine--grown up around the rocketship that brought people to a new world.
Pure, shiny, alien coolness. So weird, and such a perfect setting for the aliens!
Lighthouse on Europa by strigoides By strigoides
I love lighthouses. :D
The Last by keeping-it-neil By keeping-it-neil
It takes a lot to get me to like any kind of character in a jar, but this image did it. I think it's the pretty lights that got me.
Genius by mylochka By mylochka
This is one of those things I love, but would never think of on my own. It just wouldn't occur to me to have that cool background, or that shirt.

I had a couple more to add, but suddenly dA is getting spazzy, so I guess I'll save those for later.
Last weekend, I made a pleasant discovery: I've gotten visibly better at both 3D renders and making ebook covers. This makes me very happy, since the entire reason I started using Daz Studio was for ebook cover creation.

Normally, I am hyper-critical of my own work, and I tend to think it sucks. I post stuff here hoping that people will tell me what sucks, which helps me improve. But since improvement is gradual, I don't always see it.

Last weekend was the end of my vacation, and I reached the point where I'd actually finished the work on my websites and was ready to take on redoing some old, cringe-worthy ebook covers, because working on the websites basically forced me to confront how awful some of those things were.

Now I'm going to embarrass myself by putting the most astonishingly horrible ones out for public display. Bad! Bad! Bad! But I will also show off the new versions, which make me feel like the past four years of focusing on 3D in general instead of writing as much as I'm supposed to wasn't such a bad idea after all.

My first self-published ebook cover evolution:
Stars2 by kittenwylde Stars3 by kittenwylde Stars3 by kittenwylde Stars4 by kittenwylde

The most shockingly horrible cover attempt I've redone so far:

Rescue by kittenwylde Rescue2 by kittenwylde Rescue3 by kittenwylde Rescue Again by kittenwylde

That's chronological. The damn things actually got worse as I tried to come up with better ones for this story! *sigh* At least I like the new one.

And the moral of the story is:
If you think your work sucks, well, maybe it does. But if you keep at it, trying to learn and focusing on improving what you do, it's definitely worth it.
I was taking a break from swearing at my website when I ran across this. It helps. It really helps. :laughing:
So after oh, I don't know, a year or so of nervous waffling, I finally decided to spring for Adobe Creative Cloud. (And be proud of me, I'm forking over the additional twenty bucks a month for the business version, not creating commercial things with the cheaper private version. Damn my honesty!) And with the subscription comes a bonus: ten free stock images. I've never had much to do with stock imagery, beyond determining that I don't have the eye for creating it. So imagine my surprise when I look at images tagged "castle" and immediately three pop up right on the first page that were made in Daz Studio! Never even dreamed of rendering images for sale as stock. Another search, "Roman." And... more Daz stuff. Maybe I'll have to learn how to make stock images after all, if people can make money with renders... Bet I could paint some nice space backgrounds, or something. Hmm...
Hey, it's the artist formerly known as sith-kitten. I've finally come up with a username I like, and am slowly but surely chopping "sithkitten" out of my web presence. Feels kind of like an amputation, or maybe a murder, 'cause I've been some form of sithkitten since... um, I was still using WebTV, which means '98 or '99. A long time ago, at any rate. But between that damned irritating hyphen I had to add to my name when I forgot my dA password from 2006, and the fact that Star Wars is becoming increasingly icky, well... it's time for a change. So now I'm going to be kittenwylde for a while, and hopefully that works.
Oh yeah, that's right, I'm supposed to be more active here and doing things like features and stuff. Oops. Been letting life get to me again, squashing all the fun out of even my weekends. But... I've still been looking at all the amazing art here, and thought I'd dig up some images to feature, hopefully keeping them all to a common theme. Tonight I'll go for amazing use of light. Or, at least, what I see as amazing. :D The kinds of things that make me go "Wow, I wish I could do that!"
Once again, I've tried to avoid images with hundreds of comments, because clearly those have already been seen by tons of people. And apparently I like sunsets. And blue.

Terraformer by tigaerUnknown by korboxFlash Forward by MariaSemelevich

Fantasy Castle Gate by jbrown67Underwater by JavierMichealInfernal Mage by GutsBerserkBlue Moon by DannyGordon20
Exterus by korboxThe flaring lands by BlueRogueVyseDay's End by Aran34X
Attack by Mellon007What's Left by StevenTobiaszFrozen Valley by Togman-Studio

Been watching too many of JoePingleton's animation experiments. Had to try one of my own. What a mega-colossal-unbelievable pain in the ass!!! For a three freakin' second clip. Ugh. Seems I've forgotten most of what I used to know about animation, video, After Effects, Premiere, and the incredibly annoying Adobe Media Encoder. My brain is whimpering from all the drama of me forcing it to remember how to do this crap. For a three second clip!
And just in case anyone notices and wonders why the propellers aren't spinning: they're strictly atmospheric. They're not functional anyway, since the ship is powered by magic, but they do spin quite prettily in an atmosphere.
The Chaos Rider was rendered in Studio with Iray, the background was made in Photoshop, and it was all composited in After Effects.
And just to add insult to injury, I almost couldn't get back in to the studio Vimeo account. Sheesh... But on the good side, I feel a vast sense of accomplishment now. :D
Just in case anyone missed it, Google is making the full Nik Collection free. And they're even giving refunds to people that bought it within the last year.

Nik Collection for FREE

Oh yeah, free ebooks!

Journal Entry: Mon Mar 7, 2016, 5:58 PM
Almost forgot... This is Read An Ebook Week over at Smashwords. Lots of free ebooks, including most of mine. Lots of fabulous discounts on the ones that aren't free. So head on over to Smashwords and check it out! Here's my page if you're interested: Marie Brown Everything's free except the two I spent over a year working on. Those are a buck.

I am very super-excited today! Earlier this week, I made the last payment on my truck. Now, in order to have good credit, one must use credit, right? So that was a perfect justification for getting a Newegg charge card and using it to buy a big, beautiful GeForce GTX 970 graphics card. (And a new case to hold it, but that hardly counts, as it was cash.) Woohoo!!! :happybounce: :chairdance: Tard bouncy flip Now my computer is utterly maxed out to the maximum bad-assiness it can handle. Of course, it's five years old, so that's nothing compared to a modern bad-ass system, but who cares. I'm happy.
And on the subject of older computers... I cobbled together a new-old system out of bits and pieces laying around. Now I have access once more to my ancient copy of Maya, Frooty Loops 7, and other laughably old software. It runs on XP, if you need a laugh. But it's really exciting to know I can fire up that poor old creature and use Maya again, which is the only modelling software I've ever been able to use easily. Super exciting!
Too bad I still don't have time to play. Been building computers and cleaning up the mess that made (my poor power supply had an entire adult cat hiding in it... or at least that's how much hair came out of it) all day, and other than having a peek at Skyrim on Ultra High graphics and loading a Daz scene that made my old 560Ti groan and cuss loudly, I haven't gotten to play yet. :( But it'll happen. I just have to make dinner first. :laughing:
I saw something today I never thought to see in my lifetime. And it's got me bouncing around, grinning like a fool, and giggling for no obvious reason.
My ebook Eternal hit #1 in LGBT SciFi today on Amazon! :happybounce:
Eternal Rank by kittenwylde
Granted, I've been more than a bit out of touch lately, since it's NaNoWriMo. But I'm all caught up, should finish tomorrow, so I looked in my email and found something from Daz announcing Morph3D. Huh? What? Umm... I'll admit my brain's a bit dopey right now, due to being tired and feeling like the cold might be winning control of my body, so I'll reserve judgment on this until I look at it with a clearer head. But I'm really, really curious to hear what other people have to say about this new venture.
Damn. I'm about to embark on the craziest time of year, when my work days stretch well into the night and I simultaneously take on yet another NaNoWriMo, and now Daz has released a new beta version of Studio. Damn rotten timing. Because I want to try the new beta, of course, but I most definitely don't have the time. Grrrr!!!
Gotta admit, though, that Daz Connect thing sounds rather creepy and invasive. But what the hell, not like Daz doesn't already know what content I buy. I just hate the thought of it saying "Hey! Why don't you buy this thing here?"
Anyway, creepy, cool, or otherwise, the beta's just going to have to wait. So's dA. I'm about to get super-scarce around here. Shouldn't even be here right now, supposed to be finishing the final-final-final edit of the ebook I'm releasing on Sunday. But I came out of habit. Now I guess I'll use that beta release as the reward for finishing NaNo. :D
I finally figured out a way to classify my Daz content. Yay! That makes me happy. But every time I sit down and start organizing, I go just plain bonkers. I have so many cool toys to play with! Stuff I forgot I even have. And almost every item I sort makes me want to do a new render. My head is so full of new ideas it might pop. Which, admittedly, is a good problem to have. :D Better than the other way around, after all.
Okay, I admit it. I like reading what other people bought to support their own 3D habits. There doesn't even have to be a big sale. Guess I'm just nosy. So in my quest to be more sociable and stuff, I'll do it, too. Write out what I bought, and why. Other than the freebies, because, well, duh. Freebies! This is the one sale a year that I know it's coming, I set aside a healthy chunk of change for it, and I make a serious effort to clean out my wishlist. Shop till you drop!
And if that sort of thing bothers you, where people list off their goodies, then feel free to slip away now. It's all good. :D (Big Grin)

Right when I'd been thinking the PA Sale wouldn't hurt so bad this year, an admittedly ridiculous thought less than a week in, along comes this lovely hot air balloon. I tried to resist it, 'cause I have no use for it, but I love real-world hot air balloons too much and didn't last but about ten minutes before it was safely installed on my computer.

Work Clothes for G2M
One of those "well, duh!" moments. Nice clothes for a guy? Suitable for fantasy? Of course I'm getting it! Plus, I love those boots.

Battle Cry Poses For Zweihanders
Because I'm lazy. Got lots of pose sets, because I'm lazy. :D (Big Grin)

Secluded Hideaway
I just had to. It looks like the kind of thing I'd make for myself as a kid, and I had tons of characters in my head clamoring to have this place for romantic getaways. So I got it.

Dragonfly Hair
It's so pretty! No hesitation on this one.

Galactic Smuggler HD-8K for G2M
More man-clothes! Bonus: makes me giggle because the promo reminds me of Guardians of the Galaxy.

Oh, hey, would you look at that! They changed the sale terms. Uh-oh.

Pretty! Been waiting for a good sale on this one.

Rogue Brotherhood for Jack of Hearts
Didn't much like the original Jack of Hearts texture, and this saves me from having to retexture it myself.

Shades of Atlantis: Arcane Brotherhood
The purple got me. Again, been waiting for a good sale.

Ghawazee Coat for G2F
When this first came out, I thought it was icky, because that color scheme just sent me running. But I finally looked at it with an eye towards retexturing, and it's not half bad.

Christina Hair
Love at first sight!

Whimsical Border Brushes
Got both of these, 1 and 2. Because I have a Photoshop brush addiction over and above the Daz3D addiction.

Mec4D PBS Shaders Vol 1
Yes! Finally on sale! Mine!!!

Celtic Fionn Outfit for G2M
Originally didn't like something about this, but whatever it was, it went away. Now I look at it and wonder what the hell I was thinking, because I can use this.

Wireframe and Hologram Shaders
Something else I've been debating for a long time. They're just so cool looking, but will I come up with anything worthy to use them on? Guess I'll find out.

Couple In Love Poses
Aww, cuddling! But not likely to be used on m/f couples in my work.

Unique Love Poses
More cuddling.

Horror Survivors: Marius
I've been debating him since the day he came out. But at 60% off, not much of a debate left.

14MU Buildings Bundle
I love sci-fi, but don't have much sci-fi stuff to render. This'll help change that.

Simple Fabric Iray Shaders
I like shaders. :D (Big Grin)

Alfred and His Finery for G2M
He jumped into my cart so fast he left a smoking trail behind. Total no-brainer.

Venetian Mask
It was on Fast Grab, and I've wanted it forever, despite not being able to justify buying it. But at 70% off, okay!

DG Iray Sci-Fi Surface lights Shaders
The sci-fi, shader-loving junkie in me couldn't pass these by.

DA Iray Fabric Shaders Leather and Cloth
Initially, I didn't think I'd use Iray much. Why bother, already have a variety of ways to do unbiased renders. But it's growing on me, and my Iray shader library is expanding accordingly.

Nano Suit for G2M
Think I'm swinging from fantasy to sci-fi for a while. This suddenly struck me as really, really cool.

Mec4D Hoplite Soldier for G2M
Been lusting after this forever. And now I got it on sale. :D (Big Grin)

This looks just like something in one of my stories. Yay, legitimate purchase! (I try to only buy stuff that could conceivably illustrate my myriad fantasy and sci-fi worlds.)

Steampunk Vents
Because it looks cool, and because I already have the Steampunk Streets.

M4 Skins Auto Converter
Because I'm lazy!

DG Brocade and Satin Shaders for Iray
Because I love beautiful shaders.

And finally, one more.

Amadis for G2M
I've liked most of this outfit forever. The neck guard, not so much. But you know what? The rest of the outfit is cool enough that it doesn't completely ruin it. So I finally went ahead and got it. Now watch, I'll wind up loving the neck guard, because that happens way too often. "No! I hate that!" "Just try it." "...Oh. Maybe I don't hate it. Maybe I really love it."

Well, there you go. That's the long list of stuff that ate up the budget I had set aside for the sale, then started chewing its way through my road-trip money for the four days off I have coming. But it didn't touch the money for my real bills or my new glasses, so I'm happy. :happybounce: I doubt I'll buy anything more any time soon. I feel like Thanksgiving, that bloated, "I shopped too much" feeling. Which is a really good thing, given how I just blew way too much money. Do you think Daz schedules the sale purposely to coincide with one of the few times a year I know I'll have a wad of cash to spend?