Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Art of the Troll

   I'm learning how to do GIF animations, so, of course I need some test subjects. Now, without knowing exactly how it works, I was a little hesitant to draw something from scratch, so I decided to try my hand at some good ol' trolljitsu. That's right- borrowed art, smart-ass text, and a bit of a geeky inside theme.

   You've probably seen the news story about e-bay banning so-called "Magical potions and spells" from sale on their website. When I saw that, one thing immediately popped into my head, and so, I knew what my first GIF victim would be. I borrowed some cover-art from Jim Butcher's "Storm Front". It's one of a series of books about a sort of off-beat white-wizard in modern times who solves unexplained murder mysteries..  and usually ends up having to fight a whole bunch of magical nasties. Anyway, in this series, they explain that magical folk don't play well with technology--  anything with complex circuitry or delicate machinery will bug out, spark up, jam, skip, or otherwise stop working around magic. I nabbed the picture, whipped it around a bit, added some text, and BOOM! I came up with this.

   So what did I learn? Well, I learned that 100 milliseconds is really, really fast! I also learned that each frame of the picture has to be on a separate layer--  I can't have a ton of different layers making up one image, because each layer counts as a different frame. Then I learned the difference between Cumulative layers and Replace layers. If I mark a layer Cumulative, then it adds to the layers before it. If I mark a layer Replace, then it replaces the layer before it. Finally, I learned that to format the layers in GIMP, all I need to do is change the name. For example, if I wanted Frame 3 to stack on top of the last  frame, and not change for 1000 milliseconds, then I would name it Frame 3 (1000 ms) (cumulative). Now the question is...  what can I do with it? I'm gonna' need to test this on something stronger than a meme...

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