Easy Tips To A Home Studio

This is more of a studio backdrop setup, situation. And then we also have an environmental lifestyle setup. The first setup is the set with the backdrop. Now a lot of you ask me how do I keep changing the colors of my backdrop, So backdrop paper. It comes in four foot rolls, six foot and nine foot rolls, I believe, and you can unroll it vertically. And this is perfect if you want to create look books, anything that is establishing a look from head to toe,and what’s nice is it can roll all the way to the ground and then some.

So it’s like a psych wall where you don’t see the seam between the wall and the floor, and that like dirty, dirty baseboard that you have going on. Backdrop paper is the easiest, but there’s paint, blankets, fabric, all of that. Bretman Rock; he uses like fabric, and he just pins it up, and that’s his backdrop. An example of fabric but you can buy rolls of fabric like this that a lot of beauty gurus use and you just buy like a couple of yards, like three yards, and you pin it up and when you step away from it, it throws it out of focus.

So you’ve just got to get away. You could stand right towards it, but you want to create that depth of field which puts the focus on youand not on you and the background. Check out your local fabric district and it’s a lot of fun, you get to like source and look for things that speak to you and it’s not that expensive. Now this is a four foot backdrop, so it’s easy to carry by yourself, you can fit it into a car or the bus, if you’re taking the bus.

Now you could put it on a stand, you don’t need to. This is all tape.For us we tape it up and then we tack it. The safest thing to do is use pins,if you don’t mind little tiny holes in your wall, otherwise you can use tape, but be careful because the tape can peel the paint off of your wall. But this is perfect for home studios. And it comes in so many different colors and it’s fun and playful to buy a few of them and switch it up. And a little tip that I used to do when I was doing look books indoors, was turning my camera vertically,
so then you can get the entire shot instead of zooming out and then you have whites or the wall on either side, just change the camera vertically.

And that’s pretty much it for your set that’s taking place in a studio setup.This is what it looks like from my POV, I have my camera here, some lights on either side of me, and a light in front of me, so it’s like a nice fill on every angle. And if you don’t have any lights you can make your way to the window, go to the window, that will be in this next setup. And this is an example of an environmental lifestyle shot. You can do this in your own home, your bedroom, and all it is, is getting yourself a chair, finding a window or you can use lighting, I have an Amazon store in the description box, you can buy really cheap affordable lights. Behind me is out of focusand that’s achieved with depth of field, and I have a video that you can watch if you click here. All that means is whatever is behind you, the further away you are from it the more out of focus you are.

Get objects that have different colors, things that compliment you and your brand. So I like lighter colors with like pops of like little accents. So we have some teal, I don’t even know if you can see the pink.
And then of course every beauty guru has her IKEA makeup filing system,and furniture, frames, shelving can all add to your set. You don’t have to go that direction, but that’s one option. And again, you’re only filming a corner.So this is just the corner of my office, and this is what the entire office looks like, but I only need this little piece of office. I just want to make sure that everything in here is clutter free and organized.

That’s what it means to have a set, you want it to be clean, everything is intentional and deliberate. You choose to put it this there because you want it there. And I encourage you to have fun with this, you can always be resourceful and creative, you don’t have to spend money, just look throughout your home for little pieces that will look good on camera that aren’t distracting from what your set is, that could be piggy banks, cups, posters,painting, artwork, plants. Just take that extra little time to place it,look at the viewfinder, see what works, and you’re constantly adjusting,adding, subtracting, and it’s all about finding something that representsthe story you’re trying to communicate.

So this is an opportunity to have fun; set decorating and that’s a real profession. Also, with the set you want to find yourself some natural light, if you can. Windows are perfect. So if you find a window just film in front of the window, have the window light your face, and then have your background further away from you. If you don’t have enough daylight you can always use fill lights, I actually have some fill lights here, and again these are from my Amazon store; Again have fun, be resourceful, and the less you have the more creative you have to be.

What Women Want – a ridiculously wet romantic comedy

Mel Mel Mel, how many time have we told you not to wash your dangling knackers in the sink?!!
If you’re to believe your female friends anyway, the answer to what women want is apparently really quite simple.

Mel Gibson. Full stop.

Well that’s half the audience happy then, provided they have no more complex demands. Y’know, stuff like plot, character development and wanting the film to go absolutely bleedin’ anywhere at all. Instead it swims around aimlessly looking for predictable gags, a routine moral ending and the requisite slushy romance. ‘By numbers’ doesn’t really cover it, it’s like they’ve bought it straight off the peg and couldn’t even be bothered to unpack it properly.

A fatigued Mel looks like he’s had it with the hard-man action roles (he’s not quite as toned as he used to be you know). And for that matter hard acting roles in general. Instead he wants to show you that he can be the sensitive type, a thoroughly perfect lover, father and boss and all-round moral savior while he’s at it. And naturally there’s time for him to let you know he’s still a saint between the sheets.

On the plus side there’s a drunk Mel Gibson looking ridiculous trussed up like some unwilling amateur drag-queen, some kooky support from Marisa Tomei, even if stereotypically so, and a few genuine laughs when he first begins to absurdly hear women’s thoughts. It soon wears thin though and the main support from Helen Hunt would have been unbelievable for an inanimate prop, never mind a living breathing actress.

That it sets itself up as a sharp critique of male culture with more strands of possibility than a typical lad’s liberal tales of sexual conquest, only to fall straight to mush, just makes it worse. It turns out to be a movie for the Ally McBeal generation – easy on the eye, fools you into thinking it’s engaging to the brain whereas really it’s no more than a post-pubescent Saved By The Bell in expensive suits. All surface and no feeling.

Deep Fighter – the world in this underwater epic

A scene from the first level intro. Yep, the animation looks as bad as the graphics
In the world of Deep Fighter, it’s not all singing Scousers on yellow submarines. As usual, some evil empire is intent on destroying your peaceful underwater paradise, and as a rookie pilot patrolling mines, it’s up to you to stop them.

So far, so predictable. You do this by completing a series of missions, getting promoted and getting better equipment along the way. The 50 missions range from all-out combat to more strategic expeditions and even though you have strict objectives to complete in each, failure in any particular outing doesn’t affect the outcome of the game.

You’re given your debriefing via some nice video footage, although the acting is of a woodenness on a par with Blake’s 7 and has you wanting to blow up your irritating team-mates as soon as you take to your craft. However, once in your submarine vehicle, you get to see the nicely textured and attractive landscapes. While not quite up to Ecco’s impeccable standards, the swaying plants and schools of fish should be good enough for you to get fully submersed (sorry) in this world.

However, your first trip into the murky depths involves mining radioactive material, and this is something which you have to do throughout the game. It quickly becomes a tedious chore that detracts from the otherwise varied objectives you have to complete. While it may add a touch of realism, we’d rather be out there doing heroic deeds and death-defying missions, not hoovering the ocean floor for bits of rock.

While the other missions may be more varied, we came across an annoying flaw: even though you may have completed all of the objectives, you then have to bobble around, waiting for a certain event to occur, such as getting your craft to an unspecified point in the level, before the game continues. This is unfortunate as it means your desire to progress with the story is matched by an equal urge to forget about the whole thing and go down the pub instead. Perseverance does mean you discover some great new elements, such as taking part in a race to test a new craft, but your interest is likely to have waned by this point.

The fact that the whole game is set underwater doesn’t help. While you get a sense of speed and fluidity in Ecco, or in similar space-based games, the vehicles in Deep Fighter are tricky to control and can be rather sluggish, and this makes combat into a cumbersome affair where you generally just go for head-on attacks, negating the use for tactics.

While you may not quite be sinking to the depths in terms of gameplay, Deep Fighter has too many tedious elements to earn a recommendation. This is a real shame, and there’s a sense of a genuinely missed opportunity here because there are some really original touches, and battling giant killer squid should never be boring. Cut away all the unnecessary flab and there’s a decent game in here somewhere, but in terms of gameplay, Deep Fighter is more than 20,000 leagues below par than 20,000 Leagues Below the Sea.

Crime Cities is going to make you cry like one!

Pour in a shot of G-Police, mix with a dash of Blade Runner, encrust some Elite around the rim and serve under an umbrella of Grand Theft Auto. Doesn’t sound too bad, does it? But the spirit of the game is unfortunately far more Asda Black Eagle than Citron Absolut and it’s definitely more of a park bench game than a trendy Soho title.

The environment is desperately familiar, with gurning skyscrapers and neon frills buzzing with the hovering traffic that we now know so well from Blade Runner and The Fifth Element. Unfortunately Crime Cities has none of Blade Runner’s eVANGELIStic darkness and little of the cosmopolitan vive of Besson’s sci-fi. The essential premise of the game is to pick up email job offers and taxi between points delivering and collecting ‘special’ parcels or taking out undesirable targets. Meanwhile the police must be avoided due to the delicate nature of some of your work. Essentially it is GTA in a first-person future. Not a bad idea by any means. After all, GTA 3 is going to be first-person 3D.

Unfortunately it’s the dismal execution that lets Crime Cities down so badly that in went to SuperCell and Clash Royale. The url for that article is here. The physics of driving, flying, hovering: whatever you want to call it, are totally unbelievable and distance you shockingly from the awkwardly clingy, if fairly freeform plot, along with its embarrassment of developers’ mates virtual ‘actors’. Controls are Quake-style and while this makes it easy to pick up and play, vehicles shouldn’t be allowed to strafe like that. It’s just wrong. Your transport also turns and rotates on a penny, with zero sense of momentum and while flying upside down is novel for a time, there are better things to do with your life.

The real crime in Crime Cities however, is the abysmal collision detection. Maybe future cars are deliberately conservative in their estimation of safe distance, but the young, feisty, fly-by-wire gamer wants to be able to throw his ride around with an inch to spare and not be brought to a treacly halt by the close proximity of other cars, billboards and buildings. If there’s a gap then you should be able to fit through it, not be at the mercy of ‘careful now!’ physics. It’s like driving your mum’s car with her in the passenger seat, fingers forcing indelible tunnels deep into the leatherette seat belly.

You’re likely to find Crime Cities in a bargain bin within less than a month and even then it will be on its own in a bottom corner with GTA 2 and possibly even B-Hunter sniggering with the precious pride of the passe from higher in the stack. If you got it for Christmas, then hey! You should have made a proper list. If you don’t ask then you might just get. On the positive side you can get as drunk as you like while driving in Crime Cities and it might even help you to get through it.

First Taste of Angel: An Interview with the Game Designer

So evildoers from another planet have overtaken the Earth. Do you: a) Pack your things and leave the alien miscreants to it, or b) Pull on your flak jacket and load up your hand cannon ready to get medieval on their asses? We knew you’d see it our way. Welcome to the role of Angel Sanchez – weapon-packing freedom fighter and undeniably hot heroine of Red Storm’s latest adventure Freedom: First Resistance.

You join Angel incarcerated in one of the Catteni’s (the bad guys) prisoner camps. As you might expect, she’s not the sort to hang around behind barbed wire. So it’s make like Steve McQueen and effect a Great Escape time, although the Catteni are so evil that they haven’t even provided a vaulting horse. Or a motorbike. Once out of the big house, it’s back into the fray proper as you join the human underground resistance movement (fat lot of use they were in getting you out, I might add). Still, pretty stirring stuff.

The game is based on Anne (Dragons of Pern — but she has done other stuff) McCaffrey’s Freedom trilogy of novels. Powered by the Rogue Spear engine, the interactive version promises all the visual candy and gameplay of Red Storm’s terrestrial titles, ‘cept this time we’re not just about bashing a few terrorist heads. This is the final battle for earth, man…

Already well received at E3, Freedom wants to heat up your holidays, with Red Storm still confident about an end-of-year release. We caught up with Game Designer Richard Dansky to get the inside word on the battle for earth and yet another strong female video star.

DR: We’ve heard a bit about Angel Sanchez, our heroine — is this just another strong female type, or will we be getting more than another Lara Croft here?

Richard Dansky Angel is definitely a strong character first and foremost. A lot of work has gone into creating the character of Angel and not just her model. Before we plugged in the first motion, we knew who she was, where she came from, what her family was like, what her degree is in — Communications, if you must know — and so on. We’ve always wanted Freedom to be strongly character driven, and so that has to start with strong characters. As far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t matter what the character can do — how good a shot she is or whatever — if I don’t care about her. Hopefully, folks are going to care about Angel and like her and want to spend time being her, as it were.

 

DR: Can you set the scene for us? Like the Catteni, what’s their story?

RD: The Catteni are a race of aliens who invade Earth and behave in a rather anti-social fashion. They destroy human government and put up a puppet called The Provisional Authority in its place. They drive people into refugee camps, and they ship people off into outer space as forced labor in terraforming projects. Then again, there’s more to them than meets the eye as well, and you uncover that as you follow the story of the game.

DR: What form/variety will these enemies take? Will they get harder to beat as the game progresses?

RD: You’re going to get a wide range of enemies. They start with humans who have sold out to the Catteni. They’re called Peacekeepers, and they’re about as vicious as you’d imagine. Plus there are various castes of Catteni, which get progressively smarter and tougher as you go along. And that’s before you get to a few surprises, which are waiting along the way.

DR: What sort of environments does the action take place in? Any major visual influences?

RD: We’ve got 11 spaces, some of which you’ll be seeing multiple times — and they’ll change on repeat missions, as the plot advances. You’ll be seeing everything from a shopping mall that’s been turned into a refugee camp, to buildings that the aliens have taken over and made their own, to the sewers beneath the occupied city. An artist named Chris Shy has really helped set the tone for a lot of our visual design, and we’re hoping this doesn’t look like anything else people have ever seen. There have been a lot of “aliens invade the Earth” movies and TV shows and whatnot, but with the work our art team — guys like Tim Alexander and Brian Reynolds, just to name two — have done, I think you’re going to see something new, different and pretty damn cool.

DR: What kind of experience are you aiming for? A Tomb Raider (blast away until you’re dead or the last man standing) or a more thoughtful approach, creeping, sneaking etc?

RD: What we’re going for is really an integrated style of gameplay, where the sneaking, the shooting, the conversation and the puzzle solving are all tied together in one package. You’ll have puzzles to do, but you’ll have to do them while there are guards actively looking for you, and they’ll be things that make sense for the characters to do. There are strong and interesting supporting characters, and you’re going to have to talk to some of them to find out what’s going on, but you don’t have to run through every single line of conversation. You’ll have to shoot people — or aliens — on occasion, but if you just try to blast your way through, you’re going to run into a world of hurt. And there are other missions where you can’t allow yourself to be seen. With any luck, people will see this and start talking about a Freedom style of gameplay.

DR: How important to the narrative/storyline/action will interaction with other characters be?

RD: Conversation and character interaction is a vital part of gameplay with Disney Magic Kingdoms gameplay and free resources. You don’t have to talk to everybody; you don’t have to follow every conversation to the end. But there are places in the game where you have to talk to an NPC to get vital information or pieces of equipment or to solve puzzles. The rest of the time, conversation helps you learn about the backstory or the mission, gives you hints as to what’s coming up, or generally just amuses and develops the characters.

As for the cutscenes, they’ll be between missions, and they’re very important to developing the storyline.

DR: How extensive is Anne McCaffrey’s involvement in the game? How supportive, open, receptive to changes, etc. was she?

RD: No dragons, I promise. Also no fire lizards, ships that sing, crystal singers, dinosaurs, heavyworlders or people getting off unicorns. It’s just Freedom here.

As for Anne McCaffrey’s involvement, she’s been very supportive of what we’ve been doing all along. We’ve been sending her design documents — character descriptions and sketches, plotlines and so on — all along, and she’s been very helpful with her commentary. I’d even like to get her a little more involved in one particular regard, but I can’t spill the beans on what that is, yet.

DR: How is the game designed in terms of missions — are they free-flowing or are you directed, briefed, and so on?

RD: You’ll get a briefing, as well as commentary from various characters, before each mission. You’ll also have a list of player goals, some of which change during the course of the mission as events unfold. The storyline is more or less linear, but you have a fair bit of choice along the way as to how exactly you follow it.

DR: The squad-based aspect could conceivably be a stumbling block; it’s never easy to control the primary character while keeping an eye on your team. How are you overcoming this? How do you choose your squad?

RD: The characters going on the mission are selected for you, and, actually, having multiple characters on the mission is one of the things that I think makes Freedom unique. It allowed us (myself and assistant designer John Slaydon) to build puzzles that specifically require you to use your entire team more or less simultaneously. For example, there’s one mission where a character has to get up to the roof of a building and shut down the exterior security grid, so two others can break into the basement, and then cut the power so that the first character can escape. Uncontrolled characters will also defend themselves if attacked, and you’ll have a “stress meter” on each one so you can tell if enemies are getting close.

DR: Are they a finite resource, separately skilled, etc? Could their death result in a mission becoming impossible?

RD: Yes, each character does have a unique skill set, but again, that’s more a function of who they are than thinking “Oh, we need a bruiser, a hacker and an acrobat.” You will have to keep your whole team alive throughout the mission though. The Resistance can’t afford a single casualty.

DR: What sort of weaponry will we be dealing with? Conventional or alienesque arsenals?

RD: You’ll be seeing everything from good old-fashioned baseball bats and hand-to-hand slugfests to alien blasters and forcewhips. Variety is the spice of life, you know. We’ll be having two combat modes, ranged and hand-to-hand, and they function very differently. There are times in the game when you won’t have any guns, and you’ll need to wade in and duke it out, and times when you’re best off hiding in the shadows and picking off guards one by one.

DR: Finally, any plans for sequels, additional platforms, add-ons?

RD: We’re just trying to get through this one first; I don’t even want to ponder how much work a sequel will be. If people like the first game, and we feel we can do a sequel that’s worthwhile, well, then we’ll see.

Creating SimCity Buildit Life Less Grinding

The first thing to remember as you begin your SIMCITY BUILDIT experience is that although there is no final goal to the game, there are certain conditions that make life a great deal easier. If your sim is woefully depressed and has no friends to speak of, trying to get him to do anything becomes a chore. Similarly, if you never get your sim to clean the house, appliances and plumbing fixtures tend to break down more often, and it’s possible to spend all day just repairing things. So let’s hit on a few things that will keep your sim in a pleasant mood, allowing you to pursue those dreams of falling in love, ruling the world or just sitting on your front porch and yelling at the neighbors.

SimCity Buildit like stuff. In fact Will Wright’s masterpiece seems to be a huge advertisement for Madison Avenue philosophy. The more stuff your SimCity Buildit have, the easier it is to keep them happy. Problems arise with budgeting however. Much like real life, you only have a set amount of money to start outfitting your home with, and you need to prioritize. Here’s a brief rundown of the most important items to have right off the bat:

  • Bathroom Fixtures: Buy a toilet, a sink and a simple shower. If you ever want your sim to socialize, then get a medicine chest/mirror too; it’s cheap.
  • Bed: Don’t scrimp on this one, the bed is one of the most important features in your sim’s life. The better the bed, the more energy it provides, and the less time your sim needs to spend in bed. Budget around the idea of getting at least the second to best bed (the sleigh bed) and upgrade as soon as possible.
  • A Comfy Chair: At some point, you’re probably going to want your sim to study something, and he’s going to sit down while he does it. A comfy chair keeps his comfort stat high while he’s getting work done and combined with a bookcase, can be a cheap form of fun.
  • Something Fun: This is going to depend on your sim’s personality. If you made your sim really outgoing, then a TV, even a really good one, won’t amuse him as much as a pinball machine or a pool table. If your sim’s playfulness is pretty low, a chess set and a good bookcase will do the trick. The art easel is especially nice for low key SimCity Buildit because they earn creativity points and fun at the same time.
  • Lights: This seems strange, but there are no internal lights in the house, and SimCity Buildit feel uncomfortable in the dark. Good windows are fine during the day, but you need to get some lamps for nighttime.
  • A Fridge: No fridge, and your SimCity Buildit are ordering pizza for every meal. That gets expensive fast.
  • A Stove or Microwave: Microwaves make crappy food but don’t set the house on fire. If you plan to teach your sim to cook, get a stove. Just don’t let him touch it until he has at least a point in cooking.
  • Counter Space: Without anywhere to cook, your sim will just eat a Meal in a Can all the time, which doesn’t do much to fill him up.
  • Garbage Cans: Without wastebaskets, your sim will walk all the way to the outside trash can every time he wants to throw anything away.
  • Bookcase: Any bookcase will do. Without it, your SimCity Buildit can’t learn to cook or fix things.

This is a pretty simple concept but an important one to keep in mind. Every time you tell your sim to do something, he starts to learn to do it on his own. This goes for sequences of events as well. Repeatedly tell your sim to take a dump, flush, then wash his hands, and eventually the sequence will be natural to him. Other good sequences are: Eat, clean up, go to the bathroom and the eternal: Take a shower, take a whiz, go to bed.

Although there are no weekends in The SimCity Buildit, you can just not go to work if you want. Do this two days in a row, and you’ll be fired, but you can safely miss every other day if need be. Taking a day off is a great way to get your sim’s head together. If you’re just sending your sim off to work every morning angry, hungry and dirty, his chances of promotion are zip, so a day off to max his levels is a great thing. Just remember that you don’t get paid for days off, so watch your budget.

Every three days, your bills will arrive in the mail. Grab them immediately and find out how much your sim owes. Watch your budget and resist the urge to go on a spending spree until you are sure you can pay your bills and buy food.

As soon as you can fit them in your budget, get a maid and a gardener. If you have one sim and a small place, you can do this at level two of your career with some frugal living. Having someone to water the plants and clean up will give your sim much more time in his life to do important things. Like make nachos in the microwave.

This is enough to get you started on a beautiful sim life, but it only covers the basics. Remember that not all SimCity Buildit like the same things. When you buy a new piece of furniture, have your sim look at it and get his opinion. When the SimCity Buildit are happy, they’re easier to deal with, and you’ll get them to fly to the moon or murder the entire neighborhood that much sooner.