When I started doing the revamps for the book, I looked at what had been done over the last three years and realized that there were a lot of things that had been focused on in the story that I hadn’t anticipated when I initially outlined this tale.   A number of them ended up being things that I really wanted to show off in the new version of things, (things, that when this comic started, I didn’t have the skill to do) which led up to the first appearance of the University of Erech.   This is one of the commons areas where Clarence Gage is a professor at, as is Dana McAllen’s mother these days.

The buildings on the side are composed of a great deal of flattened cubes, and are merely shells.  When I put them together, I designed them to be modular, and in my library right now I have presets that will let me put together a modern glass faced skyscraper style building with a minimum of fuss…and do it quickly.  The ponds were simple torus’ that I dropped a cylinder textured to look like water into.  Since Carrara doesn’t come with an actual torus primitive object, I exported a torus that I dialed up to spec from my old copy of Bryce 5 as a .3ds file and positioned them accordingly.  Textures for the stone work on the ground and the pool sides were all made by me in Bryce 5 years ago.  About a year back I found a site out on the web that actually outlines a process that will let you take Bryce materials and export them as image maps/textures so that you can actually use them in other programs.

The problem with Bryce is that you can only really export a texture when you are exporting a terrain from the terrain editor.  The trick is to apply a texture to a totally flat mountain terrain, and the export the mountain terrain from the terrain editor.  Just follow the bouncing ball and it will ask you about how you want to export the surfaces material as well.

This article while written for sending stuff from Bryce to Mojoworld http://www.mojoworld.org/tutorials/BryceIntoMojo/ should be enough to give you the gist of what you need to do.

The look of the University of Erech is kind of a fusion of Caltech and Notre Dame, filtered through my inner eye, of course.  We’ll definitely be seeing more of it later.

Julia Wells, and her friend Carrie Windsor (who has a larger part to play in the future) are both in their freshman year right now.  Julia Wells is majoring in Business and Economics, Carrie is in Political Science.  Julia Wells is such a pivotal character to this whole thing that it didn’t seem right for her to be introduced so late in the story. But at the time I started this out, I couldn’t get the look of her to match what I had been seeing my head all of these years.

Julia Wells is a customized figure based on a Victoria 3 mesh.  And by customized, I do mean customized.  At one point I actually opened up the file that she was saved in a text editor to tweak things to get her right.  Being heavily custom work, she tends to get a little flaky at times…sometimes poses that were specifically built for V3 (like some expressions) won’t recognize her base geometry information as a V3.  A number of people have thought over the years that she was based on Aiko 3…but Aiko 3 hadn’t even been out there yet when Julia Wells was built.  Over the years, I have tweaked her complexion and makeup a bit as well.  She’s really become my R&D character for a lot of things.

At any rate, with these thoughts, written in the throes of a massive migraine, I conclude.