Steampunk Mardi Gras & The Sloppy Basecoats

Happy Thursday, everybody! I don’t often have big news, but today’s a little different. I’ve been researching broadcasting programs and gathering hardware (microphones, webcams, etc) and I’m happy to say I completed my first test stream on Twitch last night! 

I ran some basic tests and changed settings over the course of the stream to enhance the resolution, minimize the lag, and see how much my computer could take without fear of it bursting into flames. I'm not as concerned about the laptop as I am the internet speed. While I bought the basic internet package after moving, now that I'm considering streaming on a schedule, I'll be looking at upgrading my internet quality. 

My intention was to just run some basic tests and paint for a bit and see what it looked like on my screen. I marked it as "TEST TEST" so people knew it wasn't going to be anything polished. People were welcome to pop in knowing that it was definitely a troubleshooting session and I was surprised to find that many stuck around! We had some engaging people who were active in chat, asking questions, and overall being cool people. It made my very first non-official Twitch stream a super-positive experience. We joked about goofy Skyrim mods, talked about paints and brushes, and after I was stuck on which color to paint the skirt, they helped me narrow down my choices. I said something about "I'd paint her skirt purple but with the gold I'll be painting on her gun, I'd be afraid she'd more Mardi Gras than Steampunk. Steampunk Mardi Gras.... Man, these are some sloppy basecoats I'm painting. That's the name of my new band: 'Steampunk Mardi Gras & The Sloppy Basecoats'. I like it". I ended up streaming for 3.5 hours and I was surprised I enjoyed myself as much as I did-- I hope the other people who stuck around and chatted with me did too! If you're reading this and you were in the stream, thank you!

One big thing I learned: it's incredibly challenging to paint around a webcam. One of the things I need to do is adjust the webcam angle, video saturation, and lighting so it doesn't look so blown-out. It won't look so bad once I get paint on the model-- the camera understandably struggles with picking up details with that contrasting white primer. I have some homework to do (including finding a Mac-friendly version of music streaming program that will incorporate directly into my broadcasting software) and I'm looking forward to the challenge! Next, I need to fill out my profile, pick a tentative schedule that I'll later finalize, and add a few bells & whistles to enhance the Twitch experience for all parties. It's a lot, but I've been researching this for awhile and it's finally coming together.

Other than that, I'm glad I'm making some good progress on Carla McCarthy, the Scale75 miniature I'm painting for a friend. Originally, I had tried to paint her like Mad Moxxi from Borderlands. That didn't work out too well. Her skin was far too chalky (though the character inspiration has chalky skin) but it just didn't translate too well on the miniature. I felt that the black and purple was too obvious of a choice for a Steampunk miniature. I kept struggling with it and trying to make something I didn't like and I avoided working on her as a result. So here I am starting over and making some great progress this time! As far as streaming on Twitch, I plan to find a rotating schedule soon and make my streams better & better each time. I hope to see you there!