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Paying for your own Infinite Canvas
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lylebclarke
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2001 8:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Would anybody here pay for a pre-programmed infinite canvas? I.e. someone else has done all the programming, and you simply buy the canvas, tweak it, or customise it, and then fill it up with your own content.

Kind of like paying for hosting on a webserver, but instead of just getting a blank harddrive, you'd get a spunky Infinite Canvas, and can immediately get on with your artwork instead of having to battle with programming etc.
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Tailsteak
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2001 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Depends on price.
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glych
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2001 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

depends on availability. Will I be getting the code? a space with the code? What's the download like on a 56k? What's the upload like with ftp? What exactly am I looking at...

-glych

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lylebclarke
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2001 7:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The said "pre-programmed infinite canvas" doesn't exist. So I can't give you details. The angle I'm coming from is that I know
that I would pay for such a pre-programmed infinite canvas, if the price and the features were right. Thus I am wondering if others would as well. If enough people were interested in paying for such an IC someone might be interested in developing one.

A lot of good discussion was made on the topic of an IC earlier in 2001 (the thread is here). At stage it was being asked "what features would the ultimate Infinite Canvas have?" The resulting requirements document being worked on by John Scott is here.

In the meantime, we are not much closer to having an Infinite Canvas for non-programmers to work with. However, more and more Infinite Canvas-ish interfaces are showing up on various websites. Eg. here.

It seems to me that there is enough programming brain-power out there to get an Infinite Canvas built. If we could match that programming muscle with some incentive (i.e. creators saying they would pay for Canvases providing the Canvas met X and X requirements) perhaps some movement would start.

[ This Message was edited by: lylebclarke on 2001-10-27 07:15 ]
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alschroeder
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2002 11:51 am    Post subject: Paying For Your Own Infinite Canvas Reply with quote

I dunno....I'm not as enamoured with the idea of an "Infinite Canvas" as some here are, heretical as that sounds. I mean, it's a neat concept, and I admire what Scott has done with it on Zot! Online and of course Cat Garza's stuff blows me away....
But...the actual concept, in practice, would be very like those Gutenberg e-texts where they don't divide an old book into chapters, so you get one long scroll for what should be a two hundred or three hundred page book. Eyes blur and you start skipping things.
Imagine you had a super-high-speed-connection, and Scott combined all the Zot On-Line's to one truly long scroll/page. It could be done---take forever to load, but it could be done---but even if you did, and speed of connection wasn't a factor---I would follow the trail and follow the trail, and sooner or later I would get dizzy and start skipping things.
I noticed with the extra long chapter he did, he had an alternative chapter where you could split it into three parts. You know what? Call me crazy, but that worked BETTER for me---not on connection speed, it was after I pulled the big one up---but the "rythym" was better. Sometimes shorter is better.
Especially on web pages, where attention spans are short, as are connection speeds. I learned long ago if I split a long paragraph to small paragraphs while WRITING on the web it has more "punch". Same with pictures.
I liked that list of possible concepts you could use for the "infinite canvas", but many of them can easily be done with good ol' html. There's no reason why you can't have links from panels to other parts of the story, for instance, not just advance to the next page.
(For that matter, I don't know why most webcomics are done with one large .gif or .jpg rather than using each panel as a .gif or .jpg and take advantage of tables and other ways to position it on the page. But that's another post.)
Color me relatively disinterested in an "infinite canvas" software unless I see a huge advantage. Otherwise, I think learning html (and some javascripts) is the best route to go. If the web is our medium, then a knowledge of html is as necessary as a knowledge of say, anatomy when drawing.---Al
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Greg Stephens
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2002 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You've made some excellent points that anybody working with digital comics should keep in mind. However, I think that the idea of the infinite canvas is less about exanding infinitely and more of a promise and a reminder that in the digital realm we can break free of the size and shape restrictions of a single page. It isn't a mandate that digital comics should scroll ad infinitum, but a way of pointing out that if you're doing a digital comic and a given "page" or chapter requires 5 more panels than would be possible on paper or if the story is served by shaping the panels into a circle or an iguana, then you are free to go ahead and do that.

It's still up to the individual comic author to determine how long or short and how many parts the story should be broken into (if at all) and a good author will find a way to make the pacing and rhythm work.

As to HTML, javascript, et. al.- For the moment, because the primary digital medium we have is the web as seen through the web browser, that's the way to go and people interested in making digital comics would be well-served to learn such things, but a native IC tool, perhaps even as a browser plug-in, would be pretty cool, IMO.
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alschroeder
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2002 1:42 pm    Post subject: Paying for Your Onw Infinite Canvas Reply with quote

Very true and all good points. Like I said, I have every admiration for Cat Garza's stuff---and I LOOOOOVED the bit on Zot On-Line where Zot and ---Jenny?---were falling, falling, falling, and it was one long panel.
Maybe if the term had been "Elastic canvas" rather than infinite canvas I wouldn't have reacted as I did.
For that matter, just talking about different modes and possibilities here made me decide to do my eighth (Yeah, I plan ahead) story arc (where the protagonist is trapped within her own mind) as a surface, "plain" "real life" strip, but with a close up of the protagonist's eye on each page....which will be clickable and take the reader to a new page, inside the mind, into the protagonist's imagination---where the actual "action" is happening, to simulate the two "levels" of action in the story.
Somewhat inspired by Scott's suggestion in REINVENTING COMICS of clicking within images of the story to get greater "depth"---but I can see where I could use it---just using basic html---to excellent advantage in that story.
That's what I'd like to see more in webcomics---innovative use of the medium's strengths. Garza does it and McCloud does it, but a lot of them are basically print strips put on the web.
Urrr. Went rather far afield from the main subject of "commerce", didn't I? But still, that's why I wouldn't pay for such software---there's too much that hasn't been tried with basic html and/or javascript to make it worth my while.---Al
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Al Schroeder iii
http://mindmistress.keenspace.com---think the super hero genre is mined out? Think there are no new superhero ideas?
Think again.
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