Posted in Uncategorized

Blog closing

So, this new WordPress monstrosity that they call an editor (when it’s really just a blank screen with no functionality whatsoever) is so horrible that I am leaving WordPress.

My two vaguely active blogs are being moved to Blogger, and this one is just closing down, because I really wasn’t using it, and there just didn’t seem to be a point to making a new one elsewhere.

If I find myself wanting to talk about one of the new Tarot decks in my collection, I’ll likely put it on my new main blog, and if I find myself wanting to work on the Vocaloid Tarot deck, I’ll probably post about it on the dolly blog.

But chances are there won’t be any tarot-related posts on either of them. This was not a venture I entered into with enough thought.

Posted in Tarot

Brady Tarot 2nd Edition “Unboxing”

I put “unboxing” in quotes because I did not start at the “package it was shipped to me in” level, because that just felt silly.  I’m starting with the items that came out of said package.

These three things were what came out of the package I received for backing the Kickstarter for the second edition of this tarot deck.  Before I go further, a bit about the background and concept for the deck itself.  The images for this tarot deck are images of North American wildlife done in linocut by Denver-based artist Emi Brady, with influence from Native American cultures and art.  (The Kickstarter for the first edition, which I missed out on, goes into some detail about what a linocut is, if you’re curious.)  The second edition decks are now available to buy online, and some of the proceeds from sales are being donated to environmental and Native American charities.

Okay, now on to the contents of those three mini-packages…

The tarot bag had my enamel pin in it; there were three soft enamel pins available as add-ons, each one based on one of the cards.  The tarot bag is nifty, but it’s too small to hold the deck in its box; if you want to put the cards in it, they have to be loose.  (It was a freebie, though, so I’m not complaining, as such.)

Here’s the best shot I could get of the pin I got.  It’s based on the Sun card.  It’s not a color I would normally wear, but for some reason it just really spoke to me as a pin.

Here’s what was in the thin, flat envelope:  a print of an owl, and a sticker of the owl from the Hermit card.  Like the bag, these were freebies exclusive to the Kickstarter campaign.  I need to get myself a frame to put that print in.  :)

And, of course, the box contained the deck itself.

Signed, even! :D

The box is pretty darn snazzy.  It has an obi (to borrow the Japanese term, as I have no idea what that would be called otherwise), and an easy-to-open two part structure, each half in a velvety black with gloss UV printing on it.  Again featuring the Hermit, presumably because it’s such a great image, and/or because it resonated best with the 3,000 people who bought the first edition.

Here we have the guidebook (also black-on-black cover) and the deck itself.  The cards have a matte, velvety texture that feels wonderful to the touch, but does make them much harder to shuffle.  (Actually the second deck I’ve gotten with that kind of finish; I even have photos all ready for a review of that other deck, but then this one arrived and I thought I’d do an “unboxing” for my next post instead.)  The cards have gold edging, but it’s slightly more matte than most, so it doesn’t show up very well in the photos.  (Looks very nice in person, though.)  The guidebook contains information about the species of animals on the card as well as the meanings for the cards.

So, I went through the deck and picked out a few cards that really spoke to me to show you.  As you can see, each card has a title added, giving a partial interpretation.  Also, the suits have been changed:  they are now Roots, Arrows, Horns and Feathers, and the Page/Knight/Queen/King hierarchy has been changed to the more organic and less Eurocentric Son/Daughter/Mother/Father.  While there are no humans in this deck (aside from some human skulls on a few cards), there are various allusions to humanity, primarily in the form of Native American art or ornamentation, such as the Mayan iconography on the 10 of Roots there, or the pot on the Daughter of Feathers.  (I’m not positive which culture that pot belongs to; it reminds me of the ones I saw in Acoma, but it may be one of the other pueblo cultures, as their art is sometimes quite similar.)  The 6 of Feathers really reminds me of the traditional Mexica (aka Aztec) story of the founding of Tenochtitlan, wherein the Mexica people were wandering in search of a homeland and knew they had found it when they spotted an eagle with a serpent in its talons.  (Which is reflected to this day in the Mexican flag, of course.)  The bird on that card is actually a hawk, not an eagle, but that doesn’t change the association it brings me.

The guidebook also contained this suggested spread, so I decided to try using it as best I could over my utter inability to shuffle these cards.  (I don’t know if there’s just a trick to it that I am ignorant of, or what, but I cannot seem to shuffle tarot cards to save my life.  I keep having to do weird things like dealing them out randomly into half a dozen piles and then shuffling those, and so on.  I don’t think it’s working properly at all.)

As with the last tarot review I posted, I’m going to show the relevant guidebook pages along with the cards, because I think that gives you a good insight into the thoughts behind the deck.  (Also, since I don’t have the card meanings memorized yet (beyond a few of the major arcana cards, anyway), I have to consult something to know what my reading means.)

So…there is the question, right off the bat, of whether or not this deck is intended to have reverse meanings; the guidebook doesn’t cover them, which suggests that it is not.  Then again, not much about my current situation fits “Happiness, especially after a period of difficulty.”  Although I guess I do have a plenitude of “Simple pleasures.”  Of course, while I don’t feel like the regular meaning of the Sun fits my situation, I don’t think an inverse meaning really does, either.

The second card is supposed to represent “What will send me on my journey?” and the card is an inverted card that right-side up means “Triumph.”  So, am I about to fail in something?  Or are there no reversed readings with this deck, and I’m about to succeed in something?  Since it’s looking forward, neither meaning is yet confirmed or denied.

This is where the reading starts to feel weird to me.  This position is supposed to represent the challenge I will face on my journey, and the card means inspiration and “deep emotional work.”  which doesn’t sound like a challenge; it sounds like a success, considering how much I have been struggling to get my ideas on the page.  (Well, on the screen.  I don’t write by hand.)

And then the next card is “What will help me” and the answer is “Conflict”?

Then we reach “What will I discover?” and get another card that speaks of inspiration.  If it’s challenging me, didn’t I already find it?

And finally, “What will I become?” is answered with a card that means satisfying, meaningful and productive work.  Even if you shift the meaning around a bit to represent someone who is engaged in said satisfying work, that…well, among other things, it doesn’t feel much like becoming anything.  I already have meaningful and (usually) satisfying work, since I work at a museum.

As you can see, nothing about this reading quite works for me, and I don’t think reversing everything’s position (I know I’ve seen that suggested, that sometimes if too many cards are inverted, or if the first card is inverted, then everything should be inverted because the deck was basically upside down (or maybe I was supposed to be flipping them longwise rather than shortwise)) would make it any better.  Ultimately, I think either the unfamiliarity of the spread or the fact that I absolutely could not shuffle them properly interfered with the reading and I just ended up with basic randomness.

In any case, it’s a gorgeous deck, and I’m sure I’ll get better readings with it if I try again later.  (Though goodness knows I’m more collecting these for the artwork than to use them.  Though I’d like to do both eventually…)

Anyway, before I end this post, I wanted to provide links to a few tarot Kickstarter campaigns I’m backing right now.  (There is a pretty big tarot community on Kickstarter, apparently.  A lot of decks seek funding that way.)  There are currently three I’m backing, which I’m presenting here by the amount of time left to their funding deadline.

The Deck of Many – Animated Tarot Cards

(Sorry for the screencap image there; evidently Kickstarter blocks the “save image” function.)  These are lenticular cards with brief animations on each card…

I am needless to say very excited about these! :D

They’ve posted the full major arcana in an update, and have promised to add representation for people of color to the full deck.  There are five days left in this campaign.  (Which has raised almost $800,000, with more than 6,000 backers, so I would expect there could be some slow-down in delivery due to the sheer number of backers, but they have done a number of campaigns for lenticular spell cards for Dungeons and Dragons, and have a lot of returning backers, so I think it’s very safe to say that the cards will be produced and delivered, which is not always guaranteed with Kickstarter.)

The Publishing Goblin’s Oracle Dice

These aren’t cards or tarot, but…close enough.  This is a set of dice that you roll as an oracle.  Like the ancient casting of the bones, only for the modern era. ;)  I love to collect dice, too, so this was a no-brainer for me.  The dice are being made by Q-Workshop, a very well known and respected manufacturer in Poland, which does good work.  (And yes, I do have some of their dice myself, so I am speaking with knowledge.)  They have stretch goals for additional dice, so that as more sets are bought, more dice are unlocked, and although there hasn’t been an update for it yet, I think we’ve actually unlocked the second one now.  There’s also an add-on for a neoprene mat to throw the dice onto, with different regions on it to clarify the reading.  There are nine days left in this campaign.  (Which has raised over $18,000, nearly four times its goal.  The creator has had two previous campaigns, which both appear to have been successfully delivered, and they’re working with a known and reliable manufacturer, so I think there is very little risk involved in backing this one as well.)

Lunaria Tarot

This is a tarot deck geared specifically towards writers.  The suits have been changed to Inkwells, Quills, Pens and Pages, and the hierarchy has been changed to Seekers/Apprentices/Artists/Mentors to avoid gender issues.  The major arcana are all centered around famous authors, and the guidebook’s interpretations are supposed to be specifically geared towards writers using tarot to help themselves over creative blocks and other issues.  As a writer with creative problems, I’m obviously eager for that part!  This campaign has 23 days to go, and has not yet met its funding goal.  (The creator has not run a Kickstarter before, so there is less certainty here, but honestly I find tarot cards to be among the least risky campaigns to back.  I think there’s only one I’ve backed that has failed to deliver so far.)

Posted in Tarot

Tarotbot (A Kickstarter Tarot Deck)

Since I claimed at the outset that this new blog was for my tarot collection as well as the Vocaloid tarot deck I was working on in my idle hours, and since the Vocaloid deck has become thoroughly stalled because my writing has not been stalled lately (it’s something I was working on when I couldn’t think of anything to write), I thought I ought to post about one of the decks in my collection.  And since I both just got a really good space to do photography and just received a deck in the mail, I thought this was precisely the time to start on that!

Like most of my decks, this is one I backed on Kickstarter.  It’s a robot-themed deck called Tarotbot, designed by Michael Murdock.  So far, nothing has been said about if there were spare decks printed up (though there usually are) or where they’ll be on sale if there were, but it’s probably a safe bet they’ll be sold on his Etsy page.  (It’s still relatively early in the fulfillment period; I imagine after all the decks have gone out then there will be an update about fulfillment being completed and where additional copies can be obtained.)

The box for the Tarotbot deck.

The box art is a little bit eerie, but not off-puttingly so.  (Sadly, it is not the nice two-piece box depicted as a possible box on the Kickstarter page.  It’s just an ordinary tuck box, and rather hard to open, even as such things go.)

The cards of the deck spread loosely out, face up, with the booklet below.

Here are the cards spread thinly out (teasingly out?), with the booklet below.  The cards are on an unusual stock; they’re thin, stiff and extremely shiny, so they almost feel like thin little sheets of plastic.  It’s not really what I’m used to in cardstock for any kind of deck, but it works beautifully, shuffles nicely, and suits the art perfectly.  The card on top there is one of the stretch goal cards, unique new cards for this deck.

The backs of the cards, and the opened booklet.  With a flash to show off the design on the card backs.

Here’s the back of the cards, and the booklet opened up (folded out, rather).  This photo was taken with the flash on so you could see the design clearly….

The same photo, without the use of the flash, showing off the gold foil work.

…and here’s the same shot without the flash, attempting to show how all those “yellow” lines in the previous image are all gold foil.  I wasn’t able to capture it well with my camera, but it’s very pretty in person.  The deck is edged in gold, too.

I had a look through all the cards and laid out a handful that particularly spoke to me in one way or another:

An assortment of twelve of the cards, face-up, just to display their artwork.

This mix contains two of the other stretch goal cards, The Anarchist and The Conman.  (I forgot to look at their meanings in the booklet that came with the deck, which was quite stupid of me…)

While I was at it, I decided to do a spread with the deck.  I haven’t done readings with most of my new tarot collection (an absurd situation!) because I didn’t have a good place for it and I had bought a book of 365 tarot spreads, each assigned to a specific day of the year…which really turned me off to trying to do readings at all, because many of them were badly done, tortured, and/or had zero usefulness to my life.  (Seriously, one of them was the “Get out of debt spread.”  Which says all sorts of terrible things about our society if the author of the book felt she could safely assume that was something that applied to everyone.  But it does not apply to me.  I have no debts, thankfully, so what was I supposed to do with that spread?  Likewise, all the myriad romance spreads were useless to me, as I am asexual and aromantic.)

Anyway, I decided to give it a go with this one, just doing a simple three card spread, the typical Past, Present, Future arrangement…

Three cards, face down, beside the deck.

So there they are, dealt out.  (Which actually gives you a better view of the gold foil than the photo above does…)

The first card has been turned face up.

First card, The World.

The booklet’s description of the card’s meaning is a bit blurry in this photo (sorry!) but it’s clear enough.

The second card has been turned face up.

The booklet's definition..

Second card, The Emperor, Inverted.

The third and final card has been turned face up.

The booklet's definition of the final card.

And the third card, the Six of Cups.

I think in this case, the World should be interpreted more literally as exactly that, the world itself as we knew it in the past.  The inverted Emperor’s connotations particularly of rigidity and coldness sum up our current world pretty well.  And the Six of Cup’s potential meaning of “healing” for the future is particularly apt, since if there’s anything that needs to be in the future for our current COVID-19 dominated world, it’s healing.

……

…and if there’s anything else that should be said in a post sharing a new tarot deck, I’m not sure what it is.  I’m new to this, after all.

(But hey, at least I’ve posted something for the first time since August!)

Posted in MMD, Tarot, Vocaloid

“The Lovers” Straight Version

It’s taken me way too long to get this posted, but I’ve finally got the third variation of “The Lovers” ready.  Well, not ready ready, but I’ve got the test render ready.

And this time I think I’ve finally found the pose I want to use for all three versions.  So I’ll have to go back and do the Luka/Miku and Fukase/Oliver versions with this pose data.

Image credits below.

Of course I used KAITO/MEIKO for the straight version.  Though there’s no such thing as a canon Vocaloid pairing, they’re one of the rare pairs that comes close to being “canon.”  Certainly, their voice banks were actually designed to go together well (just as Luka’s and Miku’s were), so in a way they were “meant to be.”

One big improvement for this version over the Fukase/Oliver one is that I’ve gotten back the view of the background that I had in the Luka/Miku version, giving that incredibly cool stage room to fill up a lot of the card with its assorted implied meanings.

Anyway, next up is re-doing the first two versions of “The Lovers” to match this one.  Then I’ll probably do “The Chariot” because I already know what I want to do there.  :)


Image credits:

TDA “on the rocks” KAITO and MEIKO by Jjinomu

Pose data by…actually, I forgot to check whose pose data it is.  (And it’s on a different device than I’m currently using, so I can’t check.)  I’ll try to remember to grab the credit for the pose data before I post the updated Luka/Miku and Fukase/Oliver versions.

The background, which appears to be called “teien” is by a Japanese MMD artist whose name I don’t know because the readme does not display properly on my computer.  But it included a couple of URLs, at least one of which is hopefully still in use:  http://www.geocities.jp/cgkano/sirokitune.html and http://reriamoon.blog95.fc2.com/

Posted in MMD, Tarot, Vocaloid

“The Lovers” Second Version

So, before Pride Month is over, here’s the male-only version of “The Lovers.”  This time, I used someone else’s pose data, so they don’t look quite so awkward.  Quite.

href=”https://vocaloidtarothome.files.wordpress.com/2019/06/the-lovers-olikase.png”> Credits below.[/
There’s still a lot wrong with it.  Their hands aren’t quite reaching each other, Fukase’s fingers are clipping into Oliver’s back, and that view of Fukase’s face is really kind of creepy.  (Though maybe that’s a good thing?)

I dunno.  I kind of wanted a romantic pose that wasn’t kissing (especially given how young Oliver is), more of a cuddling thing, but this was the best I had available.  I may go back looking for more pose data before I try the m/f version next month (or maybe not until August, since I’ll be doing Camp NaNo in July)

I’d have liked to be able to shift Oliver’s cap some, but I couldn’t find a bone that controlled it.  There was a slider to turn it off, but I didn’t want to get rid of it, just move it a bit.  May have to do a light edit to connect it to a bone, if it turns out it really isn’t on one.

Oh, and if anyone’s wondering why Fukase/Oliver for the m/m pairing, well…honestly, when I first heard Fukase (his version of “Ghost Rule,” of course) I loved his voice and went looking for other Fukase songs, and I found a ton of duets with him and Oliver.  Some of them did have accompanying art that paired them romantically, and the idea just stuck in my head of them as a couple.  (Not sure how old Fukase is supposed to be, so maybe that’s inappropriate…)  I can get pairings stuck in my head like that pretty easily; one image of Rin and Nekomura Iroha together during a duet was enough to cement them as one of my Vocaloid pairings…


Image credits:

TDA Oliver and Fukase by Jjinomu

Pose data by kitzabitza

The background, which appears to be called “teien” is by a Japanese MMD artist whose name I don’t know because the readme does not display properly on my computer.  But it included a couple of URLs, at least one of which is hopefully still in use:  http://www.geocities.jp/cgkano/sirokitune.html and http://reriamoon.blog95.fc2.com/

Posted in MMD, Tarot, Vocaloid

“The Lovers” Early WIP

Given that it’s June, I realized I should get a move on and try to get two of the three versions of “The Lovers” finished at least to the test render stage and posted while it’s still Pride Month.

So, I set about the f/f version first, and after working on the pose for a while realized that it was not going to work.

Credits below

Looking at the pose, you may wonder why I thought that.  Well, the simple truth is that it’s too complicated a pose.  If it was any card other than “The Lovers” it would be fine, but I wanted to make “The Lovers” available in m/m and m/f formats as well, and trying to copy and adjust this pose to two different sets of models (one of which is of drastically different heights) was going to be way too much work.  (Especially those interlocked hands.  OMG, those are a nightmare.  It was while I was trying to get those in position that I realized this was never going to work.)  Also, it’s a bit too close to the official art for the song “Magnet.”  That didn’t help, either.

So, I decided to go for a pose that would be easier to alter…

Credits below.

And I got a pose that would be much easier to adapt to different sets of models.

I also got a pose that looked more like “friends posing for a photo” than “lovers in any context at all.”  So…yeah, still a fail.

I know I have, at some point, downloaded a lot of “couple poses,” so I think I’m gonna brush the electronic dust off them and see if any of them will work.  And I’ll try them with the m/m couple, post the results that way.  Then I can worry about the m/f version sometime in July, and update this one whenever it seems apropos to do so.

I like this choice of background, though.  “The Lovers” should have an inherent possibility for disaster, and while all those floating chunks of land look pretty, they could potentially signify that the world has been mostly destroyed.  I mean, are they in some mystical Skies of Arcadia-like land with floating islands, or are they in a Fantastica where Bastian failed to give the Empress her new name in time?

Hopefully, this will be the last of the Major Arcana to feature Miku.  I don’t want any of the Vocaloids to get over-used in this deck, but especially not Miku, because she’s so ubiquitous in, well, pretty much anything Vocaloid.  (Especially merchandise.  Man, that’s frustrating.  I want some merch of the other Vocaloids in their different costumes, not fifteen thousand versions of Miku!  (I say in a room that has like four of her in it.))


Image credits:

TDA Magnet Miku and Luka by HarukaSakurai

The background, which appears to be called “teien” is by a Japanese MMD artist whose name I don’t know because the readme does not display properly on my computer.  But it included a couple of URLs, at least one of which is hopefully still in use:  http://www.geocities.jp/cgkano/sirokitune.html and http://reriamoon.blog95.fc2.com/

Posted in MMD, Tarot, Vocaloid

“The Magician” Rough Draft

Rather than try to polish up “The Fool,” I thought it was best to forge ahead and get rough drafts of all the other cards, and then try to polish things so that they match each other best.  Also this way is more fun. ;)

So, card I, “The Magician.”  In looking through the various meanings and symbols associated with the card, I noticed that the magician is usually depicted with a lot of tools, sometimes those of the magical trade and sometimes tools representing the suits of the minor arcana.  That put me straight away into thinking about a particular song, “Straight Faced Science Girl.”  From there, I knew what I wanted…

Credits below.

OMG, I hope that doesn’t display as poorly on the final page as it’s displaying in the post editor.

Uh, anyway, there are a lot of reasons this is still obviously a WIP.  For one thing, she needs more tools on her table.  I plan on adding an open book, and maybe some non-scientific tools (paint brush, maybe something in the middle of a small magic circle, stuff like that), but those will probably be partially decided on after I see what other symbols I end up using in the other cards.  Also, I want to get the Theory of Relativity to line up perfectly over her head, to take the place of the infinity symbol usually shown over the head of the Magician.  (It had been lined up perfectly earlier, but then I wanted to change which table she was at, and I lost my angle and couldn’t get it back.)  I also need to edit her beaker and especially her test tubes.  And probably put something in them.

You see, I totally can edit the beaker and test tubes all I want, because when I realized I didn’t have any on hand, I decided that rather than boot up my disposable computer (ie the one I use online), I would just refresh my memory on how Metasequoia works and make them myself.  Overall, I think I didn’t do too badly.  The test tubes need to be longer, and both are a little too clear.  (Technically, they have the right clarity to be glass, but they’re not super easy to see.  As, realistically, glass tends not to be.)

Other than that, the positions of her fingers are still a bit awkward, but since the items in her hands are going to change, perfecting the hand positions at this stage seemed silly.

Moving away from the image itself, I want to talk about the song that inspired this choice.  “Straight Faced Science Girl” is one of many shippy songs written for the Kagamine twins, Rin and Len.  Rin is one of my favorite Vocaloids, and I love Len’s voice, so I like a lot of their songs, but I have to admit that the ones framing their relationship in romantic terms tend to bother me.  Because they’re twins, and I’m squikked out by incest.  Not to be too blunt about it.  Anyway, it’s still a nice song (and it’s somewhat vague in its shippiness), and I do love the idea of Rin as being hardcore into science, because STEM girls rule.  More importantly for the deck as a whole, this means that I am including the shippy side of the Kagamine twins without having to explicitly or even implicitly condone the idea of incest between fourteen year old twins.  So I’m kind of meeting the twincest fans halfway.  (Though I guess by saying all that I’ve stepped back far enough to only be meeting them about a quarter of the way…)

The downside of using Rin for this card is that she’s now slated for two Major Arcana appearances, and I want to limit the use of any Vocaloid as much as possible, but especially the main Crypton six; I don’t want them to dominate the deck the way they dominate the fandom as a whole.  (Which is difficult, since most of the good models seem to be the main Crypton girls, with Miku making up at least half of them…)

From here on out, I may jump around a bit, moving to the cards I’ve already decided which Vocaloid or UTAU to use on, and then head back to the beginning to get the ones I haven’t made up my mind on.  Or I might not.  Not sure yet.  I’m pretty much working on this only when inspiration strikes, and/or when I feel like I ought to be writing but can’t think of anything to write.  So it’s sporadic, to say the least.


Credits:

TDA Straight Faced Science Girl Rin by mikumikuiki

Stage converted by amiamy111.  Converted from what, I no longer remember.  I think it was referred to as NJXA, but I don’t remember what that stands for.

I used AdultShaderS on pretty much everything in the image.

Posted in MMD, Tarot, Vocaloid

The Journey Begins; “The Fool”

Every journey has a beginning.  Every journey has its fool.

And every journey should have its record, too, right?

Well, even if it shouldn’t, this one is having its record.

And what is that journey?

I’m working on creating a tarot deck using Vocaloid and UTAU characters.  (For those who don’t know what Vocaloid and UTAU mean, see my About page.)  Since I can’t draw, I’m using the free program MikuMikuDance (MMD) to make the images.  That means, among other things, that even if I should perfect the deck, I could never have them printed up and sell them, because almost every MMD model, prop and set has a rider on it that it mustn’t be used for commercial purposes.  (There’s also the fact that I don’t own any of the involved characters, but decks containing fan art are not unheard of.  I’ve got a Sailor Moon deck in my collection…)  However, should I ever finish the deck to my satisfaction, I will provide free downloads of the finished cards arranged in print-and-play files so anyone who wants a deck can print their own.

I’ll be using this new blog to share my progress and — if anyone ever starts reading the blog — maybe get some feedback and advice along the way.

I’ll also probably post photos of tarot and oracle decks in my growing collection (most of them ones I backed on Kickstarter, so they’re rare, unusual and very creative), and maybe post about readings I do if I ever get back in the habit of doing readings.  *cough*

But enough of the introductions!  I have a draft of “The Fool” to share with you!

"The Fool" version 2
Credits below.

This is the second draft of the card, and I think it’s much better than the first.  I put up a post about the first draft on my main blog, so you can check that out if you want to see how this one has improved.  This definitely reflects the meaning of the card better, but her pose is still a bit stiff.  Also the ribbons on her legs aren’t going to move to my will without my editing the model.  Which is technically forbidden, but I hope that low level of modification is mildly okay, because having the ribbons hanging straight down despite that she’s supposedly moving forwards would drive me bananas.

As a tarot card, obviously it still has problems.  The chief of which of course being that it doesn’t yet have its number and name on it. :P  There’s also the fact that her chasing a butterfly is kind of me ripping off the design of a deck I just got have (the Girls Drawin’ Girls Deck which I had to buy off Etsy because I missed its Kickstarter the Children of Litha deck, a really gorgeous deck I backed on Kickstarter and which is now available from the creator’s website) where “The Fool” was reaching out for a bird.  There only being so many motifs that fit around “possibly about to fall off a cliff,” I hope that much copycatting is at least mildly permissible.  There are also basic formatting questions:  do I want to change the framing of the main image, what kind of labeling will I be using, do I want a frame on the image, etc.  But I don’t want tackle those questions until I’m sure I have the basic image correct.

On the MMD side of things (and this may get slightly technical, so feel free to skip this paragraph if you don’t know MMD), I see all sorts of little problems with the image.  As soon as I turned on AutoLuminous to make the butterfly glow, I noticed that white line along the edge between the path and the hillside.  Not sure if it was always there and I just didn’t notice it, or if it’s something about the black background caused by AutoLuminous that made it show up.  A bigger issue is that this is a YYB Miku, and I wanted to exclusively use TDA models for this deck.  (Partially because I just really like TDA and partially because I already had a ton of them.  And because I’ve been away from MMD for years, and TDA was still pretty hot when I left.  (No idea if it still is or not.)  Appearance/Api was “the newest thing,” but it was limited to Crypton characters, which wouldn’t do since I want to use non-Crypton Vocaloids, not to mention UTAUs.)  I really wanted to use this costume, though, since it had the animal built in, and I couldn’t find a TDA version available for download.  I think it’s all right, though, because we’re only seeing the side of her face.  It’d still look different if it was a TDA Miku in there, but…that’s minor compared to the posing woes.  Most of which are the fact that those finkin’ ribbons are set to move only by Physics, and that I suck at posing.  I suppose I need to go looking for pose data that’s similar to what I want.  Or maybe check individual frame data from movement data for running or walking…

Finally, looking at this from a Vocaloid perspective, it only seems fitting that the starting card has to be Miku.  She wasn’t the first Vocaloid released, but she’s the most famous (because she’s the most advertised and merchandised) and she’s the one with 01 tattooed on her arm. ;)  (Which I guess would actually make her a better fit for “The Magician,” since that’s card I, while “The Fool” is card 0.)  If anyone has any ideas about who should be on which cards in the future, I’m open to hearing them.  Can’t guarantee I’ll agree, but I’m willing to listen.  Though I’ve already decided on a few:  “The Chariot” and “The Lovers” are already decided for sure (though “The Lovers” will be in three versions, f/f, f/m and m/m), and I feel like there was at least one other I’d already picked out, only now I don’t — oh, it was “The Devil.”  And I know I need to use Sukone Tei on one of the Sword cards.  :P  Not sure which one, off-hand, but where else would a yandere go?

Image Credits:

Stage:  no info, but when I open it in PMX editor (PMD editor can’t handle it) I get a screen of Japanese info, which Google Translate says means “Model data for custom girl PolyMo: Custom girl physics operaton compatible model) Model editory: … MOD creator: Data conversion: Tso2Pmd Ver. 0.2.4 Copynight: TechArts 3D & —”  (Yes, it really says “copynight.”  That part is in attempted English.)

Miku:  YYB, Sega and Malik-Hatsune

Butterfly:  Paul Spooner and HarukaSakurai

Basket:  there’s a readme that actually displays in proper text so I could use Google Translate on it, but it doesn’t seem to list a maker.  I found it on Bowlroll via a deviantART link from someone I think called hack-girl or something like that.  (Basically, not much comes up if you search there for “mmd picnic basket” so the linking work should show up.)