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3 - TechDawg

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Post by rabid squirrel on Mon Apr 27, 2015 7:18 pm

TechDawg
@TechDawg
also known as: TD, Matthew Nelson

Of all the people who are considered legends of Line Rider, TechDawg stands at the helm. Countless people were inspired to play Line Rider seriously after seeing his tracks on YouTube in the early days of Beta 2.

TechDawg was a master of creating worlds with line art. He single-handedly created a number of scenery styles that were used as inspiration for nearly every scenery artist who came after him. He was the first to introduce to concept of shading and to add details and texture to surfaces to make them appear more realistic, as well as the first to do it consistently and with high-quality.

He coined the style of "tech" scenery and the style of "hills" scenery, he coined the term "monument", he was the first to shade using XY lines, he was the first to "split" scenery, and he made some of the largest scenery projects ever created at the time. His integration between track and scenery was nothing short of genius and he generated incredible, iconic scenery styles seemingly out of thin air.

TechDawg founded I Ride the Lines in early 2007, and a number of his videos following that opened with enormous ads for the site, drawing thousands of members. His policies on the site are the grandfather policies for this site and some of them remain to this day. In late 2007, he was offered a job by InXile, the new owners of Line Rider, to beta test and make tracks to promote Line Rider 2: Unbound. His agreement with InXile, though the details are unknown, ended badly and he lost his drive to continue creating tracks. Over the next couple years, he became less and less active, eventually abandoning the site altogether, requiring the community to move to this site. Nevertheless, he is the reason this community even exists today, so we forgive him for moving on. His latest visit to this site was in November 2011.

TechDawg Labs [2006]
Spoiler:
TechDawg's first beta 2 track. This was the track that coined the theme of "tech" scenery. It was also the first editing job to crossfade between zoom levels, giving the track a sense of massiveness. It was also one of the first tracks to end at the start, which became a trademark of his.

TechDawg & Son [2007]
(collab with eliahswift, his son)
Spoiler:
Infuriatingly, most of this video's views are from a third-party re-upload titled "World's Best Line Rider", which has more views than most of TechDawg's tracks. In this track, you can see how TechDawg refines and expands his tech scenery style. It is my guess that eliahswift made the track and he made the scenery. You can see him beginning to use XY lines for shading in this track.

A Dawg's Song [2007]
Spoiler:
The track which coined the "Hills" style, which, amazingly, wasn't even a theme of hills, but of Mozart (of all things) You can see him struggling with getting the track to make sense, and there are a number of random moments which makes this one of his weaker tracks (read: still amazing), but you can see the origins of the style that will later become make believe.

Discarded [2007]
Spoiler:
In this track, TechDawg takes the style he has been developing and adds detail (a mostly-unconsidered  concept at the time!) to create scenery that looks like rocks! It was also his first (only?) track to have a kind of story. Garnered a huge amount of praise on linerider.org. You can also see a bit of the beginning of the shading style he used for Monumental.

Make Believe [2007]
(scenery only)
Spoiler:
TechDawg's most viewed and most well-known track, with an enormous advertisement for IRTL right at the start. Features some incredible drawings of anime characters and other realistic line art on a level that was unthinkable at the time, and is the track chiefly responsible for the "hills" scenery theme. The extended re-release of this track, ReMake Believe, was also highly celebrated and made it into the top 8 videos in the first Tournament of Champions: Collaboration Edition.

Monumental [2007]
Spoiler:
This was TechDawg's first attempt at making a track with good tricks as well as good scenery (nose manuals, gravity wells, etc), and also his largest track in size ever. Faced with attempting to scene a track many times the size of anything he had attempted before, TechDawg created a new scenery style using vertical lines to make a style of rocks that looks incredible at high speeds. While the track technically is full of nose manuals and gravity wells, they were executed in such a mediocre fashion that many people were disappointed with the naked track. But the real highlight of the track are the monuments (this track coined the term back in mid 2007) - incredible drawings of Mt. Rushmore, Stonehenge, the Roman Coliseum, etc. These also garnered criticism for not blending in with the track well and for the speed at which some of them flew by. The scenery and track quality also decreases as the track moves along, due to the massive amount of work and his struggle to get Bosh back to the start of the track, since he felt that had become his trademark. This was also the first scenery track to be "split" in Line Rider history, in order for him to finish it at a line count of 35,000. Despite mixed reviews, this track was incredibly influential and popular, at least in discussion if not in ratings. And it was popular in the first Tournament of Champions as well, placing in the final four (behind Millenium by DaPoe and Reality by x612nt13).

Transcendental [2008]
Spoiler:
TechDawg's magnum opus. Created less than two years after Line Rider's birth, it remains one of the most impressive tracks ever created, and certainly among the top scenery tracks of all time. It was underappreciated upon first release, only making it into the top 8 of Tournament of Champions 2, but the more time passes the more revered it becomes. The cohesive scenery theme is incredibly strong in its concept and execution. The strength of the naked track, if not as good as some, supports the overall product instead of distracting from it, creating a unity of track and scenery that is seldom achieved in Line Rider. At one of the largest-ever linecounts in a line rider track, the amount of detail is mindblowing, but it's the incredible amount of artistry involved in making the tracks, the houses, the lake, and everything else, that makes the track simply legendary.
[stitched-together screenshot]


Last edited by rabid squirrel on Sun Jan 03, 2016 3:58 am; edited 7 times in total

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Post by rabid squirrel on Fri May 01, 2015 4:53 pm

Oh my god. I remembered today that I saved the review I did of Monumental in a text file when I pruned old posts on the old IRTL.

Spoiler:

Well, this one won't be as long :P I'll try my best to give you good points as well and not be too harsh Wink

First of all, the drawings are just amazing - Coliseum, Stonehenge, Rushmore, they literally blew me away. Possibly the best drawings ever in a Line Rider track. I'm not kidding Very Happy I also really liked how you used trees, birds, and flags etc. for gravity wells. And the ending was very cool Very Happy One more thing - One of the best parts of your videos is maintaining the incredible scenery at such high speed, which you definitely did in this track. Ok enough praise :P now for the critique.

I'm going to skip everything I've already talked about in the preview as well...

Unity
While the drawings were amazing, they didn't actually feel like they were part of the track. They were all kind of like drawings put by the track, something awesome picture stuck on the track. He didn't really interact with them much at all and they didn't really fit with the scenery around them. Plus, Stonehenge flashed by so fast you could barely see it, and the Coliseum's depth didn't match up with the two dimensional scenery right below it. Are you getting what I mean? However amazing they were, they weren't really part of the track, just kind of something extra. My main point is that the track scenery felt rather detached from the amazing drawings... I hope you see what I mean.

Missing Scenery
I hate to talk about this when your track is so huge (did you say 40k lines?) But there were several parts that were missing. (one spot before Rushmore and the elevator are examples) As tom said, you didn't have to make this track so long - it made it nearly impossible to scenerize the entire thing evenly. Also, you could have saved the monuments until the end. Five minutes is kind of long for a video in any case... (I don't mean to say it got boring, it was definitely interesting the whole way through)

There isn't really that much left to say, the beginning was probably the best thing you could have done with it (the music cuing worked well) it seems kind of cool that he's like going on an adventure out of the land of make believe and then he ends up back there again. One of my favorite parts is still the manual down the bridge because it is a perfect manual and you can really see him accelerating down it because of how the scenery is drawn. I think that's all I have to say, actually I hope this was all helpful!

See? it wasn't that long! This really was a great track, I'm amazed and I think everyone else is too. Your fame is just spreading more and more TD! Don't stop, whatever you do!

Be happy 8-D

EDIT: I forgot to mention the music! Well, I think this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by SigiL View Post
The song was just great I mean it was like perfect. And all "der-ner-ner-ner" and stuff.

kind of sums it up. It was all like "der-ner-ner-ner" and stuff. I thought the music fit PERFECTLY, and how it kind of slowly swirled along until he left make believe land, and then it exploded! It fit very well, intense but not overdoing it. Personally I like every single one of your song choices... I think this is because I am a very eclectic music person...

(continued EDIT): I also want to say something about people being overly critical purely because TD made this... Well, try to at least say what you liked about it people, I can see it your way... but try not to be so negative. (not pointing any fingers of course)

Well, that kind of made it a lot longer... I guess it's as long as my other one now.

----------------------
---------------------

FIRSTLY, Let me just say this, I like you Rabid Squirrel 8D

SECONDLY, Let me draw attention to this review as something I would consider as properly done in invoking both true listening by the receiving party, AND eliciting a positive response which would most likely include learning and improvement by the person for whom the review was written!

You have started with the positive, which is important in gaining the listener's trust, and then in moving to the area's where improvement could be possible, you both were gentle, but more importantly, you gave specific and clear examples of why you felt an area needed improvement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rabid squirrel View Post
Unity
While the drawings were amazing, they didn't actually feel like they were part of the track. They were all kind of like drawings put by the track, something awesome picture stuck on the track. He didn't really interact with them much at all and they didn't really fit with the scenery around them. Plus, Stonehenge flashed by so fast you could barely see it, and the Coliseum's depth didn't match up with the two dimensional scenery right below it. Are you getting what I mean? However amazing they were, they weren't really part of the track, just kind of something extra. My main point is that the track scenery felt rather detached from the amazing drawings... I hope you see what I mean.

I DO know what you mean, AND I agree. Overall the project became too huge. which is solely an example of poor judgment on my part. Stonehenge in particular, was completely an effort to add something interesting to a very long (potentially boring) section. Although the drawing itself, I'm proud of, the placement, size and congruency were not perfect. As for the Colosseum, by this point I had Stonehenge and Mt. Rushmore, and I wanted something else (excuse the coin) Colossal that would also help hide some of the floating 'gravity' lines. the curve down immediately following is a thorn I could no longer remove and had to choose to erase the Colosseum, or live with it. With the pressure to release, and the knowledge that my 'Free-Time' is already now borrowed, I choose to live with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rabid squirrel View Post
Missing Scenery
I hate to talk about this when your track is so huge (did you say 40k lines?) But there were several parts that were missing. (one spot before Rushmore and the elevator are examples) As tom said, you didn't have to make this track so long - it made it nearly impossible to scenerize the entire thing evenly. Also, you could have saved the monuments until the end. Five minutes is kind of long for a video in any case... (I don't mean to say it got boring, it was definitely interesting the whole way through)

YES, TRUE, CORRECT.

Actually, I am more aware of the 'Absence' of something, in many areas, but as stated, with the 'too-long' length and the (Yes over 40K) large line count, I just couldn't fit any more connectivity in there. Believe me, it's in my mind or vision for what 'Could have been', but it wasn't meant to be in this release. As I stated a couple of posts up, 3 minutes is a new rule of thumb for me, unless it is a 'chapter' or 'to be continued' event, as it just isn't possible to ride the lines that are in my mind if the project gets longer than that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rabid squirrel View Post
I hope this was all helpful!

SEE THE TOP OF THIS POST.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rabid squirrel View Post
Don't stop, whatever you do!

There are too many 'lines' still in my mind, waiting to be ridden for that. Wink

-TechDawg
I remember being utterly floored by TD being so receptive and complimentary towards my mostly-negative critique of his track. Probably the biggest reason I still write "rabid reviews" today.

Also, I want to say that TechDawg and Son was my absolute favorite track back in the day, and it inspired Bolted to the Wall more than anything else (especially the middle section)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0TBGNxzdiHw#t=01m42s

And also that I'm finally getting good enough of an artist that I can start attempting to copy the scenery styles TD used in Transcendental. Some stuff in driftwood is heavily inspired by stuff in Transcendental.

And, like, I got to meet TD in person in summer 2008 and he made me mod and then jr admin and then full admin and I was always able to look up to his administration and leadership, and while we don't adhere strictly today to every policy he had, I built and continue to maintain this site largely on his ideas. If I ever had a hero in my life it was this guy.

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rabid squirrel
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I'm the artsy person round here

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Post by ACwazHere on Thu Aug 20, 2015 4:42 am

Man, I will never forget the first time I saw Transcendental. That track still gives me chills. The first time I saw it, I literally shed a tear around 1:52ish. It was absolutely fucking incredible. Absolutely magical at the time. It was by far the best track ever made at that point in time. By FAR. That track felt like a victory for the entire LR community. It's like when you see all of the NASA engineers at Houston cheering after a big success. =p Man.

And Make Believe! Holy shit. This was the first TD track I saw. I saw this track on April 10, 2007 and immediately joined IRTL.

I remember me and my brother playing around with beta 1 in 2006 (mostly just killing Bosh as hard as possible), and later Zada rider or whatever the hell that ripoff version was, and then I found Make Believe on YouTube and it absolutely BLEW MY MIND. At this point I was making absolutely terrible flatsled tracks with octogonal curves and shit, then came this insane all-manual track with insane scenery. I felt like such a peasant. The track is so warm and happy and awesome. And I know every word to that damn song. I would consider it the IRTL theme song. =p

Monumental was the first TD track that I "anticipated", so it was pretty special. Such a badass track. Four minutes long, too, which is really ridiculous. This track got me to listen to Kamelot, and in fact, the ELO in the credits got me to listen to them. Lmao. I remember how cool I thought it was that Bosh returned to the start of the track, despite how huge the track is.

And I remember how cool of an admin TD was. :') I'll never forget when I was up at 1am on a school night in late 2008, just talking in the shoutbox, then I refreshed and realized I was a Jr. Admin. It was so unexpected, and I really couldn't process it for a solid 30 seconds. I just stared at the site blankly. TD was our internet hero and to have that acknowledgment from him was just amazing (only TD could promote other admins/jr. admins). At the time, it must have been the most accomplished I'd ever felt in life. Lol. I was 14 though, so I'm not ashamed to admit that. Reading the little thread about the idea of promoting me in the admin lounge with TD and Rabid and LineBeast was such a proud and humbling experience. :') #justadminthings #coolkidsclub I always looked up to TD during the IRTL dayz. He was kind of like this mythical creature--by far the best Line Rider player, and yet he walked amongst us. Imagine you're 13 and you're on a Bruce Lee forum, and Bruce Lee actually posts all the fucking time. It's hard to explain how cool it was. All of TD's posts had this wise, grandfatherly quality about them (Well I mean, he was 30-something while we were all 14 or 15. Lmao). Even looking at the bottom of the page and seeing that he was online at the same time as you was exciting. =p

Thanks for posting all these threads, Rabid 8) Super awesome nostalgia trip

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Post by rabid squirrel on Thu Aug 20, 2015 5:10 am

@ACwazHere wrote:Reading the little thread about the idea of promoting me in the admin lounge with TD and Rabid and LineBeast was such a proud and humbling experience. :')
You totally reminded me of, like, a thing. So you know how waaaay back in the day there were mod applications? I got mod in round 2 of those things. Well, in round 1, I didn't apply because it sorta seemed like... there was no way I was qualified for it lol. And then after I got mod in round 2, I read the round one discussion thread and it was like, LRC and TD being like, damn, rabid didn't apply, oh well. I felt so proud of myself, and like, they valued me a lot more than I valued myself! Talk about a confidence boost.

And then I went on to become the power hungry maniac you all know. TD started it :P

@ACwazHere wrote:Thanks for posting all these threads, Rabid 8) Super awesome nostalgia trip
No prob. Ram Tzu is next!

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Post by rabid squirrel on Sun Jan 03, 2016 4:00 am

Found some stuff buried on my computer

1) an interview BHCS Rafael had with TechDagw in June 2011 about being a victim of cybercrime
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/88470717/Interview%20TechDawg%20%5Bcybercrime%5D.doc

2) a huge stitched-together screenshot of Transcendental
https://i.imgur.com/sRelzri.jpg


Last edited by rabid squirrel on Sun Jan 03, 2016 12:52 pm; edited 1 time in total

_________________
Support My Art
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rabid squirrel
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I'm the artsy person round here

Community Pick: Braggadocio
3rd place in Tournament of Legends 4th place in Tournament of Legends

http://www.benjaminharveydesign.com/

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Post by ScrungleBlumpkus on Sun Jan 03, 2016 4:23 am

God
This makes me appreciate scenery so much more

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Post by Rafael on Sun Jan 03, 2016 5:04 am

I did that interview actually.

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Post by rabid squirrel on Sun Jan 03, 2016 12:53 pm

^ whoops, sorry! Got it mixed up with something else. fixed

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To keep up with what I'm up to in the world of Line Rider, follow me:
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rabid squirrel
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I'm the artsy person round here

Community Pick: Braggadocio
3rd place in Tournament of Legends 4th place in Tournament of Legends

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Post by rabid squirrel on Wed Jan 20, 2016 12:06 pm

found this preview GIF of Make Believe from February 27, 2007:
3 - TechDawg Techdawg_make_believe_preview_2_27_07

Also THIS Angry
•• SHADING 101: An Introduction to Line Rider Shading ••

Hrm.

Wayback Machine doesn't have that page archived.

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Support My Art
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To keep up with what I'm up to in the world of Line Rider, follow me:
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rabid squirrel
rabid squirrel
Member

I'm the artsy person round here

Community Pick: Braggadocio
3rd place in Tournament of Legends 4th place in Tournament of Legends

http://www.benjaminharveydesign.com/

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Post by rabid squirrel on Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:59 pm

Q and A from 2008:
https://web.archive.org/web/20090513021627/http://www.linerider.org/forum/showthread.php?t=33865

Did find the Shading Tutorial (though the images are missing Sad )
https://web.archive.org/web/20071119032029/http://www.iridethelines.com/forums/showthread.php?s=ff8dcc4bcbfbe2ff89589caad3932716&t=2143

_________________
Support My Art
A playlist of my best tracks
To keep up with what I'm up to in the world of Line Rider, follow me:
My Twitter | My Tumblr | My Twitch | My Facebook Page | My Instagram
(You can also follow my patreon and see all public posts completely for free)
rabid squirrel
rabid squirrel
Member

I'm the artsy person round here

Community Pick: Braggadocio
3rd place in Tournament of Legends 4th place in Tournament of Legends

http://www.benjaminharveydesign.com/

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