Virtual Pwnies

Virtual Pwnies
Delving into the overlooked world of horses in media and video games.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Early 1900's Gossip

First off I want to have a huge thank you to everyone who has so far participated in the questionnaire. Suzie and Maria from Centenary, thanks so much for your kind words you guys made my week. ^_^

Just because a week has gone and a new post is up doesn't mean it's over. If you want to still participate please do! If I get enough responses I'll have a post dedicated to breaking down the results of replies.


So this past week the awesome Admin from the equine genetics forum I'm a participant on posted this interesting excerpt from Types and Market Classes of Livestock, By Henry William Vaughan. You can blame her for this entire blog post. :P

"Color With the possible exception of the saddle horse color is of more importance in heavy harness horses than in any other type The dark solid colors are preferred as being in proper accord with the elegant vehicles drawn by this horse White ankles are often favored because a horse so marked has his action emphasized and easily seen Grays roans and light colors are heavily discounted or even rejected except for certain special restricted uses such as sporting tandems road fours or cross matched pairs and in horses for ladies use even the white markings are discriminated against True elegance and good taste are wanted and this excludes colors that are flashy and calculated to attract undue attention."

This caused my imagination to kinda run with itself.
Click to enlarge or view higher quality at DA here.
Two overly aristocratic ladies gossiping over the impropriety of flashy colored horses.

Yes horses with too much 'chrome' were horribly out of fashion in those days. Meanwhile back in the 1700's white and fancy colors were all the rage. You know those Lippizans? Those uniform gray prancing ones from Vienna? This is what they looked like a few hundred years ago. Yah, crazy right?

So really if anyone was anyone back in the early past century then their horse was as plain, normal and unassuming as possible.

Ugh. A blaze and palomino? What were they thinking giving it a show. It learned to talk just to get people to look at it. Pay it no mind, and keep walking. It can smell disgust and fear.

Viggo Mortinson you attention seeking harlot of poor taste! Who let you in front of the cameras on that creature?

No more. No more! Is that purple and a horn? What in heavens is on it's hindquarters?
My weak constitution can't take much more of this.

Yah. Better to let this fall away into the aether.


Speaking of My Little Ponies, Kelpie from HGS has made us no longer need to wonder what Applejack from MLP Friendship Is Forever might look like as a real horse.

If you believe in alternate universes or string theory, this does exist somewhere.

This is Kelpie's horse Pyrros. And an interesting story occurred because of it:

"-when I showed my husband [the picture it] caused us to end up in an argument over whether Applejack is palomino or flaxen chestnut. (I maintained flaxen chestnut as her mane and tail were not white, he maintained palomino because her body was too yellow. I guess someone should jump in with "gold champagne" next since her eyes are green.) UBER CARTOON-HORSE PHENOTYPE NERD ARGUMENT."

And it is for the uber cartoon-horse phenotype nerdness that we thank you. ^_^


For more MLP color madness.
Click Here

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Horse Questions / Meme

Alrighty. Mary King's Riding Star video is cursed. Pretty sure. Will get done eventually if the computer program gods stop hating this project.


So I've been doing this blog for a few months and honestly... I have no idea who my audience is. Comments are few and I'm just curious about the people who find this amusing enough to take a look. I have 6 followers currently and I thank each of you. I can find out what interests you on your own blogs. (Insert evil laughter)

But more than those 6 visit the site. And I want to get you guys out of the woodwork and find out more about you. What do you like? What do you watch? Various random horse related questions as well. So I made a list of said questions that I'd really truly like to know. I will be staring rudely and taking notes.

And for those of you who are artistically inclined I have a meme of these questions that you can use on DeviantArt here. You can draw. Add photos. Or create your responses reenacted with model horses (I'm looking at you Model Horse Blab readers).

So here are the questions. Please feel free to share your answers in the comments and send a link to the image version if you fill it out. ^_^

1) What is your favorite horse book?

2) What is your favorite horse movie or movie horse?

3) What is your favorite horse related video game?

4) What is your favorite horse breed?

5) What is your favorite horse related TV show? (Silver Brumby, My Little Pony ect.)

6) What is your favorite mythical horse? (unicorn, pegasus, centaur, tikbalang ect.)

7) We have reached the end. What steed would you dramatically ride into the sunset on?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

VirtualPwnies In Real Life

Inspired by true events. The real world is poorly drawn. Click to enlarge. Also viewable on DA here.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Color Genetics Simulator by Jennifer Hoffman

As some of you may know, I am an equine color genetics geek. Hardcore. How genetics influence an animal's appearance and health is fascinating to me. I have old books from my mother's days in college studying pre-vet courses that I grew up reading as a kid. It is my addictive hobby that does not have a 12 step program.

So some of you may have come across a color simulator that had a 3D horse with buttons for each gene at a particular locus. The color would change on the model depending on what genes were activated. It was a bit outdated with its genetic accuracy but it was still fun to play. And I have to give kudos for it having a 3D horse with texture maps applied to it.

The only things I really ever successfully made in 3D were a coffee cup and toaster. I attempted my own horse color simulators twice. One in PowerPoint and the other in HTML for college projects, but neither were spectacular by any means. And for me coding is not a forte. So this simulator has a whole lot of respect from me.

Well, recently it's creator Jennifer Hoffman has given it a complete revamp with more colors, a 2D horse for the examples and she has been updating the genetics to be more accurate. There are all 4 options at the agouti locus, LP and PATN1 interact as partial dominants, gray actually grays out, and you can only have 2 KIT mutations at a time. I know most of you probably have no clue what I'm on about but it's really neat I assure you.

Jennifer joined Horse Grooming Supplies Forum after seeing a critique of her simulator and asked the color gurus for help in making everything more accurate. Myself and the other equine color genetics enthusiasts on HGS got to help contribute information on how the genes and colors interact with each other. I asked Jennifer if I could feature her here on this blog which she agreed to.
Give us a quick run down of who you are and how you got involved in horses.
My name is Jennifer Hoffman.
I'm a 3D tech artist/animator by trade (I do animation and the systems set-up it requires for 3D media). I had a horse crazy spell in middle school when I knew a few people who had horses and I could go riding with. And while it sort of tapered off when it became clear that I would never own a real horse myself, it seems like once you taste the horse frenzy, it never truly leaves you. One of my other hobbies / off and on fascinations is genetics, so its no surprise that horse genetics is something I think about from time to time.

How did you come up with the idea for the color simulator?In 2007 the game studio I worked at shut down, and in my period of joblessness that followed I played with the idea of doing web design instead. That was when I started to work on the original color simulator. I had been playing with fantasy genetics sims online and was disappointed in their lack of depth, but before I could build up the courage to invent my own genetic schemes, I thought I should tackle a project with real genetics first. That became the horse color simulator. I did eventually go on to make my fantasy genetics sim, which is a griffins virtual pet game.

What programs and methods were used to create the color simulator?
I'm sort of old fashioned with my web work, so the horse simulator was made in HTML, CSS, and vanilla Javascript by means of a text editor. The original simulator used a horse model I had made for the game studio that closed its doors, which I had extensively re-textured to cover all the variation I needed. In my revamping I switched to painted graphics so I could have more control over the subtle color changes.

What has been the hardest part of creating this project?
The hardest part of the project was, and probably still is, accounting for all of the ifs, ands, and buts with regards to genetic interactions. Finding good information on just how all of the different moving parts mesh together is tricky, and its also rather tedious to make all of the minor but important changes to the various graphics. A thing like palomino vs dunalino is subtle, but if you don't include it the genetics just aren't very solid. The duns and silvers in particular probably doubled the number of graphics files I had to make.

What is/are your favorite horse color(s)/pattern(s)?

My personal favorite colors are any variety of gray (not the gray gene in particular), and I usually gravitate towards grullo. I have a friend with a really lovely Peruvian horse which I think is a dark-maned black silver. He's got a lovely chocolate coat with a slightly more caramel colored mane and some really striking eyes. I've been leaning more towards that lately as a result, but I'll probably eventually wind up back at gray.

Who is your favorite fictional horse? (mythological/literary/movie/video game ect.)

My favorite fictional horses are actually not named characters, though they really stole my heart. They're the horses from the video game Assassin's Creed. I saw a joke once about the girlfriend who stole "Assassin's Ponies" from her boyfriend, and I think it probably applies to me. Don't get me wrong, I love the game overall, but I spent way more time than you're supposed to just riding around on their horses. It's got some of the best controls I've ever seen for horse riding in a game, including the games that are supposed to be completely about horse riding. I adore the almost imperceptible delay between when you give a command and when the horse obeys. It doesn't do exactly what you ask every time, but the result is a smoother ride where some of the idiotic button presses you make get ignored.

I have a website where I showcase my professional work, mostly consisting of animated shorts or animation-related stills:

Check out her stuff it's really neat. The moving horse animation she has done is adorable.
Equine game developers take note.