Let's make this a book!

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Let's make this a book!

Post by Aerithos on Wed Aug 26, 2015 7:31 pm

I'm aware that this topic has come up before, and as was previously discussed, this wasn't possible due to the resolution of the originals.

However, waifu2x has appeared and changed the game:


More Examples

I've assembled a sample PDF.

This was put together in Google Docs, which was a horrible idea. No one should have to assemble this by hand. So I'll put together a script that auto-generates LaTeX, which can be tweaked when necessary and compiled to a PDF. At this resolution it's good-enough for printing, which leads to the next topic, printing.

I realize there aren't enough readers to consider bulk or anything. The end result would be a PDF that we, as readers, would get a single printed copy of ourselves. I looked at a few sites, and best one I've found so far is Blurb. At these basic settings, 200 pages = $64.99. As a non-bulk price compared to other options, it's the most reasonable for landscape color books.

If we can find a good way to format the book in portrait, then 200 pages costs $33.63 on non-matte paper.

Final tidbit, the actual program used to up-scale these images was waifu2x-caffe, which is downloadable, GPU accelerated, and supports batch scaling entire folders.

Thoughts?

I actually have no idea how many pages/books would be needed. 400? 800? Ten 200 page books? The script could find the best arrangement and final count...

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Re: Let's make this a book!

Post by Geoduck on Wed Sep 02, 2015 3:31 am

Sorry I didn't reply to this sooner. I have no fundamental objection to this idea, though as you say I don't have remotely a large enough fan-base to make it a paying proposition. And I certainly never designed the strip with physical book-printing in mind.
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Re: Let's make this a book!

Post by Aerithos on Sun Sep 06, 2015 6:23 pm

Cool! I like having physical copies of the comics I enjoy reading, and there are probably a few other readers who would want the same.

The scripts to scrape and parse comic pages for image urls and notes took a couple hours. They're pretty robust, so I'll clean and refine them to post here at some point.

Image fetching was painful. The hot-linking prevention was getting in the way, a good excuse to learn some of the http standard. After setting the referal header appropriately, the script is currently at 1143 of 4406 images fetched.

Next comes the conversion, resizing, and metadata parsing of the images.

WOOO!

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Re: Let's make this a book!

Post by Aerithos on Thu Sep 24, 2015 7:05 pm

Alright, the script took shorter to develop than I expected, which is good.
First, I have an example result from the script, 125 pages, 338mb.
The rest of it will be laid out similar, as my script spits out intermediary layout files that I can tweak before rendering to handle odd image sizes.
A title page will be needed for each book. Based upon the results so far, it averages 4 images per page, so maybe 5-7 250 page or 4-5 300 pages books to catch up with the current comic.

Now for the other part, I have the scripts I used to scrape the webcomic:
Scripts (1.1MB)
Scripts + Content (489MB)

You will need Python 3.4 installed to run this. Just run scrape.bat and it will fetch any un-fetched content. The result is a folder of the images, a folder of the html pages, and a folder of the extracted notes for each comic. The script is pretty robust, so if you interrupt it part way through, it should be able to pick up where it left off.
If you want to convert all the images and scale them, you will need to install Pillow and waifu2x-caffe, then remove the rem from the last line of scrape.bat.

I can provide the PDF generation scripts if they are desired, but they are very fiddly and require some complicated setup.

Edit: Also thoughts on whether or not to keep the guest comics in? I'm inclined towards not including them.

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Re: Let's make this a book!

Post by Zixinus on Wed Feb 10, 2016 5:49 am

I don't think creating a print is worthwhile. MoE was made to be a webcomic and I feel that is the way it should be read.

As for making it a book, even in your select examples the exact page size varies. So that would be a problem and you would have to resize things accordingly every page. You'd have empty spaces left, though you could fill them out with stuff.


Edit: Also thoughts on whether or not to keep the guest comics in? I'm inclined towards not including them.

Do what Whitehound does: keep them in a separate folder/thread along with the weekend strips. This will provide a fluid reading experience.

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Re: Let's make this a book!

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