ISSUE 3
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JULY, WEEK 4
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Art, the Foundation
of Everything

Interpretively, almost everything can be called art if you choose to or are able to see it that way.

Typically, when people say, “art,” they generally mean illustration, design, or performance. Those are, perhaps, the most common forms of art.

However, this week, we would like to analogize “art” to creating. Overall, art is creating. If seen as such, then one may be able to better appreciate how artistic all forms of creation can be. The forming of an idea is art; the story of our life is art. The building of a community is art; creating a technology is art. Something as unsexy as structure, uniformity, and logic can all be art. Our civil evolution is art.

For us to get to where we are as people today: that’s thanks to art. Art is so intertwined with everything we are and do, there’s no surprise that web3, as it is, is destined to involve art, and NFTs are fated to have front-facing illustration.

Art, as pertains to NFTs, began as a vessel to explore supply & demand economics in conjunction with permanence, immutability, and proof of ownership.

What separated digital art from physical art before this was digital art’s replicability, piratability, and lack of means to prove ownership (namely for the creator), which meant that physical & fine art would perpetually hold greater and incomparable value in our increasingly digitizing world, while digital art stagnates and digital artists remain enslaved to hourly contracts, commission-based freelance, and can only derive value from creating physicals, limited prints, & selling instruction–not from the art itself.

The blockchain solved these very issues by creating contractual scarcity, immutability, and legitimacy: a match made in heaven.

With some of the major advantages of physical art technologically-matched, all that’s left is the individual’s preference of format: physical or digital, and in a world where digital means convenience, digital means accessible, and social is digital, argument can be made in great favor of the latter or in surety for the value of creating the option.

With true rarity made possible by an immutable sublayer contract forever locking in the quantity of a specific art item in existence and the surface layer illustration being unchangeable, the blockchain officially gave artists the ability to create ownable, rare, portable, and easily appraisable art for sale, which came to be known as NFTs.

It’s a powerful narrative for an artist to be able to say that the only legitimate pieces are ones connected to [this smart contract], and “there are only [this many] of them in existence.” The NFT art collection that launched & tested all of this is what some may know as Cryptopunks, of which there are exactly only 10,000 in existence and none of which (at the time of writing this article) are for sale.

Values derives from significance and this applies to art as well

The value of the Cryptopunks collection comes from its legacy and is only modified by its supply and legitimacy, not defined. Alas, a scarce supply and the ability to prove legitimacy & ownership do not matter unless the art piece itself matters (& is desired). This is incredibly important to understand.

Many people seem to think that making something limited drives demand. It only does if there is a demand or value to begin with, which can include but is not limited to: beauty of the piece, renown of the artist, suitors of significance, and further.

Art that does not bear value to its audience or its owner(s), regardless of supply, will not have great value.

Luckily, NFTs are a double-whammy: surface layer art plus underlayer contract-dictated rights, benefits, & utilities.

When the art fails to carry the right kind or amount of value, the contract layer, which can hold value, too, can compensate if significant enough, but that will be for another conversation.

Art in the NFT space now sits in three main categories:

  • Collectible
  • Relatable
  • Use-heavy
Collectible art is art of high intrinsic value for whatever reason(s) make it so. Relatable art is that which a person connects with due to relatable traits or similarities in design & look. Use-heavy is art with desirable utility–whether the utility is on the image side or the blockchain side.

At Project PXN,
we see both sides of the coin.

Collectible art is art of high intrinsic value for whatever reason(s) make it so. Relatable art is that which a person connects with due to relatable traits or similarities in design & look. Use-heavy is art with desirable utility–whether the utility is on the image side or the blockchain side.

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The Paths We Take

What do we see, when we look into the glass? Do we see the people we are to become? Do we see the courage we carry inside?

The City was at war.There was no escaping it. And the people were hurting - young and old, rich and poor, they were lost in fires of destruction and devastation. Broken bodies laid to waste, ravaged by disease and despair - a populace without hope. Death’s hand claimed many, and his touch did not discriminate. By the eighth winter of my life I

was alone in a City that did not seem to care. I wanted to flee, but where could I go? The City was all that I knew, everything I had ever known. I had nothing else and no-one else, just one more casualty of a conflict that had spiraled beyond all control. Another victim without rescue, seeking salvation that would not be found. I gave up looking, and I did what I could to survive. The streets I walked in isolation, the shimmering glass returned solitary reflection. The days were long; the nights were the longest.

I was still a child when I came to know of the Resistance. It was the road I chose to walk. The last vestiges of youth and innocence, I left far behind.

Voyage Into Art

In this exclusive interview, we have our Founder and Art Director, Rei, take us on a journey into his intricate mind when he conceived the Ghosts' art style and direction.

Ghost Reporter: GM to you good ser.

Rei:GM, Good Morning.

Ghost Reporter: Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to have this interview with us, we greatly appreciate it. We're here to discuss the art for the 10k Ghost PFPs. I know you're a busy man so shall we dive right into the questions?

Rei: Yeah sure, let's do it. I'm an open book, ask away. This is going into the newsletter, right?

Ghost Reporter: Yup it is, so you might want to cut down on the swear words.

Rei: (Chuckles) Alright f*** but sure, so let's do this!

Ghost Reporter: Right, I feel like I'm about to open Pandora's box here. So what was the inspiration behind the art for the Ghost PFPs?

Rei: I would say the main inspiration would be games, anime, and other media that really influenced us. League Of Legends primarily, stylistically we're somewhere on the scale of a Valorant or Riot art style and an anime art style.

Ghost Reporter: Could we have a short summary on how the art was generated?

Rei: To preserve effects and transparency, we opted to use a more complex generation method. Instead of 'stacking' transparent PNGs, which are typically used for generative art,

we used a headless version of Photoshop to stack, render and compile the layers one by one. It's mostly a bespoke system that we had a lot of growing pains developing. We're in the process of adapting this for our cosmetics engine also.

Ghost Reporter: Wow, a bespoke system! What’s something that nobody’s noticed or spoken about that’s an art element you were really excited about during development?

Rei: All parts of our art were thoroughly scrutinized and analyzed but getting the chromatic aberration effect to look good across the board was pretty interesting. It had to apply to different hairstyles, outfits, and weapons. Overall I'm very happy with the balance that we’ve achieved here.

Ghost Reporter: How much time was taken to create the assets?

Rei: Six months to create everything from mood boarding, concepts, test production, production, and finally generation!

Ghost Reporter: Alright, so we haven't got much time left, here's the last question coming from the community, "Which is your favorite hairstyle?"

Rei: All the short hairstyles!

Ghost Reporter: Thank you so much for your time and we'll be back with more interviews?

Rei: Definitely, I had fun sharing this with you guys. Thanks for your support and like I’ve always said, we're here for the long run and lots of new updates are coming up. I'm pretty sure some are already mentioned in the tech updates in the paper. And to wrap it up, MEOW!

Ghost Reporter: Okay…

Rei: (Disconnects from Terminal voice chat)

How to Create Generative Art

With NFTs sweeping web3 by storm, everyone wants a piece of the action. We’re sure you’ve teased the idea of creating your NFT collection. This article will start you off on the art side of things to get you on your way!

NFT Art in Vogue

Before we dive in, there are two kinds of NFT art currently in vogue, the 1 of 1 and generative Profile Picture (PFP). 1 of 1 or 1/1 refers to unique art where only one exists. Think of famous traditional art like Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa or Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night; the scarcity of 1/1 art makes it valuable. On the other hand, generative PFP art comprises traits that form the artwork. Each trait is created on a separate layer, randomly merged using a script.

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Step 1 - Draw the Base Art

This is where the magic begins. Spend some time visualizing the final PFP and consider how the traits will fall in place. The more time you dedicate to working on the base art, the easier it is to design the traits.

You’ll need a software/app that allows you to create with layers. Here are some commonly used ones; Adobe Photoshop/Illustrator, Gimp, Inkscape, MyPaint, Procreate (Apple systems only), Figma, and so on.

Step 2 - Create the Traits

Let your creativity flow. Now that the base art is in place, you can work on the various traits you want to include, such as eyes, mouth, clothes, accessories, background - the list goes on. Traits stack over each other depending on their layer position, so consider how they might look together. The more traits you have, the more differentiated each PFP will be.

Each trait must be in the correct size and position relative to the base art. Traits are normally exported as transparent background PNG/SVG files, separated into respective folders, e.g, eyes, mouth, clothes, etc. A good naming convention goes a long way in getting the artwork organized. You should also consider the rarity percentage for the traits and include some 1/1 art to the rarity scale.

Step 3 - Randomize and Merge

To randomize the artwork, you require a script to generate them. The good news, they are not difficult to use once you take the time to understand them. There are several free scripts around, so here are two you could use:

Hashlips Generative Art Node - https://github.com/HashLips/generative-art-node


Scrappy Squirrels Script - https://medium.com/scrappy-squirrels/tutorial-create-generative-nft-art-with-rarities-8ee6ce843133

If you have some funds and want a fuss-free way to generate the art, you can consider a no-code option over at Bueno NFT Generator - https://medium.com/scrappy-squirrels/tutorial-create-generative-nft-art-with-rarities-8ee6ce843133


(PxN is not affiliated with Bueno. This reference is in the spirit of sharing.)

Step 4 - Curate the Collection

Now that you have the randomized art ready, it’s time to cull through and select the ones to be included in the collection. This is an essential process because some traits do not look good with each other, or there could be visual issues with some of the generated art. Depending on the collection size and the number of traits, generating at least twice the collection size is recommended, so you’ll have a variety of art from which to choose.

Step 5 - Just Start!

Taking the first step is the hardest part, so just do it. We learn by trying, making mistakes, and learning in the process. Scratch that itch and get to work, and you’ll have your generative art collection in no time!

Conclusion

Starting an NFT collection is a team effort that goes beyond art. Art is just the first step of many. There’s still the raison d'etre, project story/lore, marketing, community, and smart contract side of things. You cannot do it all on your own. (well, you can try) Build a circle of friends you can trust and work with on a project and take a shot at it.

PxN is on a mission to help our community grow and acquire skills to take advantage of the next NFT bull run, and this is the first of many educational contents we will release.

DaddyGainz's
Market Matters

So, it has been a few fruitful sessions with me, your favorite economist. This time around, we’ll look at how Ethereum and the crypto market have performed as a whole. Buckle up because we’re about to go full steam ahead. Firstly, we saw a slight uptick in prices, then quite a strong increase in Ethereum’s price, followed by an overall short-term market rally. I'm sure some would have heard about it even if they weren't paying close attention, but do we all understand the narrative behind the rally or the factors involved in kick-starting it?

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In last week’s Market Matters, we touched on supply and demand, and we will circle back on how that applies to this week's discussion. Ethereum pumped and kicked off this current rally, but why? Aside from the technical analysis that was supporting a short-term rally, news emerged from Vitalik Buterin, the founder of Ethereum, stating a proposed date for the long-awaited merge into ETH 2.0.

We’ve heard this ETH 2.0 term circulating, but what's it all about? Let's take a look at some details. First of all, let’s explain how the Ethereum network works.
  • Ethereum network is based on a Proof Of Work (POW) consensus mechanism also referred to as mining.
  • POW consensus uses processing power to compute and solve complex algorithms that validate transactions occurring on the blockchain and mine new coins.
  • Essentially, it’s computers using energy, working to solve complicated mathematical puzzles that confirm the accuracy of all the data occurring on the blockchain.
  • POW may be becoming outdated mainly because of its high energy consumption requirements and environmental impact, a burden on the energy sector that may be ushering the new age of Proof Of Stake consensus (POS).

Whereas in ETH 2.0, these are the factors as to why the upgrade needed to happen.
  • ETH 2.0 is a merge from the POW consensus to POS.
  • The POS consensus is based on a staking model rather than an actual effort-based work model where participants pledge their own Ethereum to process transactions.
  • POS not only requires significantly less energy, but also eliminates the competitive nature behind the POW mechanism, while also being deemed more secure and less open to network attacks.
  • POS is arguably the most significant reconditioning update the network has ever seen, and it requires the new validators to stake 32 Ethereum to participate in the consensus.
  • ETH 2.0 has been dubbed “Serenity,” and the objective is to be faster, more efficient, safer, and increase scalability.

So that’s all interesting and everything, but I like making money, so what does it mean for my bags, Gainz?

Vitalik announced the soft release date of ETH 2.0 Serenity network last week, which translated into an increase in Ethereum's trading price. The news triggered a somewhat optimistic outlook on ETH which conveyed overall confidence in the rest of the crypto market, bringing back some much-needed optimism in the space.

Now let's dig a little deeper into this, so we don't get too excited too early on. Remember, it’s good practice to keep your emotions away when trading comes into play. Many have speculated “the bottom is in” or “the bear is over,” but we must understand that during bear markets, on a downtrend, occasional counter-cyclical upticks are common, some stronger than others, especially when paired with strong fundamentals like good news.

So an Ethereum fueled uptick became stronger when the news of ETH 2.0 came out because investors have been waiting years for a final timeline - but hey, building great things always takes time, right? You can’t rush perfection. I believe this is a good step forward for Ethereum and the crypto space in the long run, but I also don’t think this alone will shake us out of the bear market in the short term - yes, I believe it’s still a bear market.

Daddy’s Two Cents

Why do I think so? Considering the overall macro and aggressive monetary tightening by the FED to bring inflation back down, I believe a crypto market reversal would take a larger catalyst than simply news by itself. This seems to me that we are just in a short-term rally, fueled by the news that has short-term investors buying the news looking to cash in on some quick capital.

It’s easy to get caught off guard when you see a bunch of green after an extended period of a downward trend. Still, if you look at the bigger picture, I think there would need to be a shift in the current narrative of the global economy amongst a number of other factors before we can begin to say the bull market is back, as marke t cycles take time. Some investors tend to be hyper-fixated and focused only on prices, especially when the prices are moving up after a long period of downside.

However, I believe the news is creating more demand specific to Ethereum due to the staking requirements and some data as of the ETH 2.0 news. This past week has seen ETH held on exchanges dropping dramatically, reaching points we haven't seen since early 2018. The high outflows of ETH from exchanges indicate holders could be preparing to stake their investment in the new POS consensus. The merge is coming at an interesting time, possibly by calculation, while things are looking glum and people have been leaving the space. It’s best to stay informed and not be caught off guard in this industry, understanding the shifts and locating the best times to buy or sell through more than just a gut feeling or emotion.


And there you have it. I hope you guys have learnt something thus far through all these publications. And last but not least, this is NOT FINANCIAL ADVICE, so PLEASE DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH. With love, see you guys in the next publication.

The Pineapple
Lounge

Welcome to the Pineapple Lounge! This week we’re doing a segment called Ghosts Around The Globe. The operatives featured all hail from Australia. We’re always looking for community members to spotlight here, so ‌send us your recommendations!

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Bronsn, the Master Hairstylist

Before The Fallout, there was a hero in the outer district that was reputable for giving free haircuts to anyone. Ghosts would request the iconic hairstyle he adorned. That hairstyle was named after him, Bronsn. After The Fallout, he continued providing the service to the Resistance. We would like to award Bronsn the Master Hairstylist Award for his services!

"The PxN community is something that I will always cherish as it is a safe haven to return to when I need to relax and escape my web2 responsibilities. Everyone here can take a joke and people genuinely just want to have a good time, from watching people play games in VCs, creating dancing memes, and even editing each other’s Ghost. At the end of the day, it’s a place where I feel I belong. Duckos x Dawdles x Doxtrot on top!"
Bronsn
@Bronsnx

Community Updates

This week marks the 100th-day celebration of Pradawan becoming a Ghost recruit. He has also been relentless in providing support to Regiment 41. We salute him for his effort and wanted to acknowledge his achievement.

For community activities, we had Baerinz hosting duck games on Twitch stream for coveted whitelists over the weekend, while Rodney and Wonderhands hosted a fantastic Mental Health session on Monday. Gainz did a crypto market round-up on Tuesday to an enthusiastic crowd hoping to better-navigate the uncertain market. Haru ran a game session, playing Fall Guys for whitelists, while Fuyu ran a Valorant game in voice chat. We also had Jane vibing with the community on Twitch stream. Lastly, Godspeed hosted a couple of games for Just Act Natural for whitelist opportunities.

It has been a very eventful past week in the server, with more fun activities to come!

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"While I haven't been as active since starting my full-time job, I still consider the Nanoverse my home. If it weren’t for this community, I wouldn't be drawing again, and I sincerely thank Rei and the team for that. This is precisely why I don't listen to the fud, since, unlike fudders, this community has legitimately helped me on a personal level. I've mentioned this before, but it's worth repeating my conviction that the team is solid and eternal. Anyway, I'll try to engage more with the community once my schedule eventually clears, but until then, don't forget me."

Brostar
@BossBrosius
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“Web3 is an ever changing goliath, constantly shifting and evolving. We’ve seen the anime meta phase off and come back to life. The meta adjusted to market conditions with free mints shining through and quick, easy art projects with no Discord taking over at a time when people are taking breaks and spending less time in web3. With the update on the ETH merge and a resulting surge in price, proper, traditional projects are beginning to show their worth again. Degen mints might still be prominent in the near future, however, projects like PxN, Isekai Meta, Meadow Moon, and Oldeus that are not afraid to take the time to work with the community will truly make something great and continue to be the best investment long term.”

G-Unit
@WcWaifu
Degeneration
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The Preferment of Plortis

An ode to our favourite dawdler.
The Rat King did ask,
who can bring this world to life?
Plortis, was the cry.
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Plucked from the Slums and cast forth into a world of penmanship and propaganda, Plortis is an example of our PxN community come good. A talented artist, he is incredibly passionate about the project, and we are excited to see his portfolio grow. We are proud to fight alongside Plortis in the Resistance.

Ghost Chronicles

The terminal was bustling with all sorts of activities. From operatives beating each other up in hand-to-hand combat to others wolfing down a meal in thirty seconds, it was a sight to behold. We were brought to a large auditorium and told we needed to take a physical fitness test. We were each handed a piece of paper and a pencil to record our scores. We spent over an hour doing tests, including push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, and a two-mile run. This was nothing to me; I was in the best shape of my life.

As soon as I finished filling out my score sheet, I started heading over to the exit. There appeared to be somebody right by the exit door checking the score sheets. As I approached the figure, I realized what I thought was a man was, in fact, an android. It had turquoise hair with a blindfold covering what was meant to be its eyes and a body made of cold grey steel. I was slightly taken aback by the fact that the Resistance possessed such advanced technology. I wondered how they were acquired and who invented this. Suddenly, a bright laser shot out its fingertips as it started scanning through the score sheet I held in my hand. Shortly after, I was directed to a second beeline by the android, to what looked like a structure with multiple rooms at the end of the queue.

As I reached the end of the line, a small table was in sight. A seated scrawny, bespectacled man with military goggles hanging on his neck greeted everyone who arrived in front of him.
"Welcome to the Resistance. I'll need your ID and your branch, please."

"4652 Sir. From the Army."

He signaled another of his colleagues in the same overalls over, and the man beckoned me to follow, so I did. He led me through a few hallways, making me realize how large the facility was. Finally, he stopped before a door, tapped his access card, and warmly invited me inside. As he opened the door, I was greeted by a flash of light which made me turn away for a second to avoid being blinded. After a few seconds, I tried opening my eyes to see what appeared to be an almost empty white room. It was a decently sized room, probably enough to fit ten or so people, maybe twenty if they were packed together shoulder to shoulder. The only object inside the room was a black desk with a chair sitting right smack in the middle. I headed over to take a seat, and I could see clearly what was on the table. There was an array of items on the table, which included a pen, pencil, and what seemed like a box of crayons. There were a couple of pieces of paper on the table, which I presumed were some sort of written exam. Another one. Was I not over and done with the tests? I looked behind me and saw that the door had already closed. It was so indistinguishable from the walls that it felt like there were no exits. I had to finish the paper. I turned back, took a deep breath, picked up the paper, and read the first question. "Which word describes you best?"

It's finally happening.

The final test.

The PXN Papers Team

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Wonderhands
@Wonderhands
Lead Writer
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Kit
@Whykitt
Lead Writer
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Pineapple
@pineapplebarrel
Community News
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Gainz
@daddy_gainz
Economist
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Plortis
@plortis
Dawdler
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Ger
@gerxnft
Designer
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Paster
@strollinPastel
Chief Editor
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Bunnies
@0xBunnies
Editor
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Megsie
@magicmegsie
Facilitator
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Rodney
@rodney_eth
Advisor

Updates on the Network

Tech Terminal

It was a huge progress week for our Blockchain team as we have completed most of the code and configurations for our subnet and bridge. We will be moving into the testing phase to ensure the security, reliability, and high performance of our bespoke Layer 2 chain.
  • We have begun designing wireframes for our bridge, and backend Team B has started implementing basic functionality.
  • Frontend Team A continued its efforts to revamp the chat application last week. This week’s focus is on the NFT selector and context menu.
  • Frontend Team B has been working on adding our newsletter, PxN Papers to the main “phantom.sh” website.