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Posted: 04 April 2013 03:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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I’m a pretty big fan of ‘pulp’ sci-fi. I’ll check them out.

There are ways you can cheat to get quick renders while still having the illusion of ‘fancy’ lighting, by baking lighting effects, especially AO, into the textures. Then you might be able to squeak by with single lights and deep shadow maps for everything, still get quick renders, but have more atmosphere.

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Though I’m just through the introduction, I have to comment before I finish reading. Your pacing could use a little work, and the single-panel square page really limits the composition, but “I think I went out of bounds” was just…deadpan perfect. You have a feel for the genre.

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Posted: 04 April 2013 07:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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I’m curious as to how to set up baking lighting effects. I haven’t heard of that before. Personally, I hate tinkering with the lighting. It’s really a nightmare, and I just don’t have time to do it with every panel.

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Posted: 04 April 2013 08:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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I’m not sure about baking lighting effects, but have you looked at lighting sets that are designed for speed, such as SpeedLights Outdoor Light Set 1? Also, if you take off ambient occlusion on the hair and anything with transparencies, you’ll speed your render time up considerably. Other people may have good suggestions for speed lighting.

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Posted: 05 April 2013 05:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Here is the cover to issue #7 - an homage to Pulp Fiction!

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Posted: 08 April 2013 11:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Portrait of Cleo.

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Posted: 08 April 2013 12:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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galactica1981 - 04 April 2013 10:07 AM

Well, actually it’s a CBZ file. There is a free software program called PDF Lite that will read it. And despite the huge number of panels, each comic can be read in about 15-20 minutes because I don’t use an excessive amount of dialogue or narration. What’s great about the digital format is that I can draw scenes out and mostly let the art tell the story, keeping the narration to a bare minimum. I think it makes the reading experience a lot more fun. I remember reading Marvel comics as a kid and feeling exhausted after reading a bunch of them due to them having so much dialogue and narration. I definitely avoid that here. The goal is to make the experience less like reading a comic book and more like watching a movie.

http://www.pdflite.com/

 

I had an instructor in college comment once that “If you want your art to tell the story, then you owe it to your audience to make sure you give them the best possible art you can”

Your comment just reminded me of that.
So, particularly if you intend to sell your comic, you really should not worry so much about render times, but instead worry about giving your audience/customers their monies worth with the art of your story.  You really need lighting and shadows to help set mood, that is a big part of the visual story telling.

You might want to look into some literature on the art of comic making.
The full page renders are really not helping you. A big part of the comic experience is in the pacing, and you can do so much visual pacing with how you set up the frames on your pages. It is a powerful visual tool where you can bring drama to its climax, or set out quiet peaceful interludes.

That said…making a story this way is an ambitious project…...kudos on getting it done as you did.

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Posted: 09 April 2013 09:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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I appreciate the feedback, though I’m not sure I agree with it. Hand-drawn comics don’t have lighting and shadows, and yet they still tell stories effectively. But did you read issue #2? The first issue is mostly a setup, and the second is the big payoff. You get a complete story that I think is really worth reading.

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Posted: 09 April 2013 09:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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galactica1981 - 09 April 2013 09:27 AM

I appreciate the feedback, though I’m not sure I agree with it. Hand-drawn comics don’t have lighting and shadows, and yet they still tell stories effectively. But did you read issue #2? The first issue is mostly a setup, and the second is the big payoff. You get a complete story that I think is really worth reading.

SAY WHAT?!?!? Hand drawn comics most CERTAINLY have lighting and shadows - they’re incorporated into the art itself.

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Posted: 09 April 2013 09:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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galactica1981 - 09 April 2013 09:27 AM

I appreciate the feedback, though I’m not sure I agree with it. Hand-drawn comics don’t have lighting and shadows, and yet they still tell stories effectively. But did you read issue #2? The first issue is mostly a setup, and the second is the big payoff. You get a complete story that I think is really worth reading.

Of course hand drawn comics have lighting and shadows.
It is one of the main tools to develop the atmosphere.

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_efLX1je2_Yc/THBd0b6vjCI/AAAAAAAAA6o/UbtswlObJb0/s1600/Hulk+#24+020.jpg

would the scene look as threatening if the hulk were brightly lit?

http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_maw3ijUbQ81reig32o1_1280.jpg

would Doc Doom look so sinister if he wasn’t in half shadows?

http://www.blogcdn.com/www.comicsalliance.com/media/2011/09/starfire-red-hood.jpg

The whole innocence of this scene would be lost if it was set in a dark shadowy light.
Imagine if the boy (I think its Robin) was no longer sitting under the tree, but was instead hiding behind a shadowy doorway staring at starfire?.....would instantly tell a completely different story.
There is an art to visual story-telling, all the elements have to play together for it to be effective.


I would strongly suggest looking at this book, it is full of information on this:
http://www.amazon.ca/Understanding-Comics-Scott-McCloud/dp/006097625X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1365522812&sr=1-1&keywords=understanding+comics+the+invisible+art

or even the old classic:

http://www.amazon.ca/How-Draw-Comics-Marvel-Way/dp/0671530771/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1365522699&sr=1-1&keywords=how+to+draw+comics

Rawn


Edited to add:
I am not intending to bust your butt on this, just trying for some constructive feedback.
Taking on the work of doing an illustrated story is an epic project.
I started making characters because I had several storylines i wanted to illustrate…....but then i got hooked on character making and never got back to illustrating LOL

 

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Posted: 09 April 2013 10:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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galactica1981 - 09 April 2013 09:27 AM

I appreciate the feedback, though I’m not sure I agree with it. Hand-drawn comics don’t have lighting and shadows, and yet they still tell stories effectively. But did you read issue #2? The first issue is mostly a setup, and the second is the big payoff. You get a complete story that I think is really worth reading.

The best lighting and shadow examples I have ever seen have come from hand drawn comics…..

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Posted: 09 April 2013 10:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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I concur,  Understanding Comics is an absolute must read for anyone venturing into the sequential art realm.  It’s a great book! 

I would strongly suggest looking at this book, it is full of information on this:
http://www.amazon.ca/Understanding-Comics-Scott-McCloud/dp/006097625X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1365522812&sr=1-1&keywords=understanding+comics+the+invisible+art

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Posted: 09 April 2013 10:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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McCloud’s other book, Making Comics, is also definitely worth a read: http://www.amazon.com/Making-Comics-Storytelling-Secrets-Graphic/dp/0060780940

There’s also a lot of great content on his website.

Edited to add: and how could I forget to mention Reinventing Comics? http://www.amazon.com/Reinventing-Comics-Imagination-Technology-Revolutionizing/dp/0060953500

Regarding other comments in this thread… while it’s perfectly ok for an artist to decline any suggested change, I think there have been some very good suggestions here that would be worth considering.

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Posted: 09 April 2013 11:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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The reason I often buy comics, er, I mean graphic novels is precisely because of the artistic style.  That certainly doesn’t always have to be realism either.  Style can vary quite a lot.  Consider Hayao Miyazaki’s Nausicaa or Wendy Pini’s original Elfquest.  These stories became classics precisely because of the mastery of art and storytelling on the part of their creators.  That said, best of luck to you!

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Posted: 10 April 2013 01:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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@galactica1981: Here are my rambling thoughts and observations…

(1) Your forum username confirms what is already obvious in your books: you’re passionate about those campy, late-‘70s/early-‘80s sci-fi shows that informed so many of our childhoods. And by giving it a satirical, Matrix-y twist, you’ve modernized the concept enough to make it interesting to fans of the genre.

(2) In appraising the book artistically, one thing leaps out at me, particularly with #2: it reads less like a comic book than the storyboards for a pre-production film. I may be projecting here, but I get the sense that you’d be happiest taking these pages to a movie set and recreating them with actors and a cinematographer.

Let me see if I can explain myself by briefly paraphrasing McCloud: comics don’t use multi-panel page layouts just to save paper. They use them because the gutters and borders between the panels convey lots of information; among many other things, they create a visual rhythm that can establish a sense of passing time or heightened/lessened intensity.

By forsaking that visual grammar, you’re putting a ton of pressure on each individual render to wholly conjure a sense of time, place, and emotion. There’s no storytelling metadata there to help sell the illusion of movement or emphasize certain moments over others… every shot seems to consume an identical unit of time, and no shot is more important than any other. As the creator reading your own work, you already know which panels are meant to deliver a shock, which ones should be accompanied by a pause for effect, and so on. But without multi-panel layouts, we’re not clued into your timeline.

Which leads me to…

(3) This thing screams “motion comic” to me. Even without voice acting, it would benefit from filmic transitions between panels, zooms into and pans across panels, and possibly even the occasional sound effect. (A score would be an obvious, but non-necessary bonus.) Have you considered loading your render folder into Premiere or iMovie, or maybe tinkering with iBooks Author, MotionArtist, or similar tools? Maybe I’m crazy, but I feel like you and the story would take to it like ducks to water.

(4) My sincerest compliments on sticking your neck out. I can sit here and nitpick, inventing new work for you to do, but the reality is that you have already done A LOT. That takes guts and focus in an enviable abundance.

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Posted: 10 April 2013 02:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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galactica1981 - 04 April 2013 08:53 AM

I looked into toon shaders, but in the end I figured that if I was going to do this, then I might as well try to do something different.

Alex Ross and Joe Jusko produced fully painted comics, going for realism rather than a toon appearance.  So I don’t consider the toon look as a requirement for comics. 

I’m also not too good with lighting so I can understand where you’re coming from.  And if you’re just creating this for yourself rather than for some publisher, then you have the final say.  BUT if you want to reach the most people and keep them coming back for more, then it may be worth considering lighting.  As these people, who are making suggestions on how you can make your comic better, are part of your audience.

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