3D Comic Book Tips And Pictures

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  • Griffin AvidGriffin Avid Posts: 3,552
    edited March 2018

    Well, the problem is always there once you get started. You can improve and critique a page or panel forever.

    I think the only way around this is make a set of "Render Rules" or "Graphic Guides" which are things or habits you have that remove some of the decision making process. Almost like a default thing you do. I got a bunch. I do break them when I need to, but usually look back and realize there was a better way that didn't need a rule broken, only bent..

    1) No word balloons covering any part of a character.

    2) No heads cut off by a frame. If the head is cut off then the chin needs to be too, to create a balance.

    3) Not everyone in the scene has to say something. (I battle that)

    4) Not every scene needs text

    5) Sometimes you have to spell out the obvious so the reader feels confidence that they are fully getting it all.

    6) Whatever I wrote doesn't have to be said. The script writer version of me doesn't get the last say, er so to speak.

    7) Always render more than you need. I always end up using "the extra shots" to fill out the story.

    8) Everybody moves between frames. In real life I sit still and don't move around between sentences. lol but in comics, it looks terrible for the conversation to advance and the characters are holding the same pose. I don't know how that works, but I always see when I don't move the characters.

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

    Now when I get drunk on my own art, I tend to fall into a few traps.

    a) After spending 20 minutes getting the feet just right, I hate to not show them in the shot. And so we do very far shots late in the scene, for no reason. lol

    b) After creating an awesome background or picking a wicked location, there's a desire to keep showing it- even though we already did the establishing shot.

    c) Skipping the establishing shot (exterior) because Daz sets are either inside or outside and not always easy to find a proper match.

    Post edited by Griffin Avid on
  • FirstBastionFirstBastion Posts: 5,423
    edited March 2018

    That's a good set of guidelines.  I'd also add; Show, don't tell.  Setup your art panels to convey information,  so the word bubbles and captions can be used sparingly or focus on other info. 

     

     

    Post edited by FirstBastion on
  • BeeMKayBeeMKay Posts: 6,800

    @Griffin Avid and @Firstbastion

    Those are good tips. But theory is one thing, application another. See, I thought I did most things right with my Page 16, but hadn't realized that I was doing something entirely else.

    So, the feedback was very important, to understand the proper application. I also saw an improvement in actually noticing a couple of things now, that I never paid attention to before, or which I thought of as unimportant. I've learned to pay attention to them through the examples in this thread. Maybe that kind of approach is annoying; I can understand that. If it is, perhaps we should source out the WIP part into its own thread, and leave this thread for the instructional part?

    Also, apologies if I misunderstood your intentions. English isn't my native language.smiley

  • LinwellyLinwelly Posts: 5,162

    @giselle3000

    Thanks a lot for the feedback, placeing the girl with the soup on the other side would have solved so many problems LOL, I just didn't occur to me at the time  Irendered that, I hope that won't happen again.

    The distance I used here has two reasons, for one my intention was to show the place the girls occupy, like an establishing shot for that interior if that makes sense, the other indeed is that despite their living close together they are not really sticking together, there are some friendships, and there are closeups there later on the same page, but mostly they just have to get along somehow, trying to create their own little bubble where there is no space for that.

     

    Now when I get drunk on my own art, I tend to fall into a few traps.

    a) After spending 20 minutes getting the feet just right, I hate to not show them in the shot. And so we do very far shots late in the scene, for no reason. lol

    b) After creating an awesome background or picking a wicked location, there's a desire to keep showing it- even though we already did the establishing shot.

    c) Skipping the establishing shot (exterior) because Daz sets are either inside or outside and not always easy to find a proper match.

    I was laughing so hard at the number a)  I so know that feeling, struggeling to get one little detail right and the it doesn't even show up in the shot or gets cut away while putting the page together.

    I'm not sure if there is really a need that everybody moves from panel to panel. The expression should change a bit or a hand moves or alternatively use a different camera angle. but having them move around it causes restlessness

  • Griffin AvidGriffin Avid Posts: 3,552

    Yeah, I do the camera angle thing, but I have to watch for reversing characters, which breaks the 180' rule- where readers get confused when you reverse shots.

    I noticed that too, when the camera does a lot of moving, it gets disorientating.

    ------

    Another think is talking characters and mouth open or close.

    It's like that old Albert Finney movie LOOKER, where the models can't hold onto the perfect look while they move around and talk.

    Sometimes the people make such weird faces when they talk, you get some funky looks and the character loses the ....'perfect look'.

    I'm always trying to balance between an expressive face and one that's attractive.

    Funny faces are something that's a quick state, before moving back to neutral.

    So freezing those wacky faces in a render is too much, but the normal- resting face is almost dead stare.

    Mostly, I find myself dealing with levels of "Stern" where the eyes are doing the gesturing and focus on matching the tone of the conversation.

    And then you have the dilemma of matching the proper tone of what part of the conversation, the reader looks at your character.

    So now, you're doing different renders to capture different parts of a speech.

    They started with a joke, but then turned serious.

    Happy face or serious face?

    Always trying to balance that too.

     

  • BeeMKayBeeMKay Posts: 6,800

    I gues, two images, if the change from amused to serious is important - how can you follow the mood, otherwise? I try to capture the characters in "states of emotions" if possible.

  • LinwellyLinwelly Posts: 5,162

    I would do two images in that mood switch as well, otherwise you have too much text for one image anyway I guess.

    That talking is a difficult one though yes, I usually dial in a bit of one visemefor a talking person but not too much.

    About the funny faces, it depends, if you look at drawn comics there are so many very strange faces frozen to eternity, its part of the exaggeration the genre likes to play with, so if the moment is fit for the exaggereation I would go for a funny face shot as well.

    I never do a zero face, at least I move the eyes and eyelids. It often doesn't need a lot but a twitch to a lip move or a raised or crunched brow mages a huge difference, especially when staying with the rendered image and not transfer it to some painted look.

  • Griffin AvidGriffin Avid Posts: 3,552

    Thank the gods of Daz for Look At Me by Riversoft Art. https://www.daz3d.com/look-at-me-pose-control

    So many renders were destroyed by eyes that don't go where I want them to.

    Now, I only deal with over-rotation of the eye-balls ,,,,         when the neck really should be more turned.

    It's rare that we look at something and don't turn to face it.

    - I was often in Photoshop, moving the eyes. Now, not so much. There's a few that slip through.

  • BeeMKayBeeMKay Posts: 6,800

    Look At Me is something I use a lot since it came to the store. It is a real time saver. What I often only notice then is that I tend to set up my characters for the camera without paying proper attention to distances between them.

    For example, having two several characters standing together. It kind of looks right in the image, but in reality, the one character is slightly behind the other on the z-axis, and stuff like that. I've begun to more often use a top view to place my characters properly in "communication" angles.

    Though, you can't really pose them like you'd have people standing in real life. There's always the camera as an additional "person" in the conversation you have to accomodate for, unless you just want silhuette images.

  • FirstBastionFirstBastion Posts: 5,423
    edited March 2018

    Yeah, I do the camera angle thing, but I have to watch for reversing characters, which breaks the 180' rule- where readers get confused when you reverse shots.

    I noticed that too, when the camera does a lot of moving, it gets disorientating.

    In Filmmaking,  they call it "crossing the Line" ,  but the principle is the same,  when editted together,  it can cause disorientation because these storytelling conventions are locked into our subconscious as the audience or reader, establish through years of watching the same methods used.  Here's a page showing multiple line scenarios with multiple characters.  The line can be ever moving,  but if you know what to look for it,  it's just another tool in the arsenal.

    http://www.thefilmbakery.com/blog/coverage-crossing-the-line

    Another one for the guidelines list above "Don't cross the line"

     

    Post edited by FirstBastion on
  • Griffin AvidGriffin Avid Posts: 3,552

    Great link and I've never seen that rule actually explained.

  • FirstBastionFirstBastion Posts: 5,423
    Linwelly said:

    I'm not sure if there is really a need that everybody moves from panel to panel. The expression should change a bit or a hand moves or alternatively use a different camera angle. but having them move around it causes restlessness

    A panel represents a moment in time,  sequential time,  they might not need to change position in the scene,  but  a slightly different hand gesture or facial expression or turn of head or pose,  can all work to make the scene appear vibrant and active.

  • Griffin AvidGriffin Avid Posts: 3,552

    Yep. When I render from a different angle, it's the camera that's moved and shows a change over time. It's more than just fooling you.

    I didn't mean move across the room. lol but as FirstB said, all it takes is something.

  • LinwellyLinwelly Posts: 5,162

    I guess I was thinking in to large movements like changing from one side to another in a room. Yes some small movement certainly is needed.

  • Griffin AvidGriffin Avid Posts: 3,552

    Not to plug my own stuff, but look at this themed episode. It was nuts trying to come up with little natural movements between shots.

    And with no Daz poses, it was crazy getting them to hold stuff.

    http://issuu.com/producersedge/docs/holidaze2017?e=3301537/53854990

  • BeeMKayBeeMKay Posts: 6,800

    @Griffin Avid Hats off for that issue! Doing all the poses for so many characters, you have my deepest respect!

    I'm having fun with a new title page for "The 4th Wall", which is a bit of a "Making of" of Division and Dwellers. I thought it would be easier to wrap this into comic form, so I can point people there when they have questions. I also learned a few things about Clip Studio and vectorizing layers...

    The really funny part is that I find myself really enoying putting together the images and the text, and all that stuff. I'm like a kid in a candy store... I wonder how long that phase will last. laugh

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  • Griffin AvidGriffin Avid Posts: 3,552

    Looks like a great resource. 

    1) Is it telling the story from the start, like how you came up with everything? Creative-wise....

    2) The HOW TO for how you created the book.....

    3) Tips on how you to create 3D books. etc...?

  • BeeMKayBeeMKay Posts: 6,800

    Yes, possibly all of what you said.

    I wanted to start out with a quick and dirty 101 on "it's not just load, pose, render", before going into the details, as an overview, and because most potential readers of the website are classical drawing artists. If this turns into a resource, even better.

    I also wanted to treat this kind of like as if the dudes and dudettes of the comic are sort of actors playing themselves. It's a bit like that inner dialogue you have with them when you are writing a scene for them, and I wanted to convey that to the reader. It also helps keeping things interesting between screen shots and explanations.

     

     

  • Griffin AvidGriffin Avid Posts: 3,552

    Ahhh a comic of a comic's guide. Very clever.

    Good luck.

  • BeeMKayBeeMKay Posts: 6,800

    Thanks. I don't have high expectations, and it won't update regularly anyway, but it's fun to do. smiley

  • eslewiseslewis Posts: 21

    Hey guys, interesting subject. I have been working on a project that isn't really a comic, but is what I call a multimedia story, for a lack of a better term. It is comic "ish." I rendered it entirely in Daz 3D and used bubble elements for dialog, but it intentionally lacks the common comic style and effects.  

    in my thread; https://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/237026/cj-r-episode-1-a-daz-project#latest ; I was pointed to this thread figuring I might be interested in it, and possibly vice versa. The direct link to the project on youtube is here if you are curious: 

  • LinwellyLinwelly Posts: 5,162

    welcome to the madness @eslewis that is a quite impressive work you made there. The setting is certainly intrigueing and I especially like the first part with the japanese guy interrogated.

    Some things to consider that came to my mind while watching:

    the white text is hard to read when the speechbubble colour is yellow or orange. Some of the textes are too long to be read before the switch to the next "page"

    The shift between the three(four?) different personnage settings isn't getting clear enough. I like the music changes when that happens and that certainly helps but it would be nice to have a more clear visual indicator as well.

    The camera angle shifts are sometimes confusing.

    I hope this helps. I would like to see more of this :D

     

  • BeeMKayBeeMKay Posts: 6,800
    edited March 2018

    It looks interesting, and it's clear that a lot of effort went into it.

    I don't know if you are sharing it for advertising, or for feedback?

    Feedback, without too much detailed analyzing, would be: Some of it is hard to read. Too much text in a too short timeframe.

    The pointers of the bubbles are not helping to guide your eyes (I'd think that the same rules would apply there than in a regular comic page - even more so because you have so much text to cover in a short time frame, and not everyone is a fast reader). Random screen shot that illustrates the problem:

    Also, in some images, I'm not certain what is the important part, and in some places the locations are not used in a logical way.

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    Post edited by BeeMKay on
  • FeralFeyFeralFey Posts: 3,690

    @eslewis - I enjoyed your offering. It was an interesting "read". Actually, I think doing something like what you've done might be a way to approach my comic book - at least in terms of laying everything out. I have a hard time visualizing how to map out my panels on a page, and I think if I at least laid down the bones in a format similar to what you've done might help me. At the very least, your work has inspired me and got me thinking about how to (finally) move forward on my own story.

    Like the others have mentioned, there were a few "panels" where the text was too short on the screen to read properly, but on the whole it wasn't too bad. I think there were only two occasions that I didn't read things fast enough. The different colored text balloons was a clever way to indicate who was talking when. I really liked that touch. And I absolutely loved the lighting in your renders. Very nicely done. 

  • FeralFeyFeralFey Posts: 3,690

    And with no Daz poses, it was crazy getting them to hold stuff.

     I meant to comment on this the other day, but real life got in the way. Lol.

    I just wanted to say that it's my single duty to try and make poses for props. And it drives me nuts that there are so many great props out there that a) don't have hand grips for the models to properly hold them, and b) prop makers rarely (if ever) make props to the correct size for the Genesis (1, 2, 3, 8) models. Whenever I have to make a pose set for a prop set, unless I have a direct line to the PA who made the props, my head usually explodes. Lol. So I totally feel your pain. (And if you ever need help with this in the future, don't hesitate to ask. We'll see how my production schedule is, but I'm all about helping folk.) 

  • Griffin AvidGriffin Avid Posts: 3,552

    I just wanted to say that it's my single duty to try and make poses for props.

    One of the greatest things ever. I've hinted at before that SOMEONE should make a massive, universal, product of Hand Positions. I am very happy for the sliders one and the one where the hands are placed in delicate...standby positions. And even some of those have wrist helpers.

    BUT, we do need more ULTILITY HAND POSES.

    Holding things, a huge selection of grips. I usually have to dig in my library and try to find a product that has a close-enough grip to start from.

    And then it's the battle of partials.

    Reverse grips is also a thing.

    I think the ultimate would be one that was dials, but of a catagory.

    a) Holding Swords/Knives + reverse grips (There's a handling pose where the thumb follows the switchblade)

    b) Melee weapons + reverse grips

    c) Drinks/glasses + Side of glass, plus underneath a cup

    d) Small objects and some poses only engage a few fingers

    And always, always include a Zero Pose/Reset

    That's my fantasy.

  • eslewiseslewis Posts: 21

    Thanks for the comments. It is both for feedback and for advertisement I guess. It was a fairly big project, I had never done 3D rendering before I started it, and never tried to tell a story this way before. So, yes I want people to see it, but I need feedback like this to help me with the next episode. I am aware of the timing issue. Ultimately I lived with what was there because, although it isn't optimal. you can pause youtube. I already plan to render many more fraes and make sure the text density of any one bubble is limited. This was supposed to be a 10 minute video. So, yeah. The number of frames was too low for what I ended up writing. I am not particularly good at storyboarding because I can't draw. I had a page or so of story ideas and started rendering, and then it took on a life of its own. I have to tweak a lot of things, and I definitely appreciate the feedback. My benchmark for the text was could I read it on my phone without my reading glasses. So. Clarity. I need to put more time in the color combinations, because I really was concerned about being able to identify the speaker, but not as much how well the text color went with the background, so long as I could meet that previously stated objective of clarity. I also didn't spend a lot of thought on the tails, other than generally making them point in the direction, because I was color coding everything, but that too is something I will pay more attention to. This is a story told entirely through dialog and images. So if I can make that easier to read, it will be better.     

  • FirstBastionFirstBastion Posts: 5,423
    FeralFey said:

     Actually, I think doing something like what you've done might be a way to approach my comic book - at least in terms of laying everything out. I have a hard time visualizing how to map out my panels on a page, and I think if I at least laid down the bones in a format similar to what you've done might help me. At the very least, your work has inspired me and got me thinking about how to (finally) move forward on my own story.

    Hey Chrys,   I picked up this program for my kids at Staples called ComicCreatorStudio.  It offers a whole bunch of page templates already set up,  Lots of variety.  Then you just drop the artwork into each one of the panels. Program takes care of the borders trimming and everything.   Next step add the bubbles.  Again it trims,  allows you to move the speech bubble pointer where you need it.  Another thing I like,  it works offline. 

     

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  • FirstBastionFirstBastion Posts: 5,423
    eslewis said:

    Thanks for the comments. It is both for feedback and for advertisement I guess. It was a fairly big project, I had never done 3D rendering before I started it, and never tried to tell a story this way before. So, yes I want people to see it, but I need feedback like this to help me with the next episode. I am aware of the timing issue. Ultimately I lived with what was there because, although it isn't optimal. you can pause youtube.

    The sheer scope of your project shoe your dedication.  Very impressive when you look at the time that went into it in terms of rendering and editing.  I'm certain the next one will incorporate all that you have learned.  I also agree its a great way to present the story with the page turn edit transition.  I would suggest you give yourself a rule,  that no more than 2 bubbles a panel,  add more panels,  closeups perhap,  rather than more bubbles.  The flow will ultimately work better. Impressive work.  

  • Griffin AvidGriffin Avid Posts: 3,552

    Well, if you're going to go this route, I say go all the way and pan the renders, zoom in and zoom out.

    Not sure what you're using to arrange the video bits, but that would help.

    Music, well I make A LOT of music so- the music is an issue for me. It sounds like a random DJ mix that doesn't match the tone of the images or story.

    I'd rather hear musical cues and emotional tones and bits of sound than a full blown music-mix.

    There's all sorts of very cheap libraries with all kinds of royalty-free sample packs that should do the trick.

    Even ambient mixes would work better in my opinion.

    Then I would consider transitions. If you're going full story mode than the transitions need to follow a pattern. When the character starts to tell his story it should ripple out into a historical recounting. Almost fading into a dream.

    ------

    I also think it needs some kind of intro. It was hard to be patient when I have no idea what I'm supposed to be seeing.

    Even the blurb in the YouTube description tells the viewer almost nothing.

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

    From a technical standpoint, I suggest you render your scenes at a very large size so that you can zoom in/around without taking hits in sharpness.

    And last, if you are going to have a bunch of text, you don't have to place them in balloons. You can have the text along the bottom of the screen and not cover any part of the renders. Now you would have eliminated the worry of balloon placement and tails.

    AND you can make the text bigger and easier to read.

    If you use the zoom, pan and scan techniques, you can even drop the color-coding and show who is speaking, while they are speaking.

    Now we don't have to worry about remembering whose color is whose.

    -

    Other than that, you might want to look at all the motion comics software and play with that direction too.

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