3D Comic Book Tips And Pictures

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Comments

  • thedoctorthedoctor Posts: 159

    @Divamakeup I SO appreciate your critique! I really had never thought about the concept of when to add a narrative caption, believe it or not. You are absolutely right and it is obviously much better to show something than simply describing it. The frame speaks for itself and the caption added nothing. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment and especially for the good lesson you taught me!

  • 3WC3WC Posts: 916

    I agree with what Diva said. I also kind of laughed at the line, "It's starting to burn my exposed skin." Um, real people don't talk like that. It comes across as really unatural, like reading a script. If something is starting to burn, you would say, "Ow, it's burning me," or just, "My skin is burning!"

    Just a minor, hopefully constructive, criticism. It looks great overall!

  • FirstBastionFirstBastion Posts: 5,432
    thedoctor said:
    I'm also attaching some pages from a scene set in the beautiful Dekogon subway set. These are about 50/50 Daz vs Twinmotion renders (attached). Obviously, I'm steering more towards realistic renders for this project. I'd appreciate any comments or questions.

    Certainly like the lighting choices in the tunnel to give a sense of claustrphobia in the subway.  There's a lot of dark space in the panels, and What lurks in the shadows can kill you.By just using the headlamp to illuminate the scene it puts us in there with them.

     

     

  • FirstBastionFirstBastion Posts: 5,432
    edited August 2020
    3WC said:

     If something is starting to burn, you would say, "Ow, it's burning me," or just, "My skin is burning!"

    Perhaps an additional smaller panel showing blisters on the skin with a "Closeup". Lots of ways to share the new info.

    Post edited by FirstBastion on
  • thedoctorthedoctor Posts: 159
    3WC said:

    I agree with what Diva said. I also kind of laughed at the line, "It's starting to burn my exposed skin." Um, real people don't talk like that. It comes across as really unatural, like reading a script. If something is starting to burn, you would say, "Ow, it's burning me," or just, "My skin is burning!"

    Just a minor, hopefully constructive, criticism. It looks great overall!

    Another awesome critique. I started laughing too! .... This is the kind of feedback that really is helpful. Thank you so much!

  • thedoctorthedoctor Posts: 159
    3WC said:

     If something is starting to burn, you would say, "Ow, it's burning me," or just, "My skin is burning!"

    Perhaps an additional smaller panel showing blisters on the skin with a "Closeup". Lots of ways to share the new info.

    That is a truly fantastic suggestion that I am going to take. This is the kind of detail I appreciate in works I enjoy and a great reminder to me. Done!

  • 3Diva3Diva Posts: 11,018
    edited August 2020

    In writing the script for my comic I've been reminded of the need to "KISS" - Keep It Simple, Silly. So often we get off on a tangent or steer away from the basics, and it can confuse the focus of the story and set us off in the wrong direction - which not only can lose the viewer's interest but makes it less pleasant for ourselves as storytellers as well. Things don't flow as well, and it can lead to frustration with ourselves and the way things in our comic are progressing (or not progressing).

    While writing my comic script I found myself veering off course and getting lost a bit in the direction of the story. So I sat down and re-established the basics for myself. This has helped me get my head focused again and back into a better "storytelling" headspace. I hope you don't mind me just sharing some of my thoughts on visual storytelling here. Thes are pretty much basic, but something I needed to Re-Remember. Maybe they can be helpful to some of you guys as well. :)

     

    1. Write it down - don't wing it. 

    You may know the main idea of what you want a scene to look like and what you want to happen, but you haven't really fleshed out the details of how it's going to come together, and figure you'll just start putting the scene together and work it out from there. This is super tempting because we often just want to "Dive Into" and start with the art right away. While a few lucky people might be able to pull this off, I highly recommend planning out each panel in detail first. Writing down in a script how exactly you want each scene to look can go a long way to ensure consistency and focus. Once you know exactly how the scene should look, you'll spend less time fussing around with it and less time trying different things and adding this, removing that, trying this, etc. Planning out your panels can be a big time saver and help keep things consistent throughout the comic. You can give a detailed description of each panel in a script or you could storyboard each panel - some like doing both to really solidify the action or visuals before going in and establishing the art.

     

    2. Before you even start your script, know how you want your story to end.

    It's tempting to move forward with a project when you have the general story in mind, you have the characters established, how it starts, what kind of conflict you want, but if you don't have an established ending in mind it can be way too easy to steer off course or forget the main focus and direction of your characters. Knowing how you want them to end up before you even start will ensure that every action, in-action, and event in the story all is leading up to that conclusion.

     

    3 The Hook

    In this day and age, with diminishing attention spans and with people having nearly unlimited entertainment options, a hook is very much needed, in my opinion. The hook should be short and grab the viewer's attention right away. An enticing appetiser to let people know WHY they should read your comic. What is going to happen in your comic that they should stick around for? Or at least provide a taste of the kind of storytelling that they'll be diving into. Keep it short and interesting - leave them wanting to know more so that they'll keep reading.

     

    4 The Intro

    The intro can be different from the hook. The intro provides the need to know information - it can help establish where the story is taking place and who we're watching. Generally speaking, the intro should include the main character being very "themselves" - whatever their personality is like and/or what their main motivations are should be brought into the spotlight (unless the story dictates that they are to remain mysterious - but even then give the viewer enough information about the character to make them want to know what happens to them). We need to know who it is the story is about and, generally speaking, we want the viewer to become interested in what happens with them (and eventually get the viewer to actually really care about what happens to them).

     

    5 The Character's Motivations

    Every character in your story needs to have motivation. You can't just have "bad guy doing bad things" - that's boring and you'll lose the viewer's interest. What do they want? What do they need? What drives them? Keeping in mind each character's motivation as you're writing their actions and words in the scene can help keep the story flowing in the right direction and help establish consistency. Make sure you give your main villain and your main character (assuming they're two separate characters) fully flesh out personalities and motivations. You can have the most interesting main character in the world, but if the main villain is two dimensional and boring the story just isn't going to be as interesting or engaging. And, while side characters don't need to be "fleshed out" to the scope and extent that your main character and main villain should be, they definitely should have their own established motivations and personalities. The different personalities and motivations need to be kept in mind when writing each scene.

     

     

    Those are just some of my thoughts and stuff I've "re-learned" on the subject of visual storytelling. A lot of it is pretty much the basics, but sometimes we lose sight of the basics and need to remind ourselves or refresh our memories on things. I wrote it down for myself but thought I'd share it with you guys as well. Hopefully, it may be helpful to others too. :)

    Post edited by 3Diva on
  • thedoctorthedoctor Posts: 159

    Really good stuff @Divamakeup. Thanks for this.

  • thedoctorthedoctor Posts: 159
    edited August 2020

    In writing the script for my comic I've been reminded of the need to "KISS" - Keep It Simple, Silly. So often we get off on a tangent or steer away from the basics, and it can confuse the focus of the story and set us off in the wrong direction - which not only can lose the viewer's interest but makes it less pleasant for ourselves as storytellers as well. Things don't flow as well, and it can lead to frustration with ourselves and the way things in our comic are progressing (or not progressing).

    While writing my comic script I found myself veering off course and getting lost a bit in the direction of the story. So I sat down and re-established the basics for myself. This has helped me get my head focused again and back into a better "storytelling" headspace. I hope you don't mind me just sharing some of my thoughts on visual storytelling here. Thes are pretty much basic, but something I needed to Re-Remember. Maybe they can be helpful to some of you guys as well. :) ...

    @Divamakeup, I'm having trouble committing to a full page-by-page/panel-by-panel script. I do have some experience writing for film and television and have done a fair amount of storyboarding but that feels way different to me (at least from my own workflow) than the "micro-management" of laying out a comic page by page and panel by panel. When I have been fortunate enough to be on set as a writer I've seen how the director and DP approach a shooting script by developing shots and coverage sufficient to allow the editor and director to put together the story in a final cut. I've particularly appreciated the occasions I've been able to give notes after viewing rough cuts from an editor and it is remarkable how a film comes together and becomes much more tight through such iterative editing. So I guess I've been approaching my personal comic project with the notion that I'll assemble pages and panels after rendering all the "coverage." Right now I'm working from what is more akin to a "treatment" than a shooting script. I do know the story arc and I've pretty carefully nailed down the third act, but I haven't worked out all the dialogue and specific scenes. You have convinced me I need to finish a full script rather than my current loosey-goosey approach but I'm questioning whether I should really script out each page and its panels. How do you determine panel layout for a particular page? Are there theories for page layout and composition in the comic medium and do you have any good resources you would recommend? I think I need to better understand how to approach a comic project by letting go of the notion that the story will come together in an editing session the way it does in film and television. 

     

    Post edited by thedoctor on
  • LinwellyLinwelly Posts: 5,202
    thedoctor said:

    In writing the script for my comic I've been reminded of the need to "KISS" - Keep It Simple, Silly. So often we get off on a tangent or steer away from the basics, and it can confuse the focus of the story and set us off in the wrong direction - which not only can lose the viewer's interest but makes it less pleasant for ourselves as storytellers as well. Things don't flow as well, and it can lead to frustration with ourselves and the way things in our comic are progressing (or not progressing).

    While writing my comic script I found myself veering off course and getting lost a bit in the direction of the story. So I sat down and re-established the basics for myself. This has helped me get my head focused again and back into a better "storytelling" headspace. I hope you don't mind me just sharing some of my thoughts on visual storytelling here. Thes are pretty much basic, but something I needed to Re-Remember. Maybe they can be helpful to some of you guys as well. :) ...

    @Divamakeup, I'm having trouble committing to a full page-by-page/panel-by-panel script. I do have some experience writing for film and television and have done a fair amount of storyboarding but that feels way different to me (at least from my own workflow) than the "micro-management" of laying out a comic page by page and panel by panel. When I have been fortunate enough to be on set as a writer I've seen how the director and DP approach a shooting script by developing shots and coverage sufficient to allow the editor and director to put together the story in a final cut. I've particularly appreciated the occasions I've been able to give notes after viewing rough cuts from an editor and it is remarkable how a film comes together and becomes much more tight through such iterative editing. So I guess I've been approaching my personal comic project with the notion that I'll assemble pages and panels after rendering all the "coverage." Right now I'm working from what is more akin to a "treatment" than a shooting script. I do know the story arc and I've pretty carefully nailed down the third act, but I haven't worked out all the dialogue and specific scenes. You have convinced me I need to finish a full script rather than my current loosey-goosey approach but I'm questioning whether I should really script out each page and its panels. How do you determine panel layout for a particular page? Are there theories for page layout and composition in the comic medium and do you have any good resources you would recommend? I think I need to better understand how to approach a comic project by letting go of the notion that the story will come together in an editing session the way it does in film and television. 

     

    I'm using a similar aproach but then it differs in details from what Divamakeup wrote.

    I wrote down all my story in raw form. adding side information and if a special dialogue came up during that I wrote that down as well. This contains where my story goes, character descriptions, character developments, settings, kind of a roadmap with places(situations) I really need to go and a defined end.

    From that I'm writing script for each "page" putting that in "" because I'm using scroll down format, which has a bit more of film and less of book. So, maybe say, episode. Start of episode I make a detailed description of the settings, if I already know I write down stuff from my product library I will use for that. I note camera angles, personel in the single panels and the dialogues. Since with the scroll down format I have more gutter space, I sometimes use that for mood changes (colour, at some point I used 01 code or unix code in the gutter space). With this I omit the step of thumbnailing pages.  Personally I believe that thumbnailing a page format would be advantagous since the reading way is a different when you look at a full page. You can eg make things happen simultaneously, you need to get clear where your speechballons go. create a flow between panels.

    Since you're asking for resources

    Griffin_Avid from this forums has given a two session course with Digital Art Live:

    https://www.daz3d.com/comic-book-creation--foundation-course-part-1

    https://www.daz3d.com/comic-book-creation--foundation-course-part-2

    He uses comic book format.

    and some humble self promotion for my webinar recording: https://www.daz3d.com/ten-style-secrets-for-sequential-art

    also Digital Art Live offers comunity webinars every other month where all sorts of story telling things with digital art can be dicussed.

     

    But of course dicussing here is fine as well :D

     

     

     

  • thedoctorthedoctor Posts: 159
    Linwelly said:
    thedoctor said:

    In writing the script for my comic I've been reminded of the need to "KISS" - Keep It Simple, Silly. So often we get off on a tangent or steer away from the basics, and it can confuse the focus of the story and set us off in the wrong direction - which not only can lose the viewer's interest but makes it less pleasant for ourselves as storytellers as well. Things don't flow as well, and it can lead to frustration with ourselves and the way things in our comic are progressing (or not progressing).

    While writing my comic script I found myself veering off course and getting lost a bit in the direction of the story. So I sat down and re-established the basics for myself. This has helped me get my head focused again and back into a better "storytelling" headspace. I hope you don't mind me just sharing some of my thoughts on visual storytelling here. Thes are pretty much basic, but something I needed to Re-Remember. Maybe they can be helpful to some of you guys as well. :) ...

    @Divamakeup, I'm having trouble committing to a full page-by-page/panel-by-panel script. I do have some experience writing for film and television and have done a fair amount of storyboarding but that feels way different to me (at least from my own workflow) than the "micro-management" of laying out a comic page by page and panel by panel. When I have been fortunate enough to be on set as a writer I've seen how the director and DP approach a shooting script by developing shots and coverage sufficient to allow the editor and director to put together the story in a final cut. I've particularly appreciated the occasions I've been able to give notes after viewing rough cuts from an editor and it is remarkable how a film comes together and becomes much more tight through such iterative editing. So I guess I've been approaching my personal comic project with the notion that I'll assemble pages and panels after rendering all the "coverage." Right now I'm working from what is more akin to a "treatment" than a shooting script. I do know the story arc and I've pretty carefully nailed down the third act, but I haven't worked out all the dialogue and specific scenes. You have convinced me I need to finish a full script rather than my current loosey-goosey approach but I'm questioning whether I should really script out each page and its panels. How do you determine panel layout for a particular page? Are there theories for page layout and composition in the comic medium and do you have any good resources you would recommend? I think I need to better understand how to approach a comic project by letting go of the notion that the story will come together in an editing session the way it does in film and television. 

     

    I'm using a similar aproach but then it differs in details from what Divamakeup wrote.

    I wrote down all my story in raw form. adding side information and if a special dialogue came up during that I wrote that down as well. This contains where my story goes, character descriptions, character developments, settings, kind of a roadmap with places(situations) I really need to go and a defined end.

    From that I'm writing script for each "page" putting that in "" because I'm using scroll down format, which has a bit more of film and less of book. So, maybe say, episode. Start of episode I make a detailed description of the settings, if I already know I write down stuff from my product library I will use for that. I note camera angles, personel in the single panels and the dialogues. Since with the scroll down format I have more gutter space, I sometimes use that for mood changes (colour, at some point I used 01 code or unix code in the gutter space). With this I omit the step of thumbnailing pages.  Personally I believe that thumbnailing a page format would be advantagous since the reading way is a different when you look at a full page. You can eg make things happen simultaneously, you need to get clear where your speechballons go. create a flow between panels.

    Since you're asking for resources

    Griffin_Avid from this forums has given a two session course with Digital Art Live:

    https://www.daz3d.com/comic-book-creation--foundation-course-part-1

    https://www.daz3d.com/comic-book-creation--foundation-course-part-2

    He uses comic book format.

    and some humble self promotion for my webinar recording: https://www.daz3d.com/ten-style-secrets-for-sequential-art

    also Digital Art Live offers comunity webinars every other month where all sorts of story telling things with digital art can be dicussed.

     

    But of course dicussing here is fine as well :D

    This is truly awesome. Thank you SO much! 

    I would be very interested to learn what you (and any others willing to chime in) are using to create your pages and panels as well as your thoughts on publishing your work online. What do you think of Tapas or other sites? What about your own site? I'm looking at Wordpress with Comicpress/Comic Easel but would be very open to thoughts and suggestions you and others may have.

  • LinwellyLinwelly Posts: 5,202

    Glad that you think that will help :D

    About publishing, I'm currently uploading my comic on webtoons (follow the banner below this message) in the full format, and single panel wise in my deviatnArt gallery. that is a bit clunky to read since it was desinged as scroll down so better look at the webtoon.

    Though not entirely happy with webtoons, it's a good and easy start, but doesn't work well with comic book format, it's basically for people to watch on their smartphones (similar to tapas).

    Its a ready set site with a ton of (potential) readers and a place you can point people to, no costs no maintenance of a site but no links of my own liking to other peoples projects. But I guess webtoons is mostly adressed to a younger readership with a huge focus on romance stuff and a liking for Anime style. Makes me think of moving the project somewhere else but then I do have over 1k of readers there who subscribed.

    The own site, I tried that some years ago with something else, at some point the site got hijacked and ... bruh was a lot of work, i rather use the time making more panels. there are other places (tapas is basically the webtoons with a different name and a bit easier going on adult pictures) then there are the self run sites like smackjeves, spiderforest etc. I'm still considering moving to hiveworks comics but they do have a higher standart, so not exactly for beginners.

    what are your questions about page creation and panels?

  • thedoctorthedoctor Posts: 159
    Linwelly said:

    ...

    what are your questions about page creation and panels?

    I'm interested in how people make their pages ... i.e., Photoshop?  Clip Art Studio? ComicLife?  Something else? I love the wide variety of styles and looks I've seen in this thread (I spent some time with Taiduo and love it, by the way!). 

  • LinwellyLinwelly Posts: 5,202

    Ah ok, I'm using Gimp for everything that doesn't happen in DAZ Studio for my work. I'm using Clip Studio for some things but nothing with my comic so far.

    Glad you liked my comic :D

  • FirstBastionFirstBastion Posts: 5,432
    edited August 2020

    I'm sure this books has been mentioned some where back in the pages  but in case it is new information. It was written back in the mid 90's and is still applicable today. Understanding the theory and the medium that is sequential art.

    An absolute must read book is Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics The Invisible Art

    https://www.amazon.ca/Understanding-Comics-Invisible-McCloud-Paperback/dp/B00LLOMJP8

    Post edited by FirstBastion on
  • thedoctorthedoctor Posts: 159

    I'm sure this books has been mentioned some where back in the pages  but in case it is new information. It was written back in the mid 90's and is still applicable today. Understanding the theory and the medium that is sequential art.

    An absolute must read book is Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics The Invisible Art

    https://www.amazon.ca/Understanding-Comics-Invisible-McCloud-Paperback/dp/B00LLOMJP

    Thanks so much for this. I found a reasonably priced used copy in good condition on Amazon and have ordered it. I really appreciate it when people recommend resources that they have learned from. Will be so glad to have it in my library. 

  • duckbombduckbomb Posts: 535
    thedoctor said:

    I'm sure this books has been mentioned some where back in the pages  but in case it is new information. It was written back in the mid 90's and is still applicable today. Understanding the theory and the medium that is sequential art.

    An absolute must read book is Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics The Invisible Art

    https://www.amazon.ca/Understanding-Comics-Invisible-McCloud-Paperback/dp/B00LLOMJP

    Thanks so much for this. I found a reasonably priced used copy in good condition on Amazon and have ordered it. I really appreciate it when people recommend resources that they have learned from. Will be so glad to have it in my library. 

    You're about to be hooked.  I wish I had just bought his other two books at the same time, because I ended up just buying them one at a time... THAT one, though (Understanding Comics), is about to be the book you turn back to every few years just to "brush up" on the basics.  It's weird, how simply reading about someone casually presenting the medium can inspire and light that fire under your butt. 

    For myself, I purchased Clip Studio to do my panel work, but I ended up just enjoying the flexibility of Photoshop the best.  I'm sure CSP does everything PS does (and I'm sure GIMP is no different), it's just all about the learning curve and the feel of it all.  For me, I usually just make panels by way of creating shapes of white, then using that as a mask when placing my images, and then finally I use a standard stroke outline to give it the border.  Nothing fancy there.

    One thing I did early on, and I'm happy I did, was to do the work and test out a crap ton of fonts.  I ended up purchasing one (although there are plenty out there for free, so long as you're careful to ensure you find one with a commercial license), and it's my basic font I pretty much use all of the time.  Until I did that, each comic I did had a different feel just because the font always looked so different.  I save so much time, and my comics (IMO) have a consistant look simply because I settled on my font early on.  Obviously, I'm not telling you to settle on just one, but it's good to not be knee deep in a comic and then realize yoru font isn't working to enhance your pages...  which is another hard lesson I learned...  lol.

  • 3Diva3Diva Posts: 11,018
    thedoctor said:

    In writing the script for my comic I've been reminded of the need to "KISS" - Keep It Simple, Silly. So often we get off on a tangent or steer away from the basics, and it can confuse the focus of the story and set us off in the wrong direction - which not only can lose the viewer's interest but makes it less pleasant for ourselves as storytellers as well. Things don't flow as well, and it can lead to frustration with ourselves and the way things in our comic are progressing (or not progressing).

    While writing my comic script I found myself veering off course and getting lost a bit in the direction of the story. So I sat down and re-established the basics for myself. This has helped me get my head focused again and back into a better "storytelling" headspace. I hope you don't mind me just sharing some of my thoughts on visual storytelling here. Thes are pretty much basic, but something I needed to Re-Remember. Maybe they can be helpful to some of you guys as well. :) ...

    ..How do you determine panel layout for a particular page? Are there theories for page layout and composition in the comic medium and do you have any good resources you would recommend? I think I need to better understand how to approach a comic project by letting go of the notion that the story will come together in an editing session the way it does in film and television. 

     

    I think the panel layout is likely best determined by the information you wish to present to the audience. An establishing shot, for instance, in many cases, is going to need to be bigger - showing the lay of the land. How best to show that environment? If it's a city with super-tall buildings you could go vertical and show the height/intimidation of the tall buildings. Or you could show a sweeping horizontal view of the scope of the city. Or birds-eye view looking down upon the city. What emotion do you want to attempt to elicit in the viewer? You can use the shot to help solidify the headspace that the main character is going through. Are they feeling trapped? Isolated? You could show the city from the street level looking up - the buildings large, looming, crowding in, and intimidating like bullies in a schoolyard. Is your character happy? You could show a large horizontal scenic view of the city with a beautiful skyline and bright fluffy clouds drifting overhead. How you "frame" your environment can go a long way in helping to "set the mood". How you want to "frame" each scene will lean into determining your panel layout.

    In the end though, there really isn't a "right or wrong" way to do it - it just comes down whatever works best for YOU. Maybe having an established page layout would be the most help to you and your workflow. In which chase you can study some of the layouts of some of your favorite comic pages and plan your layouts that way (not an exact copy, of course, but it can help give you ideas and a direction). Or, if having more solid established layouts is helpful to you, then maybe something like Comic Life and their page templates would be most useful for you and your workflow. In the end, everyone is different so what may work for one creator may not be very helpful to another, and vice versa. Whatever works for you, personally, and your workflow, that's the "right way" to go, imo. :)

  • thedoctorthedoctor Posts: 159

    You're about to be hooked.  I wish I had just bought his other two books at the same time, because I ended up just buying them one at a time... THAT one, though (Understanding Comics), is about to be the book you turn back to every few years just to "brush up" on the basics.  It's weird, how simply reading about someone casually presenting the medium can inspire and light that fire under your butt. 

    For myself, I purchased Clip Studio to do my panel work, but I ended up just enjoying the flexibility of Photoshop the best.  I'm sure CSP does everything PS does (and I'm sure GIMP is no different), it's just all about the learning curve and the feel of it all.  For me, I usually just make panels by way of creating shapes of white, then using that as a mask when placing my images, and then finally I use a standard stroke outline to give it the border.  Nothing fancy there.

    One thing I did early on, and I'm happy I did, was to do the work and test out a crap ton of fonts.  I ended up purchasing one (although there are plenty out there for free, so long as you're careful to ensure you find one with a commercial license), and it's my basic font I pretty much use all of the time.  Until I did that, each comic I did had a different feel just because the font always looked so different.  I save so much time, and my comics (IMO) have a consistant look simply because I settled on my font early on.  Obviously, I'm not telling you to settle on just one, but it's good to not be knee deep in a comic and then realize yoru font isn't working to enhance your pages...  which is another hard lesson I learned...  lol.

    @duckbomb I REALLY love your pages and the look you are achieving. I'd love to see some more when you are able to post. 

    Hope you guys don't mind me promoting this here, but this Sunday I'm teaching a class on using Poser to create line art for comics and illustration. This is a paid class and, although it focuses on Poser, there are some general tips you could apply to using Daz Studio. Here's the link (with a space before the .com – you'll need to delete that in order to use it):  https://digitalartlive .com/event/create-a-signature-line-art-style-with-poser/

    @mmitchell_houston I am really sorry I missed your class Sunday. Please let me know when I may be able to take it again or if I can buy a recorded version. I've been corresponding with an artist on Deviant Art who does amazing work using the old Firefly render in Poser and I'm extremely interested in learning more about how you achieve your beautiful results.

    I'm beginning to realize that many comic fans are heavily prejudiced against 3D comics and I find that fact a bit depressing. Granted, a lot of work falls into the uncanny valley or is simply poorly done, but that's a fact with any art form. I can draw well and have done traditional cell work both with physical pencils/inks and digitally. However, I prefer hyperrealism and the effects achievable with lighting and rendering tools. Nevertheless, I would like to experiment more with NPR. The cell shaded render by @thecardinal is quite awesome. I didn't realize there is an Octane render plug-in for Daz Studio and her mentioning it was another example of why I love this thread and the sharing of information.

  • 3Diva3Diva Posts: 11,018

    I'm sure this books has been mentioned some where back in the pages  but in case it is new information. It was written back in the mid 90's and is still applicable today. Understanding the theory and the medium that is sequential art.

    An absolute must read book is Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics The Invisible Art

    https://www.amazon.ca/Understanding-Comics-Invisible-McCloud-Paperback/dp/B00LLOMJP8

    Thank you for the suggestion. :) I look forward to checking it out!

  • thedoctor said:
    How do you determine panel layout for a particular page? Are there theories for page layout and composition in the comic medium and do you have any good resources you would recommend? I think I need to better understand how to approach a comic project by letting go of the notion that the story will come together in an editing session the way it does in film and television. I'm interested in how people make their pages ... i.e., Photoshop? Clip Art Studio? ComicLife? Something else? I love the wide variety of styles and looks I've seen in this thread (I spent some time with Taiduo and love it, by the way!).

    @mmitchell_houston I am really sorry I missed your class Sunday. Please let me know when I may be able to take it again or if I can buy a recorded version. I've been corresponding with an artist on Deviant Art who does amazing work using the old Firefly render in Poser and I'm extremely interested in learning more about how you achieve your beautiful results.

    I'm beginning to realize that many comic fans are heavily prejudiced against 3D comics and I find that fact a bit depressing. Granted, a lot of work falls into the uncanny valley or is simply poorly done, but that's a fact with any art form. I can draw well and have done traditional cell work both with physical pencils/inks and digitally. However, I prefer hyperrealism and the effects achievable with lighting and rendering tools. Nevertheless, I would like to experiment more with NPR. The cell shaded render by @thecardinal is quite awesome. I didn't realize there is an Octane render plug-in for Daz Studio and her mentioning it was another example of why I love this thread and the sharing of information.

    Hey there, sorry for cribbing a bunch of comments together and skipping so much stuff. There's just been so much good discussion going on while I've been busy with my class and other projects (I'm working on some book illustrations at the moment that should have been done more than a week ago) that I've been remiss in keeping up with things here.

    To start off with, I liked your pages: they were raw and need another pass, but there is definitely something there that you can build on. I'm going to hit you with a few quick things, and then later I'll come back to talk about some of the more detailed observations I had on your pages. To answer your direct question about resources, oh yeah! I cannot say enough good things about Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud. It is one of the three seminal books and one "not-a-book" that I recommend to anyone interested in making their own comics. I'm going to list them in the order in which I believe they should be read (and it's not the order in which I read them, btw):

    1. Comics and Sequential Art: Principles and Practices from the Legendary Cartoonist by Will Eisner: This is an updated version of the original seminal study of comics by one of the legends in the field, Will Eisner. The book lays out a lot of principles and has a good mix between theory and practical advice. Think of this as an important book that fuses theory and practicality in terms of shots, structure and story.
    2. How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way by Stan Lee and John Buscema: Another classic, and the first book I read on the subject. Even though it is focused on traditional drawing mediums (it was created in the 1970s, after all), it has solid, practical advice on how to create a professionally balanced page that moves the story along in a dramatic way. Think of this as a practical primer on setting up shots and pages. If this were a book on filmmaking, this would be the one that tells you what lens to use to achieve a specific type of shot.
    3. 22 Panels That Always Work by Wally Wood: This is NOT a book, but rather a poster that was created by comics legend Wally Wood. This is exactly what it says it is: examples of panels that always work on a standard comics page. You cant get more practical than this: http://blog.christopherjonesart.com/comic-book-storytelling-wally-woods-22-panels/
    4. Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud (and his follow-up, Making Comics): This is probably the most important theoretical book on the subject of comics available today. It is a foundational study of the medium and if you are interested in this topic, it will be captivating. As said by another poster, I return to it every few years and learn something new from another reading. 

     

    So, why am I suggesting this reading order? I'm going to put this in terms of film (I studied film a little in college, and made a few student documentary projects that are horrid). I'm worried that if you start with Understanding Comics you will get to mired down in theory and ignore the practical stuff that is covered more succinctly in the other books and poster. In other words, I think you should have a solid foundation of when to use an establishing shot a close-up and understand why you should be varying the size of figures in your panels. Once you have built this foundation, move more into Scott's book and you'll get a lot more out of it.

    I also hate to say this, but I've seen a few people dive into Scott's book and come away with a "comic as ART" viewpoint that makes them skip the fundamentals. In other words, they make comics kind of like those horrid student art films that almost every student of filmmaking creates: beautiful, metaphoric... and indecipherable! I think you want to make an action/adventure film like Spielberg or Cameron, not an Ingmar Bergman (although that might be fun -- Ingmar Bergman's "Aliens vs. Predator").

     

    I also strongly urge you to read this site: https://blambot.com/pages/lettering-tips
    Simply put, you need a little help with your lettering. This one-page guide will do wonders to taking your work to the next level. 

     

    Gotta run! I'll write more later, but good luck!

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

    Thanks for asking about the class. I will let you know when the recording is available for sale.

     

  • Hey, a quick comment about CAPTIONS.

    When do you use them? When do they add value to the story? WHO is the narrator?

    I'm very familiar with the current trend in comics to not use an omniscient narrator. It's not a trend I always agree with, btw, but that is the current trend.  Personally, I like the old-school Marvel captions where Stan Lee interjects his personality into the captions. It really added a different level of personality to the books that we would not have experienced otherwise. Nowaways, the trend is to have one of the characters narrate the book. This is overused in the Batman comics (in my opinion). By overused, I mean just that. Whereas Batman's narration was essential in The Dark Knight Returns and even in Batman: The Cult, I was reading some recent Bat books and found that the narration didn't really bring new insights into the characters or his process.So, I guess I'm saying, when you use a character as a narrator, it can work wonderfully. Or, like anything else, it can be dull when not used well.

    I'll also fall back on something that writer/editor Roy Thomas said about the use of captions and sound effects (the was later in his career, because he said he overused them both for about the first 10 years of his professional life). Basically, he said, don't use the caption to describe what can be seen in the panel. BUT, don't be afraid to use it to describe what would be picked up by some of the other senses, and even then only do it when it reveals something more than mere pictures or even dialogue can accomplish.

    Picture a scene where a guy is eating fried chicken (maybe your soldiers are being treated to a meal somewhere in a mess hall or at their commander's house).

    • You could just play it straight with a few panels showing action and dialogue: He picks up a drumstick, bites into it and then tells the hostess that it is wonderful, thanks for inviting him over.
    • You could play it for laughs, again with pictures and dialogue: He picks up a drumstick at a buffet, takes a bite, his eyes roll back in his head and he has a big, wet drooling smile of ecstasy. Next panel, his plate is piled up with all the fried chicken and he walks away with all of it, leaving a bunch of angry guys staring at him and the empty platter on the buffet.
    • Or, try it with a caption that brings in something you could never show us – using the same simple panels in the first example, but you including a caption in each panel that makes it clear we're hearing his thoughts: "It was the smell that caught me by surprise. Faint as a half-forgotten ghost of a  memory. The aroma awakening something that had been lying dormant in some part of my brain that I had shut off years ago. But one bite... and it was like the flavor exploded in my mouth, tearing down the walls I'd carefully constructed between the person I was and who I was now.  Suddenly I was 10-years-old again, sitting on my grandma's back porch after a hard summer's day at play. That summer was probably the last time I ever felt 'innocent.' "

    Okay, obviously I went overboard with the last bit of narration, but I think I made a point in there somewhere. There is no way you could ever SHOW things like that. And, of course, there's no reason you might want to go that deep into your characters' back stories. 

     

    So, let's look at using a caption here on your page (and yes, I like the idea of showing the blisters, but maybe you need a little more set-up and can combine the description of the scene with text that brings in another sense (in this case, smell):

     

    PANEL 1 CAPTION: The smell was faint at first. Unpleasant and unfamiliar -- unsettling as it thickened to a stifling haze in the lamplight.

    PANEL 2 CAPTION: At first they thought it was nerves making the hair on their exposed forearms tingle - -

    PANEL 3 DIALOGUE: Holy crap! I'm burning up!

    SHOW THE BLISTERED ARM, Next page show them getting respirators on.

     

    Anyway, just a thought on how to approach this. I've really gotta run! Adios!

  • thedoctorthedoctor Posts: 159
    thedoctor said:
     
    1. Comics and Sequential Art: Principles and Practices from the Legendary Cartoonist by Will Eisner: This is an updated version of the original seminal study of comics by one of the legends in the field, Will Eisner. The book lays out a lot of principles and has a good mix between theory and practical advice. Think of this as an important book that fuses theory and practicality in terms of shots, structure and story.
    2. How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way by Stan Lee and John Buscema: Another classic, and the first book I read on the subject. Even though it is focused on traditional drawing mediums (it was created in the 1970s, after all), it has solid, practical advice on how to create a professionally balanced page that moves the story along in a dramatic way. Think of this as a practical primer on setting up shots and pages. If this were a book on filmmaking, this would be the one that tells you what lens to use to achieve a specific type of shot.
    3. 22 Panels That Always Work by Wally Wood: This is NOT a book, but rather a poster that was created by comics legend Wally Wood. This is exactly what it says it is: examples of panels that always work on a standard comics page. You cant get more practical than this: http://blog.christopherjonesart.com/comic-book-storytelling-wally-woods-22-panels/
    4. Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud (and his follow-up, Making Comics): This is probably the most important theoretical book on the subject of comics available today. It is a foundational study of the medium and if you are interested in this topic, it will be captivating. As said by another poster, I return to it every few years and learn something new from another reading. 

     

    So, why am I suggesting this reading order? I'm going to put this in terms of film (I studied film a little in college, and made a few student documentary projects that are horrid). I'm worried that if you start with Understanding Comics you will get to mired down in theory and ignore the practical stuff that is covered more succinctly in the other books and poster. In other words, I think you should have a solid foundation of when to use an establishing shot a close-up and understand why you should be varying the size of figures in your panels. Once you have built this foundation, move more into Scott's book and you'll get a lot more out of it.

    I also hate to say this, but I've seen a few people dive into Scott's book and come away with a "comic as ART" viewpoint that makes them skip the fundamentals. In other words, they make comics kind of like those horrid student art films that almost every student of filmmaking creates: beautiful, metaphoric... and indecipherable! I think you want to make an action/adventure film like Spielberg or Cameron, not an Ingmar Bergman (although that might be fun -- Ingmar Bergman's "Aliens vs. Predator").

     

    I also strongly urge you to read this site: https://blambot.com/pages/lettering-tips
    Simply put, you need a little help with your lettering. This one-page guide will do wonders to taking your work to the next level. 

    Wow. I can't even express how much I appreciate everything here. What a thoughtful and extremely pointed collection of suggestions you have provided here. I'm truly grateful. 

  • thedoctorthedoctor Posts: 159

    Hey, a quick comment about CAPTIONS.

    When do you use them? When do they add value to the story? WHO is the narrator?

    I'm very familiar with the current trend in comics to not use an omniscient narrator. It's not a trend I always agree with, btw, but that is the current trend.  Personally, I like the old-school Marvel captions where Stan Lee interjects his personality into the captions. It really added a different level of personality to the books that we would not have experienced otherwise. Nowaways, the trend is to have one of the characters narrate the book. This is overused in the Batman comics (in my opinion). By overused, I mean just that. Whereas Batman's narration was essential in The Dark Knight Returns and even in Batman: The Cult, I was reading some recent Bat books and found that the narration didn't really bring new insights into the characters or his process.So, I guess I'm saying, when you use a character as a narrator, it can work wonderfully. Or, like anything else, it can be dull when not used well.

    I'll also fall back on something that writer/editor Roy Thomas said about the use of captions and sound effects (the was later in his career, because he said he overused them both for about the first 10 years of his professional life). Basically, he said, don't use the caption to describe what can be seen in the panel. BUT, don't be afraid to use it to describe what would be picked up by some of the other senses, and even then only do it when it reveals something more than mere pictures or even dialogue can accomplish.

    Picture a scene where a guy is eating fried chicken (maybe your soldiers are being treated to a meal somewhere in a mess hall or at their commander's house).

    • You could just play it straight with a few panels showing action and dialogue: He picks up a drumstick, bites into it and then tells the hostess that it is wonderful, thanks for inviting him over.
    • You could play it for laughs, again with pictures and dialogue: He picks up a drumstick at a buffet, takes a bite, his eyes roll back in his head and he has a big, wet drooling smile of ecstasy. Next panel, his plate is piled up with all the fried chicken and he walks away with all of it, leaving a bunch of angry guys staring at him and the empty platter on the buffet.
    • Or, try it with a caption that brings in something you could never show us – using the same simple panels in the first example, but you including a caption in each panel that makes it clear we're hearing his thoughts: "It was the smell that caught me by surprise. Faint as a half-forgotten ghost of a  memory. The aroma awakening something that had been lying dormant in some part of my brain that I had shut off years ago. But one bite... and it was like the flavor exploded in my mouth, tearing down the walls I'd carefully constructed between the person I was and who I was now.  Suddenly I was 10-years-old again, sitting on my grandma's back porch after a hard summer's day at play. That summer was probably the last time I ever felt 'innocent.' "

    Okay, obviously I went overboard with the last bit of narration, but I think I made a point in there somewhere. There is no way you could ever SHOW things like that. And, of course, there's no reason you might want to go that deep into your characters' back stories. 

     

    So, let's look at using a caption here on your page (and yes, I like the idea of showing the blisters, but maybe you need a little more set-up and can combine the description of the scene with text that brings in another sense (in this case, smell):

     

    PANEL 1 CAPTION: The smell was faint at first. Unpleasant and unfamiliar -- unsettling as it thickened to a stifling haze in the lamplight.

    PANEL 2 CAPTION: At first they thought it was nerves making the hair on their exposed forearms tingle - -

    PANEL 3 DIALOGUE: Holy crap! I'm burning up!

    SHOW THE BLISTERED ARM, Next page show them getting respirators on.

     

    Anyway, just a thought on how to approach this. I've really gotta run! Adios!

    THIS is really great stuff. You've given me a whole new outlook on how to approach this medium. This is PRACTICAL and USEFUL information. You are a great teacher and this makes a real difference.

  • FirstBastionFirstBastion Posts: 5,432
    edited August 2020

    Just throwing this out there as an option for other software to consider,  I bought my kids Comic Creator Studio software awhile back to put together simple sequential art pages. It has built in page templates (you can alter them) and you can create your own layouts, and it makes easy work of bubbles and captions. It also imports artwork and automatically masks each panel. It's a bit finnicky at times but it's relatively easy to use. I did pick it up off the shelf of a brick and mortar store.   I personally like the flexibility of Photoshop myself. Though I am certainly open to considering new recommendations for layout software.

    https://summitsoft.com/products/comic-creator/

    My son did use it to make this page.

     

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    Post edited by FirstBastion on
  • FirstBastionFirstBastion Posts: 5,432

    PANEL 1 CAPTION: The smell was faint at first. Unpleasant and unfamiliar -- unsettling as it thickened to a stifling haze in the lamplight.

    PANEL 2 CAPTION: At first they thought it was nerves making the hair on their exposed forearms tingle - -

    PANEL 3 DIALOGUE: Holy crap! I'm burning up!

    SHOW THE BLISTERED ARM, Next page show them getting respirators on.

    The two captions work well,  you might want to consider more dialogue and panels to expand the scene and their reactions. You control how fast or slow the exposition happens. Slower panels adds tension.  You could have desperation thrown in there. Fumbling with the masks. Each second causing more damage. One of the guys gets his mask on,  the other finds himself panicked, and has the blisters expanding to his face.  Or not.  Lot of ways to tell the story.

  • Just throwing this out there as an option for other software to consider,  I bought my kids Comic Creator Studio software awhile back to put together simple sequential art pages. It has built in page templates (you can alter them) and you can create your own layouts, and it makes easy work of bubbles and captions. It also imports artwork and automatically masks each panel. It's a bit finnicky at times but it's relatively easy to use. I did pick it up off the shelf of a brick and mortar store.   I personally like the flexibility of Photoshop myself. Though I am certainly open to considering new recommendations for layout software.

    https://summitsoft.com/products/comic-creator/

    My son did use it to make this page.

    Nice looking page (if a little dark). I like the idea that there is a starter software with templates and balloons set up to speed things up for the user. I think that could be a lot of help, especially if there is a nice variety of templates available. The software really does come down to preference. When I first got Clip Studio Paint a few years ago, I was NOT impressed. I found it weird to work with and far too limiting in terms of filters and text control. However, while trying to develop a 3D style that would eventually work to make line-art styled comics (in other words, comics that look like they were hand drawn), I kept seeing that a lot of skilled and professional artists swore by Clip Studio Paint. So, I finally sat down with it and started using it to make pages, I discovered that it has a LOT to offer, including a few things that Photoshop does not (fyi, I have been using PS professionally since version 3 and I use it almost every day for my job; I've also taught PS in college, so I feel pretty confident when I make the statement that CSP can do a few things that PS cannot).

    Anyway, if you'd like more info on CSP, let me know! Otherwise, keep on doing what you're doing – it looks great.

  • thedoctor said:

    THIS is really great stuff. You've given me a whole new outlook on how to approach this medium. This is PRACTICAL and USEFUL information. You are a great teacher and this makes a real difference.

    You are VERY welcome! And thank you for the complement. I'm excited to see what you do next!

  • 3Diva3Diva Posts: 11,018
    edited August 2020

    Just throwing this out there as an option for other software to consider,  I bought my kids Comic Creator Studio software awhile back to put together simple sequential art pages. It has built in page templates (you can alter them) and you can create your own layouts, and it makes easy work of bubbles and captions. It also imports artwork and automatically masks each panel. It's a bit finnicky at times but it's relatively easy to use. I did pick it up off the shelf of a brick and mortar store.   I personally like the flexibility of Photoshop myself. Though I am certainly open to considering new recommendations for layout software.

    https://summitsoft.com/products/comic-creator/

    My son did use it to make this page.

     

    hahah Cool! I love that your son is doing comics too! Comic Creator looks like it could be pretty helpful. :) It looks like it might be similar to Comic Life. Comic Life has a free trial download if people just wanted to test it out and see if something like that with their page templates and what not is helpful to them. I've not used it but it looks pretty interesting.

    It looks like doing the lettering in the program could be a time-saver:

    It's interesting that she does the lettering before final art is created. It looks like that could be a good way to ensure that the art in the panels works in harmony with the dialogue and other text that needs fit. I wonder if something like that could be helpful in 3D comic creation as well - Sketch out each scene in a full-page layout first (that will be used for lettering) before going in and setting up the scene and rendering the art? Looks like that could be something worth trying to see if it helps with the speed of the workflow.

    Post edited by 3Diva on
  • thedoctorthedoctor Posts: 159

    These recent discussions are a good reminder of how many independent elements go into a successful comic. It is rather daunting to realize how important execution is on so many fronts and it makes me appreciate all the more when I see impressive work by many of those who have contributed here. I am going to be spending serious time on my story and character arcs and I am very appreciative of @mmitchell_houston for the suggested reading order of the resources.and his explanation as to why he makes the recommendations he kindly shared.

    At the same time I am devoting specific time to developing my style and the look of my graphic content. I lean toward hyper-realism but I can also see that many comic fans are prejudiced against pure 3D renders and that going for true realism requires almost perfect execution because realism is the standard for our everyday lives. In particular, human characters fall so easily into the uncanny valley. Awhile back I completed a project where I rendered every one of my Daz characters under controlled lighting so I could have a better comparative reference when casting projects. While rendering an individual character the results were often very pleasing. However, when I had all of them collected into a slide show that I could flip through rapidly I was astonished at how many looked "off" due to perfect symmetry and other subtle cues to their 3D origin. 

    Thus, I've been working on developing a render style that is more simplified to hopefully get away from excessive 3D realism. The page posted by @FirstBastion done by his son looks very nice and almost "painterly" ... as is the awesome panel by @duckbomb where the girl is answering the door. And, of course, the work posted by @mmitchell_houston is jaw-dropping. 

    I'm aware we all have to develop our own styles and I don't want to copy anyone. However, I will shamelessly continue to steal ideas and techniques that I can put in my quiver. I would appreciate any comments, thoughts, ideas, suggestions you may have after looking at the attached render tests. The first shows three render approaches to one of my characters, Captain Jack Carptenter using the same lighting but with different filters and exposure settings. The second is a test title page for my comic where I've combined two renders with different filters to create an image with drama in the foreground and a sparse background. 

    I'm open to any and all suggestions for anything in primary rendering or post work. THANKS to you all. Love this thread.

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