3D Comic Book Tips And Pictures

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  • Here's two links....

    http://chrisoatley.com/comic-balloons-comic-layout/

    http://www.balloontales.com/making-word-balloons/

    There's a whole bunch of rules and idea about this.

    Most creators adopt some, discard others.

    My own personal feelings on it are.....

    1) Lots of text slows the reader down. Dense areas of conversation tend to get skipped over when the readers see a whole mountain coming (they do flip pages ahead when you start to pile on the words). So I try as best I can to minimize the text. Use the narrator or describe what's happened in the summary or issue description.

    2) Show and don't tell. Don't tell long stories. Show the important bits.

    3) No balloons sitting on top of characters or interesting objects.

    4) I write the script first (and change it heavily as I go along) I know who's saying what for every scene/render. I can mentally place the balloons and make sure I have room for them. When I blow it- I adjust. More scenes, less talk/different wording etc.

    5) Leave space for quiet moments. Many comics ONLY think to illustrate the characters talking so every scene has speech.

    7) Buy/read your own book on the tablet/kindle and see how it looks.

    8) the camera is another character. Drama can be built from camera angles and lighting. The camera is free to float, mount, pivot and hide under stuff. Move someplace interesting. Not everything has to be head on....characters sideways, characters facing front. 

    9) Don't forget the establishing shot. (I have to keep reminding myself.) In 3D, the sets look super-telling so it's easy to just start inside the room. Still, give a location shot and show the outside sometimes. So for this hospital scene there would probably be some shot of the hospital outside. Or a super wide shot of the area, before you zoom in on the characters speaking.

    10) Don't abandon all the comic systems of noting action and motion and such. There's still action lines to show direction and force. Impacts..etc....special effects...

    11) Treat you text as well as you treat your characters. Edit every aspect. To make speech fit better, change the space between words and letters. Move some apart, bring some closer. Make the text pleasant to look at. Control every aspect of it. Make some words bigger than others., there's a million little tricks. I only do some of them- and only when I think I need to.

  • FenixPhoenixFenixPhoenix Posts: 2,175
    edited February 2018
    BeeMKay said:

    I'd like to throw in the upcomic page for Demon Division into the fray. My question is regarding page pacing and dramatics.

    These are the panels that were supposed to be in the page (actually, one more where you have the closeup of Simon, with a tear running down his face and yelling his brother's name), but I wonder if this is not too much. Part of me want to divide up the page into two, or even three, with the two last panels having their own page. But then I think, that would just be showcasing the images, but not really telling the story and losing a lot of impact.

    Also, would it look better if I stayed with the original plan for the page an add that extra image? (There will be more reactions to what happened on the next page, also from Simon anyway)

    Thoughts and suggestions are highly appreciated! smileyheart

    @BeeMKay, I think @Griffin Avid gave excellent advice. I'm going to expand on some of it with my post.

    1. Drama vs Realism. Although what you've shown here may be realistic, it lacks emotion. The moment of Dwayne's passing seems rushed, almost inconsecuential. We read stories not for their realism, but for the emotions they build in us.
    2. Verbal vs non-verbal. Show, don't tell. That's the most powerful thing you can do. I'd also add: if you show, don't tell (otherwise you take away the reflection your audience might do). Here you are doing both, which detracts from the emotion.
    3. Artistic symbolysm: This can be achieved multiple ways and goes in hand with visual communication. Angles, colors, text position, the use of negative space, close ups, etc. They can all help to symbolize how your character is feeling. The key is using your imagination. If you had to describe to someone what you felt when someone close to you died... how would you do it? What words would you use? Would you use metaphors? Did your world darken? Where you stuck in time? Did a memory with that love one came to mind in that moment? Could you hear something shattering inside of you? Was your heart drumming? Was something stuck in your throat? Did your strenght leave you? Did you fall to your knees? Knowing exactly what your character is feeling will help you choose the best way to show the audience.
    4. Color theory: the usage of colors can also be a key visual element to display emotions. Fading things to black. Tinting things red. etc. 

    So, having said that, let's look at some examples from comics (will do manga in another post):

    The death of Peter Parker. Notice how four panels were dedicated to it. Three of them silent. We can almost see his hand move up to touch her face, not reach her, then drop... in slow motion. Like it was said before, the lack of text slows the reader down and makes us reflect on what's going on. Taking it in and interpreting it. Comics (unlike manga) tend to give less space for emotions (panels), and they're less symbolic about it, but if done right, it won't matter.

    Sometimes, it takes just one symbolic panel to bring the point home. This one uses color to wash away everything, softening the image, making us feel like they are finally free. At the same time, look at the details. The fact that Peter is grabbing onto Uncle Ben's jacket tightly, like he's become a kid again. Ben has his arm protectively around him (his entire body almost cacooning his nephew), signaling that Peter can finally rest.

    The death of wolvering. Notice how there's little text on the entire page, allowing us to interpret what we're seeing. You get the feeling his entire life flashed before his eyes, the best of his memories in display right at the top. The small panels make it go quick. Like blinks. Then then next four panels are bigger, more important, and slow. Notice the angle in the first one, showing he succeeded (he's big, strong). Then second panel there's so much empty space and Wolverin is small, crouched down, tired, slowly shuffling towards the edge (towards the end). Third panel, he falls to a knee (alone). Fourth panel, close up of his face to show how tired he is; that he's reached the end; that he's lived enough... Then they turn the camera to show you what he's looking at. A beautiful sunset, to show that he's made peace with what's coming. To show that he might be craving it. 

    Then bam. Last panel is full page and it hits you like a brick. Everything is design to draw your eye to him.

    As you can see, there's elements here drawing your eye to him.

    Another good technique to show emotion is through monologue. This is the scene when Storm leans about Wolverin's death. Look at how the close-up shows her hands tightening into fists, speaking of her pain and frustration. Her monologue helps deliver what's happening. This is a case where show and tell works.

    Then once again, the climax of the emotion is delivered in one page; two panels this time, almost no text.

     

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    Post edited by FenixPhoenix on
  • @magicjava, of course you should find your own way. You asked for opinions, so I gave you mine. At the end of the day, though, personal preference aside, all the covers I shared here were well design (some more than others). As to the examples I gave to you specifically, I tried to find similar things to what you were already doing to help you see the areas of opportunity. However, if your happy with your art that's really all that matters.

    Thanks for your interest in the design thread, guys and gals (@dreamfarmer, @Linwelly & @BeeMKay)! I'll see about creating the thread soon and let you know. Like I mentioned, I'm happy to help whoever wants to improve (we can improve together) :).

  • So, the question @@BeeMKay, would be, how do you show your character's emotion to this tragic occurance?

    Perhaps he's running down the corridor... but it's not really a corridor. Because inside your character's head, everything is dark. So he's running inside a tunnel, trying to reach the light (chasing after hope). Maybe you only see the tunnel. Maybe you see him inside. It's up to you.

    Maybe rather than tell us his brother is dead, you show us.

    Maybe your character feels like something breaks:

    Maybe everything inside the panel turns black:

    Maybe your character chases after the ghost of his brother?

    Maybe he remembers when they were kids and they exchange a promise? Maybe the memories just flood him while his entire world darkens?

    Maybe he looks at him vanish before his very eyes?

    Maybe you show with a panel the distance that now separates them?

     

  • BeeMKayBeeMKay Posts: 6,801
    edited February 2018

    @Griffin Avid, I tried working with the sources (you posted them earlier), but, alas, I guess I'm not "there" yet. But practice makes perfect, they say. So I'm going to keep working on this, and hopefully, in twenty or thirty pages, or so, I'll have things in a readable condition.

    I'll also try to work your other suggestions into my renderings. As my English teacher always said, when I made a mess out of grammar again, you first have to understand and perfect the basics before you can start with the slang talk... 

    I've looked up the most common device pixel sizes for screens (not resolution, but actual size), and turns out that most mobile screens are between 320x460, 360x640 and 365x667. If I go by the smallest one and give some extra "frame space" for the website itself, I'm ending up at something like this size on the phone:

    Frankly said, looking at it like that, it looks rather shitty in regards to text and image. It's neither fish nor flesh, and the text is near-impossible to read. So what I tried to achive with the larger letters kind of doesn't work from the onset!

    But then, the design of this is for a printed page, not a phone, right? So I would have to think about a printed page, and see how I get the images reassembled for something readable on a mobile device in a different website, or a different version of the comic.

     

    @giselle3000 Ahhhh! Overload!!!!

    First of all, thank you for the input. Right now, I will focus on the page that has to go online tonight - and I still need one more image for that.

    You have a perfectly valid point in regards to the emotional part. In writing, this scene (not the script form) is choc-full of that. But transferring the writing to a different medium (image) is a different story. You have given me something to chew on, though, and I'm going to work on a different approach for this. Rather than using my head, I'll use my instinct and see what comes out of that. I hope to be able to give you some ideas of expression in the next few days - I'm really looking forward to tackle the scene that way.

    Post edited by BeeMKay on
  • Well guys, I'm heading out. I wanted to thank you all for some of the advice I got while here. Applying a (slight) blur to backgrounds can really make the subject of an image pop. And if you're going to use text in the body of an image, use simple fonts. But for the most part, my time here was basically time wasted, so this'll be my last post. Here's the final version of the Wild Boy cover for issue #4.  

  • kenmokenmo Posts: 803

    I've usually used DAZ to set the base for what I want to accomplish, knowing that it takes postwork to truly transform a 3D look to a 2D look. That said, there's tricks I've done to accomplish that faster (or without needing that much postwork). Here's a very brief overview of some of them:

    Thanks for this...much appreciated...

  • kenmokenmo Posts: 803
    magicjava said:

    Just for fun, here's a cover for the character I'm working on right now. Her name is Butterfly, a super agent from the 1970s, and she was the world's first black super heroine. With Black Panther coming out this weekend, I thought this would fit in. 

    This is a WIP.

     

    Wow...your on quite a fantastic run ... :-)

  • kenmokenmo Posts: 803

    So, the question @@BeeMKay, would be, how do you show your character's emotion to this tragic occurance?

    Perhaps he's running down the corridor... but it's not really a corridor. Because inside your character's head, everything is dark. So he's running inside a tunnel, trying to reach the light (chasing after hope). Maybe you only see the tunnel. Maybe you see him inside. It's up to you.

    Maybe rather than tell us his brother is dead, you show us.

    Maybe your character feels like something breaks:

    Maybe everything inside the panel turns black:

    Maybe your character chases after the ghost of his brother?

    Maybe he remembers when they were kids and they exchange a promise? Maybe the memories just flood him while his entire world darkens?

    Maybe he looks at him vanish before his very eyes?

    Maybe you show with a panel the distance that now separates them?

     

    Cool ideas...

     

     

  • BeeMKayBeeMKay Posts: 6,801
    edited February 2018

    Here's reworked page 15, which is online now at Comicfury... I reduced the text size and tried to get the bubbles done in a better way. There's also two new panels, which pushes the rest of the old images to new pages.

    Is this the right direction, or did I make things worse?

    @magicjava sorry to see you go, but if you feel that we are wasting your time, it can't be helped. Good luck with your comics!

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    Post edited by BeeMKay on
  • FenixPhoenixFenixPhoenix Posts: 2,175
    edited February 2018

    Much improved, @BeeMKay! The empty space (breathing room) between panels help build the drama. The only thing I would tweak, would be the last panel. I would have the forefront figures blurred, so the focus goes straight to the guy entering the room. Right now, the first focus is the mage elder, since he has contrast + sharpness + size. By blurring him and his big buddy, you'll transfer the entire focus to the action of opening the door.

    Oh, also check the size of the doors because they look very big in comparison to the figures.

    Post edited by FenixPhoenix on
  • Another way to transfer the focus (just occurred to me) would be to have both of those characters (mage and big guy) frame the middle guy. You just have to move each to the side, so that they don't cover or overlap with the middle guy. Then cut each of those forefront guys in half, so that they act as a frame for middle guy.

    Here's an example of what I mean, except this is done with a crowd:

    Notice how the people frame the central figure, drawing our eye towards him.

    Though, in your case, since your foreground guys are wearing black and you're using a black background (between panels), I'm not 100% certain this would work as intended. But just food for thought :)

  • Worlds_EdgeWorlds_Edge Posts: 2,036

    I like it @Beemkay well done.  In the next to last panel you might consider dimming the brightness of that area to the right of the mage (his left) - which is an arm gap.  Because the person is wearing a dark suit, and the gap is so bright, my eyes kept getting drawn to that one spot.  The font looks good to me now.

    Also, if you hate making the speech bubbles, I don't remember whether it was magicjava or giselle3000, but one of them mentioned the program comic Life 3.  I've tried it too and it really makes speech bubble easy.  Your lettering is nice and easy on the eyes, btw.

  • dreamfarmerdreamfarmer Posts: 2,128

    Your feedback on how to present a death really makes me want to get my act together and start producing pages I can get your feedback on, Giselle. :-) Unfortunately it's going to be a while yet...

  • That last hospital scene....

    Wow that is some rapid improvement! That shot is so dramatic. Now I'm waiting to see what happens when he fully goes in.

    That's story telling.

    @giselle3000

    You need a blog or something and then share that post here. No way this should get lost among all the posts on this forum. This needs to be saved and archived.

    Maybe at the end made into a PDF or something.

    But for the most part, my time here was basically time wasted, so this'll be my last post.

    I foreshadowed this, like a good plot point and turn of events.

    I remember (it was like, last year, but saying I remember sounds more dramatic) I was doing the thing where every character was going to have their own font. And the robot had this wicked font. A professional industry letterer, told me I was trying too hard and the fonts were harder to read. I was sooo happy with the look, I DID NOT want to change them so I made the robot's text bigger. And I resisted until several readers were like "What's the robot saying?" and then I had  to give in. Others suggested I find another way to express a mechanical voice. So, I used a different balloon than the rest of the characters- and when I kept everyone else' text plain, the robot speaking really stood out. Also, his tail is a 'broadcast' tail so you know his voice is more mice'd and modulated. Combine that with his stiff speech patterns, he has the full robot personality without leaning on fonts. But that criticism was hard to take. I have a super-thick skin, but the harder you work on something, the surer you are to it being complete and done as is....and hearing there's more to do is never pleasant.

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

    Another important thing is- about the format. There's a bunch of competing platforms and I think you gotta basically pick one or make multiple versions of your works.

    I settled on a PDF reader or the comiXology engine. People looking at close to full pages. [that's how I read comics] So my text is slightly larger. And once I started printing books, I get to fully see how it all translated. A lot of people do read books on mobile (the first time) and read it on something else if they like the graphics or story. A lot of webcomics are time-wasters and idle time and then don't seem to care as long as you can hold their interest. Other formats cater to collectors who want arcs or "trades" or graphic novels. They want a full story and aren't always keen on little drips/single pages.

    What I did early was prepare to print and used a printer's template to layout my comics so I moved the important bits away from the page's edges. On the internet, you can have the text/graphics go right to the edge, but when you print, there is a frame/border where your art is likely to be trimmed in ways you can't control.

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

    Also with webcomics, the different sites read...differently.. Some are horizontal, some are click one page at a time and others are vertical scroll. For vertical scrolling comics (my favorite) they don't really see pages, just rows of frames- as all the pages are stacked in a singular column.

  • FeralFeyFeralFey Posts: 3,693

    I just wanted to say how much I appreciate this thread. There are some real nuggets of wisdom here. Thank you for everyone who has shared their tips and insights. I find a lot of this very useful and very inspiring.

    I've been saying for years that I'm working on a graphic novel. But in all honesty, I'm just trying to find the courage to take the leap and build it. I have the story all written in my head. I know what my characters look like and how they behave in any given moment. I delude myself into thinking that "this year will be the year that I get it off the ground", but then two, three, five months...or rather, eight years roll by and I'm busy building sets to sell here at Daz (which isn't a bad gig, mind you). I get hung up on the fact that I don't have exactly the right prop, or the right outfit, or the right sceney. Or I feel like my rendering skills aren't up to making the vision I have in my head, so I wind up not rendering anything apart from my promo art (which has its own set of problems. Don't even get me started. Lol.)

    But it boils down to a lack of bravery, I think. Courage to just get it rendered escapes me. 

    How do you all manage to do it? You all make it seem so easy. Bang out a panel a day and voila'! You have a comic. Surely, I can't be the only one stymied on how to start. What demons did you all face, and how did you defeat them to get your first panels made? Is this something you face every new render for your comic, or does it get easier with time?

    I'm really trying to get a handle on how to get over this hump and start putting my money where my mouth is and finally bring my stories to light. A lot of what I've read so far in this thread has been very inspiring (and incredibly helpful too!). I just need help tipping things from being "inspired" to actually creating. Do you set goals for yourselves (if you're doing this as a hobby. I would imagine that if you were doing this as a profession, the promise of an income would be motivating enough.) Do you make it a daily practice, no matter what? What gets you past the inertia?

    I know I'm probably asking a lot. Everyone will have a different answer, I'm sure. I know that in the end, the answer has to come from within myself, but I thought it might be helpful to hear other people's struggle with the blank page and what they do to make their comics happen. At the very least, it'll be nice to find out that maybe I'm not the only one with this issue. smiley

  • LinwellyLinwelly Posts: 5,162
    edited February 2018
    FeralFey said:

    I just wanted to say how much I appreciate this thread. There are some real nuggets of wisdom here. Thank you for everyone who has shared their tips and insights. I find a lot of this very useful and very inspiring.

    I've been saying for years that I'm working on a graphic novel. But in all honesty, I'm just trying to find the courage to take the leap and build it. I have the story all written in my head. I know what my characters look like and how they behave in any given moment. I delude myself into thinking that "this year will be the year that I get it off the ground", but then two, three, five months...or rather, eight years roll by and I'm busy building sets to sell here at Daz (which isn't a bad gig, mind you). I get hung up on the fact that I don't have exactly the right prop, or the right outfit, or the right sceney. Or I feel like my rendering skills aren't up to making the vision I have in my head, so I wind up not rendering anything apart from my promo art (which has its own set of problems. Don't even get me started. Lol.)

    But it boils down to a lack of bravery, I think. Courage to just get it rendered escapes me. 

    How do you all manage to do it? You all make it seem so easy. Bang out a panel a day and voila'! You have a comic. Surely, I can't be the only one stymied on how to start. What demons did you all face, and how did you defeat them to get your first panels made? Is this something you face every new render for your comic, or does it get easier with time?

    I'm really trying to get a handle on how to get over this hump and start putting my money where my mouth is and finally bring my stories to light. A lot of what I've read so far in this thread has been very inspiring (and incredibly helpful too!). I just need help tipping things from being "inspired" to actually creating. Do you set goals for yourselves (if you're doing this as a hobby. I would imagine that if you were doing this as a profession, the promise of an income would be motivating enough.) Do you make it a daily practice, no matter what? What gets you past the inertia?

    I know I'm probably asking a lot. Everyone will have a different answer, I'm sure. I know that in the end, the answer has to come from within myself, but I thought it might be helpful to hear other people's struggle with the blank page and what they do to make their comics happen. At the very least, it'll be nice to find out that maybe I'm not the only one with this issue. smiley

    Welcome to the madness @FeralFey :D

    As you said, most everybody will answer those questions differently. For me the initial step was to start writing it down. I started with a little notebook I carried around everywhere because the moment you put it on paper ( or metaphorical paper as in a text document) new, additional ideas will start flowing and those are necessarey to fill in where your mind takes jumps ;) (mine did). paralel to that I started creating environments and characters, fiddleing around with the settings trying to see if you get it looking they way you want, making changes or whatever and creating the characters in detail gives you a feel for how they actually are, which will then feedback again into the story: why do they react like that in that situation... It took me about half a year to create the major settings and characters for the first part of my story (there will be four but I left myself a loophole to make the stop after the first part if nobody wants to see it or I get annoyed with it)

    I began with putting out that concept art here and on dA to get some feedback . I collected all concepts in here if you would like to take a look: https://www.daz3d.com/gallery/#galleries/3011351/

    For writing the story down in one script on the computer I actually put myself on the timer ( I'm not good at writing, I have to force myself to do that, I jumped on the NaNoWriMo bandwagon, never submitted anything but I used the engery others around here to push myself as well, and it worked.)

    To get the courage together, you already did the first step: talk about it, talk to everyone who will react supporting, when you talk about it you find you are excited about what you want to create. And that excitement will carry you a long way if you let it. And seeing the words written will be a motivation as well. Besides, your bravery can't be lacking much, as a PA you are already exposing your woks to the public, so nothing to loose!

    I'm doing this as a hobby ( I wouldn't mind that changes some day, a girl can dream, right?) but I put my free time pretty much completely into DAZ and now the grafic novel. A render a day.. I wish, I'm still far to slow to keep up with my goals. I had a buffer of 4 pages before I published the first complete page on webtoons, now my buffer is down to one and a half. I'll have to get creative soon to keep the audience entertained :D

    By the way, if you ever wish for some support on the promo art I'd be happy to help

    Post edited by Linwelly on
  • LinwellyLinwelly Posts: 5,162

    @BeeMKay

    wow, nice improvement on the page! Well done on such a short notice. Giselles additional ideas are sure worth while, but I would as well say we're learing by doing, so every page can be better :D

  • LinwellyLinwelly Posts: 5,162
    ...snip

    Also with webcomics, the different sites read...differently.. Some are horizontal, some are click one page at a time and others are vertical scroll. For vertical scrolling comics (my favorite) they don't really see pages, just rows of frames- as all the pages are stacked in a singular column.

    that is what I do. Here is an example of how that looks https://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/comment/3124546/#Comment_3124546

    of follow the link in the banner to the full pages

  • Also, if you hate making the speech bubbles, I don't remember whether it was magicjava or giselle3000, but one of them mentioned the program comic Life 3.  I've tried it too and it really makes speech bubble easy.  Your lettering is nice and easy on the eyes, btw.

    It was magicjava, I think.

    Your feedback on how to present a death really makes me want to get my act together and start producing pages I can get your feedback on, Giselle. :-) Unfortunately it's going to be a while yet...

    Don't rush it, you can always PM me :)

     

    That last hospital scene....

    Wow that is some rapid improvement! That shot is so dramatic. Now I'm waiting to see what happens when he fully goes in.

    That's story telling.

    @giselle3000

    You need a blog or something and then share that post here. No way this should get lost among all the posts on this forum. This needs to be saved and archived.

    Maybe at the end made into a PDF or something.

    But for the most part, my time here was basically time wasted, so this'll be my last post.

    I foreshadowed this, like a good plot point and turn of events.

    I remember (it was like, last year, but saying I remember sounds more dramatic) I was doing the thing where every character was going to have their own font. And the robot had this wicked font. A professional industry letterer, told me I was trying too hard and the fonts were harder to read. I was sooo happy with the look, I DID NOT want to change them so I made the robot's text bigger. And I resisted until several readers were like "What's the robot saying?" and then I had  to give in. Others suggested I find another way to express a mechanical voice. So, I used a different balloon than the rest of the characters- and when I kept everyone else' text plain, the robot speaking really stood out. Also, his tail is a 'broadcast' tail so you know his voice is more mice'd and modulated. Combine that with his stiff speech patterns, he has the full robot personality without leaning on fonts. But that criticism was hard to take. I have a super-thick skin, but the harder you work on something, the surer you are to it being complete and done as is....and hearing there's more to do is never pleasant.

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

    Another important thing is- about the format. There's a bunch of competing platforms and I think you gotta basically pick one or make multiple versions of your works.

    I settled on a PDF reader or the comiXology engine. People looking at close to full pages. [that's how I read comics] So my text is slightly larger. And once I started printing books, I get to fully see how it all translated. A lot of people do read books on mobile (the first time) and read it on something else if they like the graphics or story. A lot of webcomics are time-wasters and idle time and then don't seem to care as long as you can hold their interest. Other formats cater to collectors who want arcs or "trades" or graphic novels. They want a full story and aren't always keen on little drips/single pages.

    What I did early was prepare to print and used a printer's template to layout my comics so I moved the important bits away from the page's edges. On the internet, you can have the text/graphics go right to the edge, but when you print, there is a frame/border where your art is likely to be trimmed in ways you can't control.

    Thanks, though a blog might require more time than I can spend, but it is a good idea. Maybe when I'm done with the branding proyect I have, I can set time aside to structure topics.

    Also, you post made me laugh. I did not see the turns of events as you did. I only gave feedback because he/she mentioned before that he/she was open to it. Otherwise, I wouldn't have done it at all. My aim is never to give destructive critisicm, only constructive. I myself learn best by looking at examples, so I thought it would clear up the point I was trying to make. Maybe I went too far? Not sure. That is not to say that recieving feedback should be easy or an emotionless process. I think the more mature you are as an artist, the less it affects you. The key is understanding that it's okay to get help. That someone suggesting ideas doesn't mean you have lost creative control. At the end of the day, ideas and suggestions are simply that and you get to decide whether to use them or not.

    What you mentioned about the layout is quite important to think about. If your planning on printing vs leaving things online should be taken into consideration beforehand. To print, you need to keep your graphics within 300 dip (for professional printing) or at least 150 dip (por home printers). You should also keep an eye on your safezone. You can still get color to the edge of the page, but you need to keep the important things within the safezone to avoid them getting trimmed. Rule of thumb, keep the safezone around 0.5 to 1 inch.

    @FeralFey, I do have some advice I can give, but I need more time to write it all down, so I'll share some pointers later tonight. As you've said, everyone has different ways of doing things, but there's some general advice that might be useful. Keep in mind, the hardest thing is to start something new... and the next hardest thing is to end it. So my quick advice would be not too rush it, take your time setting things up and find people that you can share your progress with because encouragement is key.

    @Linwelly, that's how I like to view it as well. I told someone over at the Visual Novel thread that they can't expect to master something in a month. That it takes time and dedication, but what they can do is set a goal. To show some improvement from one render to the next; or from one week to another (up to you). That way you push yourself to keep going. I have never and probably will never settle. So everytime I do something, I keep thinking of ways I can improve. Never reaching your goal can also mean you never stop moving forward :).

     

  • BeeMKayBeeMKay Posts: 6,801
    edited February 2018

    Thank you everyone for the positive feedback! smileyheart

    @giselle300 and @world_edge I'll look into the further suggestions; It's those details you don't really notice, or pay attention to, but which have a huge impact. The last image was rather hurridly done; I had to kitbash a proper connection-corridor. The doors are from the Emergency Room set, and the corridor itself is from a different one, and the sizes don't really fit. I only realized this morning that I just need the doors, and then a meshlight from the top, and no corridor at all to make it work.... 

    @Feral_Fey I fully understand your hesitation. I'm like that, too. Dwellers is "in the making" since 2004, from its very earliest stages. I'm the kind of person who gets totally lost in developing a universe for my characters to play in, but delivering a final story is tough. My saving grace is my co-author. We keep pushing each other to "hey, complete that scene/chapter!". Of course, the novel is still not completed, because we get some thing or the other undug in regards to a character or the Magic in the story, and that results in enough changes to start from scratch...

    I ran into the same problem as you "but that setting is not quite like I have in my mind". The solution was, I did a lot of kitbashing, or used sets that were coming closest to what I had in mind. Some stuff needs to be modelled or textures adapted in photoshop, because the piece is a key-part that needs to be done in a certain way... In the end, there comes a point where you realize that, with your budget and skills, there's only so much you can do, and you start focussing on the story itself, and just telling it somehow. You could just render the story in front of a black screen, and it would still work. The reader has enough imagination to fill in the blanks if you provide them with enough hints.

    Anyway, how do you get over the initial fear? For me, it was a gradual process. I started out with rendering images to help me write the story. I have some very early scenes that just has some of the characters standing together, to help getting a feel for their relationships. And seeing just how large Duon (suit-guy) is compared to Seth (mage elder)! surprise The more pictures I rendered of the guys&gals, the more I wanted to do the comic. But my skills aren't very good. I visited a couple of Webinars by Digital Arts, and the monthly online community meetings he does. It helped a lot to talk to other directly, and learn what problems they struggled with. It also was a place where I first shared some of the webcomic tet pages I had worked on. I had zero confidence in them, but the feedback was surprisingly positive. It helped making up my mind and make that final step. You need to jump into the water to learn how to swim, even if you aren't very elegant in the beginning. I mean, you have seen the webpage examples I have posted here, and those were already an improvement to the very first batch I produced. I hope to improve by the feedback I receive, and I know I will carve out my own style from these precious comments.

    Maybe, a good way to start is to put that very first scene of your story into a script. Divide it up into images, and assign them to pages. Just render that first image. The second. The third, until you have all the images for your first page. Put it together to a page, add the speech baloons and the text. Looking at that first, finished page - to me - was a "wow" experience. Of course, it lacked a lot. But I could see that it all came together somehow. There was progress. A first step.

    The feedback here is very kind and thoughtful. It helps (at least, it helps me). Maybe, if you feel up to it, share some of the things you have already completed for your comic. A character design, maybe? Or an idea for a location? The feedback will maybe give you a boost. Maybe it will help you making that step into actual rendering your story.

    I hope you will share your story and images with us! smiley

     

    EDIT: In regards to mobile phone comics, just wanted to point out that Peter von Stackleberg's webinar about mobile comics had to be moved to april 1st, so if you still want to join, it's $45 at the moment, and you can ask questions directly, and get suggestions based on a sample of your own comic... https://digitalartlive.com/event/how-to-create-comics-graphic-novels-illustrated-narratives-for-mobile-devices/

     

     

    Post edited by BeeMKay on
  • LinwellyLinwelly Posts: 5,162
    ...snip

    Also, you post made me laugh. I did not see the turns of events as you did. I only gave feedback because he/she mentioned before that he/she was open to it. Otherwise, I wouldn't have done it at all. My aim is never to give destructive critisicm, only constructive. I myself learn best by looking at examples, so I thought it would clear up the point I was trying to make. Maybe I went too far? Not sure. That is not to say that recieving feedback should be easy or an emotionless process. I think the more mature you are as an artist, the less it affects you. The key is understanding that it's okay to get help. That someone suggesting ideas doesn't mean you have lost creative control. At the end of the day, ideas and suggestions are simply that and you get to decide whether to use them or not.

    Don't worry, you were doing fine, you had the right words and examples for what I saw as problematic as well, but I couldn't have worded it that good. I admit though, I expected the reaction as well.

  • I've been lurking this thread since the begining. Lots of great advice to consider. Just wanted to say thank you to all of you who've contributed. I hope the thread continues.

  • FirstBastionFirstBastion Posts: 5,424
    edited February 2018

    But if people are interested, we can start a thread to go over design principles one by one. :)

    Yes please do.  Call it  ComicBook Principles,  and we'll happily learn together.  Support and advice goes a long way to making it happen.

     

     

     

    Post edited by FirstBastion on
  • FeralFeyFeralFey Posts: 3,693

    @Linwelly - Thank you for your kind words of encouragement. Yeah, I guess you're right. The first big step is telling people. But I've been telling people for years, thinking that at the very least I'd be shamed into actually following through. This hasn't worked out for me, as for whatever reason I don't feel like it's holding me enough accountable. About a year ago, I confessed to the other PAs that I wanted to finally write my graphic novel. I got some great advice from AntFarm (whose day job is drawing some of the comic books I love to read). But it never went beyond that. I gotta do something "more".

    But then again, now that I think about it, I've now confessed that I want to do this to complete strangers who are on the same path as I am. Which is a little different, I guess than talking to my fellow PAs. I mean, they're supportive, but they also know how demanding being a PA can be, so the need for follow-through isn't as imperative. I suppose there's less of a likelihood of it just being lipservice by coming in here and declaring my intention to create, as I'm pretty sure you all will call me on it when I start to stray. Lol.

    I took a look at your gallery and I have to say that I am very impressed with your work. Your artwork is along the same lines as what I'd like to achieve in my graphic novel - more realism and less cartoonishness. (Not that there's anything wrong with cartoon style artwork. It's just not what I envision for my stories.) It's also a bit different from how I approach my promo images, so I've definitely got some work to do if I'm ever going to get as good as you. Part of the process, I suspect is also trying to figure out my comicbook style from my promo art style. In any case, it'll be a process and I have your art to draw inspiration from as I get further into this.

    @giselle3000 - Thank you for your kind words and encouragement. I look forward to hearing what you have to share with me, as what you've already shared is invaluable. You are right. The hardest part is starting, and the second hardest is ending. I think fear of the end (or rather the how to end it) might be a factor in preventing me from starting a little bit. But, I shouldn't focus on the end right now. Not at least until I figure out how to get started. Lol. 

    @BeeMKay - Your comments mean a lot to me. I have a lot to learn from you. The fact that you're so self-aware and you understand where you're at in your skill level versus the need to tell your story gives me hope. You put yourself out there, you take your risks, you learn from the experience and emerge a better artist. That's class. My hat is off to you. Fear of failure, or fear of looking like a failure keeps a lot of people holding themselves back from trying something new and different. But you dive in, whole-heartedly and without false expectation. I find that extremely refreshing. It's one thing to produce a turd and call it precious, but it's a far better thing when one produces the less than perfect, accepts its limitations, and then uses the experience to grow one's skill to a higher level. That's grace. I can only hope to be half as gracious as you when I get brave enough to start showing my work. You are an inspiration. Thank you!!

    And I'm going to *wave* @FirstBastion. (He and I became PAs at roughly about the same time.)  

  • FeralFeyFeralFey Posts: 3,693
    edited February 2018

    Just for grins, I'll share a couple of test renders I did last year when I was thinking of making a H.P. Lovecraft themed graphic novel. (I gave up the idea because I didn't want to hassle with copyrights and whatnot. I changed to a completely different, self-created world instead, which has nothing to do with Cthuthulu or the Lovecraftian universe - although I am twisting some of the elements to fit my new world, because dark things can be oh so intriguing. wink

    Well, for some reason, I'm unable to upload the renders. I'll try again in a minute.

    Edited to add - Well, I'll be dipped! It actually attached a render after all. Now to see if I can upload the other ones I wanted to share. 

     

    Alien Dreams of Kaddath Large 091117.jpg
    2500 x 3250 - 4M
    Blind Demon 122716.jpg
    1000 x 1300 - 1017K
    Career Choices Text 123116.jpg
    1000 x 1300 - 799K
    Post edited by FeralFey on
  • You tapped into something on this first one- some kind of surreal creepiness. Works really well. More stuff like that. Sheesh.

    The second is pretty standard, monster coming at us.

    And the third - I can't figure. Is it a gag, cause she's smiling, but then the pose is weird so I'm not sure what I should feel.

  • FeralFeyFeralFey Posts: 3,693

    Thanks, Griffin Avid, for your comments. The third image was a practice render to capture mood, something I feel like I need to get a better handle on. It was also a character study and she was supposed to convey a sense of wry "and here we go again", but clearly I didn't capture it exactly as I had intended. But that's OK. It was an exercise and I've learned from it.

    I'm glad you like the first one. I'm particularly proud of it. 

    I did all three of these about the same time, as a study in mood. I think I did an OK job in the first two (yes, the monster attacking head on is cliche', but I hadn't done one yet and I thought it would be fun to try it. I need to play around with camera angles more.) The third one needs work, as you pointed out. If I can't convey the story with the pictures, no amount of writing will make it right. wink

    But now that I've shown you these three, I think I really should sit down and start playing with some character studies for the non-Lovecraftian comic. Maybe I'll do one tonight after I finish up working on this pose set I'm making for the PC+. I'm kind of feeling inspired. laugh

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 12,495

    This is such a fantastic thread.  Thank you to everyone contributing, but especially to magicjava.  Learning, learning, learning - yup, learning just how much I need to learn!

  • LinwellyLinwelly Posts: 5,162
    FeralFey said:

    Thanks, Griffin Avid, for your comments. The third image was a practice render to capture mood, something I feel like I need to get a better handle on. It was also a character study and she was supposed to convey a sense of wry "and here we go again", but clearly I didn't capture it exactly as I had intended. But that's OK. It was an exercise and I've learned from it.

    I'm glad you like the first one. I'm particularly proud of it. 

    I did all three of these about the same time, as a study in mood. I think I did an OK job in the first two (yes, the monster attacking head on is cliche', but I hadn't done one yet and I thought it would be fun to try it. I need to play around with camera angles more.) The third one needs work, as you pointed out. If I can't convey the story with the pictures, no amount of writing will make it right. wink

    But now that I've shown you these three, I think I really should sit down and start playing with some character studies for the non-Lovecraftian comic. Maybe I'll do one tonight after I finish up working on this pose set I'm making for the PC+. I'm kind of feeling inspired. laugh

    Those renders were well done, especially the two first, and even if it might be cliché, being able to get those right isn't that easy. The thing I learned about concepting so far is that you can stop stressing yourself out making the perfect render. Its rather fun to relax and just put your first ideas out there. They are ideas, sketching in the raw, getting a feel for the style you want to render in and if you will be able to get the style constant, getting an idea of the surrounding, of your characters in different surroundings, what poses will they take, which expressions are typical. Most of my concept art is cookes for 900 iterations, no need to dwell on it for too long wating for the last pixel to clear up.

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