3D Comic Book Tips And Pictures

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  • kenmokenmo Posts: 801

    Lots of good tips, techniques and hints in this thread....

  • FenixPhoenixFenixPhoenix Posts: 2,092
    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.

    That is a catchy name! I'll defenitely be using that!

    FeralFey said:

    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.

    Loved the first one as well, it's very intriguing. I love the second one too and I think you've successfully created a haunting mood (great use of depth of field and colors). Third one would be the weakest of the three. Once you explained what you were going for, I could see why you made some of your decisions, but I think the emotion wasn't conveyed. Could be that we're simply not close enough to her face to truly catch (focus) on her emotion. Perhaps having her rolling her eyes would've hammered her "here we go again" mood a bit better (+ a tighter shot)? Right now I think the creature that I don't see steals my focus more than her.

    @Kenmo, glad they help :).

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  • @FeralFey, as promised (better late than never) here's my general advice (apologies in advance for the long post) in regards to design and it's something I wished someone had told me a long time ago. This is something I learned with experience, after one too many stumbles…

    Be lazy.

    No, not the kind you are probably thinking about. As Bill Gate one said, “I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.”

    So when I advise you to be lazy, what I really mean is be a smart designer/artist.

    Now, some may disagree with what I’m about to say (write). I’ve met several designers/artists who believed (quite fervently) that the only way they can call something their own, is if they created everything from scratch. While I understand and respect this view, I’ve found that it was just not working for me.

    A few years back, I was still following this logic… until I realized the obvious. Nobody is going to pay you to do everything from scratch. In fact, nobody is going to care. Clients look for high quality, low price and a quick turnover. That’s it. How you get there is not their concern.

    So this led me to adopt and find ways to keep my high while lowering my prices. The key was making things faster. Which means… don’t reinvent the wheel, build upon it. I needed to put effort where effort was needed and find shortcuts the rest of the time.

    I know how that sounds, but understand that if you try to do everything yourself you’ll end up wearing yourself out while accomplishing little.

    You’re going to design a brochure? Buy templates and use those as a base, then make the changes as needed. If you build a library with enough types of brochures, you can mix, match, tweak and change them enough to make them your own without having to start from scratch.

    You’re going to design a poster? Find references. Look at how different people present hierarchy, then take those as inspiration and build upon that theory. Now, this doesn’t mean I’m encouraging you to copy, but understanding how others tackle the problem you’re facing will help you reach a solution faster than sitting at your desk hoping the answer will fall out of the sky.

    You’ve been asked to design a book cover but typography is not your forte? Google which are the best free fonts, then google which font(s) goes well with that (font pairing). Better to start experimenting with a list of fonts, than try fifty different fonts blindly.

    The render you did need just a bit more flare? Find overlays and experiment with them!

    Don’t be afraid to gather and use resources to lighten your workload. Just because you used an already designed tattooed on your character, doesn’t mean the character is any less original. Unless the tattoo is a very important aspect of your character’s personality, don’t bother with wasting time in designing every speck of dust in your painting/comics/render(s). Find shortcuts. Use what’s already available and make it your own.

    Like I mentioned before, I’m not encouraging you to copy someone else’s work –much less pass it as your own! Nor am I stating that you should use any image in the internet. Checking licenses is important. And sure, some things are pricey and you’d have to decide if it’s worth it to buy them. But there’s also a lot of resources out there that are cheap or free that can get you out of jam.

    When it comes to creating a comic, building a library of assets comes into play a lot more. If you don’t know how to set your layout, there’s layout templates you can get for free or buy. And if you have a page with six panels… you don’t need to fill those six panels with really complex renders. Having generic/abstract textures, photos, patterns, etc. can help lighten that workload. Of course, you still need to integrate them into your style in a visually logical way, but there’s several ways to do that.

    So my personal advice (summary of the above for people who went like… nah, too much text) is... build a library of assets and, most of all, be smart with your time and effort.

  • Also, wanted to share two excellent videos by nerfwriter that can serve as inspiration. If you don't know this channel, you're in for a treat:

    How To Design A Comic Book Page:

    One Reason The Handmaid's Tale Won Emmys Best Drama (this video explains how the director used color, focus and framing to communicate emotions visually):


  • giselle3000 said:

    When it comes to creating a comic, building a library of assets comes into play a lot more. If you don’t know how to set your layout, there’s layout templates you can get for free or buy. And if you have a page with six panels… you don’t need to fill those six panels with really complex renders. Having generic/abstract textures, photos, patterns, etc. can help lighten that workload. Of course, you still need to integrate them into your style in a visually logical way, but there’s several ways to do that.

    So my personal advice (summary of the above for people who went like… nah, too much text) is... build a library of assets and, most of all, be smart with your time and effort.

    A lot of great advice here. One thing I've been noticing as I've been studying professional comics is that once the artist has established a setting, be it a city street or even a room at least every other panel if not more will have a generic type background. Some times it will be just a wall, or comic colored blank space. Following that example can save a fair amount of render time and work.

    I've also notice that for online comics a lot of artists use the same backdrop repeatedly. I think the hardest part is knowing what your style and setting is going to be, so you can amass your settings ahead of time. 

  • FeralFeyFeralFey Posts: 3,661

    @giselle3000 - Thank you for the excellent words of advice. I like that (be lazy). And I totally get what you are saying. I think a lot of what holds me back is that I've been deluding  myself into thinking that I need to create it all - the props, the outfits, the hairstyles, the characters, and the scenery - and that can be overwhelming when you consider how much time and effort it'd take to create all the 3D assets I'd need. (The bonus side, however, is that I planned on bringing whatever I built for my comic to the Daz marketplace - which is what brought my Bedhead hair model to the store, by the way.) But I'm a slow working PA. It takes me at least two weeks just to put together a pose set. It's much longer for me to get models produced. 

    But the prospect of using what's already available and adjusting it as needed for my story makes waaaaaayyyy more sense. It kind of takes the pressure "to perform" off so that I can focus on things like the actual story and figuring out how the characters are going to interact. 

    I also like SkydogHex's suggestion (or observation, rather) on what the professionals do. My husband reads a lot of online comics and he's always telling me that I should think about using vague backgrounds - lots of watercolor-y blobs of nondescript stuff, and I'd roll my eyes and considered him full of poop. I mean, how do you tell a story like that? Lol. BUT, from the perspective of needing to turn out pages in a timely fashion, this is smart, especially after you have done the establishing scene so your audience KNOWS where the action is taking place. Then you can de-emphasize the location and focus more on the "script". It's funny how the two of you pulled what he's been saying to me for years into sharp focus. And now, he's going to be insufferable - IF I tell him, of course. Lol. (But of course, I'll tell him, you know. I give credit where credit is due.)

    Actually he and I had a long discussion last night. It's been a while since I've discussed my comic with him. I've just been keeping it under wraps, mainly because I'm just so discouraged with my lack of progress. It seems like I have too many dragons to slay before I can allow myself to start - and that's just no way to live one's life. I've been wanting to tell stories since I was in the 3rd grade, when I wrote my first story. (And here it is, probably 40 some years later, and I haven't written a story apart from the 400 pages I wrote when I was pregnant with my first child (17 years ago)) 

    Art and storytelling are VERY important to me, so it only makes sense that I should gravitate towards the sequential art medium. But it's time to, if you'll pardon the phrase, "piss or get off the pot". I've stalled for too long, and finding this thread has made me realize that not only should I be doing this, but that I CAN do it. I don't have to have all the right assets. I don't have to have all the right software programs. All I need is to get off my duff and render at least one panel a week (for a start.) I can easily slip that in while I'm working on my sets that I sell here at Daz. And while I've tried doing the NaNoWriMo several times (and failed miserably because real life can be a PITA), this is something that has to become a daily/weekly practice for me. It can't be conveniently rooted to one month a year, or set aside for that magical and arbitrary time we deem "later".

    And I'm hoping that you all will be kind enough to keep me honest and poke me once in a while and say "Hey! Where's that weekly panel render?" (I'm not asking for babysitting. I'm an adult. But it's nice having a group of like-minded enthusiasts who, unlike my friends and family, won't be so gentle as to tell me everything I create is fabulous and that it's OK that I miss this week because three of the kids are sick. I want to be held accountable for pursuing this dream, and relying on my friends and family by telling them I'm doing this just has not panned out in the past. You all I don't want to disappoint, because you are also all invested in creating comics. You get the drive and the desire and difficulties and frustrations. I hope my blathering here has made some sense.

    That being said, I'm planning on spending some time either today or tomorrow, making some character studies for my story. They won't be perfect. They won't be in their final form. But at least I'm putting something down on (virtual) paper and that's what matters.

  • algovincianalgovincian Posts: 2,292
    edited February 2018

    I would add one thing: plan for success.

    You might consider at the very least making your main character a model that you fully create from scratch. This way, if (when) your comic is a smashing success, you’ll have the right to physically produce/sell as many copies as you want. Environments, less important characters, etc. that you just need to produce 2D images of can be created from purchased content.

    As time-consuming as it is, I still think it’s worth it (I’m taking the time to do it ). Just a thought.

    - Greg

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  • 1) Yes, if you use Daz store assets, you can kit-bash and make your own environments and adjust/edit. Same with clothes and such. And yes, you don't need the full backdrop. You can filter, blur etc. Or straight up- have no background.

    2) Other than that, it shouldn't really be a render a day. You need to scale your renders/iterations to something manageable. AND if you're going to do 'the comic' look, then you don;t need to start with a fully rendered/cooked image.

    3) As far as characters go, there are morphs so you can dial up your own characters and make them a mix of the store's offerings. You see on here, quite often how many times someone is looking for a character from a promo pic and no one can tell who it is because it's a mix. People layer haircuts/wigs and use all sorts of unique shaders. And then there's facegen.

  • LinwellyLinwelly Posts: 5,105

    And just because I spend a full day and a half on a render with posing and too much stuff in it to render on GPU and trying to render in layers (which went perfectly wrong) and in the end I manages to have my scene file corrupted: MAKE SAFE COPIES OF YOUR SCENES!!!!!

    I fortunately did make a safe copy but a rather early one, still better than nothing.

    I just really need to vent a bit.. there I'm having a few days of vacation I want to fully invest into getting renders done and then I end up with a day of frustration, next to no results and a corrupted file...

  • BeeMKayBeeMKay Posts: 6,788
    edited February 2018

    Sorry for being late on everything this week...

    @Feral_Fey You give me too much praise, really. I'm not that great. The only thing I can say is... what is the worst that can happen when you start publishing your comic? I mean, no matter how much a rendered image sucks, if you have a good story to tell, people will read your comic. And I honestly think you have nothing to worry about after looking at your sample images. The images you shared have an effect on the onlooker, you can catch attention with them and communicate emotion.They already tell a story. And that's a great thing, and much more than many others achieve.

    I'm glad that you have begun to work on your comic, and I'm looking forward to see your first page.   smileyheart

    Talking about pages... I have two WIP pages for the death scene I shared two pages ago. The suggestion was to give it a bit more space for the emotions, and I've tried to create my own style from the excellent examples that @giselle3000 shared.

    I'm still not 100% happy with this - I'm not sure if the image sequence work, and if the pose in the second page comes across as intended, with the correct emotional message...

    Feedback and suggestions are welcome and appreciated! smiley

     

     

     

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  • Worlds_EdgeWorlds_Edge Posts: 1,994

    @BeeMKay That looks great.  Lots of emotion there.  Love how the last image is so dark and you only see the background through that black tunnel.  The only suggestion I have is maybe show one or two blips before the flat line?  It wasn't immediately clear to me what the red line referred to, and then I got it.  

  • Griffin AvidGriffin Avid Posts: 3,541
    edited February 2018

    Funnily enough, I have heart issues in my current issue and I scanned an EKG and used the actual pulse.

    Sometimes it works to just be literal. Maybe use the actual front of the machine instead of just the flatline....

     

     

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  • Going from this....

     

    to this- would be effective....

  • FenixPhoenixFenixPhoenix Posts: 2,092
    edited February 2018
    BeeMKay said:

    Sorry for being late on everything this week...

    @Feral_Fey You give me too much praise, really. I'm not that great. The only thing I can say is... what is the worst that can happen when you start publishing your comic? I mean, no matter how much a rendered image sucks, if you have a good story to tell, people will read your comic. And I honestly think you have nothing to worry about after looking at your sample images. The images you shared have an effect on the onlooker, you can catch attention with them and communicate emotion.They already tell a story. And that's a great thing, and much more than many others achieve.

    I'm glad that you have begun to work on your comic, and I'm looking forward to see your first page.   smileyheart

    Talking about pages... I have two WIP pages for the death scene I shared two pages ago. The suggestion was to give it a bit more space for the emotions, and I've tried to create my own style from the excellent examples that @giselle3000 shared.

    I'm still not 100% happy with this - I'm not sure if the image sequence work, and if the pose in the second page comes across as intended, with the correct emotional message...

    Feedback and suggestions are welcome and appreciated! smiley

    Second page looks fantastic!

    The first page, I think, has a problem with heriarchy.

    To avoid continuty issues, I'd suggest getting rid of the first panel. Last page you showed the brother walking into the adjecent room alone, so his buddies shouldn't be there.

    Instead, I would dedicate one or two panels to show us Dwayne. Think about it this way... if I asked you what this page is about, you'd probably say "it's about the death of Dwayne." Yet, we don't see Dwayne at all. We don't even get a hint of him, so there's a disconnect between the plot and the visual imagery.

    If you do decide to show Dwayne, keep in mind that the tighter the shot, the more we (the readers) will connect to him and his plight. You can either go tight on Dwayne's face, or show just his closed eyes or even his hand (maybe it's in a fist, then it goes lax?). Something that let's us know he's someone we should care about or he's someone who's fighting (depends on what's happening).

    Then you need to give hierarchy to the most important thing happening in this page. The death of Dwayne, which is represented by the flatline (longer panel twill give it hierarchy). So the layout could look something like this:

    On the last panel, I would add the reaction (that panel when he says: "No. No!"). However, I would tighten up on the face a bit more. You can also crop the face to make it more interesting (though this is personal preference). Apologies in advance, since I took your render just to show a possible crop. Hope you don't mind.

     

    Examples of other interesting cropping options for the reaction panel:

    Notice how by hiding her eyes, we wonder what her reaction is. Like she's hiding her pain from us. It makes it more interesting.

    Notice here the emphasis on the eyes. We don't need to see the rest of the face to get the sense that something important and shocking has happened.

    Notice how the tighter the frame, the more emotional it becomes. Tightening on your character's face can make us feel like we're right next to the one suffering and that they're letting us "into" their pain.

    Also, keep in mind that if you want to have a dramatic pause after the first no, you could give the bubble more space (examples below).

    Notice how the pause is determined by the space between the bubbles. The longer the space, the longer (and more dramatic) the pause. These panels also show interesting face crops and, even better, it gives us an example of how to give text hierarchy... and that is, leaving leaving the words suspended against a solid background (empty space). That's another way in which you could add the bubble or a bit of monologue to give us a sense of the despair the brother is feeling.

     

     

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  • dreamfarmerdreamfarmer Posts: 2,128

    FeralFey, your determination is inspiring me as well. I'm in a somewhat similar situation. The last thing I wrote (for myself) was more recent than yours, but I've been stuck for a while and ever since starting with Daz I've wanted to incorporate art into my writing. I've been having commitment problems ever since getting my youngest off to kindergarten. Lots of ideas, not sure what to do next.

  • FeralFey said:

    @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 never works out for me either. Telling people I'm working on something lets off some kind of pressure valve and kills my motivation.

  • BeeMKayBeeMKay Posts: 6,788

    @Worlds_Edge @Griffin Avid @giselle3000

    Thank you! smiley The facial expression in the second page was really a problem. You just can't get the face to scrounge like when someone falls apart like that with just the sliders. What finally did the job was throwing the HD-only of the facial age morph (by Zev0) at Simon. Suddenly, his face would scrounge up properly!

    The idea was that the the three guys enter the room only after Dwayne's death, so what you saw in the image was merely "checking for life signs".

    But I see that the impact is a lot stronger when I keep in the actual death, and it makes things also easier to understand for the reader. So I need to work on that aspect; it's absolutely vital that Mage Elder and Suit guy are in the room, or the upcoming scene will not work. I'd work in Suit guy closing the door behind him in the background, but the sets of the hallway and the room set I used for the current ER don't play together in that aspect.

    The examples really helped a lot. I think it helps to have a direct comparision - it's often hard to relate possible solutions to a specific problem, because I can't properly identify the problem. But here, I learned something again, and the next time I run into such a constellation, I will know what to pay attention to, and what my problem is. Of course, there will be tons of other problems and pitfalls lurking, but I'll tackle those one at a time (and hope that I can still share my WIPs here, of course). smiley

    Oh, and one for @Feral_Fey ... The image attached is the one that tipped the scale to actually start the comic for real. It ws a "homework" for the webinar about Visual Storytelling, and the task was to portray one of your characters in a way that defines him, and his relationship to others. Working on that image was... intense, to put it mildly, because I ws forced to pour characters that only existed in words on a page, and only interacted in my mind, suddenly into a frozen image and that had to convey all these things to an onlooker. When I was done with that, I finally said to myself "To *bleep* with it all, if I can do this (however imperfect) with this one image, what is keeping me from just doing the rest of the story?" 

    The scene is set in the Dwellers part of the story. Characters are Mage Elder Seth Caelen, Duon (that would be Suit Guy, and you see the reason why he's always wearing those gloves - those are WIP burn scars), Guardsman Vincent, Lieutenant Gulhard and one of his croonies. 

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  • BeeMKayBeeMKay Posts: 6,788
    edited February 2018

    So... here's the update to the Page 16. I thought quite a bit about the POV, and even though the other two characters also enter the room, Simon wouldn't have noticed that in the situation at all. He just sees his brother. I also pulled the "No. No!" out of the speech bubble and into the thought territory. All in all, I'm much happier with the page setup now, even if it certainly can still be improved.

    Thank you again. I've learned a lot! heart

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  • Really loving that big render of Dwayne, @BeeMKay! I think that you're on the right path and the communication in this page is really clear now. The finality of that dot in the flatline gives a flow of movement that's sutile but effective. Great job!

  • Just leaving this here because it has A LOT of useful advice:

  • CrescentCrescent Posts: 282
    edited February 2018

    Here are a few of my tips for comics:

    1)  Unless you're going for photo-realism, simplify your renders.  I use filters on my renders to make them look more hand drawn or painted so I remove all bump maps, spec maps, etc., before rendering.  Bump maps, in particular, can make images look noisy/speckled when certain filters are applied.  Not only does map removal flatten the images a bit by making colors more uniform (which can produce more consistency when using filters), but it cuts down on render time as there's less that needs to be loaded into memory per image.  

    2)  Check your images for color contrast and light contrast.  It's more difficult to draw the reader's attention to particular points in the scene when several areas have similar color and/or contrast values.  If your image is uniformly light or has a lot of the same color, it may be visually confusing.  (There's a big difference between deliberate, monochromatic designs and images that happen to have a red headed character in front of a red brick wall with bricks that match his hair and shirt.)

    image

    If you have Photoshop, you can create a Black and White adjustment layer and put it on top of your image then toggle it on and off as needed to check your work.  Gimp is working on adding adjustment layers, from what I understand, but for now you'd have to make a duplicate of your work and turn it black and white to check contrast.

    This one is wasn't the worst ever for contrast but it could certainly be better.  Some of the bricks around the character are close in value to the character himself.  

    image

    3)  Use the rule of thirds and/or the golden ratio where possible.  There are a ton of sites available to explain how these rules work.

    Photoshop's crop tool puts in a 3 x 3 grid to help you tighten up your image when you crop it. You can also do things like add guides at 33% and 67% vertically and horizontally to help your composition.

    4)  Don't let your backgrounds upstage your characters unless there's a need to draw attention to them.  You can subtly darken the backgrounds, remove details, desaturate them, reduce line weight, etc., so they're less prominent.  Again, you don't want your pages to be visually confusing with several elements fighting for attention.  

    Here the composition has been cropped to roughly follow the rule of thirds, removing dead space, and the background darkened so the character is more prominent.

    image

    Checking the results in Black and White, there's now a much bigger difference in contrast between the character and the background.

    image

    5)  Let your word balloons flow in a logical order across the page.  In most Western countries, people read left to right from top to bottom, so word balloons should generally follow that order. I hate reading dialog in the wrong order because the artist threw word balloons where there was space instead of where they made sense.    Word balloons are usually in dead zones but they can spill onto characters so long as they don't hide anything that important, like faces (unless you're making a point, like character A always talking over B because A doesn't treat B like a real person.)  

    image

    http://makingcomics.spiltink.org/flow-the-eyelines/ has good information on this.

    6)  Use different kinds of shots (establishing, close ups, etc.) to give your story visual interest and help guide the reader's understanding.  http://www.makingcomics.com/2014/02/05/anatomy-storyboard-part-1-terms-techniques/ has good examples.  

    7)  Stay organized.  At a minimum, keep a list of all items used.  I keep all of my files for each project in their own Runtime so everything is kept together.  When you have the shape you want for a character, I'd suggest creating a single morph for that character so you don't accidentally dial out part of the character while trying to set an expression.  If you're doing a long-term comic, make notes and backups of every character, no matter how minor.  You don't want to do a surprise reveal of a hidden traitor only to find out you'd deleted the character a year ago because you figured you'd never use him again so now you have to waste a lot of time recreating him.

    8)  When you're working on creating effects, take notes as you go!  I create a beautiful effect one time that I've never been able to replicate.  It's been years and I'm still kicking myself for thinking, "That was easy.  I'll remember how to do it later."

    9)  Don't be a 3D purist.  If it's easier to do it in postwork, do it in postwork.  I could have spent 20 minutes getting the wall behind the character just right, fiddling with texture scaling, color correction, lighting, etc.  Instead, I rendered the character then slapped the wall in afterward and spent 20 seconds messing with the color.  Readers don't care how you achieved something (so long as you didn't steal another's work).  They care about the final product and how regularly content is updated.  You can have the most gorgeous comic produced in the last 10 years, but if you only produce 3 pages per year, they'll give up and move on to other comics.  

    Hope this is useful.

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  • FeralFeyFeralFey Posts: 3,661

    Thanks @giselle3000 for posting the link to the writing tips. While I had heard/known about many of these, there were some that I wasn't familiar with, or hadn't even considered. The ones I did know, it was good to be reminded of them, too. So, all good gems there. Well worth a look.

    @BeeMKay - the changes you have made to your page are huge improvements. It has a better "read" and conveys a lot more drama. I agree with giselle regarding the dot at the end of the flatline. While it has a certain finality to it, it also ties into the fact that while Simon's brother (forgive me, I don't recall his name) is dead, the heart monitor machine keeps moving forward, as does Simon and the rest of the plotline. I think it's a wonderful element that conveys his death and at the same time shows continuing action. Just a really nice touch, in my opinion.

    Well, I did not get to my render this weekend, as I had planned. I was working on a pose set for the PC+ and then another set I had submitted came back with notes requiring some changes. I'm still wrestling with these two sets, but I've been working on the story in my head as I've been sitting at my computer. I think I'm going to allow myself a break this evening and I'm going to hunt through my exhaustive content library to cobble together an outfit for my character study. Hopefully in a day or two I'll have something to show. It won't be spectacular, but it'll at least be "something". 

    Oh! And last Saturday we took our eldest boy (I have four kids) to check out a campus for a college that he's interested in attending when he graduates (which won't be for a few years - he's a freshman). I only mention this because he's interested in computer game design and I was drooling like a kid in a candy store looking at all their fancy toys. I, of course, am jealous. Had I gone to this school (or one similar), I'm certain that  my confidence level would be much better than it is right now and I'd already be making comics (and video game assets and maybe be working for Pixar making animated movies on the big screen....Lol.) But my point here is that the tour of the campus brought into sharp focus how far I could've come, if only I had more confidence in myself. I've lost a lot of ground by listening to the voice in my head that says "if only...". So I think it's rather serendipidous that I've found this thread (again, thanks for starting it!) and that I shouldn't let my lack of confidence hold me back. It's not the praise and the glory (OK, so yes, it is, if I'm honest lol), but it's more about needing to be a visual storyteller. It's all about sharing an idea or a tale and it doesn't have to be perfect, it doesn't have to be polished. It just needs to BE. Ya know? 

    Anyway, that's my pithy insight for the day. laugh

  • LinwellyLinwelly Posts: 5,105
    edited February 2018

    Thanks a lot @Crescent! good advice there, I'll have to follow up he links

    @BeeMKay that turned out really awesome! Good work :D

    @FeralFey we'll be at your heels, RL is no excuse here ;)

    here is one of my panelfeeds for my latest page which is up in completeness at webtoons (linkbanner below). Its already out there so no changes for this one but I was fighting a lot to get the speechbubbles at the right places without killing the view and still making clear which bubble belongs to whom. and I didn't wnat thos long tails either, that would have cut the image in half.

     

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  • BeeMKayBeeMKay Posts: 6,788

    @Crescent A great turorial, thank you!

    @Feral_Fey Thank you. Yes, I was surprised myself just how big an impact the comparatively minor changes had. I definitely will keep an eye open for these things, though there is still a long learning curve ahead to understand the triggers properly.

    @Linwelly Thanks, and I like the new page... though, two things that I noticed. In the first image, the blurred character is kind of too much... blurred. It is hard to distinguish it as a person. I was wondering if the person they were talking to was off screen for a moment. And I'm not certain whio says "You're funny". The second thing is that the transparent background makes some of the text in the speech bubbles harder to read, when it's against a darker background. You're funny/Lucky me are a bit hard to read.

    I like how the image two emphasizes the crammed-ness that is shown in image 1, with the total lack of private sphere. (Kind of reminds me of the Dwellers-part of my comic, as Hades also has rather limited resources, and is struggling with overpopulation, though it's not quite as bad as your premisen, as they have some rather cruel "traditions" that limit growth. Some of that will be shown in the chapter after Torque Mountain. Need to blow up stuff first.cheeky

  • LinwellyLinwelly Posts: 5,105
    edited February 2018
    BeeMKay said:

    @Crescent A great turorial, thank you!

    @Feral_Fey Thank you. Yes, I was surprised myself just how big an impact the comparatively minor changes had. I definitely will keep an eye open for these things, though there is still a long learning curve ahead to understand the triggers properly.

    @Linwelly Thanks, and I like the new page... though, two things that I noticed. In the first image, the blurred character is kind of too much... blurred. It is hard to distinguish it as a person. I was wondering if the person they were talking to was off screen for a moment. And I'm not certain whio says "You're funny". The second thing is that the transparent background makes some of the text in the speech bubbles harder to read, when it's against a darker background. You're funny/Lucky me are a bit hard to read.

    I like how the image two emphasizes the crammed-ness that is shown in image 1, with the total lack of private sphere. (Kind of reminds me of the Dwellers-part of my comic, as Hades also has rather limited resources, and is struggling with overpopulation, though it's not quite as bad as your premisen, as they have some rather cruel "traditions" that limit growth. Some of that will be shown in the chapter after Torque Mountain. Need to blow up stuff first.cheeky

    Thanks a lot for the feedback @BeeMKay I can see what you mean with all your points. The blurredness is somethign I#m still trying to get better when doing over the shoulder shots. It always seems to be a trade-of between how much the persons back/shoulder covers of the image to how blurred it gets. (And then there is always the personal blindness as in "I know who is standing there" ;))

    About the transparendt speech bubbles, yes, at first I though I could keep them all at the same tranparency, by now I go more floating about how transparent they go, to avoid those problems. The "you're funny" was meant to come from the woman eating that soup. I guess I need to get a better direction into my tails (I hate making new bubbles, I keep reusing the ones I prepared :( or I should go invest into that speech bubbles program.

     

    Post edited by Linwelly on
  • BeeMKayBeeMKay Posts: 6,788
    edited February 2018

    Now that you mention it, yes, the directions of the speech bubbles are a bit off. You always point at the organ speaking, which would be the mouth. So, no pointing at buttocks, unless you are talking out of your.. erm. ,-) I can only recommend the tutorials about speech bubbles posted here earlier in this thread, they are really helpful in that aspect.

    I'm using Clip Studio as program to put together my comic, and it has really great bubble-functions. You can add separate tails which automatically merge into the bubble. But you certainly could work out something in your program of choice. I have moved my entire bubble-process from Photoshop to Clip Studio, and now make two versions of each bubble-set - one in English, and a second one in German. It certainly helped with the space, as the languages have differences in sentence and word lengths.

    Post edited by BeeMKay on
  • Yeah, you have to edit the transparency on EACH bubble. It goes by what's behind it.

    And yeah, minimize the blurry head too. More subtle. And if they are speaking, they probably shouldn't be blurred, to be honest.

    Just my opinion.

  • LinwellyLinwelly Posts: 5,105
    BeeMKay said:

    Now that you mention it, yes, the directions of the speech bubbles are a bit off. You always point at the organ speaking, which would be the mouth. So, no pointing at buttocks, unless you are talking out of your.. erm. ,-) I can only recommend the tutorials about speech bubbles posted here earlier in this thread, they are really helpful in that aspect.

    I'm using Clip Studio as program to put together my comic, and it has really great bubble-functions. You can add separate tails which automatically merge into the bubble. But you certainly could work out something in your program of choice. I have moved my entire bubble-process from Photoshop to Clip Studio, and now make two versions of each bubble-set - one in English, and a second one in German. It certainly helped with the space, as the languages have differences in sentence and word lengths.

    I noticed that buttocks problem too late (blush)...  I certainly can make better fitting bubbles with gimp as well, its jut really time consuming, and up to here my pointers usually weren't too far off.  I still hesitate with clipstudio as its kind of pricy and has lots of functions I don't really need, but I guess I'll have a look at the test verion.

    Yeah, you have to edit the transparency on EACH bubble. It goes by what's behind it.

    And yeah, minimize the blurry head too. More subtle. And if they are speaking, they probably shouldn't be blurred, to be honest.

    Just my opinion.

    That is quite the valid point, to have the speaking person not blurry. I guess I will adhere to that from now on.

  • BeeMKayBeeMKay Posts: 6,788

    Does Gimp have a vector function? If so, you can use that to fairly easily create the shapes. 

  • FenixPhoenixFenixPhoenix Posts: 2,092
    edited February 2018

    @Crescent, very useful stuff, thanks for sharing.

    On that note, for anyone who doesn't know, you don't want to change your picture to black and white in photoshop using Image > mode >grayscale. Instead, if you add a Black and White adjustment layer in photoshop, you can always increase the contrast by playing with the sliders (or you can go through the list of presets available and then tweak as needed).

     

    Linwelly said:
    here is one of my panelfeeds for my latest page which is up in completeness at webtoons (linkbanner below). Its already out there so no changes for this one but I was fighting a lot to get the speechbubbles at the right places without killing the view and still making clear which bubble belongs to whom. and I didn't wnat thos long tails either, that would have cut the image in half.

    @BeeMKay and @Griffin Avid have raised vaild points. The problem I see with the first panel is that it's unbalanced. You have the entire action happening on one side of the panel and nothing on the other, which I suspect is the reason why you struggled positioning the bubbles. Also, take note of the lines. Your composition already has some good lines that are being wasted. So, my suggestion would've been to move the girl she's talking to the other side. Not only would you balance the picture, but it wouldn't feel so cluttered. As a bonus, you would've been able to use the lines already there to draw the eye to the girl she's talking to (adding focus).

    I do wonder if it's purposeful to keep us so far away from what's happening? I mean, there are no close ups (which are usually a staple of comic/manga/visual novels dialogue exchanges), which makes everything feel very detach. BUT that could very well be a message you're trying to convey, so I'm intrigued.

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