3D Comic Book Tips And Pictures

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  • magicjavamagicjava Posts: 152
    edited February 2018

    Alot to take in... while I'm thinking it over, I'll just say real quick that there are only two fonts used on the entirety of the four covers. Look at the "A" in Dinosaurs, Dagger, and Zabba. They are the same A. Look at the "O" in Boy and Doctor. Same O. Only City of Gold uses a different font. And the disk is a vector graphic. It's the elipse tool in Photoshop.

    ---

    As to what I'm doing, these books tell the history of the U.S. universe. That's why the stories I've presented so far take place in the 1800s and the 1940s. Wild Boy is a bit different from that. His stories give a unique example of how the universe works, with its dream worlds. It is part of exploring the multiple dimensions of the universe.

    Branding is a good point, but I definitely don't want something like the Avengers, Justice League, or X-Men were characters are being introduced for the sake of introducing characters. The Heroes of the Wild Frontier are not the same thing as the Legends Pacific, whereas Avengers and Justice League (and the X-Men, and the Invaders, et. al.) are basically the same thing.

    Each of the series has a purpose and a scope, a beginning and an end. There are only a small handful of characters whose arcs extend beyond a given place and time. It's not the soap opera style of story telling used by DC and Marvel, where an endless parade of mostly interchangable characters fight the same battles over and over for decades. And in The U.S. Universe, there won't be any analog to Peter Parker spending 30 years in high school.

    ---

    So, that said, I'll give the custom logo some consideration. It's good advice. But I have to weight it against the fact that this is a 6-page backup story that runs for 4 issues and stops. Wild Boy does have one more planned appearance beyond this arc, so there is the chance for re-use there. So I'll see how long it takes to come up with something.

     

    Post edited by magicjava on
  • Ahhh, so are you making these stories or just making the covers in advance?
    like, how many...actual comics have you made and what are doing about hosting them?

    Are interested in doing the webcomic thing and using one of the free hosting sites?

    Or a blog or your own site? I could have sworn I read somewhere that you didn't have time to make these the art was all concept stuff for the future.

    maybe it wasn't you.

  • I've finished 20 comics so far. So whatever you read wasn't me.

    As to hosting, I'll be hosting my own site on AWS on a eCommerce store that I will write myself. Hopefully this will be done by the summer, definitely by the end of the year.

    But right now my main focus is to listen to feedback from the people here. While I'm not going to do major changes like re-writing or re-rendering a series, small things like creating a new logo, or redoing a cover are doable.

     

  • magicjavamagicjava Posts: 152
    edited February 2018

    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.

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

    Ah.... The colours are great!  But.... who's the hero? There' so much going on in that image that I have a hard time deciding about what exactly this comic is about.

    Also, what is the message you are trying to send with that cover image? I'm a bit confused about that, because it's not telling too many stories at once.

  • magicjavamagicjava Posts: 152
    edited February 2018
    BeeMKay said:

    Ah.... The colours are great!  But.... who's the hero? There' so much going on in that image that I have a hard time deciding about what exactly this comic is about.

    Also, what is the message you are trying to send with that cover image? I'm a bit confused about that, because it's not telling too many stories at once.

    Butterfly is the one with butterfly wings.

    The style is based on the black action films of the 70s, where it was common to pack a movie poster with lots of people.

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

    Mmm... it still is not working on your cover. The 70s poster has quite clear distinction by size and by colouring. It draws the eyes to the large lady (Sugar Hill) in red first. There's never a doubt who is the hero.

    Your cover makes me look at shades-guy first, then the car with the girl on it, then up to the censored sign and the shooting girl. I didn't even consciously notice the butterfly-winged girl until you pointed her out.

  • magicjavamagicjava Posts: 152
    edited February 2018
    BeeMKay said:

    Mmm... it still is not working on your cover. The 70s poster has quite clear distinction by size and by colouring. It draws the eyes to the large lady (Sugar Hill) in red first. There's never a doubt who is the hero.

    Your cover makes me look at shades-guy first, then the car with the girl on it, then up to the censored sign and the shooting girl. I didn't even consciously notice the butterfly-winged girl until you pointed her out.

    I’m happy with that. The girl on the car and the girl shooting the gun are also Butterfly. That’s her civilian identity of Marian Michaels, who sings in a funk band. There’s a post with her in it on page 3 of this thread.

    EDIT: The guy in the shades is the villain.

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

    Well, I, as the casual reader seeing the cover in the store, do not know that this is the same girl. And outside of the size, she is not standing out from the rest of the image. I'm sorry if that isn't what you wanted to hear, and since it is your desired effect to have the cover look that way, I'll rest my case.

  • magicjavamagicjava Posts: 152
    edited February 2018
    BeeMKay said:

    Well, I, as the casual reader seeing the cover in the store, do not know that this is the same girl. And outside of the size, she is not standing out from the rest of the image. I'm sorry if that isn't what you wanted to hear, and since it is your desired effect to have the cover look that way, I'll rest my case.

    It’s fine, but you’re not supposed to know she’s the same girl. That’s why she wears a wig and shades in her Butterfly outfit. She has a secret identity.

    I understand what you’re saying, it’s just I’m ok with it.The image lets you know this is an action story and pays homage to the 1970s black action films, and that’s all it needs to do. Also, every image that caught your eye was either the hero or the villian, and that’s what it’s supposed to do.

    Post edited by magicjava on
  • 1) I hate sitting here chiming in every 2 seconds. We're at the point of "What I would do advice" and if you're happy/content with what you're creating then carry on.  It's easy to sit here and keep picking apart your demos. At some point though, you gotta get tired of hearing advice and forumites saying "X makes that work better". If you're still comfortable then you are stronger than most. I have to be in a zone for criticism. And even then, if there's something there, I meant for to be there and come out that way. There's no aspect of my work that I am not 100% in control of and making deliberate decisions.

    2) My 40 cents is you should commit fully to any direction. If you want to be loud, be the loudest then. Make that mark. Why 'hint' at a 70s poster when you can just actually make one? Put that final render through one of those paint filters and use one layer on top the other to control the amount and where the paint effect falls heaviest. In other words, maybe around your central character, you go with a lighter paint effect (by erasing the painted layer or one of the copies of the original render if it was sitting on top) for the areas you want clearer and heavy paint for the edges or non-important characters. Do the same thing with the saturation. Main characters in vivid color (turn up the saturation) and turn it down for the backdrop. Do the same thing with focus. Keep the main more crispy and in focus than the edges/backdrop. etc.....there's a million different approaches to controlling reader focus.

    3) An important aspect, maybe the most important is LAYOUT. The layout of a magazine cover is different than a poster or advert or...Comic Book cover .... So copy the shape and design of a movie poster. All that text on the bottom could be your real credits. You boldface the badguy's names and the heroines name and such. Use "starring in a comic by...." All that stuff. They always list who's starring or featured. And better you've got an actor. It'd be cute to say the alias is starring as the hero.

    4) From a creative perspective, you can always flip the concepts. What about the regular woman looking at a poster for the hero. Like it's her back, but she's facing us with the sly wink and behind her is that 70s poster that's all about her super-hero alter-ego. That would be a twist. There's phone apps that can graffiti-ize an image. That poster placed on a wall is another groovy idea. And if you MUST do Fonts, there's plenty of 70s style fonts to serve as the base shape.

  • 1) I hate sitting here chiming in every 2 seconds.

    It's better than saying nothing. I'm here to listen to people's feedback. I mean, I don't need to post here to see my stuff. I already have my stuff.

    At some point though, you gotta get tired of hearing advice and forumites saying "X makes that work better".

    No. I like listening to advice. But that doesn't mean I'll agree with everything. The fonts critisims are dead on, I need to work on that. The layout for that Butterfly cover, that's more of an opinion. But even if I don't agree, it let's me look at it with fresh eyes.

    Why 'hint' at a 70s poster when you can just actually make one?

    Because there's a difference between an homage and a reproduction. It's a homage, not a reproduction.

    3) An important aspect, maybe the most important is LAYOUT. The layout of a magazine cover is different than a poster or advert or...Comic Book cover .... So copy the shape and design of a movie poster. All that text on the bottom could be your real credits. You boldface the badguy's names and the heroines name and such. Use "starring in a comic by...." All that stuff. They always list who's starring or featured. And better you've got an actor. It'd be cute to say the alias is starring as the hero.

    4) From a creative perspective, you can always flip the concepts. What about the regular woman looking at a poster for the hero. Like it's her back, but she's facing us with the sly wink and behind her is that 70s poster that's all about her super-hero alter-ego. That would be a twist. There's phone apps that can graffiti-ize an image. That poster placed on a wall is another groovy idea. And if you MUST do Fonts, there's plenty of 70s style fonts to serve as the base shape.

    All interesting ideas that I'll consider.

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

    Ok, here are the new covers based on feedback. Let me know what you think.

    Compared to the old ones, there's already an improvement, but there's still a lot of room for more. You now need to learn about composition and, for that, you'd need to understand and apply basic design principles: hierarchy, contrast, breathing room, etc... These videos might help you understand the principles of design:

    So, let's compare your comosition with other cover designs that uses similar subjects. (This is done just as a quick visual example):

    Notice how the image frames the text and the angle is more interesting. There's also a clear heriarchy and every line brings your eye to the lower corner, making it dynamic.

    Now, I'm not crazy about that Black Panther Cover (it feels cluttered to me), but notice how the same action is made more interesting in the second cover by making the framing more interesting, communicating movement. In your cover, the lower guy is cropped very weirdly. If you want to use complicated backgrounds as oppose to simple colors, you can benefit from making them blurred, so you can direct our focus to the action.

    Look at how the vegetation is used to frame the figure; then contrast does the rest. In your picture, again, there's too much going on. It doesn't help that the background has a texture that steals the limelight, making it distracting. So, my recommendation would be to take that mountain out. Leave an empty sky, leave the vegetation on the bottom as well, add more vegetation to frame your man. But you also need to design thinking of where you'll place the text. How would you use everything to frame it?

    So, let's see how some graphic covers frame their text:

    BTW, the numbers in green indicate the heirarchy. The purple/blue indicate how lines and shapes are used to frame the text. (Apologies for the black border. I screenshotted these on my tablet to make quick annotations).

     

     

     

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    Post edited by FenixPhoenix on
  • @giselle3000 That was incredible. You really put some work into that post. I am speechless, but I can keep typing so....

    Great, great job finding those examples that match his concepts. Wow.

    Super impressed.

    Gushfest over.

  • @giselle3000 That was incredible. You really put some work into that post. I am speechless, but I can keep typing so....

    Great, great job finding those examples that match his concepts. Wow.

    Super impressed.

    Gushfest over.

    Hahaha thanks! I do advertising and design for a living... plus, I really love helping out and teaching those that want to improve :). I cut my post short because I didn't want to bombard this thread. But if people are interested, we can start a thread to go over design principles one by one. :)

     

  • FenixPhoenixFenixPhoenix Posts: 2,175
    edited February 2018

    So, now let's use these examples to show that you can still create a cover from a picture/painting/render you did without considering how you'd frame your text in advance. 

    Boxes, strips and/or rectangles

    The easiest way is simply add a black box and put your text on top, like they do here:

    If done right, you can even turn that simple solution into part of your branding like they do with these comics:

    Transition

    Another clever way to do that, is to turn the strip into a transition (but positioning is key).

    Walking dead does it very well by turning the box into the ground. The grungy texture of the font helps sell the idea that the typography is beneath the ground (but notice that we don't need the ground texture, black works just well and contrast makes the important things pop out). The next cover also uses the same technique.

    Another way to transition your way into delivering the text (or emphasizing it) is via adding opacity (making part of the cover darker so the text becomes readable).

    Post edited by FenixPhoenix on
  • giselle3000, Very nice examples. I'll see what I can do.

  • LinwellyLinwelly Posts: 5,162

    Wow, what a great collection and example, thanks a lot for that professional insight @giselle3000 and yes I would definitely like a thread about design prinicples!

    One Link I would liek to add in here as well is this analysis of "the incredibles" http://floobynooby.blogspot.de/2013/12/the-cinematography-of-incredibles-part-1.html

    I like to go back there every now and then because I still find some valuable tool I didn't collect before

  • magicjavamagicjava Posts: 152
    edited February 2018

    Here's the redone cover for issue 2. While I think the Black Panther dinosaur cover was nice, I didn't think the difference was large enough to warrent a re-render. So I just resized it to crop wild boy out.

    I probably wont be able to get to the other covers until tomorrow.

    EDIT: Griffin Avid, I tried taking out the disk from the logo. I think it looks better with it.

     

    Post edited by magicjava on
  • magicjavamagicjava Posts: 152
    edited February 2018

    Now that I've had a bit of time to think about it, I'll share my thoughts on some of these example covers. Keep in mind this is not a defense of my covers, I know they need reworking.

    This really is a terrible cover. The logo is flat and uninteresting, the two characters look frozen in place to me, and the use of pointess text is pointless. However, it does earn some originality points for having a yellow sky and powder blue vegetation.

     

    Flat, generic logo. Art that looks like it was done by a 5th grader. I know the point is the lines, and it's a good point. But it's also a point that lines can't save a bad image.

     

    Another flat, lifeless image with a flat, lifeless logo. What reason is there to buy this? Also, he looks like he should be holding a handful of cigars.

    Extra Bonus Points: 008

    Exit Question: Why does he have breasts?

     

    Cliche picture of an alpha male giving us a crotch shot. Thankfully, someone told the artist to blacken out the hips, but what kind of pose would actually produce shadows like that?

     

    I know the point to this was the text, which is a good thing because the words "Star Wars" are the only reason to buy it. An uninteresting crew in uninteresting poses with half of the womans mouth fading away. Sad Vader behind her is unintentionally funny.

     

    The background here is way too blurry. I had to zoom in to see if those were fish and she was standing under water, or those were spaceships and she was standing in clouds. Neither option makes any sense (which I guess is why they blurred it out).

     

    Post edited by magicjava on
  • If Rosie O'Donnel were a superhero.

  • So, I appreciate the effort giselle3000, but I'm not copying from those covers. I know I need to improve some things, but I'm just going to have to find my own way.

  • BeeMKayBeeMKay Posts: 6,800

    @giselle3000 That was incredible. You really put some work into that post. I am speechless, but I can keep typing so....

    Great, great job finding those examples that match his concepts. Wow.

    Super impressed.

    Gushfest over.

    Hahaha thanks! I do advertising and design for a living... plus, I really love helping out and teaching those that want to improve :). I cut my post short because I didn't want to bombard this thread. But if people are interested, we can start a thread to go over design principles one by one. :)

     

    Thank you for the examples! They illustrated your points very well, and I learned quite a bit! There were a few things I had never thought sbout, like the movement in the diving bird cover, or how to make the text shine! 

    I would also be interested in a new thread about the design principles, and also learn a bit more about the design process, like, which decisions play into deciding for one or the other style?

  • dreamfarmerdreamfarmer Posts: 2,128
    edited February 2018

    Hey, @Giselle3000. I'd love to see your design thread. I have a lot of respect for your taste and sense of aesthetics, and I know I could learn a lot. A lot of the covers you included in your post knocked my socks off, and I found it really useful how you went out of your way to find similar covers for the comparisons.

    Post edited by dreamfarmer on
  • BeeMKayBeeMKay Posts: 6,800
    edited February 2018

    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

     

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  • dreamfarmerdreamfarmer Posts: 2,128

    I think letting the art breathe and take over for a while is good. Emotional moments shouldn't be rushed.

  • Worlds_EdgeWorlds_Edge Posts: 2,036

    I like what you've done @Beemkay  

    Suggest take out "we'll go in now, nurse kelou" but leave in "I take full responsibility."  I think the meaning is clear if you drop the beginning part, and it adds to the urgency.

    You could slip in another panel right after there, perhaps showing your main character running down the hall (if appropriate/fits the hospital design).

    I too would like to see the extra image/tear/emotion perhaps focused just on the main character.

  • I think the word balloons could use some reigning in.

    The text size looks big, but that could be for the web. When it dips below the frame it drags my eye down to the second tier of images.

    The tails are also huge and long. I'd play around with their placement and see if there's a more uniform way to arrange them.

  • LinwellyLinwelly Posts: 5,162

    @Beemkay  I think you are on the right track with giving this a bit more space. I would try to take the overlapping speech bubble away from the third panel where they see whats happening inside.

    Something I found intersting is that the gutter ( the space between panels) can play an important role and givin the watchers mind to fill in.

    As well you did a nice job on giving the nurse a dominance position in the second panel but dominance shifts towards the mage elder and it would be nice to give that an extra panel (eg with Mage elder close up or an over the shoulder shot with the camera angle slightly down on the nurse when he tells her he's in charge. That would increase drama for the entrance in the hospital room as well.

    for the third panel (its probably too late now but as suggestion for the next time) I would move the camera closer between mage elder and the dean(?) and tilt sideways a bit more so that the shoulders create a frame for the dying brother. We loose sight of the living brother for that moment but returning the camera to him will be the more brutal, seeing his despair.

    This is just my idea, I might be wrong.

  • BeeMKayBeeMKay Posts: 6,800
    edited February 2018

    Thank you for the kind words, and that's very good suggestions everyone!

    Mmm...  I can see how this would work out and strengthen the storytelling... If take the first two images, and render one additional of the Mage Elder saying "I take full responsibility" (@World's_Edge you are right about leaving out the sentence. I wanted to show that the Mage Elder is familiar with the personell of the hospital, but I think I can leave in the name and still cut out the first part about going in.). Then one more of them running down a corridor (actually, that is more like a double door thing)...

    Then, the one of the death scene, with the different frame (I think you are right, I wanted to have Simon in there to show that he's witnessing everything, but if I have Simon behind them and being the "one who is the audience eyes"... And then, a two-panel one with the group, and Simon with a tear sliding down his face.

    You think that would work?

    Time wouldn't be that much of a problem, as I just would have to set up the closeup, and the corridor scene, and render them, which should be doable after I come home tonight.

    @Griffin Avid, yes, the text size is a struggle. I want it to be readable on a tablet, but it is kind of difficult to find a balance there. The text could be a lot smaller, by 40 or even 50% and still be readable. As for the tails, I have to admit I haven't mastered that topic. Could you perhaps give me an idea with one of the panels how long/wide the tails should be?  I moved the lettering to Clip studio, so it is a lot easier to do, but I kind of miss tails I used earlier, which were formed from the bubble itself rather than using the tail-tool.

    @Linwelly Duon isn't the dean (he has an important part, though); more about his role will be revealed in upcoming pages. The name's pronounced Do-on. smiley

    Post edited by BeeMKay on
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