3D Comic Book Tips And Pictures

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  • BeeMKay said:

    The last image is the final version.

    I try to use the narrator sparsley, mostly to remind the reader that what hey see is part of his retelling. "What he remembers". Of course, there are parts that he can't know about because he hasn't witnessed them... some parts may be distorted, falsified or forgotten, as it is with memories. For example, neither of the three panels on the page would be things that the narrator character would have known first hand. He knows what Simon messaged his younger brother, and what the younger brother replied, but he did not actually see Simon posting or Dwayne receiving the message. Strictly speaking, his memory would start a bit later when his team enters the scene, but just like with the falisified angles, some things were put in for the sake of the reader's experience.

    I think we had a discussion about that aspect of story telling in one of the Visual Narrives months webinars over at Digital Arts Live - when you have a narrator, what angle you use, and what can you actually show? I'd be interested to know, what do you (and others here in the thread) think about the "narrator perspective"? Do you have an rules set for yourself, any dos/don'ts or preferences? Also, What is your prefernce as a reader?

    RE-rendering... yes, don't we all fight that... I really try to keep them at minimum, but as I am using Jack Tomalin's render farm for getting the images rendered out, I only see the result in full scale when I let the render finish there. Of course, I try to get as much caught and adjusted as possible in preview/pre-render.

    I render at longest side 3600 px, my page is DINA4 size.

    I do like the last version. Why the change in outfit, by the way (panel 1)?

    In college, I recall having multiple discussions and classes in which we got into the details of the various types of narrators: omniscient narrators, limited third-person narrators, first-person, etc. I guess I should clarify this: I have a degree in English and that included a lot of classes on literature and writing. So, I've had a LOT of  classes and discussions on this subject. Personally, I tend to like stories with an omniscient narrator – someone who knows everything that is going on makes for smooth storytelling. Also, it can streamline the character introductions. I recall reading an Agatha Christi novel (can't recall which, one, though) and I recall that a girl had brought her boyfriend to dinner to meet her upper-crust family, and the young man was described as having a freshly scrubbed look and was clearly uncomfortable wearing a tie, but at least he cleaned up well. Or something to that effect. In order to get that info through characters, you would need to have someone at that dinner say those words to someone else, which would have completely changed the flow of the story and required that you had characters with enough insight to make that observation. Since everyone at the dinner was vapid and clueless, that would have required changing the dynamics of the entire scene. Also, in the Neil Gaiman novel, Good Omens, the know-it-all narrator is just so FUNNY. Honestly, the book comes off as though a friend were telling you a story, throwing in all sorts of jokes and comments that the characters could not possible be aware of. (It could be argued that, since the book is about Angels and Demons, the narrator could actually be God.) 

    You are trying something with this part of your story that I would describe as being a modified First-Person Narrator, which is almost a version of a testimony. I think one of the most famous uses of a "testimony narrator" is used in the 1950 Japanese film, Rashomon. Wikipedia Summary: The film is known for a plot device that involves various characters providing subjective, alternative, self-serving, and contradictory versions of the same incident. Basically, a Samurai is murdered by a bandit and the question is, was the samurai's wife assaulted by the bandit (who then murdered the husband) or did the woman have an affair with the bandit and then try to get him to kill her husband? The whole thing is done as a court case and everyone tells their own version of what happened.

    That's a little bit like what you're doing here: But just a little.

    He's "telling" his story, but are his memories factual or are they self-serving and omit things? This is an interesting dive into the character's mind. It might be up to us (or the people interviewing him) to make that determination. Of course, it would be interesting to add another layer to it and have him challenge the interviewer and force her to reveal some sort of bias or to challenge her ethics. 

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

    BTW: I do recall something from one of my class discussions that might help you if you ever feel that you've gone too far by having your narrator reveal things that the character didn't know (and, oddly enough, I just read this device being used last month when I was reading a Sherlock Holmes story). You can always have the narrator say something to introduce the scene by saying something like: "I didn't know this at the time, but later Dwayne told me how he came to be involved in this matter..."

     

    Anyway, I'm kind of rambling. It's been a long day and I should have been asleep hours ago.

  • Interesting, there are certainly advantages and disadvantages of choosing a certain narrator type. One can obviously be the tense (past, present) another, has you mentioned is the availability of information about the events that happened.

    Some murder mystery novels purposefully choose to keep the reader in the dark about events so that it unravels just as the detective experiences in the novel or dramatisation. I suppose this helps immerse you in their world.

    The film 'Snake Eyes' did this perfectly, where Nicholas Cage has to interview different people to get their perspective of a crime that happened during a boxing match. Each person saw it from a different perspective and each time they tell the story, you are shown the events again, but this time from a different viewpoint, thus, little by little the truth about what happens begins building up.

    Rashomon is a great example, and a great film.

  • Interesting, there are certainly advantages and disadvantages of choosing a certain narrator type. One can obviously be the tense (past, present) another, has you mentioned is the availability of information about the events that happened.

    Some murder mystery novels purposefully choose to keep the reader in the dark about events so that it unravels just as the detective experiences in the novel or dramatisation. I suppose this helps immerse you in their world.

    The film 'Snake Eyes' did this perfectly, where Nicholas Cage has to interview different people to get their perspective of a crime that happened during a boxing match. Each person saw it from a different perspective and each time they tell the story, you are shown the events again, but this time from a different viewpoint, thus, little by little the truth about what happens begins building up. Rashomon is a great example, and a great film.

    This sort of perspective is very important to mysteries. Without the perspective (usually from the narrator being a character, often the person solving the crime itself) the mystery genre might not even be possible.

    Yeah, the narrator really makes or breaks the story in many ways. In the Sherlock Holmes stories, everything is told through the eyes of John Watson. But in the movies they can break this conceit and skip to show us directly what Holmes is doing. I would think that adapting Watson's viewpoint would be one of the hardest things to do when converting the material to a movie because, well... we NEED Watson to humanize Holmes. Holmes is a dick. A major dick, if we're honest. But, having Watson there helps soften Sherlock's rough points.

    Y'know, this limited-first-person narrator is essential when the narrator is a character in the story. I can't think of a single story by H.P. Lovecraft where the narrator is not the central focus and voice (poetry doesn't count here, not even the narrative poetry). An amusing thought just crossed my mind. Can you imagine how bad those stories would have been if they had been written by Ernest Hemingway? I shudder to think of that kind of horror! :-)

    Snake Eyes, eh? I haven't seen it. I'm hesitant to do so because I typically do not like Nicholas Cage movies. Nothing against him as an actor, really. I don't think he's great but I don't think he's horrible. It's just that he tends to make movies that I don't particularly enjoy. However, it is free on Amazon Prime Video, so I might watch it. I just watched the trailer and it looks to be okay. If we watch it I'll let you know what I think.

     

     

     

  • mmitchell_houstonmmitchell_houston Posts: 2,452
    edited August 2019
    BeeMKay said:

    The last image is the final version.

    I try to use the narrator sparsley, mostly to remind the reader that what hey see is part of his retelling. "What he remembers". Of course, there are parts that he can't know about because he hasn't witnessed them... some parts may be distorted, falsified or forgotten, as it is with memories. For example, neither of the three panels on the page would be things that the narrator character would have known first hand. He knows what Simon messaged his younger brother, and what the younger brother replied, but he did not actually see Simon posting or Dwayne receiving the message. Strictly speaking, his memory would start a bit later when his team enters the scene, but just like with the falisified angles, some things were put in for the sake of the reader's experience.

    I think we had a discussion about that aspect of story telling in one of the Visual Narrives months webinars over at Digital Arts Live - when you have a narrator, what angle you use, and what can you actually show? I'd be interested to know, what do you (and others here in the thread) think about the "narrator perspective"? Do you have an rules set for yourself, any dos/don'ts or preferences? Also, What is your prefernce as a reader?

    RE-rendering... yes, don't we all fight that... I really try to keep them at minimum, but as I am using Jack Tomalin's render farm for getting the images rendered out, I only see the result in full scale when I let the render finish there. Of course, I try to get as much caught and adjusted as possible in preview/pre-render.

    I render at longest side 3600 px, my page is DINA4 size.

    While discussing the use of narration and narrators (elsewhere in this thread with jepsonpeteCMT), and suddenly, it dawned on me that I'm missing something from your story. What is the purpose of the interrogation / investigation within your story? I saw the opening pages you showed us, but I missed why they are talking to him. What are they trying to find out? I'm wondering if the reader might not be more engaged if they knew what the person being interrogated is trying to conceal (I suspect this has been reveled in your story, but I'm not aware of it).

     

    This brings to mind the final episode of M*A*S*H, where the entire show is told through the viewpoint of Hawkeye (Alan Alda), as the psychiatrist (wonderfully played by Allen Arbus) conducts a therapy session in an attempt to reveal what has caused Hawkeye to finally snap under the pressures of war. This is used as a framing device where we see a variety of clips introduced by Hawkeye, and they are woven into the overall narrative. In the most important scene, the first time we see the traumatic event, Hawkeye's memory shows us one object as the cause... but after probing we see it as another. They filmed the scene twice to achieve this effect. (Man, can't believe I'm trying to avoid spoilers for a TV show that aired in 1983! But, it's very likely many people have never seen it.) This was a very effective twist at the time. It looses something in the rewatching, to be honest, but at the time it was very dramatic.

     

    Anyway, your interogation is an interesting framing device to set up the narration of your scene and guide the viewer through the story. But, I'm wondering what your end-game is? Have the readers come into this knowing what's going to happen (like in the case of a crime story where the narration is told to lead us to the killer?) or (like in the episode of M*A*S*H described above) are you leading us toward some big reveal?

    Whatever it is, it's definitely an interesting storytelling approach and I'm intrigued to see what you do with it.

    Post edited by mmitchell_houston on
  • BeeMKayBeeMKay Posts: 6,833

    @Mike ... The character in the first panel has changed clothing, because he has switched them to fatigues; he's going to join his team mates shortly after.

    The purpose of the investigation... that's twofold. Plotwise, Dwayne is dead, and the narrator is part of the team that arrested him, and hence under suspicion.

    The idea was to use the memories/investigation to fill in some blanks and give the reader a better understanding and insight into what the Division does. The investigation's also supposed to show some standards of the Division, that they work together with the Police (meaning that the mages don't live in hiding, but at the same time do have a sort of own jurisdiction - based on a treaty). In addition, it's shown how Mind Magic works, and hinted at that here's two types of Mages, Dark and Light Mages, as well as the existence of other inhabited worlds that Earth had/has(?) contact with. This is all planting hints for upcoming events.

    Demon Divsion has two main plot strands - one is the students. Their training, survival and their introduction into the work of a Division agent. The second strand is the return of the Demons, which is closely tied to a group of renegade mages called "Janus". Both plots are entwined.

    It's really hard/difficult to "take time" with the story telling and do it properly, when it's on my tongue trying to burst out in a huge rush of words and images. There's a lot of "beginner's mistakes" in Division, and it's a learning experience.

  • BeeMKayBeeMKay Posts: 6,833
    edited August 2019

    Narration... Yes, you can get totally different effects depending on how you're playing it. For Division, my co-author and I discussed a lot about the narrator, i.e. after feedback from the Digital Arts Live's Visial Narratives Webinars. Having a narrator does have a lot of advantages, i.e. as you can have him/her fill in gaps. We decided to have a limited third voice narration instead, which sometimes doesn't work. There are some spots where we did "character thoughts", which would mean a switch to either first voice or omniscient 3rd voice... Then, there's chapter 2, which makes the reader privy to Duon (the interrogated's) thoughts, but only because he has a Mind Mage rummaging in his mind and we as readers witness what she 'records'.

    As far as narratives go, I always enjoyed the "classical" narrations of shows like MacGyver or Magnum P.I., which really added a lot to the story and gave the characters some extra depth, as well as connecting them with the audience in pretending that they were talking directly to them. I'd love to do that for Division, but I'm not sure if it would work because it's an ensemble-story, rather than "one hero".... though it advertises as "Seth Caelen trying to ease the new students into their job, while the Demons show up". Ah well.

    Post edited by BeeMKay on
  • BeeMKay said:

    Narration... Yes, you can get totally different effects depending on how you're playing it. For Division, my co-author and I discussed a lot about the narrator, i.e. after feedback from the Digital Arts Live's Visial Narratives Webinars. Having a narrator does have a lot of advantages, i.e. as you can have him/her fill in gaps. We decided to have a limited third voice narration instead, which sometimes doesn't work. There are some spots where we did "character thoughts", which would mean a switch to either first voice or omiscient 3rd voice... Then, there's chapter 2, which maskes the reader privy to Duon (the interrogated's) thoughts, but only because he has a Mind Mage rummaging in his mind and we as readers witness what she 'records'.

    As far as narratives go, I always enjoyed the "classical" narrations of shows like MacGyver or Magnum P.I., which really added a lot to the story and gave the characters some extra depth, as well as connecting them with the audience in pretending that they were talking directly to them. I'd love to do that for Division, but I'm not sure if it would work because it's an ensemble-story, rather than "one hero".... though it advertises as "Seth Caelen trying to ease the new students into their job, while the Demons show up". Ah well.

    Mind reading is an excellent approach to telling a story. 

    I'm reminded of a similar technique used in a long story-arc with the Sixth Doctor Who, played by Colin Baker. "The Trial of a Time Lord" series had the doctor's memories scrambled, so the interrogators were probing his mind to look into some sort of crime he had allegedly committed. We (and he) saw everything on a monitor screen. It included a few cool things, such as:

    • There was a point in the show where the video was garbled and we all thought it was a glitch, but then the Doctor demanded to know what was going on. The Council had scrambled a scene in his memory for some sort of security reasons. He was furious to realize that they had been tampering with his memories.
    • They also showed his companion, Peri, dying a horrible death (when his memories had been restored completely), only to find out later that she had actually met someone, fallen in love and had decided to stay behind.

    This was an excellent arc in the series, and it definitely showed the types of things you could do with "memory as testimony" within this type of framework.

    Funny you should mention the one-character narration approach like the one used in Magnum P.I. I recently watched an episode of the sitcom Scrubs, which is known for its quirky narration by the lead character. In this episode, all the other characters were narrating, and they sort of "tag-teamed it," which each character passing off the narration to the next character. It was well done.

    In print, this can be accomplished by using caption boxes with with either names or different typefaces. But I don't think that would work as well as what you're doing right now.

     

  • vrba79 said:

    Here's a postwork recipe I did that works for most images, to give them a sketched comic effect:

    Select your image or layer of your image.

    Go to Filter -> Artistic -> Film Grain.

    Put all 2s in the boxes.

    Go to Filter - > Aritstic -> Colored Pencil.

    Set boxes to 9, 5. and 50.

    Edit - > Fade Color Pencil.

    Set the Mode to Overlay and the percentage to 50.

    Image - > Adjustments -> Desaturate

    Edit -> Fade Desaturate.

    Leave the mode on Normal, and set the Opacity to 50.

    Here's a before and after, illustrating the finale result.

     

    Best way is to use 3delight render, because Iray render is too much realistic.

  • chicago1921chicago1921 Posts: 52
    edited August 2019

     

     

    Here is various render on DAZ studio, no Iray render some are 3delight others are even from BasicOpenGl. One is from a comic I created. I keep still learning and improving.

    Lot of postwork on Photoshop with use of various filters and customized Action of mine:

     

     

    Post edited by chicago1921 on
  • mmitchell_houstonmmitchell_houston Posts: 2,452
    edited August 2019

     

     

    Here is various render on DAZ studio, no Iray render some are 3delight others are even from BasicOpenGl. One is from a comic I created. I keep still learning and improving.

    Lot of postwork on Photoshop with use of various filters and customized Action of mine:

     

     

    Very nice work. I'll comment on it more, later (rushing out the door right now).

    I did want to ask you to please go back to your original post and edit the wdith of your images: Forum guidelines allow for a maximum width of 800 pixels. This is to help ensure that your images will remain viewable on smaller screens and older computers.

    Thanks!

    Post edited by mmitchell_houston on
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    Very nice work. I'll comment on it more, later (rushing out the door right now).

    I did want to ask you to please go back to your original post and edit the wdith of your images: Forum guidelines allow for a maximum width of 800 pixels. This is to help ensure that your images will remain viewable on smaller screens and older computers.

    Thanks!

    Thank you for the notice, I just resized the pictures, I have a DeviantArt page and those come directly from there sorry for the XXXL pictures.

     

  • Thank you for the notice, I just resized the pictures, I have a DeviantArt page and those come directly from there sorry for the XXXL pictures.

    Thanks! Much easier to see them now. I'll comment more later!

  • mazinkaiserzeromazinkaiserzero Posts: 158
    edited October 2019
    Hey, I'm currently tinkering with Daz making stuff for a test comic (I say test, but it's more like a "secondary idea I'd like to expand if it's well received but won't mind too much if it bombs"), but I'm wondering... How much artistic license could I get away with the renders? I ask because I have been rendering for a while, and I feel like I have been drilled with the "as much realism as possible" notion while doing so. But for a comic, to give an example, how much would a reader mind if the shadows in the character are not 100% according to the background? As a result of rendering in layers and/or just lighting the character for dramatic effects. I will still use iray though, because I don't really agree with 3delight being better for that o.o
    Post edited by mazinkaiserzero on
  • LinwellyLinwelly Posts: 5,344
    Hey, I'm currently tinkering with Daz making stuff for a test comic (I say test, but it's more like a "secondary idea I'd like to expand if it's well received but won't mind too much if it bombs"), but I'm wondering... How much artistic license could I get away with the renders? I ask because I have been rendering for a while, and I feel like I have been drilled with the "as much realism as possible" notion while doing so. But for a comic, to give an example, how much would a reader mind if the shadows in the character are not 100% according to the background? As a result of rendering in layers and/or just lighting the character for dramatic effects. I will still use iray though, because I don't really agree with 3delight being better for that o.o

    I can only talk for myself but I find myself more forgiving for "context mistakes" like faulty shadows and similar things the further it goes away from the rendered look. Like some filters used etc. The other way round, the closer it gets to photorealistic the more distracting context mistakes are for me. What I use frequently is taking lightsources already present in a scene and then dialing them up for dramatic effect as I go in a scene. And there is no problem having light sources of undefined origin (I often use emsive planes for that) off camera, which will easily be interpreted as coming from some environmental source that just isn't seen by the reader. So it makes sense to plan your scene and camera settings ahead to know where you can plant off screen light sources.

  • Hey, I'm currently tinkering with Daz making stuff for a test comic (I say test, but it's more like a "secondary idea I'd like to expand if it's well received but won't mind too much if it bombs"), but I'm wondering... How much artistic license could I get away with the renders? I ask because I have been rendering for a while, and I feel like I have been drilled with the "as much realism as possible" notion while doing so. But for a comic, to give an example, how much would a reader mind if the shadows in the character are not 100% according to the background? As a result of rendering in layers and/or just lighting the character for dramatic effects. I will still use iray though, because I don't really agree with 3delight being better for that o.o

    I hate to punt this back to you, but I think you're going to have to experiment to find the right balance and see how it works.

    I work exclusively in line art for my comics, so the shadows can be very dramatic and still work because readers have been trained to expect a lot of artistic interpretation in line art. In other words, line-drawn comics don't look overly realistic so we're willing to give it more leeway regading the final image before it looks "wrong" to the reader. However, if you're doing essentially photorealistic images, I think you're going to find that gap between acceptable artistic interpretation and "looks wrong" is more narrow. 

    So, give it a shot and see how much you can get away with.

    Also, keep in mind that just because your characters and foregrounds are photoreal, that doesn't mean you can't use simple colors (or nothing) as the backgrounds. 

  • mmitchell_houstonmmitchell_houston Posts: 2,452
    edited October 2019
    Hey, I'm currently tinkering with Daz making stuff for a test comic (I say test, but it's more like a "secondary idea I'd like to expand if it's well received but won't mind too much if it bombs"), but I'm wondering... How much artistic license could I get away with the renders? I ask because I have been rendering for a while, and I feel like I have been drilled with the "as much realism as possible" notion while doing so. But for a comic, to give an example, how much would a reader mind if the shadows in the character are not 100% according to the background? As a result of rendering in layers and/or just lighting the character for dramatic effects. I will still use iray though, because I don't really agree with 3delight being better for that o.o

    I was very tempted to delete my last, rambling post. But I guess I'll leave it.

    My suggestion is this: Just make two or three pages. They don't even need to be part of your final project/story. Just the act of making a few pages will:

    • Confirm that you can maintain a consistent style from panel to panel.
    • Give you an idea if the background shadows are going to be an issue.
    • Show you how your realistic art style will work with your lettering choices (Black outline on balloons? No outline?).

    I did two superhero pages a long time ago, and even though I walked away from that story, I learned sooooooo much from just making them. Much more than I had learned from making pin-ups and character designs. 

    So, I'm gonna sum it up VERY bluntly: Until you make some pages (even if they are throw-aways), you don't even know if you can actually make a comic with your current approach to art.

     

    Post edited by mmitchell_houston on
  • mmitchell_houstonmmitchell_houston Posts: 2,452
    edited October 2019

    Some of you may have seen this in another post, but here's a slightly different version of a cover I did for a fanzine recently. This is the version without the logo and has a second strand of smoke on it, plus I edited the background candles just a bit to show more red on the wax. My usual workflow applies: Poser Pro 11 renders cleaned up in Clip Studio Paint.

    The version (appearing in the NPR forum) with the logo was selected as an "Poser Staff Pick of the Week" over at R'osity.

    _Halloween SKULL (10-14-2019).jpg
    1659 x 2149 - 4M
    Post edited by mmitchell_houston on
  • Awesome looking cover!

    I'll probably keep a more cgi rendered look, but still going to do some postwork. As Linwelly points out too, it's easier to forgive artistic license the less photoreal it looks, and yeah, I'll need to tweak until I find that sweet spot I'm comfortable with and it doesn't weird people out. I already made a script for a short "book" but while I'm building the stuff (characters, places, etc) I'll need for it, I just wanted to get a general "feeling" around here. Of course, will be posting here a couple of pages first before rendering the whole script (soon, I hope) so I don't need to re-render everything if it's not working out wink

    Thanks for the feedback yes

  • LinwellyLinwelly Posts: 5,344

    If you want to see a comic in the full rendered look (I do postwork but not drastically changing the image) have a look at my comic Taiduo (click on the banner)

  • mazinkaiserzeromazinkaiserzero Posts: 158
    edited October 2019
    Linwelly said:

    If you want to see a comic in the full rendered look (I do postwork but not drastically changing the image) have a look at my comic Taiduo (click on the banner)

     

    Just read it, and I got to say, great work making such a visually strong main character. It's funny because just before I read it, I was in a discord discussion about the need to make characters with strong design so it stays with the readers/players long after they read/play your content. And! I recently made a character with freckles, which I love, but I toned them down because I'm dumb and thought it was probably too much, but you proved me wrong :)

    Mind you, not the only thing I liked. I loved the comic overall. But was wondering, is it normal in webcomics that length per episode? At first I thought it was a bit slow but after some episodes I didn't mind, so was thinking I probably should also reconsider how to segment what I make into shorter pieces. Was planning something longer like the typical comics I'm used to, but then again, I doubt it'll be something for printing so if that's the usual pace for webcomics, I should adjust. (if I sound a bit rambling it's because I'm going to sleep very, very late due to binge reading Taiduo wink)

    Post edited by mazinkaiserzero on
  • BeeMKayBeeMKay Posts: 6,833

    There's a difference between "page style" and "scrolldown" comic style. When you do a comic the classic page style, like Demon Division, the entire way of tension making is different from a scroll version, like Taiduo. For example, I tried to bring Division into scroll-format, but it didn't really work because the images were rendered with a page setup in mind. I guess that Linwelly would have similar issues bringing Taiduo over to a page style, because there are a lot of effects that work great when you scroll down, but lose efficiency when you have them on a plain page.

    So when you start your comic, it's really worth thinking about what segment you want to go into.

  • BeeMKay said:

    There's a difference between "page style" and "scrolldown" comic style. When you do a comic the classic page style, like Demon Division, the entire way of tension making is different from a scroll version, like Taiduo. For example, I tried to bring Division into scroll-format, but it didn't really work because the images were rendered with a page setup in mind. I guess that Linwelly would have similar issues bringing Taiduo over to a page style, because there are a lot of effects that work great when you scroll down, but lose efficiency when you have them on a plain page.

    So when you start your comic, it's really worth thinking about what segment you want to go into.

    Yeah, I have read some manhwas but, I don't know, still being more used to typical flipping page comics I guess I thought it was more "a korean style" so subconsciously I didn't consider it. But it makes a lot more sense the scrolling style considering it's meant to be displayed on mobile devices mostly.

    This was quite helpful information for editing in that format, I think smiley

    https://www.webtoons.com/en/tiptoon/lozolz/webtoon-editing-tips/viewer?title_no=1268&episode_no=24

  • mazinkaiserzeromazinkaiserzero Posts: 158
    edited October 2019

    Well, have been making characters and stuff for the comic smiley. At this point, I feel like I should take a step back and get feedback from fresh eyes.

    Currently, the one thing I want to know the most is "do these characters look like they belong in the same "world"?"

    I'm not trying to get a very stylized look, but I did try to get juuust a little bit in there. Something that tells the viewer "oh, okay, it's not trying to make me believe it's real and it's not creeping me out". While avoiding a clear "oh, that's Aiko/Kanade/Sakura//The Girl/The Guy/Kenji/etc". But well, still open to feedback overall (though you can ignore the poses, something I threw in quick so it's not just T poses).

    Btw, I got Sketchy with the sales these days, and well, I probably need to read how to use it better, but it still seems like something I will maybe use only for special images and keep the CG look with a bit of postwork for the comic itself. 

    main_chars_test.png
    667 x 1080 - 1M
    Post edited by mazinkaiserzero on
  • BeeMKayBeeMKay Posts: 6,833
    edited October 2019

    The characters themselves seem to match pretty well, in regards to shapes and details of the faces/bodies. I like that she's taller than him. smiley

    As for the general impression... to be honest, no - unless you are aiming for some sex story or costume party type of thing. Her too-short-french-maid-costume clashes with his contemporary outfit, and no one working in house keeping would wear high heels if they treasure their feet's health. Contemporary housekeeping uniforms are looking quite different, not the fetish sex-worker style of the costume your character is wearing: https://hoteluniformshop.com/collections/housekeeping-products

    Post edited by BeeMKay on
  • mazinkaiserzeromazinkaiserzero Posts: 158
    edited October 2019
    BeeMKay said:

    The characters themselves seem to match pretty well, in regards to shapes and details of the faces/bodies. I like that she's taller than him. smiley

    As for the general impression... to be honest, no - unless you are aiming for some sex story or costume party type of thing. Her too-short-french-maid-costume clashes with his contemporary outfit, and no one working in house keeping would wear high heels if they treasure their feet's health. Contemporary housekeeping uniforms are looking quite different, not the fetish sex-worker style of the costume your character is wearing: https://hoteluniformshop.com/collections/housekeeping-products

    Thanks for the feedback!

    I probably should have led with a bit about the comic so it makes more sense xD

    It's a lot of backstory that's meant to be shown instead of said, but here we go:

    Even if it's set in a contemporar-ish setting, it's a supernatural action story. The guy is the heir of one of the wealthiest families and the girl is a maid raised in that family. With his parents gone, both were raised by the guy's grandfather and were trained very rigorously, including combat training. When his grandfather dies, the guy figures his duty to him is over and leaves his position in the company to follow his own dreams, working as a private eye (he loves detectives stories, etc). On the other hand, she is very serious about her duties so she follows him and even though she still serves him, she doesn't respect him that much for that. She does some maid duties but is really more like a "combat/bodyguard maid", and the fact that it's not something normal while she thinks otherwise is a recurring gag in the story. First I thought about giving her a longer dress where she could conceal all sorts of weapons (and make that also a gag), but I thought it was too much like Roberta from Black Lagoon so I opted to make her more melee-oriented while the guy deals with the guns. So the shorter dress made more sense to me and the high heels:

    image

    Changed the weapon concealing dress gag for a tall girl using heels gag (for her is just standard "equipment" she was raised to use). And well, they soon find out the reason behind all that training which the grandfather failed to tell them before dying, and that's the supernatural part wink

    heels.png
    593 x 593 - 301K
    Post edited by mazinkaiserzero on
  • BeeMKayBeeMKay Posts: 6,833

    It's not necessarily design choices I would've made (seriously, borrow high heels and try to do martial arts moves wearing them, and I won't even mention the type of 'attention' you'd get running around in that outfit)...

    BUT the important thing is, as long as it fits the type and tone of your story, it's a good choice, because it leads serious body guarding and such ad adsurdum. I mean, from what you wrote, you are aiming for a more comic element rather than realistic/serious, is that correct? It sounds like a fun story to read, with lots of action.

    BTW, one thing I noticed... your characters seem to be levitating in all of your images. If you are using HDRI (Dome & Scene), in the render settings under "Environment", look for "Ground position mode" and change it from "Auto" to "Manual". That way, when you move your characters to the floor, they won't levitate like they do now.

    If you are using "real ground", it's a good idea to use the perspective view to make sure that the soles of the shoes slightly dip through the ground surface.

  • BeeMKay said:

    The characters themselves seem to match pretty well, in regards to shapes and details of the faces/bodies. I like that she's taller than him. smiley

    As for the general impression... to be honest, no - unless you are aiming for some sex story or costume party type of thing. Her too-short-french-maid-costume clashes with his contemporary outfit, and no one working in house keeping would wear high heels if they treasure their feet's health. Contemporary housekeeping uniforms are looking quite different, not the fetish sex-worker style of the costume your character is wearing: https://hoteluniformshop.com/collections/housekeeping-products

    Thanks for the feedback!

    I probably should have led with a bit about the comic so it makes more sense xD

    It's a lot of backstory that's meant to be shown instead of said, but here we go:

    Even if it's set in a contemporar-ish setting, it's a supernatural action story. The guy is the heir of one of the wealthiest families and the girl is a maid raised in that family. With his parents gone, both were raised by the guy's grandfather and were trained very rigorously, including combat training. When his grandfather dies, the guy figures his duty to him is over and leaves his position in the company to follow his own dreams, working as a private eye (he loves detectives stories, etc). On the other hand, she is very serious about her duties so she follows him and even though she still serves him, she doesn't respect him that much for that. She does some maid duties but is really more like a "combat/bodyguard maid", and the fact that it's not something normal while she thinks otherwise is a recurring gag in the story. First I thought about giving her a longer dress where she could conceal all sorts of weapons (and make that also a gag), but I thought it was too much like Roberta from Black Lagoon so I opted to make her more melee-oriented while the guy deals with the guns. So the shorter dress made more sense to me and the high heels:

    image

    Changed the weapon concealing dress gag for a tall girl using heels gag (for her is just standard "equipment" she was raised to use). And well, they soon find out the reason behind all that training which the grandfather failed to tell them before dying, and that's the supernatural part wink

    I wouldn't discount BeeMKay's comments out of hand, because she's usually on target. Particularly with this type of more realistic rendering (I can get away with a lot of stuff because all of my comics use line art). So, definitely think about the reaction you're going to get from the casual viewer who might glance at a page is be turned off because it looks like you're making some sort of "fan service joke" based on anime tropes.

    On the other hand...

    You could make it a joke and explain it with banter. 

    • ​For example, picture the two of them walking down the street, with heads turning and staring.
      • One guy's jaw falls open and his eyes bug out, then he gets a swift jab in the ribs from his girlfriend.
      • You see them in the background with her bawling him out (finger pointing in his face, him obviously stammering out some lame excuse).
    • All the while that is happening they are walking on, oblivious (or the guy is looking around but she never turns her head because how people react is beneath her notice):
      • Him: Do you have to dress like that when we're in public?
      • Her: Why? I thought you liked this outfit.
      • Him: Because people are staring. They all think I'm some kind of pervert, or something.
      • Her: It's not like you're exploiting me. How I dress is MY choice.
      • Him: Yeah, but still... no one's going to take you seriously dressed like you're cosplaying a scene from sweaty little chibi anime.
      • Her: Exactly.
      • Him: What? What are you talking about?
      • Her: I don't want them to take me seriously.
      • Him: Why not? What are you talking about?
      • Her: Because when I dress like this, everyone is so distracted that I always get in at least one or two attacks before they even know what's happening. And trust me, once I'm finished using these heels to tap-dance on their spleens? That's when they take me seriously.

    Or something like that. If you make a running joke out of it, it could actually add some humor to the series.

    Mike

  • If any of you are interested in seeing how a comics professional approached the scrolling comic style, take a look at THE RED HOOK by Dean Haspiel.

    https://www.webtoons.com/en/super-hero/the-red-hook/chapter-1/viewer?title_no=643&episode_no=2

     

     

  • BeeMKay said:

    It's not necessarily design choices I would've made (seriously, borrow high heels and try to do martial arts moves wearing them, and I won't even mention the type of 'attention' you'd get running around in that outfit)...

    BUT the important thing is, as long as it fits the type and tone of your story, it's a good choice, because it leads serious body guarding and such ad adsurdum. I mean, from what you wrote, you are aiming for a more comic element rather than realistic/serious, is that correct? It sounds like a fun story to read, with lots of action.

    BTW, one thing I noticed... your characters seem to be levitating in all of your images. If you are using HDRI (Dome & Scene), in the render settings under "Environment", look for "Ground position mode" and change it from "Auto" to "Manual". That way, when you move your characters to the floor, they won't levitate like they do now.

    If you are using "real ground", it's a good idea to use the perspective view to make sure that the soles of the shoes slightly dip through the ground surface.

    Yeah, it is more comedy than serious. Of course, it has tense moments where things are not going very well for the heroes, but overall I'd describe it as a comedy since I like to use gags quite a bit. Mind you, she's not going to wear that all the time, and I'm aware of the absurdity of high heels for doing... pretty much anything... but it's precisely because of that I want to use them, play with the absurdity of the situation, literally and figuratively "weaponize" it. But I do worry I'm probably pushing it too much.

    About the ground/levitation issue, yep, I usually take a lot of care with collisions, etc, but as with the poses, this one was just something quick to have something instead of just a grey background so, I just tossed them in a city environment and just a HDRI for lighting. Still, thanks for the tip, I always use "real ground" so I'll keep the manual ground thing in mind if I use only HDRI smiley

     

     

    BeeMKay said:

    The characters themselves seem to match pretty well, in regards to shapes and details of the faces/bodies. I like that she's taller than him. smiley

    As for the general impression... to be honest, no - unless you are aiming for some sex story or costume party type of thing. Her too-short-french-maid-costume clashes with his contemporary outfit, and no one working in house keeping would wear high heels if they treasure their feet's health. Contemporary housekeeping uniforms are looking quite different, not the fetish sex-worker style of the costume your character is wearing: https://hoteluniformshop.com/collections/housekeeping-products

    Thanks for the feedback!

    I probably should have led with a bit about the comic so it makes more sense xD

    It's a lot of backstory that's meant to be shown instead of said, but here we go:

    Even if it's set in a contemporar-ish setting, it's a supernatural action story. The guy is the heir of one of the wealthiest families and the girl is a maid raised in that family. With his parents gone, both were raised by the guy's grandfather and were trained very rigorously, including combat training. When his grandfather dies, the guy figures his duty to him is over and leaves his position in the company to follow his own dreams, working as a private eye (he loves detectives stories, etc). On the other hand, she is very serious about her duties so she follows him and even though she still serves him, she doesn't respect him that much for that. She does some maid duties but is really more like a "combat/bodyguard maid", and the fact that it's not something normal while she thinks otherwise is a recurring gag in the story. First I thought about giving her a longer dress where she could conceal all sorts of weapons (and make that also a gag), but I thought it was too much like Roberta from Black Lagoon so I opted to make her more melee-oriented while the guy deals with the guns. So the shorter dress made more sense to me and the high heels:

    image

    Changed the weapon concealing dress gag for a tall girl using heels gag (for her is just standard "equipment" she was raised to use). And well, they soon find out the reason behind all that training which the grandfather failed to tell them before dying, and that's the supernatural part wink

    I wouldn't discount BeeMKay's comments out of hand, because she's usually on target. Particularly with this type of more realistic rendering (I can get away with a lot of stuff because all of my comics use line art). So, definitely think about the reaction you're going to get from the casual viewer who might glance at a page is be turned off because it looks like you're making some sort of "fan service joke" based on anime tropes.

    On the other hand...

    You could make it a joke and explain it with banter. 

    • ​For example, picture the two of them walking down the street, with heads turning and staring.
      • One guy's jaw falls open and his eyes bug out, then he gets a swift jab in the ribs from his girlfriend.
      • You see them in the background with her bawling him out (finger pointing in his face, him obviously stammering out some lame excuse).
    • All the while that is happening they are walking on, oblivious (or the guy is looking around but she never turns her head because how people react is beneath her notice):
      • Him: Do you have to dress like that when we're in public?
      • Her: Why? I thought you liked this outfit.
      • Him: Because people are staring. They all think I'm some kind of pervert, or something.
      • Her: It's not like you're exploiting me. How I dress is MY choice.
      • Him: Yeah, but still... no one's going to take you seriously dressed like you're cosplaying a scene from sweaty little chibi anime.
      • Her: Exactly.
      • Him: What? What are you talking about?
      • Her: I don't want them to take me seriously.
      • Him: Why not? What are you talking about?
      • Her: Because when I dress like this, everyone is so distracted that I always get in at least one or two attacks before they even know what's happening. And trust me, once I'm finished using these heels to tap-dance on their spleens? That's when they take me seriously.

    Or something like that. If you make a running joke out of it, it could actually add some humor to the series.

    Mike

    Yep, not ignoring the feedback at all, just elaborating on the why I did it, to see if it still feels like I'm pushing it too much. And yes! The whole idea is to make it a running joke/gag with banter. Just at the beginning when a client enters the office to hire him, she gets spooked by the maid towering over her and he uses the opportunity to take a jab at her. And also during a stakeout situation where she is drawing too much attention. Things like that. And well, it's not that much her choice. She's just too serious and by the book, and she was trained to use that outfit when she's "on duty', so that's what she's going to wear. It is precisely because it's meant to make people underestimate her, but it's not something she's really aware of. She just does it as ordered. Aaand that is part of that character's growth during the story, so the outfit actually can work as a symbol of sorts, now that I think more about it.

    Again, thanks a lot for the feedback, hopefully I don't "sound" dismissive. I'm really not smiley

  • BeeMKay said:

    It's not necessarily design choices I would've made (seriously, borrow high heels and try to do martial arts moves wearing them, and I won't even mention the type of 'attention' you'd get running around in that outfit)...

    BUT the important thing is, as long as it fits the type and tone of your story, it's a good choice, because it leads serious body guarding and such ad adsurdum. I mean, from what you wrote, you are aiming for a more comic element rather than realistic/serious, is that correct? It sounds like a fun story to read, with lots of action.

    BTW, one thing I noticed... your characters seem to be levitating in all of your images. If you are using HDRI (Dome & Scene), in the render settings under "Environment", look for "Ground position mode" and change it from "Auto" to "Manual". That way, when you move your characters to the floor, they won't levitate like they do now.

    If you are using "real ground", it's a good idea to use the perspective view to make sure that the soles of the shoes slightly dip through the ground surface.

    Yeah, it is more comedy than serious. Of course, it has tense moments where things are not going very well for the heroes, but overall I'd describe it as a comedy since I like to use gags quite a bit. Mind you, she's not going to wear that all the time, and I'm aware of the absurdity of high heels for doing... pretty much anything... but it's precisely because of that I want to use them, play with the absurdity of the situation, literally and figuratively "weaponize" it. But I do worry I'm probably pushing it too much.

    About the ground/levitation issue, yep, I usually take a lot of care with collisions, etc, but as with the poses, this one was just something quick to have something instead of just a grey background so, I just tossed them in a city environment and just a HDRI for lighting. Still, thanks for the tip, I always use "real ground" so I'll keep the manual ground thing in mind if I use only HDRI smiley

     

     

    BeeMKay said:

    The characters themselves seem to match pretty well, in regards to shapes and details of the faces/bodies. I like that she's taller than him. smiley

    As for the general impression... to be honest, no - unless you are aiming for some sex story or costume party type of thing. Her too-short-french-maid-costume clashes with his contemporary outfit, and no one working in house keeping would wear high heels if they treasure their feet's health. Contemporary housekeeping uniforms are looking quite different, not the fetish sex-worker style of the costume your character is wearing: https://hoteluniformshop.com/collections/housekeeping-products

    Thanks for the feedback!

    I probably should have led with a bit about the comic so it makes more sense xD

    It's a lot of backstory that's meant to be shown instead of said, but here we go:

    Even if it's set in a contemporar-ish setting, it's a supernatural action story. The guy is the heir of one of the wealthiest families and the girl is a maid raised in that family. With his parents gone, both were raised by the guy's grandfather and were trained very rigorously, including combat training. When his grandfather dies, the guy figures his duty to him is over and leaves his position in the company to follow his own dreams, working as a private eye (he loves detectives stories, etc). On the other hand, she is very serious about her duties so she follows him and even though she still serves him, she doesn't respect him that much for that. She does some maid duties but is really more like a "combat/bodyguard maid", and the fact that it's not something normal while she thinks otherwise is a recurring gag in the story. First I thought about giving her a longer dress where she could conceal all sorts of weapons (and make that also a gag), but I thought it was too much like Roberta from Black Lagoon so I opted to make her more melee-oriented while the guy deals with the guns. So the shorter dress made more sense to me and the high heels:

    image

    Changed the weapon concealing dress gag for a tall girl using heels gag (for her is just standard "equipment" she was raised to use). And well, they soon find out the reason behind all that training which the grandfather failed to tell them before dying, and that's the supernatural part wink

    I wouldn't discount BeeMKay's comments out of hand, because she's usually on target. Particularly with this type of more realistic rendering (I can get away with a lot of stuff because all of my comics use line art). So, definitely think about the reaction you're going to get from the casual viewer who might glance at a page is be turned off because it looks like you're making some sort of "fan service joke" based on anime tropes.

    On the other hand...

    You could make it a joke and explain it with banter. 

    • ​For example, picture the two of them walking down the street, with heads turning and staring.
      • One guy's jaw falls open and his eyes bug out, then he gets a swift jab in the ribs from his girlfriend.
      • You see them in the background with her bawling him out (finger pointing in his face, him obviously stammering out some lame excuse).
    • All the while that is happening they are walking on, oblivious (or the guy is looking around but she never turns her head because how people react is beneath her notice):
      • Him: Do you have to dress like that when we're in public?
      • Her: Why? I thought you liked this outfit.
      • Him: Because people are staring. They all think I'm some kind of pervert, or something.
      • Her: It's not like you're exploiting me. How I dress is MY choice.
      • Him: Yeah, but still... no one's going to take you seriously dressed like you're cosplaying a scene from sweaty little chibi anime.
      • Her: Exactly.
      • Him: What? What are you talking about?
      • Her: I don't want them to take me seriously.
      • Him: Why not? What are you talking about?
      • Her: Because when I dress like this, everyone is so distracted that I always get in at least one or two attacks before they even know what's happening. And trust me, once I'm finished using these heels to tap-dance on their spleens? That's when they take me seriously.

    Or something like that. If you make a running joke out of it, it could actually add some humor to the series.

    Mike

    Yep, not ignoring the feedback at all, just elaborating on the why I did it, to see if it still feels like I'm pushing it too much. And yes! The whole idea is to make it a running joke/gag with banter. Just at the beginning when a client enters the office to hire him, she gets spooked by the maid towering over her and he uses the opportunity to take a jab at her. And also during a stakeout situation where she is drawing too much attention. Things like that. And well, it's not that much her choice. She's just too serious and by the book, and she was trained to use that outfit when she's "on duty', so that's what she's going to wear. It is precisely because it's meant to make people underestimate her, but it's not something she's really aware of. She just does it as ordered. Aaand that is part of that character's growth during the story, so the outfit actually can work as a symbol of sorts, now that I think more about it.

    Again, thanks a lot for the feedback, hopefully I don't "sound" dismissive. I'm really not smiley

    You do not sound dismissive at all. My only caution for you is to think about how this is going to play to people who are not "in" on your joke. If he is ordering her to wear this and it is not her choice, how is that going to make us react to the characters? Is he going to be perceived as an ass? Will she be perceived as weak? If those are the way you want us to perceive them, that's okay. Or you can steer us to perceive them that way and then twist it on us somehow.

    These are your characters and you're the only one who knows what's right for them. BUT... make sure the audience is receiving the messages you're sending. And the only way to do that is to make some pages and then run them by others to see how they react. I, for one, am looking forward to seeing what you do.

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