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Comic-y Thing - New Characters, Page 6.

DE?ADDE?AD Registered User regular
edited February 2007 in Artist's Corner
I've been working on a little comic-esque thing in my spare time and I was looking for some critiques/opinions/emotional wounding, so I came here with it.

Update!

New:

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Thoughts? Criticisms? Death threats?

DE?AD on
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Posts

  • SpilltoySpilltoy Registered User
    edited October 2006
    It's really hard for me to tell what the fuck.

    EDIT: I don't like how negative that seems. I mean, it doesn't look bad, I just---what?

    I really don't.
  • The CelestialThe Celestial Registered User
    edited October 2006
    I like the last frame. I don't know if the perspective is supposed to be skewed like that, but it adds something.

    Other then that, yea, I can't tell what the hell is going on or what these things are or what the setting is or...well, you get my point.

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  • Angel_of_BaconAngel_of_Bacon Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited October 2006
    I have to agree with Spilltoy. I like the idea of the characters being these very abstract shapes, but the storytelling- especially in the first page and a half- is very ambiguous.

    Also, the 3-d looking backgrounds seem to clash with the characters, mainly because while the characters are a very bright and colorful, the backgrounds are very dark and monochromatic. It seems that either the backgrounds should be made more colorful in terms of local colorizations or more robust fill lighting, or the characters should be drawn to be a bit more rendered, with shadows, or simply muted to match.

  • ScosglenScosglen Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    Did that green cat throw a giant white cube at the orange man? I'm so lost. The action particularly in the first three panels reads very awkwardly.

    addendum: Not to assume anything, but did you make these characters so abstract so you didn't have to deal with anatomy?

  • DE?ADDE?AD Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    Thank you all for the feedback.

    Okay, yeah, "can't tell what the fuck" seems to be the general consensus.

    Any suggestions on how to make the first page-and-a-half clearer? Perhaps more panels, steadier angles or something else entirely?

    As for the character/background clash, that was sort of intentional - the story idea revolves around a world where only two of the four basic elements, Earth and Air, are left. All biological things are Air-based (bright, shadeless and smooth) and all inorganic things are Earth-based (dark, hard-edged and more 'real' looking.)
    As a side-note, all of this was done in Blender.

    Oh, and the cube is Ab's (the big beige dude) torch, it's just meant to be dropping to the ground. I needed more light in the scene and the dropped cube seemed like a good idea. In retrospect, in probably didn't help matters.

    Addendum: Originally, when I was drawing the characters over the pre-rendered background, yes, they were designed to ignore anatomy issues. Now though, I just sort of like their abstractedness.

    qsfwtzhym4ax.png
  • TamTam I hate art I love artRegistered User regular
    edited October 2006
    If you could overcome the fact that we have to concentrate to see what's going on, this could be a visual feast.

  • freekfreek Registered User
    edited October 2006
    I had to come back to it a second time to understand it, but I like the concept you've got going. Is this just a snippet or all you have so far?

    Maybe on the "Good choice" panel you could show a motion streak for the dude that's running away? The main problem I have is just trying to assume the action that's going on. Maybe a more dynamic pose would do the trick.

  • GodfatherGodfather Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    This comic idea is very interesting, just on the abstract art style alone. Yes, I was lost on the first couple of pages, but once you explained what was going on in those scenes I kind of saw what you were going for.

    I guess the only problem that I can point out that the others havent is that it's hard to render motion in that program. Although those monkeys are supposed to be leaping at the protagonist, they look like they're just hovering blobs in a dimly lit room. Just anything that needs motion emphasis is absent here, but i'm not really sure if it's entirely your fault.

    Anyways, consider me hooked. If you made more pages, i'd read 'em.

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  • The CelestialThe Celestial Registered User
    edited October 2006
    I think you need to sit back, forget everything about your comic and look at it fresh. Could Average Joe read, follow, and understand what was going on?

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  • akanekunakanekun Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    I really like this. Really, really like it. The pacing's great with the flow of the story and it does leave me wanting to find out more about what happens. What's bothering me is how you've chosen to stage each shot - considering the design of your characters, it might be a clearer read if you exaggerated the gestures more and had clearer foreground/background relationships. For example, the first panel: I initially thought he was helping someone down from a ledge before realizing that it was actually a sword, so maybe it would be better if he was already done with the swing and the thing was already in half at his feet or something. The nonactiony scenes are a clearer read.

    Would definitely love to see more. :^:

  • srsizzysrsizzy Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    I'm sorry...but...it's like...I mean...it's been said...but...how?...umm...honestly...it's just too much for me to handle. Maybe if the things were...a little less "abstract"....I might be able to tell...well...you know...

    BRO LET ME GET REAL WITH YOU AND SAY THAT MY FINGERS ARE PREPPED AND HOT LIKE THE SURFACE OF THE SUN TO BRING RADICAL BEATS SO SMOOTH THE SHIT WILL BE MEDICINAL-GRADE TRIPNASTY MAKING ALL BRAINWAVES ROLL ON THE SURFACE OF A BALLS-FEISTY NEURAL RAINBOW CRACKA-LACKIN' YOUR PERCEPTION OF THE HERE-NOW SPACE-TIME SITUATION THAT ALL OF LIFE BE JAMMED UP IN THROUGH THE UNIVERSAL FLOW BEATS
  • multimoogmultimoog Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    There's a lot more that adds to the confusion than just the characters being abstract - in fact, I might say tha's the least of the problems. A lot of panel choices during the action sequences are poorly thought out - the panels are too small/tight to depict the large gestures happening in them. The backgrounds are far too monochromatic and going back to my first criticism, the panels are too small to register the diverse choice of camera angles you've placed in them.

    If you were to add another few pages to this sequence and expand the panels in the first few pages, the whole thing would be a lot more readable. As is, the layout's just too cramped to make sense of what's going on in the individual panels.

  • LemmingLemming Registered User
    edited October 2006
    I really liked it, and understood it perfectly fine the first time through.

  • Otto GermainOtto Germain Registered User
    edited October 2006
    Obscure and fresh is good. I like that your average joe wouldn't have any idea what to make of it. Make people think. Put 'em out of their comfort zone.

    Are these the first two pages? If so, the only gripe I might have is that it starts rather abruptly. The action was hard to follow on that first page, I'd have to agree with that... but otherwise, I'd say you're on to something.

    More.

  • -SPI--SPI- Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    A little bit more shading on the characters to bring out the forms would go a long way.

    For more specific comments I'd make the effect where the two Tomb-Monkeys get thrown at each other a bit brighter so it stands out a little bit more and has more impact.

  • DE?ADDE?AD Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    Okay, lots of good advice, and I'm glad some of you enjoyed it.

    I'm going to go back and redo/rethink the first page, and I'll post it once I've got it put together. I think I've got an idea how to solve a few of the problems now, so we'll see how that goes.

    As an aside: Did anyone understand that Ab's sword is retracting/shrinking in the second panel on page 2? I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to portray that.

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  • RobertRobert Registered User
    edited October 2006
    I like this. simple shapes of the characters and other elements are really unique, i dig those. i do also agree with others that the first half of the first page is a litte ambiguous on first reading, but after I gave it a better look, it made sense. It seems like it could use some more frames illustrating the action.

    I also think that the colors of the tomb-monkeys and Saln is a little too similar--at first I thought Ab hada tomb-monkey for a boss.

    he's never gonna cut his hair.
  • hunterbhunterb Registered User
    edited October 2006
    the lighting in the tomb and the office are pretty terrible. i dont mind the feel of it outside looking at the office, though. im not familiar with the program you're using, but right now it looks like you're just using one lightsource for each room. the light is hitting the walls in a way that just doesnt make sense. overall its distracting and makes its harder to tell whats going on. you should look up some lighting tutorials.

    like akanekun said, the staging in your shots kinda blow. work on more exaggerated poses and think about how to make the silhouette more interesting when you pose the characters.

    it seems like youre just setting up cool scenarios and then trying to find the best place to render out an image for the comic, especially in the first few panels of the first page. instead, set up the camera where you want it first, and then set up the poses from that viewpoint. think about composition (rule of thirds and all that) while youre setting them up and i think itll come out a lot more clear.

    edit: and no, i didnt pick up on the retracting sword thing. youll just have to use an extra panel to get that across, i think.

    also, you should think about giving the sword the cartoon shader like you did with the box. maybe fixing up the lighting will help, but right now you kind of forget that he has a sword next to him because its so hard to see.

  • Evil MultifariousEvil Multifarious Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    I really like this, but I think some very basic shading would do wonders for the characters, and maybe some motion lines, as was suggested.

    Inquisitor wrote: »
    I fucking hate you Canadians.
  • Tweaked_Bat_Tweaked_Bat_ Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    I like how you've done the last six panels of the second comic, the ones where he's opening the box or whatever it is. Those are well done. The first 5 panels of the second comic, however, took me a few goes to figure out exactly what was happening (as did the first page in general). That white block also had me confused as shit until you told us what it was.

    In order to not be redundant, I wont say anything else, as it has all been covered. Pretty good work otherwise. With a bit of work you may be on to something.

    And no, I didn't realize his sword retracts, not at all... wouldn't have guessed it in a million years :)

  • TychoCelchuuuTychoCelchuuu ___________PIGEON _________San Diego, CA Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    The first page made absolutely no sense the first time I read it and perfect sense the second time. As long as this isn't actually the first page of the first issue of the first comic, I think you'll be fine; it's just an odd way to introduce us to everything, that's all. I can follow it very easily now.

    And it looks nice :D

  • freekfreek Registered User
    edited October 2006
    onomatopoeia! A "shunk" or "bap" would also help portay action, although it might change the style of your comic.

  • BuckwolfeBuckwolfe Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    I don't think there's anything else I could comment on that hasn't already been touched upon at least once already. I do have to admit that I'm very keen on the concept for the comic. Basing everything around only having two out of the four basic elements is a very interesting idea, and one which I personally have never seen before. Doing this is a pretty sharp way to give reason for why your world and its inhabitants look the way they do. That being said, don't let it become a crutch.

    I wouldn't mind seeing some of the concept sketches that lead you to this point. Different stages and layouts that the world went through before you settled on the one present in the comics, character designs and revisions, and all that jazz.

    You've got some pretty interesting ideas and designs here, but in all honesty I think that they can be pushed further, especially when it comes to readability, and keeping the viewer interested and entertained.

  • WallyWally Registered User
    edited October 2006
    The backgrounds, particularly the office, could stand to be more detailed. The text tells us that it's a barterpost but to look at it it's just a blank room with a desk and a few boxes. Relics, weapons, anything he might deal in so the reader can look at it, even without the text, and know that that character is a trader and that this is his place of business.

    Another thing would be lighting, you've got red light pouring in from the windows, but it doesn't show on the characters so they seem disconnected from the background. The light from the cube/torch should be a lot more obvious. That is what should be lighting the scene rather than the lighting from somewhere up above, whatever that is.

  • EdmanEdman Registered User
    edited October 2006
    Well, I came into this one late.

    I like it. Everybody else has already said most of what I would critique on, but I'll offer this: Detail is good!

    Seriously, load your stuff up with details. I'm learning that about my own style...it's very flat and graphic and nice, but holds little interest for an extended period of time. I'd say make some of your frames one-page pieces, and load them all up with details and contrast.

    That said, I need to work on the same thing. ;)

  • WhardyWhardy Registered User
    edited October 2006
    It would be a pretty major change to the design, but I reallly think Ab would benefit hugely if you were to give him more well defined, humanoid legs. One problem with his "anatomy" at the moment is that he always looks pretty rooted to the spot, and can't really crouch or jump.

    I also agree with others who say you need to add more shading to the characters to define their shapes, although I understand you want to give them an amorphous quality. Maybe you could have them leave trails or swishy lines when they move that look like smoke (that might be hard in the program you are using, I don't know)?

    Overall I really like the idea, keep working at it :^:

  • DeeLockDeeLock Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    Prolly been said already but the characters colors are really flat and they dont flow well with the extremely boring and dark background...

    that and it dosent make sense.

  • Ape2001Ape2001 Otaku Registered User
    edited October 2006
    Nice ^^ But I'd say this would work better as a movie than a comic. Without movement and together with the mentioned problems of lighting and details it's a bit hard to read.

    At all: yay 4 unconventional stuff :)

    - SF42012 Gen replays and anime trailers http://www.youtube.com/user/derBene
    - great animation focused website http://www.catsuka.com
  • flyingmonkeyflyingmonkey Registered User
    edited October 2006
    Congrats! You're the first person I've ever seen post a comic here and get real crits, real advice, and not get flamed off the boards. What that means is you MUST be doing something right. Personally, it was a bit confusing, but that just made me more intrigued. I like the organic shapes of the characters, but it is hard to see action in the panels. Really, I could probably just repeat what everyone else said, but keep working at it, I would definitely keep reading it.

    3. And quit this emo-slumming shit. Fuck.
  • hunterbhunterb Registered User
    edited October 2006
    Congrats! You're the first person I've ever seen post a comic here and get real crits, real advice, and not get flamed off the boards. What that means is you MUST be doing something right. Personally, it was a bit confusing, but that just made me more intrigued. I like the organic shapes of the characters, but it is hard to see action in the panels. Really, I could probably just repeat what everyone else said, but keep working at it, I would definitely keep reading it.

    thats because he posted pages, not a link, and actually invited criticism and didnt try to defend himself.

  • Tweaked_Bat_Tweaked_Bat_ Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    Congrats! You're the first person I've ever seen post a comic here and get real crits, real advice, and not get flamed off the boards. What that means is you MUST be doing something right. Personally, it was a bit confusing, but that just made me more intrigued. I like the organic shapes of the characters, but it is hard to see action in the panels. Really, I could probably just repeat what everyone else said, but keep working at it, I would definitely keep reading it.
    See, we can be normal people, not savage, unrelenting, flaming monsters hell-bent on destryong one's self-esteem, as long as you do what the rules ask you to do :)

  • Lewis RiceLewis Rice Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    ahahahaahahahahaha tomb monkeys....
    Okay, to start with, I don't like it. I'm really not a big fan of blob like characters and the cell shading adds to my dislike.. ALLTHOUGH!!! I like your script, its not much, buy i think you've got something going there with the story.
    Good work. You have the fear to handle these guys intense criticism...allthough, this page seems to be quite polite about it...hmm...well, lets hope you dont get bad criticism...

  • Forbe!Forbe! Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    Make the panels bigger, over more pages. You need to show more of the scenes. The comic looks way too cramped. I dig the style, but like everyone else said, it is hard to get an idea of whats going on in the first few frames.

    Anyways, I like it, keep it up.

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  • TalonrazorTalonrazor Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    An "Average Joe" chiming in here....

    I enjoy art and visual stuff but I have no real formal training in it nor am I able to draw, etc. The limits of my artistry is 3d animation and photography. That being said, I was able to follow the story really well. I thought the visual stuff was fun, interesting to look out and different. I really liked but I'd chime in on the idea that the action scenes are a little... "still". They just seem pretty stactic.

    Cool comic, cool idea, I'd love to see more.

    GM of Aftermath: Life After the End of the Future - Post-apocalyptic space opera of Novo Aether.
    GM of Pearl City - A group of superheroes form The Beacons.
    Player of Arifyn Tok in Kingmakers [D&D 4E]
    Player of Kane Fainklyn the Hallow Preest in Crumbling Citadels [D&D 4E]
    Player of Torin Magnus in Blackwood [Monsterhearts]
    Player of Torin Magnusson in And Justice for All (M&M 3E)
  • DE?ADDE?AD Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    Alright, after much fiddling, here is the new more explanatory first page.

    New-Page-1.png

    Any better?

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  • DeeLockDeeLock Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
  • Dr. DastardDr. Dastard Registered User
    edited October 2006
    Panel Layouts/Page Construction: A+

    Dialogue/Plot/Writing: A+

    Character Design: C-


    Honestly, I can't help but get the feeling that the "style" of the comic is just a weak excuse to not try very hard.

    But strangely, I still like this a lot.

    My name is Arcan, and I am at your service.
  • Evil MultifariousEvil Multifarious Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    I really like your writing style. You've obviously had lots of practice there. (Do you spend any time at the Writer's Block?)

    Just...the characters...appearances...grrr...aggghhh... :|

    Don't listen to this guy, your character looks awesome. The shading makes it look fucking ace. I also love the panel layout.

    Only one thing: It should be "I was indisposed" not "I was predisposed."

    Only character design change I would consider is giving him actual hands and fingers, thick and meaty of course.

    Inquisitor wrote: »
    I fucking hate you Canadians.
  • Dr. DastardDr. Dastard Registered User
    edited October 2006
    Damn you for quoting me before I edited!

    But I stick by my comments. You've obviously got skill, why not fully utilize it? You don't have to abandon the avante-garde look of the characters, but you should try to soup-up their details so everyone doesn't just look like a big blob of color.

    Imagine what each one would look like if it were a real organism, then update the model with some musculature or a skeleton.
    And some textures for crissakes.

    This is awesome, but it could be so much awesome-er.

    My name is Arcan, and I am at your service.
  • NightDragonNightDragon Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    Actually, I agree. The layout and contruction are tops, but I honestly couldn't figure out where the character was until halfway through (it looked like part of his rocket-powered-chair-thing)...

    aside from that

    yay! :^:

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