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AC's Thread in the AC

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Posts

  • Agent ColemanAgent Coleman Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Mega Update! It's been awhile since I've updated this thread.

    comic140.jpg
    comic141.jpg
    comic142.jpg

    And the newest one, went back to high school drawing for this one.

    comic143.jpg

    Agent Coleman on
  • Agent ColemanAgent Coleman Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    So I think I've decided to make a comic book / storyline for lolable. It'll involve the snowmen that I've been doing lately and I'm going to post panels as I'll be finishing them. That being said, I've recently come to a conclusion that I'm too indecisive and working on like 5 things at once. So I'm going to focus all my efforts on one project...being this. I would be interested to hear opinions on the subject.

    Here's a test panel that I did up.

    newsnowmen.jpg

    So yeah, let me know what you think!

    Agent Coleman on
  • Agent ColemanAgent Coleman Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    First comic of 2011!

    comic144.jpg

    Agent Coleman on
  • Agent ColemanAgent Coleman Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Here's the sketch/outline of the new comic.

    comic145rough.jpg

    I was debating which angle to use for the first panel, but I think if I combine the two with the close up at a 50% opacity or so it would work well. Though his expression in it right now is too happy...and I might add a line of dialogue in the last panel.

    Agent Coleman on
  • farbekriegfarbekrieg Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    why is santa driving a plane?

    farbekrieg on
  • Agent ColemanAgent Coleman Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    farbekrieg wrote: »
    why is santa driving a plane?

    You'll have to wait and see, dun dun dunnnnnn.

    Here's the comic in final form, I found a joke that I thought fit, and I decided to change up the first panel, the CU was a bit much I found.

    comic145.jpg

    Agent Coleman on
  • bwaniebwanie Posting into the void Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    exploding ground to air golfballs?

    bwanie on
    w98zzq.jpg
  • NibCromNibCrom Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    I didn't understand either of the last two comics.

    NibCrom on
  • Agent ColemanAgent Coleman Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    NibCrom wrote: »
    I didn't understand either of the last two comics.


    Crap.

    Resolutions: Marty is juggling and Hubert is making a golf ball.

    Fore: As Marty is juggling he see's a plane that's crashing, Hubert isn't paying attention as he's about to swing. Then after he swings he sees the plane behind them, thinking that he brought it down.

    Hmm how to fix this, perhaps if I add in a comic between the two that has him taking another swing before they see the plane....would that help?

    Agent Coleman on
  • tynictynic PICNIC BADASS Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited January 2011
    I think the problem is ... well there are a few execution problems.

    one is that there is a lot of information jammed into three panels, and it seems extraneous. I didn't realise that the juggling and golfing had anything to do with the joke until you just told me (and, in fact, the juggling doesn't). First rule of comic strip writing, especially short strips, is to take out everything that doesn't contribute directly to the joke. The juggling is a thing, and it's cute that he's doing it and everything, but it has nothing to do with the strip, so unless everything is super clear it's just going to confuse the reader. Also the side-on shot for panel one didn't even make it obvious that he WAS juggling, I thought it was raining snowballs the first time I read it. Also, why is it santa? Why is santa flying an old prop plane? Why is the interior of the old prop plane decked out like a fighter jet? Too much, too confusing!

    The second is that the sequence of events is not coherent. The second snowman shouts 'fore', but the plane is already burning and crashing - why would he think he caused that with the snowball, when it was happening before he hit the snowball? The first guy has already noticed the plane, it seems - and while this might not be intentional, the red background in the first panel makes it seem like they're close enough to feel the heat. It just comes off as "Snowman shouts 'fore' to a burning plane, santa is screaming, snowman quips that he didn't hear the 'fore', presumably because his plane is on fire and that's kind of loud." I didn't realise that the snowman was supposed to be making a causality error at all.

    The third is that the scenario just isn't that funny. It MIGHT be cute-funny if you had a very clean joke which relied on a naive protagonist - a kid, or an already-established-to-be-dumb character - hitting the ball and making the error, and the sequence of events was structured in such a way that it was obvious that this is what had occurred. But even then, it wouldn't be hilarious - you could probably pull a kind of 'dawww, that's sad and cute' moment out of the wreckage, but it would require some stellar art, and a lot more space. It might be closer to funny if the snowball actually did cause the crash - no-one's going to wet themselves, but at least it would make sense.

    My suggestion, if you wanted to try and salvage the strip, would be a) to give it more space - think Sunday comic spread in the 90s. Long establishing shot of the two snowmen playing golf - it makes more sense if they're doing the same activity, although if you have a little more space you might be able to get away with them doing different things. Set up the snowmen in an environment, then introduce a new element - the plane - to that environment. Doing it all at once just confuses the reader. Then, b) change up the joke - I would have the plane flying along ok, then snowman hits the ball and shouts 'fore'. THEN the plane crashes. Did they cause it? unclear still - you could go either way with that - but at least the sequence would make sense, and the idea that they THOUGHT they caused it would be sensible. c) Then I would either take santa out OR change the mode of transport into something that is more associated with santa. Hell, even having the reindeer going down in flames and smoke might work a bit better.

    edit: oh, yeah, and 'I guess it didn't hear me' isn't a very strong punchline, in any context. It's wordy but has no payoff. Even 'whoops' might work better - same effect without the unnecessary verbiage. Actually it's stronger, because it makes it clearer that he thought he caused the crash, whereas like I said earlier, right now it's possible he's just making a statement of fact - it's quite likely that Santa DIDN'T hear the guy, given he's a long way off and his plane's on fire. And he's screaming.

    tynic on
  • JLM-AWPJLM-AWP Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    I agree with everything Tynic said. I posted in this thread a while back with a vague comment saying something about each comic ALMOST getting a chuckle out of me, which Tynic was actually able to articulate into constructive words :P

    I really do think your biggest problem is clarity. Going back and reading your comics throughout this thread, it seems like each one of them is just that little bit off, or the joke isn't obvious enough for me to find it genuinely humorous. I find myself questioning the situation and trying to figure out WHY it's funny, instead of it hitting me in the face. Despite what a lot of people may think, you really have to smack people with a joke. As Tyn said, you can easily confuse people by adding too much stuff.

    This one stands out as having a similar problem:

    comic120.jpg


    What are you telling us here? Was the offer just giving him a bag of money? I wouldn't refuse that either, but I really can't tell if that's the joke based on what you drew and explained. Also, typically, a young boy would carry out the errands of the mafia, and not be made these "offers" that always have poor outcomes in the end. Use stereotypes in this sort of situation. The misdirection belongs purely to the punchline, and not to anything else. Too many misdirections and confusing elements make it kinda unfunny because we need to figure it out.

    Since I'm already sort of crapping all over you here (there is light at the end of this tunnel, I promise), I'll also say that the simplistic and obvious titles of the comics, which are usually based on punchline or activity in a strip, tend to take away from the strip for me. It sounds weird, but if I happen to see the title first, it kinda ruins it...and if I see the title last, it seems uninspired since I just saw that same word or action in the strip I just read.

    Now, I will say that the more recent strips have been MUCH more clear. I liked the pot/kettle one, the "floor is cold" one, and the "hungry/sandwich/dinosaur" one. These were all spot-on, and got chuckles out of me.

    I guess my best advice is to remove your own head from the strip. Pretend like you've never seen it before, and then go through and remove anything (objects/actions/words) that don't need to be there to directly convey the joke. You have some very clever ideas that can be stellar on a regular basis with a bit more effort on communication and clarity. Compliments and stuff! Yay!


    EDIT: Oh, and for the plane strip, how about "Does that count as a hazard?" for the punchline?

    JLM-AWP on
  • Agent ColemanAgent Coleman Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Both of you make a lot of valid points, especially on making it clearer. Tonight I'll draw up something that works better.

    As far as it being Santa and the plane, it's part of a story arc that I'm starting rather than a one off, so you find out in the next comic or so. Though I can take some detail out of the cockpit. Thanks for the criticism.

    Agent Coleman on
  • earthwormadamearthwormadam ancient crust Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Yup, just keep working on your storyboarding in general. If you make 2 comics and they aren't making sense to readers, then you shouldn't worry about shoehorning another comic in, so much as try to approach your storytelling in a different way.

    Don't worry so much about things making sense as in why is Santa riding a plane. Your main characters are talking snowmen, so readers will jump through a few hoops as long as you can make the key points more decipherable. I mean, the posters above are totally correct, if it doesn't serve a purpose, it shouldn't be there. But the bigger problem is really that these aren't hitting the moments you apparently want them to hit, to tell a story.

    When I read that comic I get absolutely no sense that the snowman thought that he had brought the plane down. It feels like your not letting these cook long enough before you bring them out for frosting and decorations. Storyboarding is most important. More important than anything you do to render a finished comic. If it has a weak structure/foundation, than all the time put into inking and coloring wont be worth a damn. A well thought out idea you scribble into chicken scratch in 5 minutes can be so much more successful than a rushed idea rendered in Photoshop for 5 hours. Poink Oinklers for christsakes! Its crude but it just works.

    Thumbnail your comics! If storyboarding is indeed the issue than don't be afraid to jot down lots of simple doodle comics. They should go through various stages before you get to inking or color. When you doodle out some ideas, you can read them to yourself as if you know nothing, and if it's message isn't clear then you need to change something or scrap it altogether. Also, at this stage it's not too late to say, hey, this just doesn't work, so lets try something that does!

    Clearly you've had success with some of your strips, but other times it seems like you revert back to making things that aren't clear or well thought out. I think if you start taking more time in the earlier stages, and stepping back and look at it subjectively, you'll be able to see what works and what doesn't.

    earthwormadam on
  • farbekriegfarbekrieg Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    JLM-AWP wrote: »

    EDIT: Oh, and for the plane strip, how about "Does that count as a hazard?" for the punchline?


    pfft obviously it would be 'mulligan'.

    unless mully gets territorial over words that have mull in them?

    <played too much golf>

    farbekrieg on
  • Agent ColemanAgent Coleman Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    farberkrieg, and JLM-AWP, both lines are awesome.

    Earthwormadam you're 100% right, for some reason I never really applied it to the comics.

    Anyways, I sketched out what I think will work, I'm going to try to keep the juggling, but if it makes everything else suffer then it's expendible. Spoiler'd for vertical scroll.
    comicsketch.jpg

    I look forward to hearing what you guys think!

    EDIT: Reviewing what I posted, I'm going to get rid of the side profile shot of the snowman, and put the santa yelling shot before the shot of the plane hitting the mountain. Also I'll make the Santa shot larger.

    Agent Coleman on
  • Agent ColemanAgent Coleman Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Here's the update, it was the first set of panels from that "page". This comic is purely to establish the scene.

    comic144.jpg

    I could see this being an issue, but I'm hoping it won't be a huge concern.

    Agent Coleman on
  • bwaniebwanie Posting into the void Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    just don't think it's that good of a joke, and you're really reaching to make it work.

    if you need three pages for one joke i don't think you're on the right track.

    bwanie on
    w98zzq.jpg
  • Agent ColemanAgent Coleman Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Okay so I had to change around the comic numbers on the site, looks like I'll have to fix the links in this topic after I get off of work.

    And as I've said before, this isn't just for this one joke, this is the start of a storyline, the snowball crashing santa's ride is just the beginning.

    Agent Coleman on
  • farbekriegfarbekrieg Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    if you are going to have an a storyline involving multiple strips you run the risk of alienating new readers, if you have a dedicated fan base they are more likely to give you the benefit of the doubt and follow along.

    id recommend putting a tiny joke in each of your strips as a hook to keep people going, as it is it just seems absurd (and not even funny absurd, but boring)

    farbekrieg on
  • NappuccinoNappuccino Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    doing a good joke every strip (even if that means making longer strips like what was suggested) would be a good thing.

    Think something like Questionable Content- regardless of the ongoing story, there's (almost) always a joke that even a new reader would get.

    Nappuccino on
    Like to write? Want to get e-published? Give us a look-see at http://wednesdaynightwrites.com/
    Rorus Raz wrote: »
    There's also the possibility you just can't really grow a bear like other guys.

    Not even BEAR vaginas can defeat me!
    cakemikz wrote: »
    And then I rub actual cake on myself.
    Loomdun wrote: »
    thats why you have chest helmets
  • Agent ColemanAgent Coleman Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    I'll look into Questionable Content, and yeah, I'll have to lengthen some strips for them to work.

    Agent Coleman on
  • Agent ColemanAgent Coleman Registered User regular
    Due to several forces outside of my control, I was unable to keep this thread and my site active for the past ...well almost year. However, I think I'm now ready to move on from comic strips and am deciding to make my own cartoon pilot. This pilot is something I've wanted to do (it's also partially the reason I moved out to BC), so I think it makes more sense to focus 100% on this, as opposed to 50% pilot and 50% web comic. I might do the odd web comic here or there just to change things up for me, but they definitely wouldn't be regular.

    I have no formal animation education, so this should be a learning experience to say the least. The script is done and I'm currently finding actors and am 5 scenes away from having a shot list that I can start story boarding with.

    My biggest..."concern" right now art wise is character design, I'm thinking of designing the characters after the actors i find (to a certain extent)

    I realize that I might be biting off a lot of work, but my timeline for this is about a year, so I'm not going to be killing myself doing this.

    If anyone has any constructive advice it would greatly appreciated.

  • NappuccinoNappuccino Registered User regular
    edited October 2011
    My number one bit of advice would be "my sure the script and voice actors are solid" the animation can come second for now.

    I'm thinking something like this:



    edit: in case you've never seen it before- the guy did this and another short, and then used them as a basis for his new show on cartoon network, Regular Show.

    Nappuccino on
    Like to write? Want to get e-published? Give us a look-see at http://wednesdaynightwrites.com/
    Rorus Raz wrote: »
    There's also the possibility you just can't really grow a bear like other guys.

    Not even BEAR vaginas can defeat me!
    cakemikz wrote: »
    And then I rub actual cake on myself.
    Loomdun wrote: »
    thats why you have chest helmets
  • Agent ColemanAgent Coleman Registered User regular
    Thanks for posting that Napp. That was awesome.

    The scripts been an on/off project for maybe...oh 3 years? However I managed to buckle down and fly right on this thing. I've finished my final draft of it now though and upon finishing the shot listing there are some lines I want to tweek. So make it four drafts and I'll be running it by people to see what they think.

    As far as actors go, I've been working my way into parties at this Theater Society here in Vancouver, I've approached a couple of them about the project so far.

    Just finished my shot list and I'm at 197 shots for 20 scenes (24 4/8th pages of script)...I have a feeling this number will go up once I've started story boarding.
    The average shots/scene is 9.85.

  • Agent ColemanAgent Coleman Registered User regular
    Working on character design at the moment, I've cast one of the lead roles, I'm semi basing the character's look off of him. Here's my first days' faces.

    theofaces01half.jpg

    Can't say I'm happy with any of them but if I had to pick one I'd pick thirteen. Originally the character looked like...

    theooriginal.jpg

    ...that.

    I've also finished off the script (though after doing some reads with the actors I imagine it will change a bit) and have started to get some feedback on it.

    Hopefully I can get some more faces done tomorrow.

  • Spectre-xSpectre-x Registered User regular
    The problem is that all of those faces look terribly dull. When it comes to animation, faces really, really aren't the main thing you should be focusing on. You need to focus on their entire body. Body language is incredibly, incredibly important in animation, no matter how limited the actual animation part may be. Different body shapes and poses can really liven up even the choppiest cartoons.

    Actually, the original design is more appealing than any of the new ones because, while somewhat generic, it's much less boring. There's not a single thing about the new ones that stands out as original or eye-catching or anything. They look like something a mathematician might draw if someone asked him to explain what cartoons are. They are incredibly bland.

    It might sound a bit harsh, but if you're serious about pitching an animated television series or web series or, really, an animated anything you need to go all out and think about all aspects of the show's looks. Different body types, unique faces, all of that. I mean, look at real life. Even if you've got five people who you could describe as thoroughly average and unremarkable, you'd still have five people who would have their own distinct look. Five different builds, different heights, skin tones, facial features, hair colours, different posture, all of that. Nobody actually looks "nondescript," it's impossible, so unless your voice actor is a mannequin or a doll or something you could do a much better job of caricaturizing him.

    The first three faces actually look the best out of all of your options because they actually have facial features, whereas the others are just shapes arranged into faces. Eleven and fifteen might get a pass, too, but only barely. You really need to do better, though, they're still not good.

    So yes. Character design. Don't focus on faces, that's a horrible, horrible mistake. The entirety of the character is important. Their entire body.

    Sig_link_image.jpg
  • PROXPROX Registered User regular
    edited November 2011
    You really need to work on your character design. And drawing in general. Everything is all wobbly weird and nothing has emotions. There is no life or energy in your designs.

    Work with stronger shapes. Squares, triangles, circles even. Practice drawing a straight line. Think of mass and form.

    This is the standard approach try this:

    1 start with basic shape hiearchy. Big Middle Small. This creates a strong memorable sillohuettes

    2 add basic character parts. Spend some time refining shapes and placing pieces.

    3. add detail and refine shapes to look more interesting. Curves verses straight is important for designs to remain interesting.

    chara.jpg

    PROX on
    NightDragon
  • Agent ColemanAgent Coleman Registered User regular
    Hey thanks for the advice Spectre and Prox, I appreciate it greatly. Following your advice (or attempting to) here's what happened.

    day002.jpg

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    You need to do some studying. Go find some interesting and dynamic cartoon characters, and draw them. Break them down into their simple shapes and see where they differ. Look at something with a lot of variety, like the muppets or whatever you like. You wont be able to push yourself without getting some outside influence.

  • Agent ColemanAgent Coleman Registered User regular
    That sounds like a great Idea, I'll try that this weekend. I used today as just a free draw day. It's potentially NSFW, I'm not too sure. Technically they're ancient ruins...

    day003half.jpg

  • Angel_of_BaconAngel_of_Bacon Moderator mod
    edited November 2011
    It's potentially NSFW, I'm not too sure. Technically they're ancient ruins...

    Wait, what? I see what I think is a old-armed alien with a cut off section of a passenger jet for a head wielding a gondola pole , and then one of those Chinese terracotta soldiers buried up to the waist, with another terracotta solider behind him, but that one has the lower body of Jabba the Hutt, and with what may be a Tonka truck as the end of it's tail.

    Am I getting this wrong? Where's the NSFW bit?

    Angel_of_Bacon on
  • Agent ColemanAgent Coleman Registered User regular
    Well the landscape started off as a ladies body, then I decided to expand on it.

  • Agent ColemanAgent Coleman Registered User regular
    So I'll go ahead and assume that NSFW doesn't apply to the previous picture...?

    studyday004half.jpg

    Incase anyone was wondering who all is in it...
    Rocko (Rocko's Modern Life)
    Eric Cartman & Stan (South Park)
    Beaver (Angry Beavers)
    Homer (The Simpsons)
    Hank (King of the Hill)
    Roger (American Dad)
    Daffy & Bugs (Looney Toons)
    Monster (Ahhhh! Real Monsters)
    Doug (Doug)
    Wolverine (X-Men)
    Mickey Mouse (Disney)
    Goliath (Gargoyles)
    Yacko (Animaniacs)
    Darkwing Duck (Darkwing Duck)

  • Agent ColemanAgent Coleman Registered User regular
    Man....okay so it's been awhile. Long story short, my boss got deported in January so I have been doing his job up until now (recently quit). The hours/stress was ridiculous, I got screwed pretty hard and didn't receive any extra income for doing his job either. Oh well, lesson learned. I realized I was at 147 comics, three comics away from 150!

    comic148.jpg

  • NibCromNibCrom Registered User regular
    I'd cut down on the halftone effect. Make it smaller or fade it back a little.

  • Agent ColemanAgent Coleman Registered User regular
    edited September 2012
    How about now?

    comic148drop.jpg

    -Edit-

    Also I did some playing with colour. I took a photo of a house in my neighborhood, line traced it and tried some different colour palettes on it. Some were from colour scheme generators, some were from other cartoons or nature. I'll spoiler to save scroll.
    palettetest.jpg

    Agent Coleman on
  • Agent ColemanAgent Coleman Registered User regular
    So I'm going to attempt this thing called Inktober...seeing how I just heard about it today, I really want to level up my inking abilities...I'm thinking about going to the library and seeing if they have many art books for different styles to check out. Anyways, here is today's.

    inktober01.jpg

    Probably should have used better paper...next time.

  • Agent ColemanAgent Coleman Registered User regular
    Went to the library today but it was fruitless...probably should have done some research on certain eras and or regions... I did end up picking up the first Bone book, I'm going to try going off of that, at least for now. So yeah, today was the first day of using brushes with ink.

    inktober02.jpg

  • Spectre-xSpectre-x Registered User regular
    You still have trouble thinking about the underlying shapes of the things you draw. This hasn't really changed over the course of the three or so years that this thread has existed and I really strongly suggest you focus on it more because everything you draw looks incredibly flat.

    You've worked with basic shapes but all I'm seeing is you drawing some basic outlines and putting in a circle or a square here and there and you're not really paying any attention to the way these characters you're referencing are constructed. These characters are constructed using these basic shapes. That means they are built with them. You take these basic shapes and you stack them on top of each other and arrange them so that they form a whole, a single cohesive character. What you've been doing is look at the outline of these characters and looking where in that outline you migth fit a circle or a square and putting that circle or square in there.

    It's like a jigsaw puzzle versus a model. If you have a model airplane you have various parts that you fit together in the proper ay to make an airplane. You have individual bits for the wings that all fit together in their own way, the wings fit to the fuselage and so on. If you have a jigsaw puzzle of an airplane, each piece of that puzzle fits together and forms an airplane in the end, but each individual piece of that puzzle is not recognizably a part of the airplane as a whole. It's just divided up arbitrarily. And that's what your studies look like. You're using these shapes, but their only purpose is to fill up space that other parts aren't filling.

    You really need to think about things three-dimensionally. Your work doesn't ultimately have to be very three-dimensional itself, but you have to know how it works or things will end up looking flat and unconvincing. If you look at, say, Genndy Tartakovsky's work you'll see stuff that is very two-dimensional, initially. He's fond of using shapes that could not possibly work in a 3-D environment, so characters are obviously 2-D because otherwise they wouldn't work. But. Despite that, his characters and environments have a lot of depth to them because he knows how things do work in 3-D and because of that he knows how to create the impression that something has depth even when, logically, it couldn't have any.

    I mean, look t your Jeff Smith thing. You've copied the basic outline of the characters, but yours looks completely flat and lifelss while Smith's original gives you the idea that these characters are alive and that they actually occupy a physical space in their world, even if that physical space isn't possible in the real world. And it's not the fact that Smith's work is coloured, because Bone, in its natural state, is a black-and-white comic and Smith manages to communicate all of these things without the use of colour.

    If you want to get better you will have to focus on this. It'll help your pencils and character design and drawing skills in general, and for this inking thing it'll help you get a better idea of how to vary your line width naturally because you will know which parts occupy what space, and therefore you will know which parts of which character or object or environment to emphasize with your inks.

    Basic shapes. Not circles. Spheres. Three-dimensional shapes. This is absolutely essential.

    Sig_link_image.jpg
    tynicNightDragon
  • Agent ColemanAgent Coleman Registered User regular
    Thanks for the crit Spectre, I will say that I normally try to draw things out in 3D, it hasn`t been apparent enough. I will be honest and say you were spot on with your gauge of yesterdays work (I basically felt like death and just wanted to get something done, but no matter).

    I redid the same panel from yesterday and drew it out better this time.

    inktober03.jpg

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