Webcomic in Progress

24

Posts

  • earthwormadamearthwormadam ancient crust Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    That last image is 2 or 3 times bigger than needs be methinks.

    Also these thumbnails show some troubling insights into your process. I mean, loose thumbnails are great because they allow you to see what works and what doesn't so you can switch things up if need be, without having to scrap things you just spent hours on. But thumbnails like that make me wonder if there was actually any point of putting that down physically as opposed to just letting it roll around in your head. Everyone has their own process, so it doesn't matter much if that's how you feel comfortable doing it.

    The step from the doodle to the rendering is pretty much no step at all. You've overlaid some 3 dimensional shapes on top, and I can't for the life of me figure out why it wouldn't be easier to just draw them yourself. It just seems like it would A) be easier, B) take less time, C) help you getting used to drawing shapes and D) make the objects within the comic meld with the characters more believably. I think this is where a lot of the stiffness of the characters come in. You're putting in the objects and then building your characters around them, which seems incredibly backassward.

    The next step is the one that really gets me. Okay so you've got the characters sketched out pretty well but you haven't done anything with the text, or conceptualized any of the layout to where the text bubbles and dialog will be. Your rushing to get to the final comic stage and the panels will suffer for it. Your already gearing up to ink the lines and you haven't developed the comic far enough to know if it is even effectively scripted/layed out.

    earthwormadam on
  • DaltonCarlDaltonCarl Registered User regular
    edited July 2014
    ---

    DaltonCarl on
  • WillethWilleth Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    The step from the doodle to the rendering is pretty much no step at all. You've overlaid some 3 dimensional shapes on top, and I can't for the life of me figure out why it wouldn't be easier to just draw them yourself. It just seems like it would A) be easier, B) take less time, C) help you getting used to drawing shapes and D) make the objects within the comic meld with the characters more believably. I think this is where a lot of the stiffness of the characters come in. You're putting in the objects and then building your characters around them, which seems incredibly backassward.

    I agree with this. If you're dead-set on making your characters interact with a 3D rendered world, sketch it first, then draw the comic, then import that comic into your 3D program and model the environment around it rather than the other way around. I know that 3DS Max and Blender both have an option to set an image as the background for a specific viewport, so you should be able to model your objects appropriately, then remove the background image, redner that viewport, and then whack that render into PS as a separate layer and line it all up nicely. It'll look much more natural at the end of it and you'll be less constrained.

    Willeth on
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  • slydonslydon Registered User
    edited February 2011
    Earthworm, I forgot to scale that last one before uploading.
    You're absolutely right about drawing and then adding the cg.. my only problem is that I usually just use the cg for determining scale, not as a drawing element. the corner is just so I put a wall in the right place.

    Eventually, I DO want to work on backgrounds, but right now I'm content to have most of the backgrounds as simple gradients while I work on more important things like the characters.

    I have done the text, but I didn't want to give away the lame punchline just yet. My initial doodle isn't the text, but kind of an initial placeholder as to where the text'll be. There were a couple of good font suggestions, and I'd like to try them out.


    DLATON, REALLY?! NO ONE EVR TOLD ME THAT BEFORE ZOMG THANK U U AR AN HERO ;D

    slydon on
  • acadiaacadia Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Is that really how you draw your people? Just the outline and then refining it? That's your problem right there. I'm not saying it's WRONG to draw that way, but I'm sure it doesn't leave for much in the way of avoiding 'stiffness.'

    acadia on
  • comicracycomicracy Registered User
    edited February 2011
    While looking at your art I was reminded of the safety manuals that you see in the back of the seats on an airplane. Its easy to look at anyway.

    comicracy on
    micro.gif
  • squidbunnysquidbunny Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Ignore the trolls, sly.

    A bunch of quick, swooshy gesture drawings would probably do you a heap of good in fairly short order with eliminating stiffness, I think.

    I'm gonna second Adam's thoughts on those thumbnails, though; those aren't really worth putting down. For thumbnails to really work their magic with planning/spacial problem solving they need to be a little more finished, more akin to your blue sketches. They're like a little maquette you can move your virtual actors around to nail your blocking before you build the real set.

    squidbunny on
    header_image_sm.jpg
  • slydonslydon Registered User
    edited February 2011
    108_4.png
    108_5.png
    108_6.png

    and then
    108.png
    I'm not crazy for this one, as it was done too last minute... but next week's script is looking EVIL

    slydon on
  • devilkindevilkin Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I really enjoy the sense of humor in these comics, it's kind of silly (in a good way). I'd like to show some of my stuff on here once I get more of it done.

    devilkin on
    I give men dreams, and men are led by their dreams.

    Stick Figure Serials Comic Blog
    http://stickfigureserials.blogspot.com/
  • Stupid Mr Whoopsie NameStupid Mr Whoopsie Name Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited February 2011
    I'm gonna lay it out there right now: If you don't read the thread first and drop in to comment how these look like in flight safety manuals, expect my retribution to be swift and merciless.

    If you read the thread and still make that comment, you'll wish it was the first option.

    Stupid Mr Whoopsie Name on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited February 2011
    part of the lifelessness for me is the colors. I use pretty acidic colors sometimes, but you can mix it up without going crazy. Heres an example:

    comiccrit.jpg

    This is just adding a little blue to the hues to mix it up. Color doesn't have to be just darker and lighter versions of the same hue.

    Other wise, I think its got alot of potential.

    Iruka on
  • slydonslydon Registered User
    edited February 2011
    That is GREAT! I'll be the first to admit I suck at shading (wait, I already did that), but wow!
    I just started this week's comic, so I hope I can put more of what I've learned into it :)

    And by the way, doesn't my comic remain you of those airli-*WHAP!* XD

    slydon on
  • slydonslydon Registered User
    edited February 2011
    slydon on
  • m3nacem3nace Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Better! Second panel definitely has more life in it.

    m3nace on
  • squidbunnysquidbunny Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Nice one, sly. Good gag, and in a sort of reverse-nitpick may I just say that is a sweet, sweet hand in panel 3.

    squidbunny on
    header_image_sm.jpg
  • slydonslydon Registered User
    edited February 2011
    Thanks! I made a small change in the flow, moving the dialogue to the last panel.
    I did a bunch of hand studies last year, I think it helped :)

    slydon on
  • bwaniebwanie Posting into the void Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    edit: didn't catch your comments about backgrounds, nevermind.

    bwanie on
    Yh6tI4T.jpg
  • NibCromNibCrom Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Not trying to be mean, but... these are all traced, yes? They look traced. I personally don't think it's wrong to trace, but when it produces line work that has no confidence, I think you need to find another route.

    NibCrom on
  • slydonslydon Registered User
    edited February 2011
    Some of the backgrounds were rendered in maya and later traced to match the drawn foregrounds. I just use it to be able to draw perspective to try to break away from the overused 5ft up, 90° camera (like the table and window in one of the more recent comics. I could have never nailed the second panel w/o it. earlier comics where I played with perspective, you can tell I failed miserably. The one comic where I posed, and based the drawing on my pics looked too much like me to be serviceable. If I ever traced my hand, it'd be pretty obvious XD but I do use it for a reference for the doodle. I just draw the fingers thinner and less meaty.

    I didn't know there was a problem with the line work? I know it needs more variation in line width (at this point, it's all 1.5px), but I'm tackling one thing at a time, and the big things seem to be the flatness of color, and drawing expressions.

    slydon on
  • acadiaacadia Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    NibCrom wrote: »
    Not trying to be mean, but... these are all traced, yes? They look traced. I personally don't think it's wrong to trace, but when it produces line work that has no confidence, I think you need to find another route.

    I think Nib is referring to the figures. It kinda looks like you just grab some models in Poser, set up the scene, screenshot it and then trace them. Especially given the process you showed us, I don't see how you go from blue scribbles on a rendered background to fully resolved figure outlines.

    acadia on
  • NibCromNibCrom Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Yes, thank you, Acadia.

    NibCrom on
  • slydonslydon Registered User
    edited February 2011
    Are you suggesting my drawings look like renderings, or that they're actually copied from renderings?
    For what feels like the 18th time, I used simple maya shapes for the backgrounds, and draw over them when I have any kind of background that isn't just a gradient, so my walls don't look like pee-wee's playhouse. :)

    The drawn characters are just that. I add a little bit of a glow to the colors, and someone on another forum said that made it look a little like CG (which at the time I took as a compliment, now I'm not so sure)
    syd_sdump_cap.gif

    slydon on
  • Michael VoxMichael Vox Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I'm loving the She-Ra! :)

    Michael Vox on
  • Angel_of_BaconAngel_of_Bacon Moderator mod
    edited February 2011
    3 pages in, and I saw a lot of talk about stiffness and gesture and accusations of tracing and 3d and even some color theory/shading stuff, but not one word about construction? Come on guys, the bigger issues have got to come first.

    Anywho Slydon, a big part of the picture you're missing here in the art, and specifically the process of your art, is a solid foundation based on construction- breaking down complex shapes (ie: the human body) into manageable, simple volumes (namely, cubes, cylinders, and spheres). Without this ability, it is difficult to make any figure you may draw to appear believable as an object, rather than an abstract series of lines- one of the biggest reasons you keep getting that pesky, 'lifeless' comment.

    Since it's difficult to demonstrate the concept in words alone, I've drawn over one of your panels to show you what I'm on about.

    slydon_construction_orig.jpg
    slydon_construction.jpg

    As you can see, I've taken what you've done and broke it down into volumetric components- the arms and neck are broken into cylinders, the eyes into spheres, the ribcages are made into elongated spheres, the nose into a rectangular box, the cranium of the head into a spherical shape with flattened sides, etc. What this immediately accomplishes is creating a sense of space and depth to the drawing that wasn't there before- and, if you know how to shade a cube, cylinder, and sphere, the constructive basis of the drawing allows you to shade the figures you've drawn believably as well.

    The other benefit of this is that it also trains you to be able to draw any object. Guess what, you master drawing boxes? Boom, you've just gained the ability to draw rooms, tables, chairs, counters, microwaves, cereal boxes, books. Everything you were just relying on 3d to solve for you now can tackle on your own, using a simpler approach, and yielding more natural looking results.

    Angel_of_Bacon on
  • slydonslydon Registered User
    edited February 2011
    I love this! #4 looks like a bollywood version of Mia :D
    I'm trying to reteach myself using shapes, and I keep getting puppet shapes. Moar practice!

    slydon on
  • acadiaacadia Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    slydon wrote: »
    Are you suggesting my drawings look like renderings, or that they're actually copied from renderings?
    For what feels like the 18th time, I used simple maya shapes for the backgrounds, and draw over them when I have any kind of background that isn't just a gradient, so my walls don't look like pee-wee's playhouse. :)

    The drawn characters are just that. I add a little bit of a glow to the colors, and someone on another forum said that made it look a little like CG (which at the time I took as a compliment, now I'm not so sure)
    img

    Sly, we understand your process for backgrounds. That's not what we're asking about. We ARE saying your characters look like traced CG. What it looks like you're doing is taking a figure, working with it in Poser (a program that allows amateurs to easily pose pre-rigged character models) and then tracing the results.

    poser6-1.04.jpg

    The reason I (and Nib, I guess) suspect this is based on your drawings; you have shown very little of the logical process between sketch and finished progress. When Bacon did a re-draw of one of your panels, there was a very clear progression between the steps. Sketch, building it up volumetrically, then refining and refining until it gets to the finished state. We can definitely see how it got from sketch to finished product. From you we got this:

    syd_sdump_cap.gif

    All this tells me is that you do NOT know how to build a human face, I don't even know what '1' is supposed to be, yet somehow you have a remarkable amount of consistency between your figures, and your proportions are always perfect. I'm calling bullshit. Dancing around the issue isn't going to improve your drawing. Bacon's quick tutorial there is fantastic. I seem to remember getting one myself ages ago, and it helped me immensely (thanks, Bacon -- also Tam did one I think, I don't remember) so take that advice to heart and go learn how to draw. Properly.

    acadia on
  • HugmasterGeneralHugmasterGeneral Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I'm going to have to agree with Arcadia, though I didn't want to be the one to say it. You are inexperienced about colors, line quality, dynamic posing or composition, but somehow you've mastered human proportions and foreshortening, something I still struggle with after years of practice.

    It's fine for someone to come and be inexperienced. Even if you're tracing, that can be art too. But that last progress drawing was just you reverse-engineering a face in a way that you think an artist might do it. No one has ever constructed a face like that, because that's not how it works.

    We all know how intimidating it is to post our art for other artists to critique. We don't want to say "Hey, I traced this. Is that cool? I don't really have an interest in drawing people, but I'd like to make an attractive and entertaining comic." Drawing is really freaking hard. As Scott Kurtz said, a writer always needs an artist, an artist rarely needs a writer.

    So, good luck with your comic.

    HugmasterGeneral on
  • WillethWilleth Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Honestly, I'd say that there's nothing really wrong with tracing 3D models, as long as you're using them to learn about what makes them look realistic. Look at how the rig moves when you adjust the hand, how far the elbow will rotate before it won't any more, etc. Just don't use it as a crutch, use it as a learning tool. If anything, though, you should maybe pose the figure and then try and copy it onto paper as a first step, rather than tracing directly. It'd be a nice transition without feeling too uncomfortable.

    Willeth on
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  • slydonslydon Registered User
    edited February 2011
    a) I don't have poser; I have maya which I use for simple geometry. That said, the CG guy does looks like a diesel Luthor. Luthor's baldness only stemmed from the fact that the expy for Luthor was originally blonde #21, and combined with my initial shading skills, looked like he had lemon sherbet for hair. Also, Mia's arms are like wiggly noodles in that strip.
    b) I openly admitted, very first post, that my shading sucks. The first few don't even have shading. Due to the better criticism in here, it's slowly improving.
    c) I've been trying to make clean lines, especially after the first year or so, and now I feel that is suddenly a negative. Is it better to make things look more pencilled in? I learned to draw lefty, which meant all my first drafts were smudgy, and before photoshop, simply traced over my drawings to get nice clean lines. I actually got in trouble over this in a hs drafting class, until I showed my teacher the drawing underneath was mine.
    d) I've been doodling heads since grade school. My proportions are not perfect, often they're all over the place, but usually I can scale heads down when they're too big, or make adjustments by the time I make the final lines. The times I've screwed up proportions badly, I've called myself on it. I'll scale old heads, and draw over them, so the proportions stay the same, because when I don't, it looks weird to me. #95, in retrospect, her feet are bigger than her head. That's all sorts of wrong. That said, it's easy to scale and redraw simple lines. Sydney's nose is a c-shaped nub, and is all sorts of wrong in #4 anyway. Foreshortening is easier when you exaggerate, because if you go too far, it looks intentional. The perspective in #54 is incredibly spazzy, and I wound up rewriting the dialogue to fit it.

    I'm taking Bacon's (like Iruka's) suggestions to heart, in the hopes it makes things more fluid-looking. Even if it makes it look sketchy, maybe that's what it needs to be, more... volumetric, instead of what it is evidently: traced flight safety instruction manuals.

    I hope this week's exercise/comic shows I'm genuinely taking this constructive criticism to heart.

    slydon on
  • acadiaacadia Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I look forward to seeing what progress you've made on the latest comics. If I can make a request, I'd like to see the actual process, step by step, in drawing one of your characters. Make it as detailed as possible, and maybe we can diagnose why they look so stiff.

    acadia on
  • GrimsingerGrimsinger Registered User
    edited February 2011
    The real issue here, at least to me, is that your characters seem to exist in a nothing land. What I mean is that the props, such as say, the couch, only appear when someone interacts with it. Now this is all well and good if that's your intention, but in a comic that takes place in the real world (or close to it) environments are really really important. The gradient backgrounds just aren't cutting it, and it gives up no indication of where the action is taking place. A persons home says a lot about who they are, so its a great tool for character building too. Aside from that, I urge you to take a life drawing or gesture drawing class to loosen up your lines, everything looks so stuff. Your consistent line weight reminds me of Herge's Tin Tin, but if you look at that, its all brought to life through fully fleshed out scenes.

    I hope this was at least a little helpful, I'd be glad to help with anything, so drop me a message, or quote me here. :)

    Grimsinger on
    I like comics, and I know a far amount about the art, you should ask me questions!
  • The FoolThe Fool Registered User
    edited February 2011
    Hey Slydon, is there any chance you could post your comics directly into this thread? For some reason I go to your link and I literally get nothing (Strangest thing, just a blank page in firefox. It's deep voodoo)

    I'd like to watch your progress. Either way, keep at it man.

    The Fool on
  • slydonslydon Registered User
    edited February 2011
    110_1.png


    110_2.png


    110_3.png


    110_4.png


    110_5.png


    110_6.png


    110_7.png


    110_8.png


    110_9.png


    110.png

    slydon on
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited February 2011
    I have no idea what happened in that comic....

    Are you using a tablet? You have no shape dynamics on your lines, if you were doing this with a mouse, a lot of things would make sense here.

    Some pencil drawings and non-comic art would be interesting to look at.

    Iruka on
  • amateurhouramateurhour One day I'll be professionalhour The woods somewhere in TennesseeRegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Iruka wrote: »
    I have no idea what happened in that comic....

    Are you using a tablet? You have no shape dynamics on your lines, if you were doing this with a mouse, a lot of things would make sense here.

    Some pencil drawings and non-comic art would be interesting to look at.

    I gathered that they were doin' it and he finished too early...

    I've only got two gripes... The line width needs to vary up somewhat, every line is exactly the same width to the pixel, and the bed sheet/pillows look a little off, like they're just layered on and not wrapping around the couple.

    Past that it looks fine, but I have no idea how you go from one sketch layer to another. It's like stick man, doodle, perfect line symmetry... Kudos for that working for you though... seriously.

    amateurhour on

    Arch wrote: »

    I never expected this burn from captain bushmeat
  • acadiaacadia Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Iruka wrote: »
    You have no shape dynamics on your lines, if you were doing this with a mouse, a lot of things would make sense here.

    That would explain a lot, actually, yeah. The progress looked legit to me, I'm convinced. Regardless, might wanna look into learning how to use Photoshop a little better. Iruka's right, you need some line variation.

    acadia on
  • slydonslydon Registered User
    edited February 2011
    I'm looking at Iruka's blog from last week about photoshop brushes. I kind of stuck w plain round 3px brushes (1.5px when scaled down), but will play around with them this week to bring some variety to the lines.

    Grr.. :P it wasn't stick man, doodle, finished drawing, just the lines took 5 iterations, not including the erasing and redrawing, and still his wrist is too thin, his thumb is too big, her neck came out weird, and the pillows are off. But there are backgrounds, the color reflects the lighting better than just light and dark versions of the same color, and the expressions are coming along. But seriously, I'm glad the response isn't "omg I like your comic", but rather, here's things you can do to improve it, otherwise, it would never improve (or at least, improve much more slowly).

    I want to work on drawing mouths, and have been looking at the lackadaisy tut on that for suggestions, and realized how cheap my own generi-spession faces from earlier comics now look to me. :p MUST UNLEARN!

    Flounderface (Misfile abuses this chronically) always freaked me out, because I always see 2 mouths, but never knew a name for it.

    slydon on
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited February 2011
    Im missing if you have a tablet or not... Right now my only instincts are either 1. you are using a mouse or 2. You are using like Photoshop elements and cant download custom brushes?

    If you have full PS and a tablet you should be able to do anything.

    Iruka on
  • WillethWilleth Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Iruka wrote: »
    Im missing if you have a tablet or not... Right now my only instincts are either 1. you are using a mouse or 2. You are using like Photoshop elements and cant download custom brushes?

    If you have full PS and a tablet you should be able to do anything.

    Older tablets don't play nice with PS on Vista or above if you don't have a Wacom. I have an old Trust thing on CS5 and Windows 7 and not only do the Trust drivers not work, the native Windows drivers work but don't recognise pressure. It's irritating as all hell.

    Willeth on
    @vgreminders - Don't miss out on timed events in gaming!
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  • amateurhouramateurhour One day I'll be professionalhour The woods somewhere in TennesseeRegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    slydon, do you have shape dynamics turned on for your brush, and the firmness set to max on the tablet?

    I use a 20px brush at 600 dpi with shape dynamics and firmness set to max and it gives a nice smooth line weight that can get thinner as I soften up on the pen grip. (when I do it right, which is rarely)

    edit: I guess what I'm saying is that it's not about "use a 3px for the outlines and a 2px for the face and a 5 px for the blanket" kind of thing, you can just use one brush for the whole thing and just vary your line width like you would using a fountain pen. That's what shape dynamics in photoshop do.

    amateurhour on

    Arch wrote: »

    I never expected this burn from captain bushmeat
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