I'm makin' a I-Pad Book

multimoogmultimoog Registered User regular
edited March 2012 in Artist's Corner
It's been like, a bunch of years since I posted here, because I hadn't really been doing much art at the jobs I'd had in the meantime. But now I'm working with a developer friend on a kid's book for the Hated Device, so I'm just throwing in stuff I've done for it. For now, feel free to point and laugh, and tell me how what I'm doing is a waste of time and that only blind people will get any enjoyment from it. I haven't painted in forever and I'm still getting my sea legs back. I'm working on a page right now that I will definitely have specific questions about in a day or so.

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Actually I'm not even sure I should be posting it on the PA forums because it's cartoony and obviously intended for the SpongeBob demographic, plz say if wasting time X3 uguu~

multimoog on

Posts

  • multimoogmultimoog Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    A lot of these pages have interaction and animations that can't really be shown in a static image, and are the flattened versions I've made to see how colors look on the device itself.
    (Oh god, as soon as I put this thread up I'm realizing it might have been a mistake. My animal instinct is to edit everything out and ask for it to be locked.)

    multimoog on
  • squidbunnysquidbunny Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    So you're still a thing that is happening, huh.
    These are great; what are you talking about? The only thing jumping out at me is the cat character looks unusually bland and derpy in the first one relative to how animated and finetuned his expressions are elsewhere.

    squidbunny on
    header_image_sm.jpg
  • MagicToasterMagicToaster JapanRegistered User regular
    Hey, Moog! Welcome back, your stuff is looking great!
    What tools are you using to develop and publish on the iPad?

  • NibCromNibCrom Registered User regular
    I think your shading could look better if you used different colors in your shadows instead of just darker versions of the same colors.

  • amateurhouramateurhour One day I'll be professionalhour The woods somewhere in TennesseeRegistered User regular
    edited March 2012
    I love it! It's got a serious John K vibe that makes the images spring to life.

    edit: also any details about publishing on the ipad, while not art related, would be appreciated.

    amateurhour on

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  • BedlamBedlam Registered User regular
    Very evocative of a Nickelodeon cartoon. I am guessing they are called something like Hot Dog and Socks (or Mittens) the Cat. I absolutely love it and was disapointed when there was nothing additional in that spoiler.



  • multimoogmultimoog Registered User regular
    squidbunny wrote: »
    These are great; what are you talking about?

    Closely examining my own creative output at 4am while holding it up to scrutiny against other people's stuff... led to a dark place. But yeah, the cat looks pretty derpy in that first one. Drawing a small face on a large head in cartoon perspective for the first time was weird. I could go back and fix it, but I decided not to agonize over it and move on (this has been a running theme).
    NibCrom wrote: »
    I think your shading could look better if you used different colors in your shadows instead of just darker versions of the same colors.

    This is one of my big failings as a painter: every time I try this, to me it always looks like I'm just throwing down arbitrary colors that don't make sense. I don't know, are there any good tutorials that specifically cover this? It's pretty basic. I'd like to try and work on it subtly during this book without making the first illustrations looks substantially different from the last ones. Redoing a bunch of art assets would probably make my developer call in a team of animal control agents to take me down (and taking any longer to finish it/start making money on it would literally make my fiancee kill me, as in: end my life permanently by inflicting massive amounts of trauma upon my body).
    also any details about publishing on the ipad, while not art related, would be appreciated.

    I'm not really sure what specific tools the developer is using - I know he's shown me pages in progress in XCode, and is able to make quick changes on the fly using it. I should ask him about that, huh? It seems like it might be worth knowing :3 As far as publishing, we're doing it as an App Store app rather than an iBook. Mainly because we started developing it as an app before the big iBooks reveal a few months ago, but also because apps benefit from iterations more than books do. Putting out an update generates more attention for an app (and therefore sales) rather than putting it out once as a Perfect Forme forever.

    We're specifically leaving some stuff we want to include out of the first release so we can go back and add them as updates later. Free for people who already bought it, and it gets more attention to the app. Crass, shameless, mercenary marketing, yes. But the end result is going to be so interactive (we have several minigames and coloring/drawing pages planned) it seems more suited to being an app than a book. Plus, lazily, it lets us have more time to get the really cool stuff polished; not to mention another update that makes it compatible with the new retina display iPads.
    Bedlam wrote: »
    Very evocative of a Nickelodeon cartoon. I am guessing they are called something like Hot Dog and Socks (or Mittens) the Cat. I absolutely love it and was disapointed when there was nothing additional in that spoiler.

    Weenie Dog and Mustard. Thanks! I'm appreciating the kind words.

  • GodfatherGodfather Registered User regular
    You just simply need to add some reflective bounce lighting to your characters is all. There's more to color then making a value darker or lighter!

    For example, if a red character is standing on a blue plain with a 10:00 AM light source, then the bounce light value reflected on the character would be a low-opacity value of purple on the bottom of the character! Make sure the saturation is toned down a bit so it doesn't seem unnatural haha

  • BeastroBeastro Registered User regular
    I lol'd irl at their butts. Great stuff.

  • DaemonicDaemonic Registered User
    I think they look great.

  • InfidelInfidel Heretic Registered User regular
    It's got a serious John K vibe that makes the images spring to life.

    Totally John K.

    That's a great thing! Love it.

    The book as an app is a really good idea for something like this. Even though you can make full-page interactive books for the book store now it is still limiting and requires iOS 5 iirc. Pushing ongoing content (in-app purchase or what is the model?) is likely to have higher conversion than a followup book that isn't directly forwarded to. Plus of course freedom to add bits like games that are more than book-interactive capability.

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  • GodfatherGodfather Registered User regular
    I forgot to mention that you should probably treat my "crits" as optional! I think the simple flat color tones work well with the art, and perhaps adding a more advanced lighting scheme would over-complicate the simplicity you are trying to convey in this book :)

  • multimoogmultimoog Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    Godfather wrote: »
    I forgot to mention that you should probably treat my "crits" as optional! I think the simple flat color tones work well with the art, and perhaps adding a more advanced lighting scheme would over-complicate the simplicity you are trying to convey in this book :)

    No, it's cool - it's an issue I have with painting in general, and cartoon art can look incredibly lush when it's painted really well. Though, as I said, it will probably be something I play around with on this book and in-betweeen starting the next one (this is the start of a series), just so that the first half of the book doesn't look radically different from the second half. I am glad people are getting that there's a style, and not assuming it's the usual "my bad painting IS my style" excuse.
    Infidel wrote: »
    (in-app purchase or what is the model?)

    It's going to cost ~$4-5 regularly ($.99 the week it's released, and during various sales to spur interest), and all updates are free.

    multimoog on
  • MolybdenumMolybdenum Registered User regular
    Beastro wrote: »
    I lol'd irl at their butts. Great stuff.

    I would be lying if I said I did not spend a good two minutes staring at that image

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  • multimoogmultimoog Registered User regular
    Ok, here's one I've been having problems with. I can't get the side of the house in the lower right corner to look right. The character lives in what's basically a giant hot dog cart, but nothing I do seems to come out any good. I've looked at photo references, started over a few times, I'm kind of going nuts. I want it to look like a smooth, brushed-metal looking surface that has a little reflection of the bushes in front of it, while keeping it looking stylized. Any tips? I'd welcome a paintover as an example at this point.

    page15WIP.jpg

  • multimoogmultimoog Registered User regular
    I'm guessing there's not much of an audience/interest for work specifically aimed at the children's market here? That's kind of a shame.

  • BedlamBedlam Registered User regular
    !

    Reginald bird!



  • FANTOMASFANTOMAS Flan ArgentavisRegistered User regular
    multimoog wrote: »
    I'm guessing there's not much of an audience/interest for work specifically aimed at the children's market here? That's kind of a shame.

    They remind me a LOT of Ren&Stimpy, wich was a cartoon... but not necesarily for children. Eventhough I really like what I was watching in this post, I cant get over how similar they are... even the sausage gag-thing would fit Ren&Stimpy. Is there a particular reason for them to be children-oriented? because I can totally see this characters involved in more adult themed strips.

  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    The dog in particular reminds me a LOT of Stimpy.

    I see what you're saying about the wall/window thing. There's too much contrast, the window trim just pops too much. You could take some of the shine out of the wall, or put some color in it to make it less monochromatic, but you'll probably just want to tone down that trim color. I'd probably make it grey to flatten and then add color.

  • squidbunnysquidbunny Registered User regular
    A squiggle of reflected sky might sell the metallic-ness better?

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  • Evil MultifariousEvil Multifarious Registered User regular
    First of all, I think these are wonderful, and yes, very evocative of Ren and Stimpy.

    My suggestion for getting the brushed-metal look would be to continue working with a reference and consider toning down the stylized look for that panel only. Consider your hot dog cart in the first panel: upon closer examination, it could be a block of concrete or marble based on the colours alone, but when I first look at it, I know it's metal because of its context. The issue in your close-up panel is that lack of context, and without context the stylized/abstracted/symbolic power of cartoonish figures and values loses a bit of its immediate impact. I think to make up for that, you'll need to get a bit more "realistic" - harder definition between values in the reflected metal, highlights from whatever light sources there are, a bit more reflected colour from surrounding values (green from the bushes, red from the trim, etc.).

    I'm terrible at values and properly referenced painting, myself, so take this with a grain of salt.

    Inquisitor wrote: »
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  • multimoogmultimoog Registered User regular
    First, thanks for the tips everyone, I'm going to work on that section again over the weekend to see if I can make any improvements. Though I will say:
    The issue in your close-up panel is that lack of context, and without context the stylized/abstracted/symbolic power of cartoonish figures and values loses a bit of its immediate impact.

    Earlier in the story there's a wide shot that shows the entirety of that character's house, and hopefully it'll be clearer with that context on the page above.

    Second, wall of text, and hopefully it doesn't come off as me justifying any bad practices as much as it does explain my thought process/viewpoint:

    Yep, this stuff does look a lot like Spumco. I tossed around a lot of ideas when I was coming up with concepts for this project, and one of the most important was: what kind of characters/art style will be able to sustain my interest over the course of my first 30-odd page book? One of the most common things you hear from storytellers is that they are telling the kind of stories they would like to see/read/etc. Looking at my output here, it's no secret what specific influences are on display. If I'm being honest, right now I'd love the chance to work on a property like Spongebob, or Ren & Stimpy, or what have you. But those opportunities haven't presented themselves, so I'm just doing the kind of thing I want to do.

    I feel like there's enough of a difference between these characters and ones that have come before, especially because of the wide variety of reactions I get from people when they see them. I've had people say it reminds them of CatDog, SpongeBob and even Wow Wow Wubbzy, so people are bringing a lot of their own ideas into the equation when they look at them. That's part of what makes me think this particular set of characters will be successful in their own right: they're evocative (notice how I'm not saying derivative :D ) of a lot of other characters. Shrewd marketing counts for a lot when you're going into a competitive marketplace, and in the end I am trying to make money off of this. As long as the art is competent and the characters are entertaining, I don't feel like I'm committing a very big creative sin. It's like, think about all the people who come in here to post their two-gamer-dudes-on-a-couch webcomic that have terrible art. A lot would probably be forgivable if it didn't look as bad as it typically does.
    FANTOMAS wrote: »
    Is there a particular reason for them to be children-oriented? because I can totally see this characters involved in more adult themed strips.

    They're being aimed at children because the iTunes App Store ecosystem allows for a lot more room to compete with a product that's intended for kids versus using these characters as, say, a webcomic or Flash cartoon. I'd probably have more fun doing stuff that's adult-only, but that would take a lot more time to build up a fanbase, and in a lot of ways is a much bigger gamble than making kid's book apps (kid's books are able to turn a profit pretty easily on the App Store with a decent product that gets good reviews and word of mouth - I look at some of the dodge-and-burn crap on the App Store that gets rated/reviewed highly and realize I actually have a pretty good shot at making a profit off this). A long-term goal is to possibly try and sell these characters to a studio like Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network, and having a proven, steady stream of revenue already being generated by the characters would help that.

    That leads to something I've been mulling: do you think it's more honest to try and make a living off a more grassroots approach? Like, a webcomic or something? I know it's kind of hypocritical to say I want to stay legit, yo in one sentence and then say I want to sell my creation to the highest bidder in the next, but I wonder if it's possible to have my cake and eat it too.


  • multimoogmultimoog Registered User regular
    Of course I could be overthinking things -3-

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