Renigada- Comic pre-production, need feedback!

cpattencpatten 2D ArtistSeattle, WARegistered User regular
Hey Guys!

I'm a 2D Artist working in the game industry. I love what I do, but I've been wanting for years to span out into comics and never had the time. As a kid in high school, my best friend and I would spend our free time writing medieval fantasy novels together (cuz we were the cool kids). I wanted to revisit those stories in comic form, starting with a longform comic project called the Renigada. I have more than a decade worth of writing, character development, worldbuilding, and sketches to pull from. Overall, it's something for my sanity, but I'm enjoying it more and more everyday when I get home from work :P.

The Problem
I've gotten used to getting critiques everyday at work, but have totally neglected getting online feedback on my comic. I've asked several people where to post, and one of my awesome friends was like "Post in the PA forums because they rock at critiques". So here I am. I'm looking to improve my skills across the board, but mostly I want to familiarize myself with the art of making comics. It's so much harder than expected.

So, here's a preview of some work I've done. The first bunch is my pre-production art and character designs, and the second batch is a preview of the prologue of the comic, complete with actiony things. yay.

Pre-Production:
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Comic Pages:
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Color preview? Maybeee worth it?
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I'll keep posting as I make more art! Thanks so much for your time, critiques, and I can't wait to start posting more in the artist's corner!

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GurtPerkbombardier

Posts

  • GurtPerkGurtPerk Registered User regular
    Those character desgins are amazing.

    I personally like the comic with the color treatment. It could help create more mood/atmosphere in some of the panels, especially with the General's lines at the end. Some kind of dark indoor setting lit by a fireplace would be cool and ominous. It also seems like color is your strong suit so I'd leverage that.

    Overall, I can't wait to see more of this.

    EncsquidbunnyProspicienceF87tapeslinger
  • squidbunnysquidbunny Registered User regular
    Those designs are rad; the b/w pages aren't doing them justice. Also: that font is doing them a flat disservice. Hand-letter or get something more appropriate.

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    GurtPerkninjaitapeslinger
  • cpattencpatten 2D Artist Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    squidbunny wrote: »
    Those designs are rad; the b/w pages aren't doing them justice. Also: that font is doing them a flat disservice. Hand-letter or get something more appropriate.
    Thanks for the input! I was thinking at color was going to be what I would end up doing. The lazy part of me was hoping b&w would be passable, but I'm told color is my strong suit.

    As for the font,I can see what you're saying about it. I'm looking on both blambot and DaFont and am completely oblivious to what fonts will work and what wont. I did, however, create a font out of my handwriting today. It most likely won't fit, but it was fun to come up with.
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  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    That has more character than the original font, for sure.

    I think my problem with the grayscale is more the shading. It doesn't seem to have a unified sense of light, like you are approaching each little fold and shape independently of the overall scene. The first page, with no shading and just flat grey fills, is easier for me to read.

    ninjaim3naceEnctapeslinger
  • squidbunnysquidbunny Registered User regular
    That lettering is way better, yeah.

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    tapeslinger
  • ninjaininjai Registered User regular
    edited May 2013
    About the lighting, that last scene (with the rewritten text) specifically is a good example. There are several examples of where the background is darker in value than the foreground, which is counter intuitive. As a general rule the farther away something gets the lighter in value it is, and in many panels it takes away from placing the characters in the scene, and they seem to float in the scene rather than be grounded in them. Maybe this isn't the actual problem, but it sort of stood out to me.

    Can someone else say this better, I'm not word using good time now. :S

    ninjai on
  • NibCromNibCrom Registered User regular
    ninjai wrote: »
    As a general rule the farther away something gets the lighter in value it is

    Are you talking about atmospheric effects? It's true that particles in the air affects the color of objects in the distance, but it depends on the distance of that object, and it also depends on the lighting of that object, whether natural or otherwise.

  • cpattencpatten 2D Artist Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    ninjai wrote: »
    About the lighting, that last scene (with the rewritten text) specifically is a good example. There are several examples of where the background is darker in value than the foreground, which is counter intuitive. As a general rule the farther away something gets the lighter in value it is, and in many panels it takes away from placing the characters in the scene, and they seem to float in the scene rather than be grounded in them. Maybe this isn't the actual problem, but it sort of stood out to me.

    Can someone else say this better, I'm not word using good time now. :S

    I see what you're saying here, especially since in the same scene, I indicate that there is less contrast/it's lighter in the background and then plop the characters into this dark grey world. I also noticed that the light in that scene is coming from the wrong direction, which is just an epic failure on my part.
    My goal is to make it so that the characters are connected to their environments, rather than being just floating heads. I'm wondering if I should revamp the value, or just go for color? I'm leaning toward color because you can do so much to add mood and make people feel they are in the same place.

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  • m3nacem3nace Registered User regular
    Colour, definitely. Your sample looks great.

    Enctapeslinger
  • cpattencpatten 2D Artist Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Iruka wrote: »
    That has more character than the original font, for sure.

    I think my problem with the grayscale is more the shading. It doesn't seem to have a unified sense of light, like you are approaching each little fold and shape independently of the overall scene. The first page, with no shading and just flat grey fills, is easier for me to read.

    Hrm, should I stick to flat color or grayscale fills, or do you think that I just need to revamp the value so it makes the characters feel they are part of the environment?

    It's way difficult for me to figure out color vs greyscale, value vs. flats when I have to balance time and quality. How does an artist go about figuring out what works for their comic?

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  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    Because I know that time is of value to everyone, I don't really want to tell you that you have to color your comic. I think the color panel looks great, though, and I think you clearly have a knack for that over black and white.

    That being said, I think that if you made the characters feel like they were part of their environment, it would have the same effect the color is having. Right now it seems incoherent. I think in the end, you just just have to decide what you want the finished product of your comic to be. How quickly you can put it out wont matter if in two years you want a book and you have to go color the first 80 strips because you got bored of the black and white and started to color.

    If its purely a speed choice, I would color it. Make a bank of strips or only update once a week.

    cpattentapeslinger
  • cpattencpatten 2D Artist Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Yeah, I really want a colored comic in the end. Thanks for the help, I really appreciate it!

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  • Red RaevynRed Raevyn because I only take Bubble Baths Registered User regular
    Looking great so far! I like the very first and then lower character designs of the woman more than the four-panel and dress-with-cape where she is very busty. They're all drawn very well, but another full chested hourglass woman is less interesting than the last two (waist-up B&W and the color bust with the scarf).

    In the comic, there are a number of panels with just Gregory (or the penultimate panel with the General) that have no or very little background - e.g. the first and last panels on page 2. But the pennant (and its holder) seem half-drawn so I'm guesing that isn't finished? If it is finished, it seems weird to go between detailed and near or totally blank backgrounds that often.

    I'd pay attention to your chat bubbles. In some cases the margins get really small - the last panel of p1, bottom bubble in p2's first panel - and feel cramped with the text even whiting out the bubble line, but in others there is a lot of white space. This was especially distracting when the "A few dead..." and "I will send my own..." bubbles on the last page have lots and then very little margin.

    Also, on page 3, that "TO THE GATES" bubble breaking through the gutter into panel one is screaming at me to look at it. I ended up reading it first, then it stole my attention from the first panel more than once while trying to read it. I think I'd change that.

  • SugarBansheeSugarBanshee Registered User new member
    I think the color treatment is very eye-catching, so it's cool that you are entertaining that idea!

    If you want to find a happy medium between hand lettering and using a font, you could try using "My Script" fonts. Its a free website that translates your scanned handwritten letters into a font pack, which can then be easily loaded into programs you use. Takes about 5 minutes to do if you have a printer/scanner on hand.

    The occasional empty background panel is a little funky when compared to some of the more detailed ones. I love the expression sheets you've done-- keep it up!

  • GurtPerkGurtPerk Registered User regular
    Nice! I agree with everyone on the lettering improvements. Keep going!

  • cpattencpatten 2D Artist Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited May 2013
    Red Raevyn- Thanks so much for the help, I'll definitely work on the bubbles as I try to figure out what font I'm using. This is the type of thing I really need to learn about the art of making comics and I really appreciate the detailed feedback!

    Sugar Banshee- I love my script fonts! I'm trying to tweak my own font right now so it works for my comic. I definitely think adding small detail with color/painted backgrounds would really help the blankness of the empty backgrounds. Thanks for your help!

    GurtPerk >:D

    Also, here's the first of 3 outfit designs I'm going to be doing of the main character. This one is her outfit in chapter one, which takes place in the desert:
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    cpatten on
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    tapeslinger
  • cpattencpatten 2D Artist Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    outfit #2
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    GurtPerktapeslinger
  • cpattencpatten 2D Artist Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Hey guys!
    So after some thought, I thought I would try to rework how I make these comics. These aren't exactly in color, but they took less time and were lots of fun to make. They work better with an online format, and are supposed to be somewhere in between a stip and a longform comic. (Some pages will be more serious, but all pages would hopefully work well on their own/ have payoff)

    Opinions and critiques are welcome. This is a sort of vertical slice from the beginning, where some characters are introduced.

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    Worse? Better? WHAT AM I DOING?!?!

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    McDIrukaRed Raevyntapeslinger
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    They look great! The touch of shading really helps.

  • Red RaevynRed Raevyn because I only take Bubble Baths Registered User regular
    Lovely! I really like it. That "schhhlllkkkk" rat panel looks a little unfinished with the body and background all the same. Maybe do something to break up one or the other? The speech bubbles look great, like you've gotten comfortable with how to use them.

  • MyGfsDogMyGfsDog Registered User regular
    I really like the use of the green tone. The gray looked great, too, but the green just adds a certain extra touch. There's really not much I can say about the pages negatively. It's some really great cartooning, honestly. Let me ask though, is your most recent post of 3 different pages stacked together? It looks like it, but if not then they might be a bit too dense in the number of panels used.

  • cpattencpatten 2D Artist Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited July 2013
    MyGfsDog wrote: »
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    I decided to do a 3 page story arc, using horizontal layout rather than a vertical layout to fit a website better. :)

    Thanks everyone for the kind words! I think I'll go ahead with this style.

    cpatten on
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