Friday, June 17, 2005
Behind the Scenes

Getting the Story

- Story Form -In free-flowing thought, the story is mapped out across several paragraphs. It's usually Aikeru just writing things out in pencil on paper or in notepad about as fast as I can think them.

- Comic Organization -The comic is divided into individual pages conforming the story to an outline that is done in comic form.

Drawing the Comic

- Rough Draft -First Aikeru draws a rough draft of the comic. This can be anything from very close to what the comic will look like, to something almost entirely different. It is mainly a feel for the poses of the characters, how much space will be needed for dialogue, and how everything might be laid out.When this is done, I will often draw arrows to where things will be moved in the final version, stretched or expanded.Sometimes the art in these drawings is "chibi"-like, and Aikeru thinks in some ways, sometimes the "rough draft" looks better than the actual comic!

- Sketching (No.2 Pencil and Electric Sharpener) -Through light, casual pencil marks and lines kept "straight" by Aikeru's Best Buy nametag (haha), the final comic is drawn. Often characters and objects in this stage are "see-through" so that objects partially obscured wont look any different than they might otherwise by trying to draw the entire depth of the comic in one shot.The comic is then scanned and sent to Willuknight to give him a general idea of what the comic will look like.

- Inking (Ball-point pen!) -Using a black non-descript pen Aikeru traces over the pencil marks. This is difficult because for some reason the pen does not want to draw on top of pencil marks, and details are easy to miss when the literally "sketchy" pencil markings cover up things that need to be drawn over. Next the pencil lead is erased (using the No.2 pencil's eraser) and the image is somewhat cleaned up. Aikeru should (but sometimes fails to ^^;) do a final, thourough check of all the details at this point.A second scan is sent to Willuknight, which he will use to create a masterpiece.

Digital Artwork

- CleaningAfter Willuknight gets the inked picture, he opens it up in paint shop pro and 'cleans; the image. This usually involveds increasing the midtones / shadow settings so that the lines are darker and thicker, and that less dirt on the page is visible. He then removes all of the background possible. Sometimes he will also need to use another background colour, such as yellow, to make it easier to spot marks on the drawing.

The second part of cleaning is to zoom right up into the smaller drawings to double check how they show up. Often he needs to use the white paint brush to repaint some sections.

- Vectoring Willuknight then uses Adobe Illustrator's live trace, and live paint tools to turn the image into vector art. This allows us to resize the image without any loss in quality and also makes it easier to colour images.

After the image has been vectored, he will go over it with the pen tool, trying to make sure all lines are connected. Then he will export the image as a jpg (because Adobe is evil and doesn't let him export vector formatting that Paint Shop Pro can read).

- Colouring Willu then opens the vectorised drawing jpg in Paint shop pro, promotes it to a normal layer, and creates two new layers (Colour and BgColour Layers). Both are set to the Multiply blend setting.After that, the white background of the jpg is deleted

The first part of the actual colouring process is to colour in the main characters. First an area is selected on the drawing layer, then he feathers the selection by 2-5 points. Next the layer is changed to the Colouring layer, and the selection is filled with the appropriate colour.

Often there will be areas that are still not properly closed, and Willu needs to paint them into a closed area before he can colour them. Otherwise the colour will leak accross multible areas.

After the main characters are coloured, he will then colour in all the secondary characters. Finally he will colour in all the background objects, on the bgColour layer.

Often Willu will need to consult with Aikeru about colour choices, or about about other problems that may become evident during this process.

- ShadowingBasic highlighting/shadowing will be done with the Light/Shadow tool in PSP.

- BackgroundIf there is any background, this is cleaned, vectored, coloured and shadowed seperately. It will then be inserted into the comic and resized to fit

The last step is to add all text and speech bubbles to the comic.

Aikeru sends Willu a document that contains the script for that episode. Willu then opens up the coloured comic in Paint Shop Pro, and inserts all the text. Then he creates a new layer for the speech bubbles (this goes under the text layer) and draws and places all the speech bubbles required.

If the comic contains hiragana, then we make two versions, one with romaji and one with Hiragana. This is done so that those that can't read kana will still beable to benifit from our comic.

Finally, the finished comic is hosted, and everyone gets to gaze in awe (or not) at the new pretty picture

Clock in:

Script: 5 minutes - 2 hours depending on creativity levels
Drawing: 1-2 hours
Inking: 30 minutes - 1 hour
Cleaning: 2hrs
Colouring (and other gfx preperation): 5-8hrs
Dialogue: 1-2hrs

0 Replies Willuknight @ 8:51 PM.


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