Comic Talk, Tips and Tricks

ARGH such an ugly city. Can it be salvaged?
stabbyfairy at 2:58PM, Sept. 5, 2007
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So I was working on this and got about halfway through before I realised it looked like ass, so I stopped. It's meant to be a full-page establishing shot of the city the main characters are going to spend quite a while in, so it needs to look ‘wow’, and it actually looks ‘bleurgh’. XD

It took about 3 hours to get to this point, so I really don't want to take the obvious route and just delete it and start again (but I will if nothing else can be done). Apart from actually finishing it (which I know is a bad idea - if I hate it now I'll hate it even more when it's done ‘cos it’ll have taken another 2 hours to look even worse XD), is there anything anyone can suggest to save it? =(

Edit: Here's the new, improved version (there's more on the page but that's irrelevant). I'll probably look back on this in a month and go 'what was I thinking, that sucks' but for now I'm quite proud of it. Thanks guys, I couldn't have done it without you. ^_^
Currently rewriting Pictures from the start - and it is now called In Carnate.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:55PM
mlai at 4:13PM, Sept. 5, 2007
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To tell you the truth, I don't think she can be saved. Best to nuke it.

Reasons against salvage:

The perspective on the buildings are all over the place.
The thick drawn lines really jar with the thin tooled lines.
Relative sizes are wrong.
Color's unrealistic.

But since your story has comedic elements, maybe you can use this pic exactly as it is but work in some sort of joke about it.

FIGHT current chapter: Filling In The Gaps
FIGHT_2 current chapter: Light Years of Gold
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:05PM
stabbyfairy at 4:20PM, Sept. 5, 2007
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Yeah, that's what I was thinkin'. I just posted here in the vain hope it could be saved. XD

I'll try again tomorrow, when I might suck less.
Currently rewriting Pictures from the start - and it is now called In Carnate.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:55PM
Kristen Gudsnuk at 9:47AM, Sept. 6, 2007
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ok this might be cheating, but what I'd recommend if you're time-pressed, is finding a really nice cityscape picture, and then tracing over it in photoshop. … I traced a picture once for my comic! (it was an architectural pic, too.) but it was a pretty big learning experience as to how to do things right– you can try to make note of the different angles and just how to get perspective right.
the lines should definitely be very thin, though. thick lines make things look closer-up, which doesn't really work for a cityscape picture.
And I would mute the colors, if I were you. because it's a background-setting sort of shot, it shouldn't really be that bright.

but yeah, if you trace it'll go by really fast… and if you have one of those weird “moral issues” with tracing, you can just use a good photo as a reference (although that'll take a lot longer. I once did a series of paintings where the theme was “people in cities” and… it was pretty time-consuming. like, over a hundred hours per painting.)
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:22PM
stabbyfairy at 12:19PM, Sept. 6, 2007
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Yep, I've just now been on Google images getting a whole bunch of city skyline / glass skyscraper / Indian architecture pictures so I can make some kind of unholy mutant architectural style. Hopefully it should look quite interesting, much more than when I was just working with a couple of half-assed skyline pics. XD
I probably won't trace though. I find I usually get better results when I don't. When I trace I take it far too slowly and end up with really shaky linework, and it never really matches what I was drawing from. I might half-trace bits I'm having trouble with.
Yeah, the idea of the line thicknesses was to give a better sense of perspective, but it didn't work out that way. I reckon actually having a better sense of perspective might solve that little problem. XP
And now that I take a better look, the colours are all wrong. The glass buildings are meant to be blue, but they're too blue, the green, as mlai said, is unnatural and the redbrick buildings are too orange. I might get rid of the brick buildings altogether. I tried to sort it out before I posted by screwing with the brightness and saturation… But that just made it worse. ;^_^
I'm gonna change the angle now as well. I might have it from a character's point of view standing on the platform of the train station looking out over the city. I'll have to draw less that way. =P

100 hours per painting?!? I'm willing to put in maybe 15 on a single page at the very most, but I have a story to tell here! Whoa, they must've turned out really nice. I just don't have the patience for that. o_O

Thanks, both of you! You've been really helpful. ^_^
Currently rewriting Pictures from the start - and it is now called In Carnate.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:55PM
subcultured at 12:27PM, Sept. 6, 2007
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try this




J
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:02PM
stabbyfairy at 3:03PM, Sept. 6, 2007
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Thanks, that's really really useful! =D

I vaguely remember doing one- and two-point perspective in Graphic Design class, but it was only one lesson and that was 3-and-a-half years ago. (The rest of the time we mucked about covering each other in Polyfilla and looking up crap on the internet. XD) It was about time I had a refresher, really. And three-point I'd never learnt before, which sucked 'cos it was the one I needed.

Thank youuu! *huggles*
Currently rewriting Pictures from the start - and it is now called In Carnate.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:55PM
Reinderdijkhuis at 2:54AM, Sept. 8, 2007
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I've seen worse. While there are a lot of faults in that drawing, what makes it offensive to the eye is the colouring. Those saturated blues against the greens. Make everything greyer and go for more uniformity of colour within the different blocks of elements. Let the skyscraper buildings in the background fade into the background so that the lighter blue buildings in the middle ground are brought forward more. And reduce that sky to a flat colour for now. It's distracting.

You will still have the bad perspective but it won't be as painful to look at.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:04PM
stabbyfairy at 5:17AM, Sept. 8, 2007
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I have now redrawn it with (hopefully) fewer perspective issues, and am sorting out the colouring now.

I'm getting rid of the orange entirely, the picture's gonna be mostly greys and blues now. And the saturation's going RIGHT down.

Basically, I'm mashing together all the advice I've been given. Maybe I'll stick up the improved version when I'm done just to say ‘hay guys look! ur tips wer gr8!’ =D
Currently rewriting Pictures from the start - and it is now called In Carnate.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:55PM
stabbyfairy at 4:42AM, Sept. 10, 2007
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Here's the new, improved version (there's more on the page but that's irrelevant). I'll probably look back on this in a month and go 'what was I thinking, that sucks' but for now I'm quite proud of it. Thanks guys, I couldn't have done it without you. ^_^
Currently rewriting Pictures from the start - and it is now called In Carnate.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:55PM
mlai at 4:56AM, Sept. 10, 2007
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stabbyfairy
Here's the new, improved version
Wow, what a difference.

FIGHT current chapter: Filling In The Gaps
FIGHT_2 current chapter: Light Years of Gold
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:05PM
RabbitMaster at 12:07PM, Sept. 10, 2007
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I cant believe how much better that looks

“Perhaps you would care to try your villany on a less defenseless opponent?”–Kung Fu Rabbit
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:57PM
joeychips at 1:05PM, Sept. 10, 2007
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I just looked at both of your versions and each one has very nice qualities to it. I tend to like things that are more home grown and personal, which I think the first piece has more of. That said, it depends on what you are personally trying to convey in the story.
Joe Chiappetta
www.SillyDaddy.net
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:10PM
subcultured at 7:19PM, Sept. 10, 2007
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Someone

^ that turned out verrry well ^_^
J
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:02PM
mlai at 4:29AM, Sept. 11, 2007
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joeychips
I just looked at both of your versions and each one has very nice qualities to it. I tend to like things that are more home grown and personal, which I think the first piece has more of. That said, it depends on what you are personally trying to convey in the story.
Since her comic isn't based on Sesame Street, her 2nd effort is much better suited for her purposes.

FIGHT current chapter: Filling In The Gaps
FIGHT_2 current chapter: Light Years of Gold
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:05PM
stabbyfairy at 5:08AM, Sept. 11, 2007
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mlai
joeychips
I just looked at both of your versions and each one has very nice qualities to it. I tend to like things that are more home grown and personal, which I think the first piece has more of. That said, it depends on what you are personally trying to convey in the story.
Since her comic isn't based on Sesame Street, her 2nd effort is much better suited for her purposes.

Haha, that's a good point. XD
Also, I'd actually say I feel the second one is more personal. Partly because I spent a lot longer on it and put in more effort, and mostly because it's much, much closer to how Parena looks in my head. ^_^

Thanks for all your help, everybody! It's now been finished and uploaded to go up some time next month.
I like to think I improve a little with every page, but this is a HUGE jump for me. I'm really happy with it.

I guess this thread's done so if anyone feels like locking it, go right ahead. ^_^
Currently rewriting Pictures from the start - and it is now called In Carnate.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:55PM
Enef at 8:53AM, Sept. 12, 2007
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The new one is better but it looks lifeless. Stop using shortcuts to make things, just draw everything out.

It really is that simple, i can SEE the shortcuts you've taken because they are things i've done in the past. Things you need to stop doing, just take the time to draw it out, if it doesn't come out right? Do it again until it does.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:22PM
mlai at 10:42AM, Sept. 12, 2007
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Easy ways to add focal point and life:

1. Add a person (or two) standing next to that ledge in the foreground. Make sure that sunlight hits them too.

2. Add the text bubbles/captions.

3. Maybe add flock of pigeons.

Voila, lively page.

FIGHT current chapter: Filling In The Gaps
FIGHT_2 current chapter: Light Years of Gold
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:05PM
stabbyfairy at 5:47AM, Sept. 13, 2007
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I might use the birds, actually. I've put them on earlier pages and completely forgotten them here. ^_^
The ledge is the edge of the train track (the trains are more like big, fast trams) so people standing there… Not a good idea. Unless I feel like changing things up a bit with some bloodstains and dismembered limbs. XD
And in the finished version there's an inset panel and quite a bit of dialogue, so that's already taken care of.

Enef: I'll keep that in mind for later. I've given myself a killer of an update schedule so I can't afford to spend a week working on every single page. If I changed to that it'd take about a decade to finish the story too. I doubt anyone'd have a long enough attention span to read it through to the end. XD
I'll try that when I feel confident enough to try another big step, and when I can draw at an acceptable level more quickly. I'm not at that stage yet. When I am, I'll get rid of a couple more shortcuts.
(I'm already making an effort to eliminate chibi from everything but the odd comedy scene, and to work with more colours. And to not use cut & paste, not even for backgrounds. They're difficult enough for me right now. v_v)
Currently rewriting Pictures from the start - and it is now called In Carnate.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:55PM

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