2D comic process

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2D comic process

Postby mctek » May 6th, 2010, 10:29 pm

hey, mctek here, since i just finished work on #3 and entered post production mode, I figured I give a rundown of how a comic is done in 2D verse to 3D work. Now before i start would like to point out i'm a fine arts major in animation, so i've been doing this for a while, if i had a minor studies it would be English Lit. So like Doc, Trishbot and a few others storytelling is part of what goes into making my comics or at least the ability to tell a story without words. Now on to the comic process :D

First things first, before i ever place the digital pencil to the pad, a script must be made, now i'm not sure about the format use to create the 3D comic, but for 2D comics it's a little more detail, for this demo i'll be making a page up so as not to provide spoilers by accident. Aside from title and author, a summary is given about the comic's overall events or purpose to the comic or to the whole story arc in general. That's followed by cast that will be in said comic issue, some writers i met like to add a mini summary to the cast, explaining their purpose for that issue. It then moves on to how many pages and what kind of pages, such as a splash page that combines two pages to make one big jaw dropping image, others have the number of panels to them, the most common I've seen is between five and six panels, more can be added, but is generally not used often. Also written is what is going on in each panel and what kind of angle such as a three quarter view, worms eye view and so on.

Example:

Pink Pussycat: Frozen assets

Summary: Pink Pussycat gets frozen in a block of ice by x villain

Cast:

Pink Pussycat

X villain

1 page - splash page

Splash page: a camera shot slightly off center, from behind Pink Pussycat as she is frozen by X villan's powers, she is in a defensive position, arms raised. X villain is laughing, mocking posture.

There's usually more and with details such as location, day and time and extra comments and suggestions if the writer wants to make a request on the visual aspect. From there, the artist(me) takes the time to go over it with the writer and discus options and what not, after that it's time to draw out the comic. A lot of pages are done in sketches and are redefined in the later stages, lol for this demo i option to use an existing panel of work from Akonkid and trishbot's Body Image comic(thanks guys). Normally i go through various sketches of a page before i arrive at the one i like and fits with the writer's vision of the script(trishbot ftw!) and again(lol) i decided only to post the final sketch. And as you can probably tell, it's a lot different then what Akonkid as done, as i clearly exaggerated the action between Aria and Valiant Girl, still Akonkid has done a great job on the panel work.

Example:
Image


From there once it's approved, it's time for inking processing, which is alot longer then just sketching it out. here i draw with extreme care unless i want to do the whole page over again, happen a few times as i learned to do the process correctly. At this stage its detail, detail, detail and more detail my friend, in pencils i'm overly more detailed then my digital art, still it's that detail that helps sell the story. Many other things can be done such as filling in negative space and add more visual appeal and what not have you.

Example:
Image

Once the inked pages have been approved it's time for colors, a long and painstaking process that makes up about three-fourth of the process. I've made some mistakes along the way doing colors, specially tints and grays, hopefully i'm getting better at it. Most colorist i heard of have a library of color schemes for characters such as the X-men, Captain America, Ironman and so forth. In my case I'm having to build that library as i go. Also whoever tells you black and white are colors, hit them in the head....hard. Black and white are not colors they are values of light and dark, the grays you see are the several shades in between those two values.

Example:
Image

Generally it takes me between a day to a week to finish a couple of pages depending on how much detail is needed, since i've just finish work on #3 this demo suffered alittle as i only moved to finish one panel of page in question. There's a lot of blending of colors, figuring out light sources in each panel, the mood and setting. Arranging color schemes as i go, sometimes i have to redo an entire page because i goofed or wasn't paying attention to something that was obviously wrong. After all is said and done, the comic goes into a post production mode were things like text and effects go in and generally were mistakes are found and deal with, (props to Trishbot for the help) and finally it's send to site to be posted.

Example:
Image

I hope you guys found this interesting and informative, if you have any questions let me know.

MCtek~
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Re: 2D comic process

Postby Trishbot » May 6th, 2010, 10:42 pm

Very insightful, MC Tek! Much appreciated for sharing your knowledge and skill!
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Re: 2D comic process

Postby mctek » May 6th, 2010, 11:19 pm

Not a problem trishbot! As i said before, everyone feel free to ask question, be happy to try and answer as best i can.

MCtek~
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Re: 2D comic process

Postby Ghosthand » June 20th, 2012, 10:17 am

Is the text added into the orginal layout?

Does the writer let the artist know what type of textbox is need in the indevidual pannel such as;

Narration, "Says something."

Character A thought ballon, "Thinks something." and so on?

Is the pannel size per page in the layout or is that left up to the artist?
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Re: 2D comic process

Postby mctek » June 20th, 2012, 11:16 am

Is the text added into the orginal layout?

Does the writer let the artist know what type of textbox is need in the indevidual pannel such as;

Narration, "Says something."

Character A thought ballon, "Thinks something." and so on?

Is the pannel size per page in the layout or is that left up to the artist?


Most of the time the writer does write out the panel with the intent of giving the artist some wiggle room to add said text, does also applies to Poser work as well, too much text and it takes over what the page is suppose to do for that text, too little and the page or panel is left to fend for itself. :P

But yeah what you got there is generally how it's written.

Tek~
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Re: 2D comic process

Postby Northern Chill » June 20th, 2012, 11:18 am

Ghosthand wrote:Is the text added into the orginal layout?

Does the writer let the artist know what type of textbox is need in the indevidual pannel such as;

Narration, "Says something."

Character A thought ballon, "Thinks something." and so on?

Is the pannel size per page in the layout or is that left up to the artist?


Hey Ghosthand,

For dialog purposes, the writer (if a different person than the artist) will often do as you asked

Narrative: " The scene shifts to an eerily tranquil room where the buxom heroine, rendered a mindless slave, follows...

Character A: "Aha, you are under my power, you proud woman and so you shall remain..."

and so on...at times, a writer may suggest fx shots to be added to a panel/page to emphasize certain activities.

Speaking as someone with a long history in writing text stories, writing dialog in a 2D or 3D comic is a different thing entirely than straight text. You learn the little things like "left to right" flow in text for pages, avoiding blathering and so on by trial and error. Most importantly, you have to let the art tell the major part of the story despite the inner desire for a writer to explain in detail..I still fight that desire... :lol:
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Re: 2D comic process

Postby Ghosthand » June 20th, 2012, 3:41 pm

Thanks for the replies.

Tek,

How much 'wiggle room' do most artist like in the layout? Do they like to have the writer give a full detailed discription of what is going on suck as discribing the full background or detailing the exact pose and expression of the characters? Or do they want a basic pose of the characters and generalness of the surroundings and they fill in the rest? In other words, how much artistic freedom do they like?

Northern Chill,

I know this is a hard question and may not even be answerable but how many words are a good amount per page? figuring a full page, whether it's a splash page ot devided into several pannels, is 100 words a page a good number to shoot for as a top end? I know a lot of it depends on the pannel and what all is going on artistically but it would be nice to have a point where you know you need to continue a long villianous monolog on to the next pannel.
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Re: 2D comic process

Postby Northern Chill » June 20th, 2012, 4:35 pm

Ghosthand wrote:Thanks for the replies.

Tek,

How much 'wiggle room' do most artist like in the layout? Do they like to have the writer give a full detailed discription of what is going on suck as discribing the full background or detailing the exact pose and expression of the characters? Or do they want a basic pose of the characters and generalness of the surroundings and they fill in the rest? In other words, how much artistic freedom do they like?

Northern Chill,

I know this is a hard question and may not even be answerable but how many words are a good amount per page? figuring a full page, whether it's a splash page ot devided into several pannels, is 100 words a page a good number to shoot for as a top end? I know a lot of it depends on the pannel and what all is going on artistically but it would be nice to have a point where you know you need to continue a long villianous monolog on to the next pannel.


There's no real limit on words per page because it varies a lot depending on the conditions you mentioned. The axiom I try to use is to look at the overall arc/update..villains can monologue, yes, but the amount depends on the setting and such. Keep in mind that in this particular medium, the readers want the art first, dialogue second...

Another thing I'll say is that every writer has their own style for how much they use in dialog...Trishbot uses very long narratives, MCTek can be sparse at times, Uroboros uses inbetween for huge size art pages. In the end, keep it so word balloons aren't blotting out character heads or nice nudity due to size...everything else is by trial and error (I'm still learning as you'll see in my next updates..)

Northern Chill
Check out past covers from stories found here as well as text stories I've written at http://nchill.deviantart.com

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Re: 2D comic process

Postby Tecknophyle » June 23rd, 2012, 6:41 pm

Northern Chill wrote:
Another thing I'll say is that every writer has their own style for how much they use in dialog...Trishbot uses very long narratives, MCTek can be sparse at times, Uroboros uses inbetween for huge size art pages. In the end, keep it so word balloons aren't blotting out character heads or nice nudity due to size...everything else is by trial and error (I'm still learning as you'll see in my next updates..)

Northern Chill


If I may throw in a personal note, I hate show and tell narrative. You know, where the text box helpfully informs you of what you're seeing in the page the text box is in because the reader is obviously a moron who can't figure out that the hero punching the villain without the text to inform him that the hero is currently punching the villain, placed on the image of the hero punching the villain.

Drives me up the freaking wall that does.
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Re: 2D comic process

Postby Mr. Cryptic » June 25th, 2012, 11:37 am

I do think that less is better, when it comes to narration, and to a lesser extent word balloons. If I can show something as opposed to say something, I try to show it. Usually my scripts start out realtively wordy, then as I put the comic together I figure what is unnecessary and can be cut to make the narration and dialogue more economical.
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Re: 2D comic process

Postby Doctor Robo » June 25th, 2012, 11:57 am

Mr. Cryptic wrote:I do think that less is better, when it comes to narration, and to a lesser extent word balloons. If I can show something as opposed to say something, I try to show it. Usually my scripts start out realtively wordy, then as I put the comic together I figure what is unnecessary and can be cut to make the narration and dialogue more economical.

Agreed. Looking back on some of my older work, I used to be a flagrant violator of this guideline. I have had to make a conscious effort to cut back on my narrations and let the images tell the story. I think it's a good strategy for any sequential storyteller to be as succinct as possible with your text, and let your art do the majority of the talking.

- Doc
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Re: 2D comic process

Postby Northern Chill » June 25th, 2012, 12:06 pm

Doctor Robo wrote:
Mr. Cryptic wrote:I do think that less is better, when it comes to narration, and to a lesser extent word balloons. If I can show something as opposed to say something, I try to show it. Usually my scripts start out realtively wordy, then as I put the comic together I figure what is unnecessary and can be cut to make the narration and dialogue more economical.

Agreed. Looking back on some of my older work, I used to be a flagrant violator of this guideline. I have had to make a conscious effort to cut back on my narrations and let the images tell the story. I think it's a good strategy for any sequential storyteller to be as succinct as possible with your text, and let your art do the majority of the talking.

- Doc


It's something that can be difficult at times especially for writers like Doc and myself....you're used to writing text stories and now in this medium, you have to mentally restrain yourself. I know I've gushed at times and that's my bad but I keep plugging away..

The other thing I'd mention is when doing any narrative, keep in mind shows that use a narrator during a broadcast...that's always a good template for your writing.

Northern Chill
Check out past covers from stories found here as well as text stories I've written at http://nchill.deviantart.com

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Re: 2D comic process

Postby Ghosthand » June 25th, 2012, 3:25 pm

Northern Chill wrote:
Doctor Robo wrote:
Mr. Cryptic wrote:I do think that less is better, when it comes to narration, and to a lesser extent word balloons. If I can show something as opposed to say something, I try to show it. Usually my scripts start out realtively wordy, then as I put the comic together I figure what is unnecessary and can be cut to make the narration and dialogue more economical.

Agreed. Looking back on some of my older work, I used to be a flagrant violator of this guideline. I have had to make a conscious effort to cut back on my narrations and let the images tell the story. I think it's a good strategy for any sequential storyteller to be as succinct as possible with your text, and let your art do the majority of the talking.

- Doc


It's something that can be difficult at times especially for writers like Doc and myself....you're used to writing text stories and now in this medium, you have to mentally restrain yourself. I know I've gushed at times and that's my bad but I keep plugging away..

The other thing I'd mention is when doing any narrative, keep in mind shows that use a narrator during a broadcast...that's always a good template for your writing.

Northern Chill



So, innstead of having a comic pannel with Herolady and Badguy dukeing it out and a narration of "On the other side or twon Herolady and Badguy trade punches in a epic battle!" you narration should just be "On the other side of town" since they can see that they are battleing.

I would also think that narrations would be longer at the beginning of a story when you are introducing charaters and starting up the plot but would drop off as new characters or plot devices should be introduced in the story not in a narration.
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Re: 2D comic process

Postby Northern Chill » June 25th, 2012, 4:07 pm

Ghosthand wrote:
Northern Chill wrote:
Doctor Robo wrote:
Mr. Cryptic wrote:I do think that less is better, when it comes to narration, and to a lesser extent word balloons. If I can show something as opposed to say something, I try to show it. Usually my scripts start out realtively wordy, then as I put the comic together I figure what is unnecessary and can be cut to make the narration and dialogue more economical.

Agreed. Looking back on some of my older work, I used to be a flagrant violator of this guideline. I have had to make a conscious effort to cut back on my narrations and let the images tell the story. I think it's a good strategy for any sequential storyteller to be as succinct as possible with your text, and let your art do the majority of the talking.

- Doc


It's something that can be difficult at times especially for writers like Doc and myself....you're used to writing text stories and now in this medium, you have to mentally restrain yourself. I know I've gushed at times and that's my bad but I keep plugging away..

The other thing I'd mention is when doing any narrative, keep in mind shows that use a narrator during a broadcast...that's always a good template for your writing.

Northern Chill



So, innstead of having a comic pannel with Herolady and Badguy dukeing it out and a narration of "On the other side or twon Herolady and Badguy trade punches in a epic battle!" you narration should just be "On the other side of town" since they can see that they are battleing.

I would also think that narrations would be longer at the beginning of a story when you are introducing charaters and starting up the plot but would drop off as new characters or plot devices should be introduced in the story not in a narration.


Maybe I'm showing my age a bit...narrations in the old b/w serials/toons used to be heard when scenes shifted, plans were being made, information not visible in the scene being viewed. Treat the narratives as enhancing the art in the medium, not overwhelming it...

One other thing I should mention is that single panel pages allow for more text than multiple panel pages. If you feel you need to have dialog due to # of characters in a scene, go for single panel always...squeezing text into a panel that has 4+ characters and is "shrunk" due to being one of 4/5/6 can make a mess and make the artist think unpleasant things about you...:D
Check out past covers from stories found here as well as text stories I've written at http://nchill.deviantart.com

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Re: 2D comic process

Postby Ghosthand » June 25th, 2012, 8:08 pm

Northern Chill wrote:
Maybe I'm showing my age a bit...narrations in the old b/w serials/toons used to be heard when scenes shifted, plans were being made, information not visible in the scene being viewed. Treat the narratives as enhancing the art in the medium, not overwhelming it...

One other thing I should mention is that single panel pages allow for more text than multiple panel pages. If you feel you need to have dialog due to # of characters in a scene, go for single panel always...squeezing text into a panel that has 4+ characters and is "shrunk" due to being one of 4/5/6 can make a mess and make the artist think unpleasant things about you...:D


For some reason when I read this I heard William Dozier's voice in my head saying "Meanwhile at the Gotham Museum..." :)
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