Thursday, September 16, 2010

EvE: Descended

It gives me great pleasure to at last present the fruits of my latest endeavor - page one of a comic that my Andrew and I have determined to accomplish. We have enough material stockpiled to last us about 50 pages. This was the first. It's based on the game EvE Online, a sci-fi MMORPG that we like to play.

Our arrangement is to setup a good buffer of pages before release (it's going to be an online comic) and then release one page a week or every other week. Andrew is in charge of layout and backgrounds/environments and I am in charge of all characters, even the little silhouettes.

This project has been the foundation for my resurrection of drawing. The metamorphosis from the first drawing of Taika, the woman pictured, to the last is really unbelievable. It was a bit of warming back up to drawing as well as finding a style for the comic and understanding that an action pose doesn't have to look ridiculously exaggerated to suggest, well... action.

My next step to try and improve time/work ratios is to attempt to do the entire process digitally. This would mean no sketching first. I would receive the page layout and start working on the panels in their appropriate places. This of course would entail a lot more hashing out in the beginning of precisely what we want. What I'm wondering is what will happen to the quality of my work, if it will remain on par with what I deem acceptable or if there will be considerably more error with less edit? Or if beginning digitally will omit the margin of error I have from pencil to digital cleanup. This example will show a little better of what I mean.

Here we have the original drawing and the digital finish. At first glance they could be identical, but to the critical eye this is not the case at all. Upon closer inspection (if you click on the image to enlarge it) you will see that adjustments have been made to hand position, arms, chest-line, and the thickness of thighs etc. The biggest change is harder to see without overlapping the two image. Her head has been bumped to the left and scaled up. Even rotated. These are all adjustments I've made from the drawing to digital. What I'm not sure of is if these will still be problems when beginning digitally, if I will fail to notice the problems, or if they will just not exist if I have a better eye for the screen than the paper. I suppose attempting it is the only way to know for sure. :)

The other part of the project that was a really healthy challenge was drawing the same character a number of times. On top of that rotating around having to match those crazy geometric designs: which really just helped me have points of reference to correct anatomy and scale. I had to take a LOT of reference photos of my hands and such, it was so impossible to "guess" it when it came to inking from my mitten-hand sketches.

We still have a lot to learn about layout, camera angles, and time management and process. It's been a great ride so far and I have really enjoyed the drawing. It's motivated me to want to draw more for sure, outside of projects, like I used to. Hope everyone enjoys! Let me know if you have any suggestions or advice for our comic making future!!