Thursday, August 27, 2015

grOw/cOmic#6, page 65 completed!

Chip, chip, chip, and another page is done! Page 65 was almost done earlier today, but a short time of "computer maintenance" was required this morning, which ate a bit into my work time. However, this time was short enough to allow me to finish this latest page without having to go into another day. This newest page now puts us past the halfway mark with 10 of 19 pages in the issue completed!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

grOw/cOmic#6, page 64 completed!

I cruised through the latest page, finishing page 64 in about a day and a half. You will see that this preview is the color version of one of the pencil previews I showed at the start of issue 4's creation (post: July 17). Except for the fact that this issue is an extra page longer (19 pages), we would be at the half-way mark of the issue with 9 pages done. We will have to wait until the completion of page 65 to surpass that milestone. Enjoy the preview!

Friday, August 21, 2015

grOw/cOmic#6, page 63 completed!

Working a little extra tonight (it was raining hard, so I couldn't go for my walk), I was able to finish page 63 of grOw/cOmic#6. Issue 4 now has 8 out of 19 pages complete — we are past the third-way mark!  For now, enjoy the latest preview!

Maybe tomorrow, I can get today's walk in.  If I do, and I walk 3.8 miles (6.1km)(a normal amount per walk), I will have hit 100 miles (161km) in 10 weeks!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

grOw/cOmic#6, page 62 completed!

Finally, I was able to finish page 62 of issue 4. I had a small bout of fear when I had finished the page "the first time." Yes, "the first time."

The time it takes to produce an issue like this is huge, and so, you need to break down the work into stages and try to make an efficient production line. However, sometimes, you can lose the momentum or continuity from page to page because of that compartmentalization.  I try to avoid this by scanning the issue from the first page to the last each time I complete a full-color page. (This includes scanning the unfinished pages which are in the pencil stage with overlapping rough text.)

Well, when I did this full-issue pass after completing page 62 "the first time," I noticed a glaring error across almost all of the frames of the page. This error had to do with "size" consistency. Why it hadn't hit me until now, I can only guess that it wasn't as apparent in simple pencil form, that the full color treatment really made the error pop. I had realized that I had drawn a character who was much larger in the boob area than she was supposed to be at this stage. Somehow, I had referenced my notes and used reference from a later stage. Frighteningly, I didn't hit me until the page was fully in color, fully rendered and composited. 

I had actually thought I was going to have to recreate the entire page from scratch! The problem parts had so many overlapping elements that it could have made reworking it impossible. Luckily, my many, many years as a Photoshop professional saved my ass. And this didn't only apply to the retouching and reworking the finished artwork using the methods I normally reserve for photo retouching and compositing, but also was born from my early-stage preparation of the original files in case of needed changes.  Each frame of the cOmic is made up of numerous layers and groups of layers.  Characters in the background will be on a different layer than characters in the foreground. Sometimes, there might even be 3 or 4 layers of characters in one frame. The advantage of this is that I can move them independently later in the process, or that if I needed to correct one group, I would not have to also deal with the other parts of the artwork that were fine.  

So, a few hours later, after compositing the many layers needed to "paint" the artwork and then recutting them into pieces in order to rearrange and "reform" them — including careful masking, puppet warping, liquifying, relayering elements, and even creating new artwork for some parts of the frame that were now "revealed" due to the shrinking/moving of others — I was able to rescue the page.


Friday, August 14, 2015

grOw/cOmic#6, page 61 completed!

One more page has been completed before the weekend for issue 4 of grOw/cOmic#6. Page 61 was another page with a lot of detail — overlapping characters, many clothing folds and variations, blur effects, etc. Because of this, it took a little longer. Enjoy the preview!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

grOw/cOmic#6, page 60

I just finished page 60 of issue 4. This page is the 5th in the 19-page chapter, so we are now just passed the 1/4 mark! Another page with lots of character interactions, overlap, and other time-consuming details, I was happy to finish it just under the wire in 2 days. Off to page 61 — enjoy the preview!

Friday, August 7, 2015

grOw/cOmic#6, page 59 completed!

Page 59 was another busy page, taking a full 3 days to work through all of the overlaps, wet clothes effects, background blurs, folds in tight clothes, dry and wet hair, and see-through clothing effects.  Add to all of that the fact that the page contains 12 character "instances" including faces, which are all intermingling or overlapping. Whew! You can get a small example of all this in this preview.  Enjoy!

(I'm now off for a walk! Having already broken my 1-week record of 12.16 miles (19.6 km) by walking 12.76 miles (20.5 km) in the first 3 days of this week alone [taking yesterday off for a bit of rest for obvious reasons], I am now going to add to that record with today's walk.)

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

grOw/cOmic#6, page 58 completed!

It took a little extra time, but I was finally able to finish page 58. It was a busy page, with overlapping characters and some depth of field effects as well as aligning characters to the 3D-rendered background. I had gotten very close to finishing it yesterday, but I lost a little time in the morning to other stuff (*see below) and wound up running out of time.

(*Sometimes, if I was so close to finishing a page by the end of the "work day", I would stay longer [sometimes 1 or 2 hours] to finish it up. But, over the last few weeks, I've been avoiding doing that on some days [but not all]. On the evenings that I would end "on time", I would then head out and walk. I don't mean slow strolling, but fast-paced power walking. In the last 8 weeks, I've walked 62.5 miles (100 km for the non-US reader)! Each day I walked, I traveled between 2.5 to 3.5 miles in the beginning, and 3.5 to 5.5 miles in the last few weeks per day. And, in those 2 months, I've lost 10 lbs. (4.5 kg for the non-US reader). And I'm feeling great! I'm looking to lose another 10-15 lbs over the next few months and I'm ready to achieve this goal! Plus, my sitting so long in front of the computer working on grOw and my other "RL" work had an adverse affect on my blood pressure [from lack of activity]. It had risen to an unhealthy peak of 140/90 about 6 months ago.  Since that time, I've gotten it back down to an awesome 124/68 !  "The morning stuff" I mentioned above was that I had decided to do my walk in the morning because the weather was promising to be very hot in the afternoon with high humidity... not great physical activity weather.)

But now that this is posted, I'm off for a walk! ...