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.


1 comment:

other290 said...

There's sketching, then there's art. With Cheerleaders, BE, and a fun story I doubt you'd get many complaints. Always loved the attention to details, I have to read the issues a few times to catch everything.