Turns out I’ve still been pretty sick, damn cough just wouldn’t go away. I am still working, albeit slowly — this is a bit of a preview, that just needs some backgrounds and a bit of shading/lighting, then it’ll be ready to go. Hopefully will be up tomorrow night at the latest. Until then. [:
I’m actually just getting over a nasty headcold that I managed to catch last weekend. It’s been a while since I’ve gotten really sick, but I’m getting back to normal now. Also, of course, my computer is back up and better than ever with TWO monitors to work and play on. [:
I have started posting the Modern Grimm to http://moderngrimm.abriarrose.com/, ideally to be updated weekly on Fridays. Still need to pretty up the site some from the template I’m using. I’ll work on it eventually. Anyway, I would like to update twice a week, but it depends on my course workload throughout the semester. If I am able to update more often, keep an eye on the Modern Grimm twitter for new page alerts.
To tide you over until I can post more pages, here is the process video for the cover of The Frog Prince — Enjoy!
Well, my vacation is pretty much over and school is set to start up again after next week. Overall, the summer break was nice and relaxing — maybe a bit too much, since I didn’t really get to finish any of my projects. -__-;
I have completed the thumbnailing for The Frog Prince and plan to start making the story pages this upcoming week. Also, the next story (Cat and Mouse in Partnership) has been written up and is ready for thumbnailing.
Additionally, I have completed the “cover” art of The Frog Prince and recorded a process video for that (sketch to finished render), which will be posted once I actually start posting up the comic. I have a few changes I want to make, mostly just color adjustments as well as text overlay for the chapter title and byline. For now, here is a WIP image composed of all the steps of the process — 3 sketches, ink, background, color and lighting, and a bit of the foreground leaves (Transparency levels are adjusted to show aspects of each step). Considering I usually don’t do location art, I really like how this background came out with the fountain stones and grass texture.
Since this rendering took just under 3 hours of actual work time, with the pages planned to have much less detail, I expect to have my buffer done pretty quick, or at least the line art aspects with a quick slap of color added just before posting. Here’s hoping that I can stay on task this week! 😀
So I’m THIS close to saying “screw it” and just use the font as it currently is, making changes to it later so I can start working on the second font I want done. Kerning for DAYS. x.x (Most of the English letter and symbol spacing is already done, I just need to finish the lowercase-to-lowercase spacing to make it usable for English.)
So while I am working on the fonts, I have started the sketching/thumbnailing process for the first story:
Generally, thumbnailing is the process of setting up the basic layout of the image on a smaller scale, before working on an image at a large scale. In the case of comics, it also is getting the layout of the panels as well as individual compositions. I do thumbnailing on printer paper cut in half, or scratch sheets pads of about a quarter-size. By doing this at a smaller size, it forces me to work on composition rather than detail. Additionally, I can layout all the pages to look at them all at once to make sure that they are relatively unique and that page layouts are not constantly being repeated within a certain range. Once I start doing more detailed work on the computer, poses will be refined to be clearer or more dynamic (where it makes sense), panel shapes will change, and some panels will even be shuffled around, added, or removed.
This process also allows me to make further notes for research, detail editing, and overall composition. For example, on the second page in the second image, I have notes for moving/resizing the frogs in the first panel, the sky shot to be day fading into night, and lighting notes further down the page. I also have my [initial] dialogue and balloons laid out, which are subject to change for clarity, brevity, or ease of reading. There are research notes, such as where I need to create/find reference images (the very first page, for the lime/linden tree as well as the pose), and what additional references I should find to complete rendering (dress, setting objects, etc.).
I will say, though thumbnailing is tedious in its own way, it’s also probably my favorite part of the process. It’s where the story gets its first breath of life, and the characters are really humanized for the first time, rather than just being descriptions on paper or notes on sketches. Their personalities come through in both actions and interactions, besides their individual appearances. It’s also the first time a world is explored, as far as where things are and the spaces the characters live within–another opportunity to show the personality (and even backgrounds) of the characters. While the reader gets to (usually) only experience the final rendering of these worlds, as an author/artist, I get to watch them grow and develop from the initial concept to the well-known.
So, I still haven’t finished what I want to finish — I keep getting distracted by my classic summer hobbies of anime and video games. x.x
In the meantime, I am working on the fonts, just very slowly. I have two fonts I want to finish before I start.
This is the letting font I want to use for making the Modern Grimm comic specifically. This font is meant to be readable at smaller sizes, but also retain a handwritten look and feel with (somewhat) unusually shaped letters. I wanted to make my own font so I could add additional language support through new characters in the future, if it gets to the point my comic gets translated into other languages with extended alphabets. (I wish!)
Right now, I’m in the process of kerning the font, or adjusting the spacing between the characters, and doing some minor readability modifications to ensure that there is no confusion between standard Latin characters and extended characters used by other languages, such as German and Polish.
Ideally, this font should be able to be used as a part of the Modern Grimm site design, and support translation apps when used in place of a specialized graphic to provide a consistent experience to all users. Because of the modifications, it does take a while to complete the work, even with some of the automated tools I have with my font software. (Shout-out to Type 3.2 by Allan Murray/CR8 Software!)
I haven’t even started to digitize this one. This is for titles/headers, and meant to look similar to classic black-lettering, like with “ye olde English” or Gothic fonts, but also a little more modern with serifs and smoother designs. This one I’ll probably pump out as quick English prototype with just the alphabet so I can just work on tweaking it later while still being able to do titles and “illuminated” letters for some text spaces. I can do a lot more detail with this font, since it is meant for larger sized text than the “Casual” font, so it may take a little bit longer to churn out a finished-ish font than the Grimm Casual Font.
Experimenting with shading styles for this, and a little bit of testing for magic effects. I’ll probably make a few more changes so this can be a “cover image” for the first collection, like the background will become a cottage and coloring the lines to give a more blended effect. But, done with the bulk of it and ready to start drawing up the pages! …After the font is finished. d:
Just a few more things to do, but the teaser image is coming along nicely. Now to get the comic done, too. x.x
Well, Friday came and went with nothing to show. /:
For now, a status report:
-Character designs for Frog King are pretty much done, just some extra characters that need to be drawn now.
-Lettering font is about 2/3 of the way done. Currently, I need to finish loading in the symbols and do the kerning (character spacing) for specific pairs.
-No pages done, since character designs, etc. aren’t done yet. Should start working on them this week, since I still need to script the story. Teaser is sketched, need to ink/color/render to post it.
-Not a damn thing on the website. I may just post to Tapas first so I can have some time to work on the website and get it pretty.
-Some side work on the Gauntlet is done. I need to do some research for building layouts and actually write the story, but problems have been resolved for that story.
Although I’m out of school for the summer, I feel tired and just want to play some video games. Gonna try to get more work done with this stuff though.
I finished the adaption for “The Frog Prince,” so all that’s left is to polish/script it and start drawing. I’ve also started writing the next adaption, with general character ideas in mind. First font is almost done, for lettering, and I can freehand some of the other stuff for now while the other fonts are still in the works. I’m currently hoping to have the teaser up by next Wednesday, and the first page up by next Friday, and I’m actually on schedule to do this too! I’m switching my sleep schedule to stay up at night for a bit, so I’ll have plenty of time to work without interruptions, except for my cats.
The first adaptation is pretty light, with some changes in story sequences and (hopefully) a bit more depth to the story/characters. Ideally, we’ll be seeing some of these characters, besides the witch, again in the future — I’m working on filling in more details (hence the maps) so that I can reuse some families/areas, if the story permits. I’m working on getting the first two families drawn out and characterized, before I expand to the other families. I’ll probably have some other recurring characters among the servants/peasants, animals, and non-humans, though I haven’t gotten quite that far yet.
Basically, everything is looking good so far, and I’ll have stuff to show within the coming days. [:
So, I kinda mentioned before that I was going back to school in January. And that I’d be writing a story until that time. And then that I’d be writing another story since that time. While I didn’t lie, I didn’t exactly finish things either. Whoops.
My last assignments were due last week, so I’m actually done with school until it starts up again at the end of August. in the meantime, I will be working on the second story/series I mentioned, The Modern Grimm. This will basically be adaptations of the Grimm stories, either to expand on the events of the story, or to provide a modern-ish/future interpretation, or even both, with changes in events and/or characters to fulfill these changes.
Currently, I’m working on building the site for the series, as well as other background stuff. I have the site pretty much set up, I just need to do the graphical stuff now, including graphics (duh), fonts, and color scheming. I have the font characters drawn up, so I just need to actually make the font file on the computer so I can use them.
Once the site is done, I’ll start working on story pages. I’m going in the same order as the edition of Grimm’s I’m using, so the first one up is “The Frog Prince”. I have most of the story written, with just a few story events left to write. I’ll need to finish the character designs and some background universe info (maps, etc), but that shouldn’t take too long since I already have basic ideas on each of these.
When I’m done with that, I’ll throw a teaser image up on the comic site and link it here. I currently plan to have the comic posted by next week, but we’ll see how that goes. [:
Finally, the Gauntlet is not dead yet! I ran into some issues/questions I couldn’t answer before, but I think I’ve been able to resolve them by adding elements from a VERY old story of mine, a little “series” I started writing in third(!!) grade. It was total fanfiction, with Pokemon, Sailor Moon, my favorite movie at the time, my best friends, having special powers, and so on. Thankfully, all my original copies of the “70 Days and 70 Nights” stories have been lost to time. However, I’m just taking the unique elements from it –the parts that weren’t fanfiction fantasies–and applying it to the Gauntlet to provide the story base, which actually wraps up most of the issues/questions I had before quite nicely. I plan on fleshing out this aspect of it during my summer break, and hopefully I’ll have something more to show for the Gauntlet than the fairy teaser image before I start school again.