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Kaustic auZzie Notes episode #5 is prepared - Stephan [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Stephan

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Kaustic auZzie Notes episode #5 is prepared [Jun. 26th, 2007|07:34 am]
Stephan
Hi guys,

Just waiting on a couple of forumites on the other side of the water and then I can lodge an application on TAC to create a proper forum.  Until then this is where news of the comic will need to be posted.

Last night I finished a 3 panel episode of the comic.  It goes live around 6:00am Los Angeles time.

The 3D background statisfied me, but I'm only pleased with the 1st of the 3 drawings of Michael.  I think the problem is that with each re-draw I was growing progressively tired as the late evenign hours caught up with me.  Eventually a lot of those drawings will need to be re-done (especially episode #2).

GG1 remains the biggest problem.  The episode to follow next shows her insides, so I need to have a proper working version of her up and running - not merely the rushed job I've used to get the comic moving.
linkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: marmoe
2007-06-26 01:29 pm (UTC)

 
The comic certainly starts with a Big Bang.

In the left panel of #4 Michael seems to try to wake (Do?)GG I, but what happenes to him in the right panel? Do you want to answer that here, or should I rather wait for the next episodes?

Good luck with the forum. Links to your comic and the forum would be nice to find in your profile, I think.
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[User Picture]From: thefoxaroo
2007-06-26 09:17 pm (UTC)
(Whew! I was worried I'd posted this under "private" mode or something)

Links to the comic and forum? I didn't know you could do that... Hmmm...

Yes the comic starts out dramatically, that's how I write most of my stories. I was thinking that when my drawing skills have improved I might have a bit of fun and sketch my characters into the opening scenes of other familiar web comics to "illustrate" the difference.

Michael tries to look inside GG1, but they're both sliding down the metal plates and he can't keep his balance and falls over. I tried to emphasise this with movement lines around his feet in panel #1, but my drawing skills just aren't up to the mark at this early stage. I have Adobe Photoshop now, and wanted to blur GG1's outline to show her descent, but I haven't figure out how to use Photoshop yet.

I knew long before I started that the activities in this comic would far exceed my drawing skills. In only 5 episodes I've shown Michael in more body positions than a Zigzag video, one of which includes him crouching down while grunting and straining. ;)

The BIG problem is GG1 though. The version shown is a rushed job. I'm still madly racing to fix her up properly. Next week's episode (if I can get it in on time) needs to show her insides.
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[User Picture]From: marmoe
2007-06-27 10:11 am (UTC)
(Whew! I was worried I'd posted this under "private" mode or something)
When you look at your journal page at thefoxaroo you can tell, which entries are public, friends only or private. The latter ones are accompanied by a small gray symbol, either a lock (friends) or an eye (private). You will see the lock-symbol on some entries on your friends page, too, indicating that those entries are friends-locked (so you will know, that information found there might not be appropriate to spread in the open elsewhere). Don't worry about lack of comments, my entries often get no or only little response, too. Small audience plus we read each other on the forums regularly.

Links to the comic and forum? I didn't know you could do that... Hmmm...
You could add them in your bio. You can put HTML code into it, IIRC.

Don't worry about the learning curve. Instead of envisioning progress as a big, uphill slope, I tend to think of it as deepening my understanding. Going downhill is easier and less intimidating. You'll have to dig, though. ;-)

Comparing to ZigZag videos? * snerk * And yes, you are doing great at that. Most would not even think of using that many poses in the beginning. You have a good feeling for postures and depict them well, IMHO.

Don't be too harsh on yourself. I like the drawings. What threw me off, was the GG1 is missing from the last panel - and having a look at the scene and that GG1 actually is outside the frame, the depiction is physically correct.

The speed lines are a bit iffy, IMHO. The way they are they indicate a clock-wise turn by 90°, rather than a tumbling. Maybe you can change them (They are drawn in a separate layer, I hope? If not, do you still have a version without them?). Envision a thick cylinder, that is lying on your desk, its right end slightly closer to you than the left end. Envision it to have black rings. Now take part of these rings from the top of the cylinder and draw them, with the front end slightly thicker than the rear end. I think, that ought to convey the tumbling motion. (So much for the blind aiding the seeing.)
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[User Picture]From: thefoxaroo
2007-06-27 11:27 am (UTC)
Hi Marmoe!

Bio... OK I'll take a look. As for the symbols, I often miss symbols, icons and images because I have graphics turned off to save upload/download quota. I'm on the maximum plan, and that gives me only 1gb per month. I'll get there eventually.

Thanks for the advice! AND thaks for the encouragement on the body postures. That's how the comic was always intended to be; action based rather than dialogue based and Michael in particular was chosen as a macropod (later a hybrid vulpine macropod) largely for the agility.

You're quite right about the speed lines. I'll need to read your explantion a few times to grasp it (dyslexics are supposed to be able to comprehend things in 3 dimensions, but it's always been one of my weaknesses).

Yes don't worry, I have all the various stages of drawing. The 3D backgrounds are rendered first. Then I sketch the character(s) separately and scan in. After the scanned image is appropriately size-adjusted I add this in. Speech bubbles and speed lines are added last.

I'm trying to keep copies of the episodes prior to the English lettering in the hope that people of other nationalities will want them for versions in other languages. So far I've been careless in that a lot of the touching-up I've done AFTER adding the speech.
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[User Picture]From: marmoe
2007-06-27 02:40 pm (UTC)
I was thinking of something like this:


(link)


Just done better. ;-) You'll have to see, if it works.

Hint for working with Photoshop: You could put your speedlines into a layer (yep, part of the learning curve) of their own, so that you can move them around and edit them, without affecting the rest of the image.
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[User Picture]From: thefoxaroo
2007-06-27 09:16 pm (UTC)
Looks good, thanks! The variation in the thickness of the lines is ideal for showing the movement. I would not have thought to do that on my own.

Is that variation of thickness a feature available in photoshop?
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[User Picture]From: marmoe
2007-06-28 08:38 am (UTC)
I think thickness variation is a feature, however as far as I know you can only use it when using a graphics tablet with a suitable pen; the program uses pressure and tilt of the pen to control linewidth. I did not use such a feature anyway, see my response to batty below. If you are looking for smooth curves in Photoshop, try to look for B-Splines or curves in the help files. That should do the job. Sorry, I use an old copy of Paintshop Pro myself, so I can't be more specific.
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[User Picture]From: dewhitton
2007-06-28 03:09 am (UTC)
How did you do that?
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[User Picture]From: marmoe
2007-06-28 09:05 am (UTC)
The short answer is: I just drew the outline, using an ellipse as a reference; the tapering is not some automated feature.

I did the speedlines outside of Photoshop in a vector graphics program. You may be able to recreate it with Photoshop alone, otherwise Inkscape is an open source vector graphics editor that should do the job.

Step by step: What you see are four copies of the same object, drawn in a vector graphics program. I first drew an ellipse with the long axis being vertical in order to get a reference for the necessary curvature. I then drew a spline with 3 points (the two corners on the left and the tapered tip on the right), putting these points where I wanted them to be. Then I tugged at the control points for the tangents for each corner to change the lineshape, until I was satisfied with the result, a tapered elliptic arc. Kill the ellipse, fill the arc with black, arrange an additional three copies or the arc. Copy all (or go via file export in .eps, .emf or .wmf format), insert them in Photoshop, scale and smooth as desired. Voila.

If you want, I can post an SVG file of the above, that you can have a look at in Inkscape. If you or Scott need help with Inkscape, feel free to ask. BTW, SVG is nifty, however now that Adobe has taken over Macromedia I am not sure that it will be developed much further. I may misremember, but I think you can have automated line thickness variation in an SVG graphics. Inkscape does not seem to support that, you may need to code it by hand (SVG files are text-based and use xml syntax).
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[User Picture]From: thefoxaroo
2007-06-28 12:36 pm (UTC)
Hi Marmoe!

Whoa! Brain locking up! I might need to come back to you on this, as I'm still struggling with the cartoon's most basic needs. ;)

Appreciate the help though!
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[User Picture]From: marmoe
2007-06-28 03:51 pm (UTC)
You are welcome. To make it a bit easier, here is what the final speed-line looks like in "construction mode", i.e. without filling and with highlighted control points.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

From left to right:
  1. outline of a single speed-line with the reference ellipse
  2. highlighting the points at the corners and the tip.
  3. highlighting the tangents at the corner points
The position of the three corner points and the points at the ends of the tangents define the entire curve.
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