dcomic 415

[061228]

This entry (Yes, ENTRY) being written early.

Whilst writing the previous entry, I realized that I had never reflected (Yes, REFLECTED) on the progression of my coloring through the ages (Ages being relative in this case). Thus following a few scans and such, I gathered up the content required for such a reflection, and am now proceeding to write. Early.

My first voluntary colored picture (outside of kindergarten/preschool) was a BCInc freighter over Confederate League 1 (Then still Comicland) scanned and uploaded (something like this). That was done in September of 2002 with simple pencil and colored pencil. I recalling telling someone (Most probably J?) that the result was not worth the time taken to color such a picture. Boy was I wrong. Note there also isn’t any shading. Shading doesn’t appear in my drawing until mid 2003.

Colored pencil colored pictures were upgraded with the introduction of inked lineart and shading. Some examples have already been shown in d106 (They are the ones marked for Dec 02 to Jan 03).

What few colored pictures I did were done in colored pencil for another year and a half. In June of 2004 I attempted a digitally colored picture for the first time, the end result being the Starcrossed Cover of 2004. This is pretty much the most time consuming picture I’ve ever done, not to mention one of the worst looking. It is also the only picture I’ve colored in Photoshop (Gasp). Regardless, this was pretty much an experiment for the most part, so we’ll leave it at that.

Paint Shop Pro became my coloring medium at this point. Cell shading as executed in the Starcrossed Cover was also dropped relatively quickly, my last cell shaded picture being one of chikara in late 2004. Subsequently, a rather horrendous coloring method reared it’s ugly face. In pictures that followed, all color divides were blended using Paint Shop Pro’s not so pleasant “push” tool (Don’t think that’s actually the name) as depicted here. I am not too sure about the date of origin here, though I’m guessing late 2004 to early 2005.

An anomaly in this mess is the traction engine in the default gallery. The only machine I ever colored as a picture itself, the traction engine limitedly foreshadows some of the blending methods that would later be applied to my OpenCanvas pictures.

Luckily PSP blending coloring ended by the middle of 2005. I don’t have any examples. I took them all down a long time ago. But between the PSP blending period and the initial OpenCanvas period that would follow, a few more anomalies cropped up. Two colored pencil pieces (Last I’ve done since) here and here and a cell shaded picture here were done in August and September of 2005. There were also a number of experiment “Soft CG” pictures.

Then in late 2005, probably around October or November, the initial OpenCanvas period opened up with THIS picture. I had originally used OC because it was easier to blend in OC than in PSP; as you can see, all color divides are still blended pretty thoroughly, but things are about to change. The lineart here is dated for January. Apparently it was supposed to be colored with PSP blending. Luckily it wasn’t.

The REDRAW of Discipline of 06/02/08 marked the end of an era (And really, an era here, not a period), subsequent paintings, starting with Misuzu Kamio of 06/05/23 reintroduced digital inking (Not seen since the Starcrossed Cover) and hard color divides en masse.

That brings me to the painting of the current period, described in last week’s ENTRY: The illustration relevant to today’s update is the result of a refinement of the “technique” used here and here.

Interestingly this is actually an unrefined version of the painting method depicted in my crude “tutorial” in episode 112. It is scaled back in that in conforms to my ever strengthening belief that actual cg “painting” (as opposed to cell shading) should be done using as few digital “helpers” as possible (ie. paint bucket, gradients, blurring, etc). The painting method in today’s update uses just one layer for foreground color and one layer for background color, and only one type of brush all around.

I’m also omitting the digital inking just out of sheer laziness. I just try to keep the lineart cleaner. Either way, the more recent coloring method is less time consuming than the older one, a simple figure can pretty much be painted under an hour if I focus (That’s a guesstimation. I don’t focus very well). I’m realizing that much of the points that I’m not satisfied with in this painting stem from imperfections in the lineart itself rather than how I paint. In that sense I think my painting has superceded my drawing, which is somewhat saddening.

Umm… yeah, that’s it.

EDIT: In response to J’s ENTRY, I daresay his panel layout is more dynamic than mine. Something I’ve been meaning to work on, but, as usual, to no avail. However, if the paper he draws on has the boxes on it to mark the referred to boundaries, why didn’t he realize he was outside the boundary to begin with (When he was drawing the comic, that is)? Maybe I’m not understanding or he not communicating something clearly.

Furthermore, I am highly, highly skeptical that anyone would even CARE to hack the poll. Even if someone did, who in the right mind would hack… then inform the hack-ed about the hack-ing? I guess he’s referring to his comment about voting elsewhere (Clearly the answer to this whole issue is that the site is developing AI and is conspiring to…)

J125 – “D-san Presents!” #4

[12/25/2006] Meri Kurizumazu~! I know this messed-up wording has been seen before, but this time, I found it on my own! The line “Supervise children during baking” appeared on the back of a package of clay.

Anyway, today we’ve got some π-tan fanart from my sister! Although π-tan’s clothing may look like solidly colored blocks in the picture, there are actually shadows on the original. It was colored with colored pencils, and I guess that the different tones didn’t show up so well. It looks really good in person, though. I ought to get around to posting some of the other stuff she’s drawn.

Alright, happy holidays, everynyan~!

C061224

[061225]

“In between 1 and 0”

Tear: Luke…!
Luke: With this… I say goodbye to who I’ve been.

Well, as following some un-traditional tradition, this NWars Christmas special (Really, Boxing Day special) has absolutely nothing to do with Christmas. Or Boxing Day even. And this isn’t really even a special considering that I do colored pieces pretty often these days.

Anyways, I like J’s sister’s style. Very clean lines. Very fangirl. Chibi J’s got that whole fangirl thing about him. Like Jade in Jade x Dist or Jade x Peony fanarts. Darest I say that I think her colored pencil work is more competent than J’s? Well I can’t say much for my own colored pencil skills, but on a completely random note, I discovered a set of watercolor pencils at my house.

There are a couple of things I felt were worthy of being talked about, a couple meaning two. The first is that I’ve done several drawing reflections in the past, but no coloring reflections. But that’s really besides the point. The illustration relevant to today’s update is the result of a refinement of the “technique” used here and here [100613 – Two dead links].

Interestingly this is actually an unrefined version of the painting method depicted in my crude “tutorial” in d95. It is scaled back in that in conforms to my ever strengthening belief that actual cg “painting” (as opposed to cell shading) should be done using as few digital “helpers” as possible (ie. paint bucket, gradients, blurring, etc). The painting method in today’s update uses just one layer for foreground color and one layer for background color, and only one type of brush all around.

I’m also omitting the digital inking just out of sheer laziness. I just try to keep the lineart cleaner. Either way, the more recent coloring method is less time consuming than the older one, a simple figure can pretty much be painted under an hour if I focus (That’s a guesstimation. I don’t focus very well). I’m realizing that much of the points that I’m not satisfied with in this painting stem from imperfections in the lineart itself rather than how I paint. In that sense I think my painting has superceded my drawing, which is somewhat saddening.

That brings me to my next point that, despite it’s flaws and inflexibilities, I’m actually pretty happy with some of my better drawings at the moment. This is not that I don’t intend to keep trying to improve upon it; I just thought that, when I first set out to conquer the world of anime/manga figure drawing, it was because I wanted to be able to tell a story in the form of drawing, which my old art was thoroughly incapable of doing effectively. At this point, though, disregarding my crappy storyline skills, I think my art can actually do what it set out to do. Of course I may just be crazy, or biased through my point of view, but nonetheless, those are my thoughts.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, three years ago, I couldn’t even dream of drawing at the level I think I’m at today.

On a final note, it’s funny that one of the things I remember ranting about a long time ago still holds true: The more effort you put into something the less satisfied you are with it. I did some quick test paintings utilizing the single layer-single brush method prior to the above piece, and I thought they turned out better than the above piece.

J124 – Funky Anime, Part 5

[12/18/2006]

ZOMG~! Comic Number 100!! WHEE! *Runs around in circles like a maniac* On my revived desktop, for some reason!! *Runs around some more*

Alright, I know that I’ve done more than 100 updates (133, counting this one). But according to the numbering system I use for files, this update is “jcomic100.jpg”, and hence the “100th comic”.

As a side bit of silliness, while performing this update I almost forgot to put the punchline in the comic. Whoops! Also, there was a panel in the upper right originally, but it didn’t really fit with how I was picturing it, and so I got rid of it. Plus, it looked worse than the original pencil version of it, a problem that happened to a few of the other panels. The curse of inking…

dupdate 061211

[061211]

Didn’t get another buffer comic done, so here’s another page of doodles.

So I thought about some things while drawing the latest page, and three things rendered themselves [for lack of a better word, important] enough to write about. Though I seem to be setting up for a long write up (Write up, btw, not “rant”. I’d think that I rarely actually “rant” by definition)… well… we’ll see.

Justin mentioned that I don’t shade my pages anymore. That’s BS.

It’s a funny thing with shading, really. Over the course of about 5 years, I’ve gone through two phases of shading… several times.

When I first applied shading to my lineart in about 2001 it was simple grayscale shading, using an HB pencil to shade as if it were a colored pencil. This type of shading is exemplified here.

Somewhere in the middle of Starcrossed, somewhere in the spring of 2003, I switched to what’s known as “hatching”, using close spaced lines to give the illusion of an area being “darker”. This type of shading is exemplified here and here.

At this point it gets really fuzzy, and I don’t want to look for dates, but the idea is that I switched between these two forms of shading multiple times between now and then, you can look through the comic archives if you really want to take a look.

I’ve completely gone off topic now, what I wanted to say is that the benefit of grayscale shading is that you can represent both color and lighting with different shades of gray without screwing with your lineart too much, but it’s very inconsistent because you can’t possibly put the same amount of pressure on your shading pencil while shading a large area. Hatch shading is more consistent, but because you’re putting more distincts marks on a piece of paper, you can interfere with lineart, and shading very large areas gets really ugly. It’s hard to depict different shades of colors as well. And don’t take my word for this, it’s just opinion.

So I wanted to say that I shade rather minimally with hatch shading at the moment. I’m basically trying to keep the lineart as clean as possible and still show some sort of depth at the same time. So yeah. Dammit, I still have two more things to cover.

Number two, I want to compile a zip or rar of all the NWars part 2 storyline pages. All the pages will be at a standardized size, the 670 x 1116 I use for all the pages at the moment. I’ll hopefully tweak some parts of the comic to make it flow a little bit better, and there are a few comics in there that I want to redo completely. At that rate after every “part” of the storyline finishes, I can put up a compilation for download and however small the reader base is, they can download the compiliation to more easily understand what’s going on. Or that’s the idea.

I also want to get that reference compilation done. I’ll need to draw basically 10 pages of character and another 10 to 20 of location. Five of that total of 30 can be obtained by copying existing material, but I’m surprised as to how little reference material I actually started with. That will also be available for download once completed.

Err, yeah, I’m done.

J122 – Ambush

[12/4/2006]

Special thanks to Sam (the real one) for today’s comic. I actually drew a lot more than what shows up in the comic: Chris is holding two shopping bags, and I drew basically all of that random dude’s body (except for his right foot). Oh well. Today’s layout might be a bit weird, too, because I redid the template.

And now, for a fan-participation (fan?) drive!

If you haven’t done so yet, please vote in the poll! And post in the guestbook! Better yet, email me!
You can email D-san too, but I don’t think he’ll respond.

Until next week, bai~!