Thursday, February 24, 2011

Making Comics: Status Report, February 24, 2011

I posted a sort of status report on Tuesday, and this far-from-remarkable picture of a door:

There's an explanation for that, which is what this post is about. Mostly.

I've wanted to create comics for a long time, and tried once or twice. With unsatisfactory results. This winter I gave it another try: and posted a seven-panel sequence in another blog: "Narcissus-X: TRAPPED!," Narcissus-X (February 11, 2011)). I've mentioned Narcissus-X before: a sort of alter-ego and a terribly angsty, self-important artist.

The point is that this time, I told a story in seven panels of pictures and text: with satisfactory results. In my opinion, anyway.

So now I'm starting work on a graphic novel that will rival Shakespeare's King Lear and Adam's Restaurant at the End of the Universe?


But I am doing makee-learnee with several 3D models, sort of an apprenticeship: except without a master to tell me how to get things done. Also, happily, without deadlines.

It's not as frivolous an approach as it may seem. I've found that starting work on a project and learning skills as I go is more effective, and a lot less frustrating, than trying to slog through most tutorials.

In this case, I've started with a set of already-completed models, created by some folks who know what they're doing. Their screen names are Predatron, maclean, and Stonemason. Here's what I had at the beginning of this week:

Most of the urban scene is Predatron's City Streets: what's on this side is a collection of models by maclean.

So far, the only work I'd done was to stack some of mclean's models to make interiors for an office/commercial building whose exterior I'll be working on.

Across the street, one of Predatron's buildings already has a (very simple) interior:

I could leave that building as-is, but decided to play with the interior, instead. I'm pretty sure that the building's interior is intended to give the impression of a complete, occupied building when viewed from the street. The model as it stands gets that job done quite well.

It wasn't until I started measuring the interior that I discovered some oddities in scale. The walls between rooms seemed unreasonably thick for a building of that sort. The ceiling height, about 10 feet, was okay, as was the substantial space between ceilings and the next floor. We've gotten used to seven- and eight-foot ceilings: but buildings weren't always built that way. The doors seem normal - but they're about seven feet tall, in this scale. That's really tall and wide.

So I hid the existing interior for the building and started putting up walls for a small apartment at the front of the building:

The door is the right size - but wasn't satisfactory for what I have in mind. Which is why I made that green one. Eventually, I'll have a plausible-looking small apartment - at least when viewed from some angels.

But that won't be all that interesting, without characters and some sort of story to go with it.

Right now, I'm thinking of doing something like the slice-of-life Gasoline Alley accounts - but have no idea where I'll wind up.

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