Development diary: week 3

Ideas evaluation (2.1)

Three variations for my story idea:

Interactive comic

This idea would be to create a short interactive comic preview for my story idea, this would include motion and sound, such as movement of characters and objects, and foley and ambience sounds; I would need to use the pencil & paper and Photoshop to create the 2D assets and then use Madefire’s motion book tool to create the interactive comic with the 2D assets.

Animation

This idea would be to create a short animation based on my story idea, this would be uploaded to YouTube; I would use pencil and paper to create designs and storyboards, then use Photoshop to create the 2D assets and I would have to research into the program that would turn it into an animation.

Concept artist

This idea would be to design concept art based on my story idea, this would be used to promote the comic for the story and will be promoted on a social media of my picking. I would have to use pencil and paper to start out designing the concept art and then I would use Photoshop to finalise it.

Skill matching

The skills I have learnt this year are 3D modelling, sound editing, sound recording, script writing, interactive design, photography and Photoshop.

My strongest skills are communication, creativity, drawing, Photoshop, sound editing and sound recording.

Here are what kind of job roles and their phase of production, suit my skills:

Storyboard artist: pre-production

The storyboard artist creates storyboards from the script for the comic, they would focus more on the characters body language and their positions in the comic.

Concept artist: pre-production

The concept artist creates concept art for characters and the environment for the comic using only the script and ideas to create their designs.

2D artist: production

The 2D artist creates 2D assets for the comic using the concept art, storyboards and the script.

Sound recorder: production

The sound recorder records the audio for the comic, this audio would include foley and ambient sounds.

Sound editor: production

The sound editor edits the foley and ambient sounds the sound recorder records, this would then be placed into the comic.

Interactive comic

I would need to learn how to use Motion book tool by Madefire to create the interactive comic and I would need my drawing skills, Photoshop skills and my audacity skills.

The key production stages would be:

  • Create the script
  • Create the concept art
  • Create the storyboard
  • Create the the 2D assets
  • Create the sound recordings and edit them
  • Assemble in Motion book tool

I would need to improve my storyboard creating skills, along with my script writing skills and I would need to improve my digital drawing with the tablet I own. This will be feasible in the time I have as these skills only need to be improved slightly as I already have some skill in them.

The hardware I would use would be a photocopier to copy in drawn designs for the comic so I can finalise them, a graphics tablet so I can apply my drawing skills in digital art, pencil & paper to create concept art or storyboards for the comic and the last piece of hardware I will be using is a microphone and sound recorder so I can record the audio for the comic. The software I will be using is Photoshop to create the concept art and 2D assets for the comic, I will also use Madefires motion book tool to put all the assets together and to publish on Madefire so it becomes an interactive comic, Celtx to write the script and the last piece of software I will be using is Audacity to edit sound files for the comic.

Animation

The skills I would need to learn are animation skills and I would also need to figure out what software’s I would need and learn some skills for them; I would need my drawing skills, my Photoshop skills and my audacity skills

The key production stages would be:

  •  Create a script
  •  Create concept art from the script
  •  Create storyboards from the script
  •  Create simple key points for the animation
  •  Record audio that is needed and edit it
  •  Finalize animation whilst combining it with audio
  •  Export into video format

I will need to learn some animation skills and I would need to improve my script writing skills and my drawing tablet skills. This will be feasible in the time I have as some of these skills only need to be improved slightly, however the animation skill my take some time, so I may have to give up some of my free time to practice.

The hardware I would use is pencil and paper to create the concept art and storyboards, a graphics tablet to draw the animation on the computer, a microphone to record audio and a photocopier so I can digitalize my drawn art. The software I will be using is Celtx to write the script, Photoshop to create the 2D assets and Audacity to edit the audio recordings.

Concept art

The skills I would need are drawing skills to create simple designs and sketches, Photoshop skills to finalize the drawings or create the concept art, illustrator skills to adjust the scanned in drawings or to create simple 2D assets and drawing skills on the graphics tablet so I can apply my drawing skills onto the digital content.

The key production stages would be:

  •  Create simple character and environment designs
  •  Draw by pencil character and environment concept art
  •  Scan in and start drawing boarder lines over it in Photoshop or illustrator
  •  Add colour in Photoshop
  •  Add shading to the concept art

I will need to improve my illustrator skills and my drawing skills on a graphics tablet, these skills can be improved with in the time of the project as already I have some knowledge and skill in them.

The hardware I would be using is pencil and paper to create the simple designs and sketches, I would need a photocopier to scan the paper designs into the computer and I would need a graphics tablet to apply my drawing skills onto the computer. The software I would need are Photoshop to add colour and shading to my work and illustrator to change the images size and to create simple 2D assets.

Reflection 

I have learnt the main bases of each variation of my idea, such as what skills I would use and need to learn, what techniques I would, the key stages of production, what I would need to improve for the variation and what hardware and software I will need to use. This will help me to decide on the final variation of my idea for the FMP.

 

Product Reviews (2.1)

Interactive comic

Product 1: Captain stone is missing

Harvard reference:

MadeFire Studios. (2013-2016). Captain Stone is missing. Available: http://madefirestudios.deviantart.com/art/Captain-Stone-Is-Missing-Episode-1-362312638. Last accessed 28th April 2016.

Its purpose is to tell the story of Captain Stone who is missing; it takes the form of a interactive comic which includes sound and motion, they chose this form as they saw that this form would be able to tell the story much better than the traditional comic and would allow the reader to be more engaged into the story by having them interact with the comic. The platform it is on is Madefire, this is because it allows the creators to take full advantage of the technology (like a tablet) to create an engaging story; The genre is Superhero genre, but not completely as the main hero is missing, it is a superhero genre because it includes superheroes and villains, it is also a mystery genre as the main mystery and questions is where is Captain Stone?

The audience is people who are interested in dark mysteries involving superheros and mind bending twists, the audience would also be people who are interested in interactive comics which contain both sound and motion to tell the story. The strengths of this product are the story as the comic tells it very differently than the normal superhero story, it uses the supporting characters to tell you about the main character Captain Stone and recently in the comics he has only appeared in flashbacks, so its story telling is very unique. The visuals for the comic are very stunning on every page and the styles change with each flashback based on the era, it also takes advantage of the technology to create 360 degree scroll-able piece of art. I do not see any weaknesses or any need for improvement, this is a perfect product.

Harvard reference for information:

Mike Cecchini . (2013). Captain Stone is missing. Available: http://www.denofgeek.us/books-comics/60046/captain-stone-is-missing-madefire-review. Last accessed 28th April 2016.

Product 2: Batman- Jim Aparo Detective comics volume 1 #445

Cover for Detective Comics #445 (1975)

Harvard reference of image:

unknown. (unknown). Detective Comics Vol 1 445. Available: http://dc.wikia.com/wiki/Detective_Comics_Vol_1_445. Last accessed 28th April 2016.

Its purpose is to tell the story of Batman and his detective cases he solves; it takes the form of a traditional comic, this is because it is able to tell the story of Batman much better than a book as it is able to show what these creative characters look like and is able to show the action packed adventures batman goes on with more excitement. The platform is paper as back in 1975 we did not have the technology to create an interactive comic and paper was much simpler than looking for a new platform. The genre is superheroes and detective mysteries, this is because the comic is based on our main character, batman who fights villians for justice is a super hero who also has one of the greatest minds on Earth (in the comics) and using his genius he solves mysteries.

The audience are people who enjoy mysteries and superheros fighting for justice, along with DC fans and Batman fans. The strengths are its story, with gripping mysteries and characters and its choice of art style with colour is very interesting. One weakness it has is sometimes the colour does not fit with the scene and does not fit the mood, it can be improved if the comics actually explored different art styles for different occasions and scenarios so it could fit the scene and interest the reader a little bit more.

Harvard reference of information:

unknown. (unknown). Detective Comics Vol 1 445. Available: http://dc.wikia.com/wiki/Detective_Comics_Vol_1_445. Last accessed 28th April 2016.

Animation 

Product 1: Mickey Mouse: Steamboat Willie (1928)

Harvard reference for image:

Staff Reporter. (2014). Happy 86th Birthday Mickey Mouse: 10 Facts About World’s Most Famous Disney Cartoon. Available: http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/happy-86th-birthday-mickey-mouse-10-facts-about-worlds-most-famous-disney-cartoon-1475249. Last accessed 28th April 2016.

Its purpose was to tell the story of Mickey mouse and to entertain the audience with its fun animation and comedy. The form it took was animation, this was chosen because it allowed them to put more life into their story than a normal comic book which wouldn’t be able to catch the life of an animation. The platform was film, it was published on a 35mm film (black and white, sound), film was used because back then this was the highest quality media you could get, meaning it would sell more because of it quality. The genre is a short film, comedy, comedy music and musical, this is because it is a short film aimed to humor the audience and contains a happy upbeat music to fit its theme.

The audience would be people who enjoy comedy and animation, along with musicals; the strengths for this animation are its original art styles and graphics, its upbeat music, its character designs and how the characters move and act in the animation. The weaknesses are it is only in black and white, and its quality but this is only because this was create when film was still under development.

Source of information:

Unknown. (2004). Steamboat Willie 1928. Available: http://www.moma.org/collection/works/89284. Last accessed 28th April 2016.

Product 2: Day & Night

 Harvard reference of image:

Ross Miller. (unknown). Day and Night. Available: http://screenrant.com/pixar-day-and-night-ross-48165/. Last accessed 28th April 2016.

Its purpose was to tell the story of the two characters Night & Day; its form is an animation, they chose animation because it helps to convey emotion of the characters which is important to the story. The platform it is on is film, this is because this would allow them to create high quality animation which in turn tells the story even better; the genre is a short film, this because the film only lasts 5 minutes.

The audience are people who enjoy short comedy films that take very interesting ways of telling a story and also have a deeper meaning to it. The strengths are the short comedy film shows the meaning very well by using the characters body languages and facial expressions, it is also very abstract and original for the film and its concept very well thought out.

Source of information:

Ross Miller. (unknown). Day and Night. Available: http://screenrant.com/pixar-day-and-night-ross-48165/. Last accessed 28th April 2016.

Reflection 

I have learnt about the purposes of 4 products, 2 each for one variation of my idea for the FMP, and I have also learnt what audiences they are aimed at. This will help me to figure out the purpose of my FMP, along with its target audience.

The inspiration behind the idea (2.1)

Shinichirō Watanabe

He is a Japanese anime filmmaker, screenwriter and producer, ones that he directed that I am interested in are Cowboy Bebop, Samurai champloo and Space Dandy.

His work is interesting because he explores different ways of creating stories and telling stories and he would also explore different visual art styles for the anime, he would also sometimes change the art style to fit a scene or just for a specific episode. This can seen with one of the episodes of space dandy, “A world with no sadness, baby”, he changes the environments art style by giving it more detail and making it very mind bending, he also makes the characters very mysterious and vague, making them speak in riddles, this all makes sense as it is based in the afterlife.

Harvard reference Source: https://bravenewmoe.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/stairs.jpg. accessed: 28/04/2016

He is important to me because of the concepts he explores in his stories that are based in real life, how he creates new concepts for people to think and how does it through visual art and language. I think his inspiration were from the manga, but for the music he does for his anime, he is heavily inspired by jazz as he is a jazz fanatic, a great example of jazz is in the anime Cowboy bebop where has all different types of jazz.

MitchellMohrhauser. (2014). Cowboy Bebop fan art. Available: http://mitchellmohrhauser.deviantart.com/art/Cowboy-Bebop-fan-art-480781479. Last accessed 30th April 2016.

The techniques he would use would be connecting the art style with the story, this helps as it tells the story with more passion and makes it really unique to other episodes of the same series which makes it stick more with the audience. He is relevant to my project as I am aiming to tell a story by using an interactive comic, so I can apply his technique into my comic as they are both visual art. I have learned that to a good story you must focus on all of its aspects such as grammar, the psychology of the characters, the visual art and its layout; they all play a big part in telling a story.

Reflection 

I have learnt about what my main inspiration I have for my FMP and I have learnt about the reason why I have chosen my idea for my FMP. This will help me to expand upon my idea for my FMP and further understand what I want to do.

 

Identifying legal and ethical issues relevant to FMP (1.1) 

The project that I am doing is an interactive comic, here are the do’s and don’ts for:

Copyright

Do’s:

  •  I should create my own visual content
  •  I should create my own audio content
  •  If I am to use some ones audio content I must check if it is not copyrighted and if it is I must ask permission from the creator to use the audio files

Don’ts:

  •  I shouldn’t use other peoples visual content
  •  I shouldn’t use copyrighted audio
  •  I shouldn’t create identical visual and audio content

Intellectual property

Do’s:

  •  To properly make sure that all content I create can be linked to me
  •  To gain permission or licences to use other peoples work

Don’ts:

  •  Copy or use other peoples work without gaining any permissions or licences
  •  Think a behaviour is legal just because ‘it’s what others do’
  •  Mistake the use of something online as proof of ownership

Representation

Do’s:

  •  Make sure that all content with false information, represents people equally and does not take any offense towards specific people or societies

Don’ts:

  •  Make fun of other people’s representation
  •  Make other societies and different people look unequal to the rest

Contracts

Do’s:

  •  Read every word of a contract
  •  discuss background facts and circumstances with the person most closely involved with the contract
  • review the exchange of documentation leading to the agreement

Don’ts:

  •  allow terms and conditions into the agreement that you do not understand
  •  allow terms and conditions into the agreement which are ambiguous

Commissions

Do’s:

  •  Make sure that all rules and plans are fair towards you and are achievable in the time period

Don’ts:

  •  Go against all the rules and plans set by the commission

Health and Safety

Do’s:

  •  Have breaks in between sessions when using computer
  •  Keep a good posture when working
  •  Have the computer screen at the same level of height as your head

Don’ts:

  •  Work in poor lighting when using a computer
  •  Work for long periods of time with a bad posture
  •  Leave bags in front of exit which would cause blockage

Risk assessment

Do’s:

  •  Walk around your workplace to see the risks yourself
  •  Record your findings
  •  Date your findings and the changes needed

Don’ts:

  •  Forget to do a risk assessment
  •  Brush risks under the carpet

Regulations

Do’s:

  •  Follow the regulations set so you can keep safe, along with others

Don’ts:

  •  Go against regulations and put others at risk because of not following the regulation

Reflection

From doing this exercise, I have learnt what I need to do legally and ethically when working on the FMP and what I should avoid doing. This will help me to create proper content that abides to legal and ethical issues.

 

Independent research (2.1)

What I want to research is the panel layouts of comics, character design and how to write a script for a comic. These are important as they will help to create the comics world and help to improve the story telling in it as even the layouts can have an effect with story telling; I will learn the different ways of laying out a comics panels and what effect it gives to the reader, I will learn the proper steps of creating a character for my story and I will learn again the proper steps of writing a script for a comic. I will be using a website called Making Comics to get most of my secondary research from as well as using other websites for exercises.

Layouts of comics

The flow of a page:

There is a typical way readers read, going from left to right then to the next line, this also applies with comics but with panels, this is what some call the “Big Z”; this type of layout is pretty typical, nothing special about, it is just simple for the reader to read but that is why it is successful, however it can bounce the reader off the comic.

10601045_897907323663703_2086546923_n (1)

Max Miller Dowdle. (2014). The Flow of a Page, Part 1. Available: http://www.makingcomics.com/2014/03/17/flow-page-part-1/. Last accessed 2nd May 2016.

Then there is the one page panel or two page panel, this is to draw the reader to a specific thing or instants such as an event or a character, this technique is mostly used in superhero comics, for the main hero to pose.

938749_897907313663704_1679320689_o

Max Miller Dowdle. (2014). The Flow of a Page, Part 1. Available: http://www.makingcomics.com/2014/03/17/flow-page-part-1/. Last accessed 2nd May 2016.

Another panel is called “a grid”, this where the panels are separated and formed into a perfect grid, a grid must contain 4+ panels as well for it to be classed as a grid. There is a rule when creating a grid and that is the grid must be that the grid can be as far as seven panels going along so it can keep its effective composition, you also have to be careful about not using too many panel as this might cause the story being cluttered up.  The grid is a very good technique but it can feel very static unless it is filled with vibrant art or compelling dialogue.

Batroc-vs-Capn

Unknown. (2009). Tutorial: Composition and Page Layout. Available: http://www.idrawdigital.com/2009/11/tutorial-composition-and-page-layout/. Last accessed 2nd May 2016.

The next type of panel layout is “The freeform approach”, it is where the panels can be placed where ever with no constraints unlike the grid, however when using freeform you must not go to crazy otherwise it will become a lot harder to read, that’s why you must remember about the “Z” pattern so the reader can understand how to read it.

12834634_897907240330378_1430345401_n

Max Miller Dowdle. (2014). The Flow of a Page, Part 1. Available: http://www.makingcomics.com/2014/03/17/flow-page-part-1/. Last accessed 2nd May 2016.

Source of the information:

Max Miller Dowdle. (2014). The Flow of a Page, Part 1. Available: http://www.makingcomics.com/2014/03/17/flow-page-part-1/. Last accessed 2nd May 2016.

Character design

When starting a character design, like with any ideas it starts with brainstorming and idea creating, for character design this would be drawing a bunch of rough designs and sketches; never stop with the first design, always make more. Now you can do this simply by sketching on a pad and picking what makes more sense or you could use this exercise; you split the page into three sections and name them “Adjectives” , “features” and “doodles”.

For adjectives “write down any and all adjectives and descriptive words about the character”; for features “Now, referring to the adjectives you just noted, try to think up clothing, body shapes, accessories, hairstyles, or any other visual features that a character with that aspect of their personality, would have. For instance, if you listed “athletic”, that character would probably wear sneakers a lot”. Last of all for doodles roughly sketch out the features and the sketches, not drawing a full sketch.

columns

Dawn Griffin . (2013). Character Design Basics. Available: http://webcomicalliance.com/drawing/character-design-basics/. Last accessed 3rd May 2016.

Now when sketching out the character it is also good to use references, such as if the character was an animal, like a tiger, you would search up tiger pictures and get what details you need. You could also reference the characters clothes from a specific time period like the 80s, this will help to create a character who accurately looks like its real life acquaintance.

Unknown. (2016). Tigger clip art. Available: http://www.disneyclips.com/imagesnewb/images/cliptiggerhappy3.gif. Last accessed 3rd May 2016.

An aspect to remember when creating a character is its softness and hardness, this is because the general rule is that softer rounder shapes feel more friendly whilst angular and straight shapes feel not as friendly. Now this rule does not apply to every case and it does have some exceptions but it has been proven that it does a exist such as the characters in Aladdin: “Genie and The Sultan are round and squishy, it feels like they’re soft and they can’t hurt us because they don’t have any sharp parts on them. Aladdin and Jasmine have soft curves but they needed to be stronger characters and so they’re a little more bold. Jafar’s shoulders are almost like blades, they feel more aggressive than all the others. They are all solid structured shapes.”

Screen Shot 2014-09-16 at 09.52.23

Patrick Yurick. (2014). Character Design (For Your Portfolio). Available: http://www.makingcomics.com/2014/09/17/character-design-portfolio/. Last accessed 3rd May 2016.

Sources of information:

Dawn Griffin . (2013). Character Design Basics. Available: http://webcomicalliance.com/drawing/character-design-basics/. Last accessed 3rd May 2016.

Patrick Yurick. (2014). Character Design (For Your Portfolio). Available: http://www.makingcomics.com/2014/09/17/character-design-portfolio/. Last accessed 3rd May 2016.

How to write a script for a comic

Before going straight into writing a script, it is handy to have an outline first for the comic, these outlines are a helpful way of organizing your thoughts before writing a script. To create outlines you need to list each of your ideas as a bullet point, then go through them and find the best way to logically flow the story; once done you’ll be able to figure out the approximately how many panels you need to achieve each bullet point.

Once the outline is created you can start to work on writing the script for each panel of the comic, this would include the panel’s dialogue, action and key elements that need to be in the panel. The dialogue should be separate from the action and key elements, that way its more clearer to read; it should also contain as much description as it can that way when reading it, it creates a more visual picture.

howwritescriptexamplescript

Todd Tevlin. (2014). How to Write a Script for Your Comic. Available: http://www.makingcomics.com/2014/03/08/write-script-comic/. Last accessed 4th May 2016.

Source of information:

Todd Tevlin. (2014). How to Write a Script for Your Comic. Available: http://www.makingcomics.com/2014/03/08/write-script-comic/. Last accessed 4th May 2016.

What did I learn?

From the research have done on panel layouts, I have learnt the different types of panel layouts I can do such as the grid, freeform and the one page panel or the two page panel; I have also learnt from researching the flow of panels is the Big Z, which the way we natural read, in a Z shape. From the research I have done for character design I have learnt an exercise I can use to create characters, as well as to use references and to remember the softness and hardness of the character I am creating. Last but not least from the research I did for writing a script for a comic, I have learnt the steps I have to take to create a script such as creating an outline for the comic then writing a script for each panel which would include action, dialogue and other elements important to the panel.

This will help me to create the comic as I will know the proper ways and techniques to create a good panel flow, I will be able to create characters a lot easier and design them properly to fit their persona and I will be able to write a script properly for the comic whilst keeping it organized and easy to understand.

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