Development diary: week 6

Research from “Framed Ink”- 15th to 16th May (2.1)


Lighting has the abilities to tell many different stories from the same thing, such as an image or the same set for a movie. A great example is given by the book which says “if we had two shoot two movies and the budget is so limited that we can only have one location, say a room with a table, four chairs, and two windows to the outside. The first movie we have to shoot is a cute tale for little kids and the second, the most upsetting horror movie ever made. And we can’t even reposition a single chair in order to create a more appropriate environment for each film.

By changing the lighting we change the reality in front of us, or, to be more precise, we radically change our perception of it. Making things lighter or darker, showing more or less, being more obvious or more ambiguous will result in different worlds. Back in our “set location room ,” if we switch all lights on and leave all the windows open then we will see everything, every little detail of it. Not much will be left to our imagination and therefore we will feel more confident and relaxed. If we shut all the windows and switch off all the lights, we will be in darkness and none of the furniture or objects will exist, not from a visual point of view.”

I will use this knowledge to change the mood and scenery to the desired mood I want in my comic, this will help to tell the story and the characters emotion.

Drawing and composing a still image

Source of information:

Marcos Mateu-Mestre (2010). Framed Ink. 4th ed. California : Design studio press. p019.

Basic shots and techniques I can use in the panels

Long or wide shot: Used to establish a scene and have the reader be able to understand the environment around a character.

Medium: Offers a wide view but more narrow with elements that would interfere with the shot.

Close-up:This allows for a better understanding of a character’s features and facial expressions.

Extreme close-up: The audience will become one with the person on screen (on panel)

Rule of thirds: To help draw symmetrical compositions and to position elements and characters in the right place

Staying on the same side of “the line”: To help keep a clear sense of the geography along the same sequence.

Working the flat surface a basic checklist

Lighting: helps to draw the audiences attention on very specific and limited areas by creating contrast.

Lines: curved lines will appear to be more subtle and peaceful, diagonals being the opposite, more dynamic and aggressive. Straight lines represent assertiveness while curves will be kinder and easier on the eye. Lines can be used to direct the reader towards a specific element and lines can be anything from nature to man made things.

Size difference: Creating an uneven balance of shapes and masses in a frame, this will make the image deeper, more dynamic and interesting.

Perspective: “We have the tendency to look toward where the
vanishing point is since, especially in the case of architectural
environments, all lines parallel to the horizon and among themselves,
will be pointing at it, creating an obvious center of interest.”

The main character’s look direction: The direction of where the main character is looking can effect composition no matter where the other elements are, as long as they don’t over power the character.

Screen direction: Reinforcing the action with the background: When the sense of perspective in the backdrop accompanies the general direction of the action developed in the scene, the effect will be automatically enhanced.

I will use these techniques and shots in panels to create the kind of mood I want and to show story telling elements much better.

Working the flat surface a basic checklist 2

Source of information:

Marcos Mateu-Mestre (2010). Framed Ink. 4th ed. California : Design studio press. p024-027.

Overall silhouette-The head

Overall silhouette the head

Characters in comic books and graphic novels usually keep their hairstyles same through out the series, they sometimes don’t change clothes as well. This is because we need to have the characters recognizable in any situation, it is also good to have a their own shape to their face whether its round, oval or square. Making the characters easier to recognize allows progress through the story without having to get stuck in frame trying to figure out who it is.

lot of other elements also come into play when creating the characters head, such the measurements of the facial features such as the height at which all these elements are positioned within the face, distance between eyes and the eyebrows, etc.

Source of information:

Marcos Mateu-Mestre (2010). Framed Ink. 4th ed. California : Design studio press. p096-099.

Dynamics of expression-the face

Dynamics of expressions the face

A characters hair can become another device that can be used for a purpose, such as movement and sense of directionality the rest of the face and head have. Confusion can be created by mixing straight lines, curves, flats, diagonals, everything.

Source of information:

Marcos Mateu-Mestre (2010). Framed Ink. 4th ed. California : Design studio press. p102-103.


I will have learned how to use lighting in my comic to help create the right atmosphere for a scene; I have learned techniques and shots I can use to help tell the story better; I have learned that when creating a character in a comic, they must be easy to identify by keeping specific elements of the character through the comic and I have learned different techniques I can use for a characters face to convey a specific expression.

I will use what I have learnt to make the story telling much better in the comic and to keep the flow of the comic constant without any instances of hesitation.



Experimentation with Madefire’s “motion book tool”- 16th to 17th May (2.1, 3.1)

Page size

When looking through to find how I want the page positioned, I also discovered that I can change what device it could be viewed on, the aspect and the orientation of the page.

To do this, you first click on the plus sign in the top centre of the screen.

Motion book tool add page size

This will open up “Add page size” on the bottom right corner, the options to select a device and the orientation of the screen will be presented. Select what you want and then click add to add the page option. The options you can have for devices are 16×9 tablet, 16×9 phone, IPad, IPhone 4, Store Thumb, 16×9 Store Thumb, HDTV, Barco Escape and Barco Escape Triple. The orientation options are (as know by all) portrait and landscape.

motion book tool device and orientation

You can also have multiple page sizes for different devices, you can edit and see all of them by going back to the centre and selecting all in the drop box next the plus sign, or you can select a page individually

changing an assets options

Once an asset has been added as a new layer by dragging it onto the plus sign for the new layer option, the asset can be edited within the layers options. To open the options, you have to click on the drop box on the layer.

motion book tool layer drop box

In the layer options, you will have control over the option of image scaling, the layers margins, its rotation, its size, its transparency, its thickness and radius, if it has a border and whether it links to another website or video.

Motion book tool layer options

Whilst the layer is selected, you are also able to control the layer position by clicking and holding the box around the asset and dragging it where you want.

Adding text to speech bubbles

To add text to a speech bubble, first go to the layer the speech bubble is in, open up the options and scroll down to the bottom and selected “New”.

Motion book tool New option

This will open more options to add new layer to the layer your working on. On the drop down it has open up select text and click done, this will add a text layer to your speech bubble layer.

Motion book tool new layer, text

Once done this will create a text box layer on the speech bubble layer, it will also allow you to change the size of the text box around the speech bubble by clicking and moving its borders. Also other options open up for the text layer such as changing the layers text; changing the text’s font, its colour, its size, its spacing and its alignment. The rest of the options are the same as normal layer options.

Motion book tool Text layer options

Adding sound

To add sound to the comic, it works like any other asset, you must first upload it then drag the sound asset on to new layer. To play the sound, you have to go to effects by clicking the right arrow next to “layers”

Motion book tool getting to effects

Then click new effect, select the sound asset you want to play, then select the effect “fade in”. You can then choose when the sound will play and it’s duration. This effect can also be used for normal 2D assets, this make a layer fade in again when ever you want and how long it takes to fade in.

Adding Tap points

Tap points are when the viewer must tap the screen to progress the comic, as the comic works by a timeline that pauses after every tap point otherwise the comic would keep going, causing the viewer not having enough time to read dialogue or narration.

To create a tap point, you first go into effects tab, then click the plus sign next to “Add new tap point”. Once open, you can set the tap point anywhere along the comic by putting in the exact seconds it needs to be as the timeline works by seconds.

Motion book tool tap points

Containers and masks

Containers and mask can be used to animate transitions, to create a container first, click the add new layer button and select container layer.

Motion book tool add container layer

Once created you can add new layers into the container layer which will act as masks, this done by dragging the asset and dropping it onto “new” at the bottom of the layer’s options. Once this is done, you tick box mask in the layer options and choose a target which will be another layer. This will allow you to create a curtain transition effect with the target layer you select by having the two mask slide apart and removing the target layer.

Motion book tool adding masks

To make the masks slide out, go to effects and select the mask layer you want to move, then select the effect “slide out” and put in the start time and its duration, do the same with the other mask and there you have it, a curtain transition.

Motion book tool slide out effect

End result

I learnt all this by following a tutorial done by Madefire on youtube and by experimenting whilst following the tutorial. I have created a page from this tutorial, here its is:

From following this guide and experimenting, I have learnt how to change the page size to fit a specific device and also change its orientation, I have learnt how to create transitions using masks and containers, I have learnt how to create tap points, I have learnt how to create text and the options I can use for it and I have learnt what most of the options do in a layer’s options.

I can use what I have learnt to easily create a comic without having to stop to try and learn a simple mechanic of the software and also create a proper interactive comic.


Madefire Motion Books . (2013). Uploading assets . [Online Video]. 25 October 2013. Available from: [Accessed: 15 May 2016].

Madefire Motion Books . (2013). Creating a page. [Online Video]. 25 October 2013. Available from: [Accessed: 15 May 2016].

Madefire Motion Books . (2013). Adding image layers. [Online Video]. 25 October 2013. Available from: [Accessed: 15 May 2016].

Madefire Motion Books . (2013). Adding text layers. [Online Video]. 25 October 2013. Available from: [Accessed: 15 May 2016].

Madefire Motion Books . (2013). Creating a Container Layer. [Online Video]. 25 October 2013. Available from: [Accessed: 15 May 2016].

Madefire Motion Books . (2013). Using Masks. [Online Video]. 25 October 2013. Available from: [Accessed: 15 May 2016].

Madefire Motion Books . (2013). Adding Sound Layers. [Online Video]. 25 October 2013. Available from: [Accessed: 15 May 2016].

Madefire Motion Books . (2013). Adding Effects. [Online Video]. 25 October 2013. Available from: [Accessed: 15 May 2016].

Madefire Motion Books . (2013). Adding Tap Points. [Online Video]. 25 October 2013. Available from: [Accessed: 15 May 2016].

Madefire Motion Books . (2013). Animating Masks. [Online Video]. 25 October 2013. Available from: [Accessed: 15 May 2016].

Madefire Motion Books . (2013). Extra Credit. [Online Video]. 25 October 2013. Available from: [Accessed: 15 May 2016].



Designing characters for character bible- 16th to 19th May (3.1)

I decided to begin designing the characters that will be used in the story and will be shown in the character bible. I have already designed the main protagonist in the previous week, so the rest of the characters I have to create are the Security guards and the aliens.

For this I used a couple of reference pictures to create the designs of the characters, here they are below.

James Buckell (aka main protagonist):

Dive Suit Tactical by monjava

Harvard reference:

DeviantArt (2016) Dive suit tactical. Available at: (Accessed: 22 May 2016).

Security Guard:

Reference images-

Harvard reference:

Amazon (2015) First class tactical duty vests security, black. Available at: (Accessed: 18 May 2016).


Harvard reference:

Alibaba (2015) Buy products online from china wholesalers at Aliexpress.Com. Available at: (Accessed: 18 May 2016).

Harvard Reference:

Men’s Shield™ SWAT Boots (no date) Available at: (Accessed: 18 May 2016).


Harvard reference:

KingTutO (no date) The Three pyramids of Egypt. Available at: (Accessed: 19 May 2016).

Here are the results of using the references to create the charcters:

image image image image image image image

Reflection on the character designs

For the designs of the main protagonist, I believe it went pretty well. I was able to explore different art styles for the character and explore different hairstyles until I found the one I liked. I did not use any references for the character’s face, however I did use one reference when creating the characters body, this was sketch 2# of the “main protagonist body/clothes” page. The face I chose to use was design 11#, on the next page I experimented the face by drawing it at different angles and by creating different facial expressions on the face.

After designing the characters face, I decided to design some masks for the character as he would need to conceal his identity when committing crimes. I design a couple of full faced masks, a mask that concealed his eyes, a mask that concealed the bottom half of his face and another that only concealed his top half of his face. But the type of mask that I really liked was a mask that concealed his entire face but had his hair exposed. I designed five masks with the hair exposed and messed around with different goggles he could wear; the I chose to use is the 8# design which is on the right hand side of the 7# design.

For the designs of the main protagonist’s body/clothes, I created three designs, two of them wore normal looking clothes however one had a short coat and the other had a long coat; the third was designed using the reference image, this was design 2#. Design 2# is more based on tactical gear and design, allowing the wear to sneak without having problems with the clothing. This would also allow the wear easy access to the equipment they have on them whilst also being organised, this is why I will use design 2# to keep the professionalism to the character’s heists.

For the designs of the security guards, I did not need to focus on their faces as they will all be wearing masks. What I do need to design are the security guards clothing and tactical gear they will wear. I used two references when designing, one is the tactical gear and equipment they would have and wear, the other is the clothes they would wear under the tactical gear.  The “tactical gear” design includes a helmet, goggles, a face mask, a walkie talkie, a gun and holster, and pouches to hold other utilities, like first aid, etc. The “undergarments” design includes tactical shirt and trousers. The shirt has no pockets, where as the trousers have pockets similar to cargo trousers. The last piece of gear are the military boots.

For the designs of the alien, I created different designs until I came up with something I was interested in, this took three designs on the third I decided to use. The designs included an alien with a head shaped like an octopuses head which also had suckers on like an octopus, I chose for a octopus’s head as I wanted to etherise the alien’s intelligence, this was also carried over to the other designs. The second design also hand a big head but was harder shaped, the idea was to have both halves of the brain separated, this would also make the alien look like a butt for comedic effect . The third design carry an idea from the second idea which was to have the alien have one eye as it reminded of the all seeing eye, which is also known for being the symbol of the illuminati, a famous conspiracy. So I made the alien wear a mask that looked like a pyramid and have an eyehole for the alien would look through; this would show that the alien must have been the inspiration for the all seeing eye and the illuminati.

After that I got up a reference picture of a pyramid as the aliens wear pyramid shaped masks and decided to go for that design, next was to design the body. The first design was to have the alien be quiet skinny like the generic alien seen in movies, I also decided to have the alien wear a skirt that matches with the Egyptian culture but in the end I did not like the idea. The next design however, I decided to have the alien body actually be the alien round head, making them very small. After thinking how the alien would move I decided to have the alien use tentacles; the mask has also been changed to be metallic like and have the corners have point bits pointing down instead of curling up. In the end the design was done very well and it would for the story as it would make the aliens easy to fight in unarmed combat, allowing the main character to escape from the ship which will not be included in the preview.


The designs I am very pleased with, I was able to design good characters that matched what I wanted for the story. I was also able to figure out the art style for the comic and found one art style I can use for the comic in a special event or occasion.



Writing the character bible context- 19th May (3.1)

On this day I decided to begin creating the context for the character bible, this would include each character description, what the story is about and how the story begins. Here is what I wrote for this:

What it is about

It is all about a daring man named James Buckell who has taken up a life of crime as a thief to rid him of his boredom. Like any human he has his morals to follow which cause him to only steal from those that deserve it but keeping the award for himself as a man needs to make a living. After being abducted by aliens, he has now been roaming the universe, continuing his crime sprees across every galaxy, hence his name the Galactic Plunderer.

How our story begins

After becoming a professional thief and earning a name for himself, he starts to take on bigger and harder heists against worse stronger people. In the middle of such a heist, he finds himself being chased after a number of unlikely incidences; whilst desperately running he trips and bangs his head. After slowly getting back up he finds himself choosing a different direction to find if he continued the same path he would have been caught. Suddenly he starts to feel light and begins to float in the air, then a bright flash appears, zapping him to an alien ship where he discovers the truth about the human race.


James Buckell

James is man who seeks adventure and excitement; after being stuck in dead end jobs for years, he finally decided to spice up is life with a bit danger. He is a good man at heart, however he acts as a very cocky man who isn’t afraid to show off or trick those who feel high up. His exploits have earned him many names, “The shadow”, “Twisted Tongue”, “The sleeper”, “Sand Man” and the one that is most commonly used “Red Eyes”, nicknamed after the mask he wears.

Age: 28

Born in: England, London

Strengths: Acrobat, clever, able to keep cool under pressure, high dexterity, nimble swift hands, good accuracy, able to cook a mean pancake, able to lie very easily, very sneaky and quiet.

Weaknesses: does not weigh a lot which means he can’t use his weight to hold his own, his pride and arrogance can cause trouble for him, won’t hit a woman which means female enemies are always big trouble.

Security guards

They are the top security you can get in America, all armed with fire arms and trained in long & close range combat. Their very strict with their patrols and all are ready to report the slightest thing that’s wrong to their HQ with walkie talkies, they also equipped with a touch, a baton, taser and pepper spray. They are trained to handle any situation, this includes handling intruders, who they will try and secure but if not possible they will use force and fire arms.

Company: White Wolves private security

Strengths: Close range combat, good accuracy with fire arms, very organised, are very strong and disciplined, HQ are able to send strategic orders

Weaknesses: aren’t sneaky, will only follow orders given by HQ, short tempered, and are easy to sneak up on

Aliens: Illumincai

They are a very smart species that are capable of manipulating other races of aliens for their own gain, some don’t fall for it but mostly everyone is used. They are also one of the front runners of technology in the universe but are very secretive with their technology, one of them is to be able to control the human’s minds, controlling their decision making for a TV show they created for the universe but no one knows the humans are being control.

Planet: C67 12 Barselly

Strength: Intelligent, have very advance technology, have hired guards, are very good climbers, can stick to walls, very manipulative, have translator to communicate any verbal and written language along with being able to receive it as well.

Weaknesses: aren’t very strong, not very fast, can get flustered by simple things, don’t like being mocked, are very light and can be thrown around because of their small size.


For the context of the character bible, I believe it went very well. I have fleshed out all the characters in the story, I have been able to tell what they are capable of, what they do, how they act, their strengths, their weaknesses and a little bit of special information about them like the planet they came from, the company they work for, etc. I can use the information I have created to work on the script for the interactive comic without any need of figuring out how a character would act or say.



Writing the script- 20th May (3.1)

On this day I began writing the script for the story, here is what I wrote:

Script The galactic plunderer preview

As I was writing I also did some research into “what a accountant does” as the main protagonist previous job was an accountant. Here is the Harvard reference for the website:

says, E. (2016) What does an accountant do? Available at: (Accessed: 20 May 2016).

Later on, I had a friend go through the script and point out any errors in my spelling or grammar in the script. I also had him review the script on it’s humour and how it delivers and interesting the story. He liked the humour the script delivered, how the main protagonist was interesting and how the script used it’s camera shots and made it so no detail of the comic needed to be questioned.


I believe the script went very well, I was able to fit in everything I wanted for the story into the script whilst also adding humour and stealth scenes. I was able to correct its grammar and get a review of the script which has helped me to know whether the script was good or not and if it needed any changes.


Reflection for this weeks work

The work I have produced over this week has been at a good level, I have been able to achieve a couple of things for the comic such as creating the character bible, creating character designs and writing the script. However I was not able to design environments, start to create storyboards for each panel and start to identify sounds in the comic; this is because I had guests at my house over Saturday and Sunday that I needed to attend to. I will try to achieve these objectives over Monday 23rd May and Tuesday 24th May.




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