Here is the complete interactive comic:
There is also a Ipad version using the madefire app of this that uses tap points like the web version to continue the comic along.
The purpose of this project was to create a graphic narrative based on my story idea; this would allow me to explore my own art style whilst also using different art styles to help tell the story at key points. I hoped to learn different art styles and techniques used in a graphic narrative and the techniques used to create a comic, this would include panel placements, layouts of insides of panels, etc.
To explore character expressions with different art styles and mediums.
-Development of ideas:
The ideas for the project were to either do concept art, an animation or an interactive comic book, this is because they all have drawing skills evolved which I have experience in and would allow me to explore more with my arts styles. I chose not to do the animation as I believe it would take too much time when creating it and I would have to do a lot of research into it as I have no experience in creating animation. However animation was considered as I had experience in drawing and using the graphics tablet, along with my creative ability, I also want to become an animator in the future, however I believe I do not have enough experience for that and would take too much time for the quality of work I am aiming for.
I chose not to do concept art as I believe it would be too simple and it is something I already have a lot of experience in, but it is also why I considered it as it could help me improve upon the skills I already have. It would allow me to explore different art styles but I would not learn more about other skills and techniques I want.
I chose to do an interactive comic because I believe it would give me the chance to practice script writing and story telling, along with also improving the skills I already have, it would also allow to explore the different art styles more effectively as I can use it to link with the story and have a propose for the story.
When exploring these ideas, I looked at similar products for two of the ideas I was sure on, such as for the interactive comic, I looked at a traditional comic which was “Batman- Jim Aparo Detective comics volume 1 #445” and a interactive comic which was “Captain stone is missing”. This would help me get an idea of what was similar in traditional comic and the interactive comic, and what was different, allowing me to learn what makes a comic and how the interactive comic uses its interactive methods to improve its story telling.
I also explored what I would need to learn for each idea, along with what software I would need, what hardware I would use, what the key production stages are for the idea, and what skills I would and need to improve. This would help me understand what I would do for that idea, what I would learn if I chose that idea variation and how much work I would need to put in.
The last thing I explored was the main inspiration behind all of my ideas, this would allow me to find out the reason why I have picked these ideas and which one would match with what I am inspired by. I found that main inspiration was from a man called Shinichirō Watanabe, this was because I liked the way how he changed the art style to improve the story telling of his anime.
I believe I have done a fair amount of research for my idea. I have researched into how the panels could be laid out on the page and the various techniques I can use for panels, the research was both primary and secondary research, using websites and books. I have research into three different art styles from three comic books that have humor and how the art style caters to it, I used websites and a comic book; I also research into character head shapes and their facial expressions, this was from a book called “framed Ink”. I did primary research into Madefire’s motion book tool by using both a secondary research which were videos on YouTube and primary research by experimenting with the software. When designing the characters I did secondary research into reference pictures when drawing ideas out, so I could get a some what accurate depiction.
I believe I could have done more research this is because I did no research into colours I could use for the comic. I do remember discussing the colours when comparing and researching the three comic art styles and when researching the colours used in “Dirk Benedict in the 25th century” a similar comic, however I believe I could have done more, such as how bright vibrant colours effects the story.
Who inspired me
The man I am inspired by is Shinichirō Watanabe, he is a Japanese anime filmmaker, screenwriter and producer, some of his best work is Cowboy Bebop, Samurai champloo and Space Dandy. I am inspired by him as he produces very good anime, along with also finding new ways to amplify his story telling, using many different methods like changing the art style to reflect the scene, changing the music, etc. This is something I would like to do in my future career, explore different ways of telling a story, that is why I am inspired by him.
Production board presentation
Presenting my project went very well, I was able to give a clear idea of what my project would be. I showed what my goal was for my project, what my inspiration was for my project, the main story of my project, the audience my project was for, what skills, techniques and technology I would use, what platform and software I would use and what audio I would create and whether I would create my own audio. The feedback I received was very positive, however I needed to make a couple of changes to my action plan, as I planned to create the script before the character bible, where as its the other way around. This helped me in production as it allowed me to create the characters first so I knew how they would act and feel in certain scenes, making it easier to write the script.
When creating the comic, at the very end of the project I decided to have 3 pages and no sound. This is because I wouldn’t have enough time to write up the evaluation and finish up blogs at the end of the term.
-Technical skills, methods and techniques
To create each panel I used my drawing skills to draw out the lines of the content within each panel, I then used a photocopier or I took a picture with my Ipad to transfer it to the computer. I then used my Photoshop skills and graphics tablet skills to add colour, detail and shading to each drawing, once finished I used the skills and techniques I picked up from the motion book tool to turn it into a interactive comic. The motion book tool skills I used was using the effects to create transitions and properly layering the panels to allow them to go in a proper order.
-Experimenting and exploration
I first explored different programs I could use to create an interactive comic, they were Madefire’s motion book tool and motion artist. I chose to go for Madefire’s motion book tool as it is free and it allowed you to publish and view the comic on the web and tablet, this affected my project as it allowed me to share and get other peoples reviews and criticisms easily.
The main software I experimented with was Madefire’s motion book tool, this was the software that would turn all my assets into the interactive comic. This affected my project as it allowed me to figure out how to change what I wanted to publish my comic on, allowing me to view the comic and make changes knowing that there are errors from reviewing myself along with others. It also allowed me to use different effects I did not know about to improve my comics motion and interactivity. I has also allowed me to upload the comic on the web, allowing me to link it to this evaluation, instead of recording it when in the motion book tool.
-Is it appropriate for the intended platform/purpose
It is very appropriate for Madefire, as the software I used to create the comic from all the assets is made to publish on that platform. It is also appropriate for my purpose as it has allowed me to explore different art styles that help to tell the story, along with it also helps tell the story using motion to show certain actions in each panel.
My interactive comic contains very good visual art, it contains motion and uses different effects that match the scenario, it uses good layouts of panels on the page along withe the shapes of the panels and the layouts of the visual art within the panels. It has good placement of speech bubbles, thought bubbles and narrative boxes; and the comic uses good timing between effects, allowing the comic to flow easily.
On page 3, the boarder of the panels have colour leaking out from when the panels were coloured and shaded, on some of the panels that contain motion of the character, when both the panel and animated part fade in and out simultaneous you can see both layers separately, and some of the pages are of a lower quality, this can cause pixilations at some points.
When comparing it with the comic “Cyberwulf”, both contain the same types of transitions for each panel and use them very effectively, keeping in mind the right amount of time it should take. They both also use motion, however the motion used in Cyberwulf is more continuous, on a loop which is something I have not learnt. It also uses a more varied amount of effects, however they also both use a parallax at the front page. Cyberwulf also uses sound in its comic, using both foley and ambient sound, however my interactive comic contains no sound at all due to not having enough time to make it.
-Reviewing my proposal
I had to make a change on how many pages I would do, instead of 5 including the front cover, I had to shorten it to 4, as I did not have enough time to complete. This is the same for sound, as I would have liked the comic to contain sound however I did not have enough time to develop and implement on it. I was able to develop 4 different art styles, one being the main art style, the rest for page 2 panels 1 to 3, however I believe I could have done more if I ever changed the script up a bit or looked hard for scenes/panels that would allow for the art style to change. I was able to complete everything I set myself out to do except for sound and the 5th page.
-How I feel
I believe I have done very well with my project, I am happy with the content I have produced, the art styles I have created look very nice and fit well with the story, the effects used work particularly well, with both the transitions of the panels and how the motion works in the comic. I also believe the timing has also gone very well with each effect. The panels layouts, shapes and order went very well, they were able to connect with what was going on inside the panels, corresponding with the placement of the characters and scenes, and whilst using a freeform layout for the panels it stuck with the Z pattern people read in. The speech bubbles for each panel were also placed very well, following the rules of the Z pattern whilst also making it easy for the reader to understand who is talking or thinking, the text however in some parts are a little too small however it isn’t small enough for the viewer to read but could be improved.
-Anything I would change
I wish I could have got rid of the outline around the panels of page 3 layer 1, I would like to have fixed the fading problem I had with the animated parts and I would increase the resolution of each panel on the Photoshop file. This is because I would like to improve the quality of the comic and fix any errors of it. To improve its quality as well, I could have boosted the resolution up to stop any graphical errors and rough edges to some panels, making the comic much nicer and smoother.