February 17, 2010


How to create finished comics…


June 11, 2009

For my final I wanted to make fully finished characters on Adobe Illustrator. By doing this i will learn the skills needed to make a vector based image. I did some research to find out how you would go about  making outlined characters in Adobe Illustrator. (here are some links of some useful sites)




To make characters in Illustrator i obviously have to know how to work the programme. To do this i went through a bunch of tutorials Dave Green gave me. It was boring as hell but was a great help. Im almost at the level of skill that im having fun with the programme!…almost.

I began my process in photoshop, sketching out characters using a wacom tablet and then placing my favourite pictures into illustrator to fill and outline. Here are some of my sketches…


I used a downloaded plug-in brush called ‘stumpy pencil’. it gives the pictures a very natural pencil look. very fun.

I grabbed some of these sketches from the massive canvas that these above images were  all taken from and tidied them up in another window. (like the one below)

youfrom here I ‘placed’ the sketch into illustrator to fill and colour.

My plan was to make several Images of a character in different shots. If I had time I would do another series of shots of another character. My firstshot of the fully finished image of my first character took a LONG time but as I made more I became quicker. The bunch of shots for my second character (robot) only took a day and a half, so I am getting faster  (though it was harder to make the human because I had to be a lot more accurate with human proportions than the science fiction robot).



Presenting the characters

For this elective I really wanted to learn Illustrator, I had learnt from my last Project that it was obvious I would be needing to use Illustrator in the future. The Project was themed; mixing digital and analog together. Using techniques from both areas to create a work. So I had to think about how i was going to present my digital drawings in an analog fashion. Printing them is an obvious way of turning digital into analog, but it didnt show one good element that is unique to just analog art. something that is impossible to have in digital. Sculpture came to mind, sculptures create an interactive space for the viewer. it can turn the audience into more than just a viewer, a toucher or a smeller etc. I began thinking of showing my images on a shape of some kind. My first thoughts were printing my images on cubes, but that would mean one image would be shown on the top of the cube and would be flat like a piece of paper ontop of a box. Also it would need the audience to look straight down on it to look at it front on.  A cube wasn’t the best fit.. A quadrilateral triangle (for some reason) seemed to fit the idea much better. I created a template of a Quadrilateral triangle in illustrator and made some proto-types. I started experimenting with a whole lot of the folded up templates, joining them together to make different shapes but came to no conclusion with this idea. So for my final i stuck with the quadrilateral triangle.

I made the sides of my triange and fit them together with hot clue. It was a very technical process that needed a lot of working out, a bit of..Trigonometry?… I had to angle the edges of each triangle and make the framing (if only you could look inside my boxes to see the intricate skeleton work! (all angled edges and the braces that have been calculated to sit horizontally parallel to the bottom face of the triangle)). Hardout.

I wanted to present the triangles ( with the characters printed on the sides) by hanging them. Once again it is because of space. The audiene can move round the objects. The Objects actually exist in a space and the audience can interact with them by spinning them etc.

End Result

Something that made my hanging triangles quite interesting was the way the two characters interacted with each other, as they slowing spun round the viewer got to see different pictures, and if you connected the two images you see from both triangles it played out a (very vage) narration. (Originally I thought of these two characters as being the batman and robin kind of  team…More like  the chewie and Han kind probably.. Yet sometimes it looked like the robot was pointing at the man whilst he ran away. other times the man was shooting at the robot. Very cool.

From here I want to keep working on the skills learnt in this elective. I need to work on the programmes needed and on simply drawing figures.

A really important setting when your drawing freehand in photoshop/illustrator is the type of brush your using with the brush tool. It really makes a difference. so i am on a mish to find wicked brush presets on the net. I found one called ‘stumpy pencil’ and it is totally wicked. Ill try to keep a list of all the web addresses that have given me good brush presets.

For a look like this….


go to this….


this one has some goodies…



COPY PASTE INTO THE PROGRAMME’S (adobe or illustratr) FOLDER CALLED TOOLS. in photoshop this is found in C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CS3\Presets\Tools. you’d think you paste them into the folder ‘brushes’ but you dont…well for me it doesnt work in that folder…

There are many different ways to create the final images in a comic, each one changes the over all style and aesthetic of the art. I am focussing on a really clean bold look for my comic art. From research and advice I have chosen to use Adobe Illustrator to create my comic. I am not sure on how to use it… I  need to learn how it works first. But also learn about the process from the sketch to the final image. I have found a great site that has a start to finish tutorial of making a comic image using Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Hopefully in this post i can get a bunch of tutorials I can refer to when I get stuck making my images….


these images are a  more traditional style. I would be looking for something that looks a tad different, but i could get want i want from this process…


Also a slightly different technique that involves scanning in sketches…


The Beach Animals

June 1, 2009

Theo Jansen’s Beach animals are amazing. What amazed me more than the concept and the created forms was that fact he had so many different types and had expanded on his ideas so much, the fact that he made a device to pin the animal down into the sand when the wind came up was impressive and also equally impressive the 1.3 tone one made out of metal.

I was looking at a talk by a comic artist named Scott McCloud. He explains to the audience his understanding of comic books. McCloud created the new medium: web comics which he calls “infinate canvas” . It is made possible by web browsers. It is a very different waying of showing a comic, one that is very effective. McClooud is an avid user of the medium: My Obsession With Chess was widely popular online, as was The Right Number. This new way of showing comics (also known as hypercomics) is something i should look into..

Here is a great site by Daniel Merlin Goodbrey who has a range of awsome Webcomics and Hypercomics. (The Link is for his page on Hypercomics…)


I looked at some videos of a physicist called Freeman Dyson, in his 60 plus years in the game he has become a renowned and best selling author. His most recent book, A Many-Coloured Glass , tackles nothing less than biotechnology, religion and the role of life in the universe. He revealed some really interesting ideas to me; The Theory that we could design animals to live on other planets in the outer solar system where it is obviously too cold for any animal to live.

The story could introduce this idea. Maybe Mars can only be inhabited by the genetically engineered, maybe they were first used to terraform the planet to make it possible for life on mars. The conflict could come that the creation of the genetically engineered didn’t stop..they were just imported to mars as slaves for creating structures and so on. but then, why not robots?.. If Technology is at a point that there is a computer with a smarter brain than humans why not make robots do most of the humans work. Maybe there is a law…but then its already illegal to have G.E humans (according to my story).

There is a talk by  Kwabena Boahen that discusses the issue of creating computers with the capacity of a human brain..

Kwabena Boahen on a computer that works like the brain

EA Elective.

June 1, 2009

OK so far i’ve been looking at Ted.com and watching some really interesting videos.  I have no idea yet as to what i am going to be working on in this elective. But at the mo I am trying to focus on videos that discuss technology and science so i can further my research on science fiction. Watching talks on ted.com was a great place to start. I found one on the main page called:

Carolyn Porco: Could a Saturn moon harbor life?

It was really interesting to here about this kind of stuff. It gets you excited to think that one day we coould be rocking it on another planet. Are we going to actually achieve the technology to immigrating to another planet? If we could, then it makes you think, our technology is going to the savior of our existance. We’re going to get so technologically advanced that we could live forever…maybe.

From this video i began exploring Videos related to technology and science and found a lot of different views and ideas about what future technology will be like for humans.

Freeman Dyson

I looked at some videos of a physicist called Freeman Dyson, in his 60 plus years in the game he has become a renowned and best selling author. His most recent book, A Many-Coloured Glass , tackles nothing less than biotechnology, religion and the role of life in the universe. He revealed some really interesting ideas to me; The Theory that we could design animals to live on other planets in the outer solar system where it is obviously too cold for any animal to live.

Also in this elective I have been trying to get hang on the Adobe software Illustrator. Watching tutorials etc.  Hopefully my project can use Illustrator as well as the material i bring into the digital realm. Illustrator seems big and daunting but i can already see the advantages over Adobe Photoshop when it comes to my specific line of work.

For me to further my comic’s storyline i really have to create a complete world in the time zone i am looking at.  Im going to try to update this blog all the time with information that helps me understand ideas that are socially, politically and philosophically connected to my world which is set in the future year 2522.

Here are two great videos from tech enthusiest Kevin Kelly who talks about his ideas of  technology.

his talk about the evolution of the internet sparkd new ideas for my story. It got me looking at the internet the way he sees it being. Really powerful and our lives will completely be dependant on it. Everything we use and own will somehow be linked to the net. I began thinking.. yes security would be an obvious thing the internet would control but why couldn’t it also control the Laws of government. It could be a court judge, making logical judgements with outcomes more precise and acceptable than any human would make. And if thinking all of that, why couldn’t it be the government? Everything is connected to the internet so it would know everything!

The reason people wouldn’t eccept it would be because its too perfect. No one could take advantage of the system so there could be no corruption. If this was the case, a sci fi tail with a utopian government would be boring! So there has to be a breakdown somewhere to make conflict. But i am not for the idea of humans against machines because…if the human race didn’t have control, it would throw out all of my ideas, and i want to use this sci fi to investigate how humans would live with technology. Not how technology would live with humans (but that could be debatable in my comic). It would have the twist that Humans still controll the internet ( the rich corrupted businesses) and could still use the earth as a monopoly.

A time line of the internet system of government’s history would be something like this:

Internet government called ‘the system’ made.

followed by a lot of conflict and all of that jazz by people scared of control by machine.

then comes faith in the system for its success.

Then businesses would gain control of the ‘system’ and subtly use it for their own gain. This would soon become apparent to society but it would be totally hopeless to reject the ‘system’.

centuries would pass and it would still be the same. the utopia of the computer ruled world would be long gone and forgotten about in the eyes of society in my comic’s story.

Here is another talk by Kevin Kelly on the evolution of technology