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10 July 2012 @ 08:00 pm
Sombulus - 3D modeling and a new art style?  

Well, even though my nanomango goals fell short, I'm pretty happy because I've been trying lots of new things artistically in the last few weeks. I can now make 3D models using Blender, and though they're pretty crude, they're really helping out for my interior and exterior building shots.

Also, I'm trying a black and white style for the next few pages. My husband thinks my pencil/sketch linework is more expressive than my color panels, and has been urging me to try it out. What do you think?

I'd love some constructive feedback on this, because while I'm really hoping this style will be faster than full-color to churn out (hopefully netting me some sweet sweet backlog for when I take a vacation in August), I'm feeling really self-conscious about it and I'd like to make it better.
Current Mood: hothot
BOBbob_artist on July 11th, 2012 03:23 am (UTC)
Lol @the naked models... ^_^

If pressed to choose, I think I tend to agree with your husband. I like your color pages too, but the b/w is more expressive to me, and I like the textural feel and the way you balance the values in the b/w. And I think it's clean enough that it still looks finished.

That said, I *am* a little biased because I tend to appreciate b/w art more than the average person. From an artistic standpoint, I prefer the b/w. Also, I grew up reading manga which was all in b/w, and my own comic is (mostly) b/w.

If you're the type to worry about marketing and popularity, I'm not sure. A lot of non-artists don't seem to fully "understand" b/w. Sometimes they don't realize that b/w is a full and complete art form in itself, and not just a cheap substitute for color. Given the choice, general readers usually prefer color over b/w, and color is more likely to be eye-catching than b/w, unless the b/w is particularly dramatic.

Awhile back, I posted a color DOTU page as an extra on my FB fan page, and I got a really good response to it. Some people asked if I planned to start doing DOTU in color, and I said probably not but maybe I'd do it for the print version or as more extras. A few people said they liked the b/w and would miss it if I switched to color, and many people said color would be nice, but only if it didn't cause a delay in updates. In other words, they preferred timely b/w pages to late color pages.

So anyway, I know that's a lot of babble without a concise point. To summarize, I guess I'd say I like the b/w and I don't feel like you're even sacrificing anything artistically compared to the color, and if you need to do b/w in order to regain lost time, then it makes perfect sense. The lay person doesn't always understand b/w as well as they understand color, but sometimes you just need to do what you need to do.
Olna Jenndormouse_in_tea on July 11th, 2012 03:37 am (UTC)
NOOOOOOOoooooooo! don't change your art! The b&w is SO COOL!!!! *clings pathetically to your ankles*
Delphinadel_chan on July 11th, 2012 07:01 pm (UTC)
I am a little bit worried about my audience's color bias, and also because the effect looks like a rough sketch compared to the pages they just came from. What most non-artists don't realize is that my sketches are WAAAY messier than this; I had to try really hard to make it this clean! But I know there's lots of precedent for this kind of look, and if I can pull it off effectively and make it look finished, I'm willing to sacrifice the people who aren't engaged enough in the story to stick with it through an art change. I probably won't do much marketing until I get back to the color pages, though.

Thank you for the feedback! I feel a lot more confident now!
Olna Jenndormouse_in_tea on July 11th, 2012 03:36 am (UTC)
I agree with bob_artist -- I almost always prefer black & white to colour. And that page is AMAZING.
Delphinadel_chan on July 11th, 2012 06:55 pm (UTC)
D'aww, thank you! We'll see if I can get a little cleaner with it with practice...
Heather no Thoughtcrime: Imperial Gasmask Manlady_of_entropy on July 11th, 2012 05:14 am (UTC)
Yes, I also prefer the black and white to the color. If you are worried about Western/American reader color bias, you can always add limited color (i.e. just one color besides black, used sparingly). Most people do this with black, white and red, but your comic seems like it would lend itself more to a blue.

However, for me the black and white is rich enough, and since there are now a substantial number of people in the Western world who seek out and read Eastern black and white comics, I feel that you would be alright with black and white. Occasional strong value or contrast areas may make a comic more easy to "read" when you have moments of particular emphasis.
Delphinadel_chan on July 11th, 2012 06:54 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I thought about doing limited colors, but I think I'll leave it pure black and white for this particular scene just to have a point of comparison. Thanks for the feedback!
Heather no Thoughtcrimelady_of_entropy on July 12th, 2012 02:41 am (UTC)
Sure thing! =D
Hiding in plain sightwulfae on July 11th, 2012 01:57 pm (UTC)
Oooh, that's a pretty sweet idea! I have a couple of tutorials that might help.

This one is for Maya, and it's about building a castle. It's pretty neat how relatively simple geometry can give a fairly detailed appearance!

The next one is using google sketchup. Uncle Mugen's background tutorial. Uh, ignore how creepy he is, I think he mostly makes eroge visual novels or something?

I also like black and white art. I think it comes from reading manga as a kid, and also really enjoying Poison Elves and Bone, both of which are in black and white. In fact, I very nearly hate the coloured version of Bone, because I feel it obscures the beautiful line work. Maybe I would have liked it if it had been coloured in a more traditional way, and not obviously with photoshop. I really hate that soft airbrush shading. /ramble.
Delphinadel_chan on July 11th, 2012 06:51 pm (UTC)
Wow, thank you so much! I just clicked through the castle one. I can't stop staring at that well. Definitely gonna be a handy technique for my big stone church next chapter. =o

I didn't even know they had a color version of Bone, and I definitely can't envision it with Photoshop color added after the fact.